Anas Chaaban

Assistant Professor

Applied Science, Electrical, School of Engineering
Office: EME 3215
Phone: 250.807.9112

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Network Information Theory; Interference Mitigation; Wireless Communications; Optical Wireless Communications; Coding Theory

Courses & Teaching

ENGR 562 Information Theory (2019);
ENGR 463 Communication Networks (2018-2020 Term 1);
ENGR 418/518 Applied Machine Learning for Engineers (2020 Term 1);
APSC 177 Engineering Computation and Instrumentation (2017-2020 Term 2);
APSC 173 Engineering Analysis II (2018-2019 Term 2)


Anas Chaaban is an assistant professor at the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia.  He received his PhD in 2013 from the Ruhr-University of Bochum in Germany for his research on Relaying for Interference Management in the area of Network Information Theory. He was a postdoctoral fellow with the Ruhr-University of Bochum from 2013 till 2014, and with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology from 2015 till 2017.

His research focus is on information theory and communication theory with applications in cellular networks, optical wireless communications, sensor networks, and related applications.


Communication Theory Lab


Post-Doctoral Fellowship - King Abdullah University of Science & Technology
Post-Doctoral Fellowship - Ruhr-University of Bochum
PhD – (electrical engineering & information technology) Ruhr-University of Bochum
MASc – (communications technology program - electrical engineering & computer science) Ulm University
BASc – Lebanese University

Research Interests & Projects

Network Information Theory:

The fundamental limits of information transmission over a network is measured by the capacity region of the network. Capacity characterization of networks is often cumbersome, and insightful capacity approximations might be sought for instead. We focus on deriving capacity approximations for networks involving multiple transmitters, receivers, and/or relay nodes, with multi-way communication and full-duplex capabilities. This line of research is useful for understanding the performance of future communication systems including heterogeneous networks, device-to-device communications, and internet-of-things.

Optical Wireless Communications:

Optical wireless communications (OWC) encompasses outdoor free-space optical communications, indoor visible-light communication, in addition to non-line-of-sight ultra-violet communication and underwater optical wireless communication. Studying the theoretical fundamentals of OWC is important to understand its capabilities and limitations. This line of research aims to develop theoretical results on information-theoretic as well as communication-theoretic aspects of OWC, such as capacity and bit-error rate performance.

On the practical front, the aim is to develop, test, and optimize practical OWC schemes in an experimental environment, for various applications. The schemes have to satisfy some performance requirements in terms of bit-error rate and data rate, and be able to provide the desired performance under practical operation limitations. Various transmitters devices and receiver devices (or arrays thereof) will be used, and theoretical results will be put to the test.

Intelligent Reflecting Surfaces:

Passive reflectors can be used to induce controlled phase shifts in an impinging electromagnetic wave, leading to a more desirable propagation environment. Such Intelligent Reflecting Surfaces (IRS) can be used to harness massive-MIMO-like gains without using an excessive number of transmit antennas at a base-station. This research aims to develop new techniques for achieving the maximum gain from IRS in various applications in wireless communications, with application to future generations of cellular communication networks.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Selected Publications: (Complete list here)

Selected Grants & Awards

  • UBCO Thank a Prof. Award 2020, 2022
  • 2nd place winner for the North American Region in the ComSoc Internet for All competition 2022
  • Canadian Society of Information Theory paper award 2019
  • Best paper award at ICCSPA 2015
  • Best poster award at the IEEE CTW 2011

Professional Services/Affiliations/Committees

  1. IEEE: Senior member
  2. IEEE Communications Society, Information Theory Society, and Vehicular Technology Society: Member
  3. Canadian Information Theory Society: Member 2019, Secretary 2022
  4. IEEE Transactions on Communications 2018/2024: Editor
  5. Frontiers on Communications and Networking 2020/21: Associate Editor
  6. IEEE Communication Theory Workshop 2020/21: Financial Chair
  7. North American School of Information Theory 2021: Treasurer


  • Paper “Diversion Detection in Small-Diameter HDPE Pipes Using Guided Waves and Deep Learning,” selected for the cover of Sensors
    • Media releases here and here
    • Sponsored by Fortis BC and MITACS
  • Paper “The Role of UAV-IoT Networks in Future Wildfire Detection” was highlighted in a story in IEEE Spectrum here
  • Papers “Intelligent Reflecting Surface Assisted Multi-User MISO Communication: Channel Estimation and Beamforming Design”  and “Asymptotic Max-Min SINR Analysis of Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface Assisted MISO Systems” were selected in the IEEE Communications Society “Best Readings in Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces” and were among the top 50 most popular papers in their respective transactions for several months in 2020-2022.
  • Paper “Topology Optimization for 6G Networks: A Network Information-Theoretic Approach,” was among the top 50 most popular papers in the IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine in Nov 2020 – Feb 2021.


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