Currently, WFCS is the largest IEEE conference primarily dedicated to communications for (industrial) automation systems. In 2020 the 16th edition of the WFCS was supported by IEEE and IES and led by the IEEE TC on Factory Automation. It should initially take place in Porto. However, the corona pandemic meant that the WFCS would, for the first time, take place in cyberspace. This situation turned the WFCS 2020 into a new experience, even for scientific veterans.
Roland Stenzl was honored to participate and presented a work in progress paper. The paper was written by Roland Stenzl, Stefan Wilker, Thilo Sauter, Anetta Nagy, Thomas Bigler, and Albert Treytl and dealt with the use of cluster algorithms in an indoor location scenario. Omnidirectional antennas are used in most scientific literature about the topic of indoor localization. In the research project “PinPoint IoT,” an attempt is made to use directional antennas for localization. For the analysis of the resulting radio maps, different cluster algorithms came into operation. The paper covered mainly the progress made with these clustering algorithms.
A few days before the conference started, the participants were asked to record their presentation. Working with recording software, inadequate tools, and trying to lower the echo in the living room was quite a challenge for me, the author. A colleague’s tip led me to use OBS-Studio, a screen-recording tool that allows a quick start due to its simplicity. Because it is possible to start recording again if a slight slip of the tongue occurs; the recording session took a full afternoon—a small price to pay for trying to achieve perfection.
The whole conference held place online with the help of Zoom, a video conferencing software. Despite all efforts, the restricted interaction between participants was a problem. Zoom allowed for some interaction like raising hands or clapping in approval, but it couldn’t replace face to face interaction. Another problem was, of course, fluctuations in connection quality. A total connection loss occurred, precisely at the moment of my Q&A, which led to unanswered questions. Despite this obstacle, my presentation ranked third in its category, and the paper even reached first place—quite the achievement since it was my first paper and my first scientific conference. Nevertheless, the WFCS 2020 went largely without problems and the technical presentations of the colleagues were of high quality and most even adhered to the time limit.
All that remains is to thank and show respect to the organizers of the conference. Everything worked out wonderfully, despite these adverse circumstances and the short time available for rescheduling. The WFCS 2020 was a success, fun, and exciting experience for me and a worthy initiation into the world of science.