After two years on-line, IFIP WONS (30 Jan-1 Feb 2023) will return to where it all began: Madonna di Campiglio, Italy, in the wonderful setting of the Dolomiti di Brenta mountains, part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. 

WONS was born in 2004 from an intuition of Mario Gerla, Renato Lo Cigno, and other researchers: setting up a small, single-track conference in winter in the mountains, where working sessions are intertwined with open-air informal activities in the daylight hours of the sun meridian and cozy evening chats by the fireplace at night. 

The topic of the conference was set to go beyond classical wireless or ad-hoc communications and networking; the idea was to keep it wide to include all topics related to alternative networking and possibly inclusive of side-thinking and non-conventional ideas to discuss within a friendly environment. 

With the exception of the past two years, WONS was run regularly every year and WONS 2023 will be number 18, making it one of the longest running and most successful independent small conferences. WONS has visited all Alpine nations and even North America on occasion. The 2022 edition should have been in Norway, but travel restrictions forced another on-line event, which was successful despite the contradiction between the WONS spirit and remote events. 

True to its early inspiration, WONS was never a place to present marginal results, and some of the works discussed at WONS sessions have spawned new research lines including vehicles’ coordinated maneuvering with vehicular communications, empirical modeling for 802.11p shadowing in urban areas, and hardware in the (simulation) loop for related vehicular networks. Also, underwater communications was discussed in several WONS contributions with basic results on the physical layer and its properties. Recent editions of WONS touched on topics like Wi-Fi sensing obfuscation to protect users’ privacy, integration of visible light and radio communications to enhance reliability of mission critical networking and congestion control in 5G networks, especially for sidelink management. 

The 2023 edition is being approached as a true restart: The coming of age at its 18th birthday! Besides the Open Call for contributions, the program will feature one stimulating keynote per day, designed to foster discussion on open and maybe future research issues. As usual, the Best Paper will be recognised with an Award, richly endowed by IFIP.  

Stay tuned for future articles or visit the WONS website for the full history, further information and 2023 edition details.

Caption: View on the Brenta Dolomites from Paganella – by Mara Ghiro [Public Domain]