ACM SIGCOMM 2021, virtually (online)

ACM SIGCOMM 2021 Workshop on Optical Systems (OptSys’2021)

Call for Papers

Optical technology is a fundamental building block of modern systems. Today, nearly all wide-area, metro, and data center communications are carried over optical technology making optics a billion-dollar industry. With the rise of Machine Learning, optics is poised to play an even bigger role from the interconnect all the way to emerging optical compute hardware. With the slowdown of Moore’s law, the high bandwidth and ultra-low latency requirements of modern applications, such as machine learning and data analytics, are hard to meet in a cost-effective manner with traditional electrical devices.

The OptSys workshop focuses on the design and implementation of optical systems for the next-generation workloads. These systems pose a number of research challenges spanning multiple research areas, e.g., optical hardware, scheduling, synchronization, congestion control, and topology reconfiguration, which require cross-layer and cross-disciplinary solutions. Addressing these challenges requires the collaboration of cross-disciplinary teams and joint co-design across the stack.

The workshop aims to bring together participants from the optics, networking, machine learning, and distributed systems communities to jointly tackle these challenges and foster discussions and collaboration opportunities.

Following the successful experience from OptSys'2020 and OptSys'2019, the workshop will feature a combination of accepted talks and keynote speakers, selected among the community top academics and researchers, with an emphasis on encouraging engaging technical discussions amongst the participants.

Unlike prior years, we are glad to announce that papers accepted by the workshop will be published in the conference proceedings published by ACM SIGCOMM.

Topics of Interest

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following areas:
  • Cross-layer optimization problems
  • Systems design leveraging recent advances in Optical technology
  • Optical designs leveraging recent advances in Systems and Cloud
  • Novel optical network architectures
  • Emerging optical computing technologies
  • Optics for Machine Learning and Machine Learning for Optics
  • Emerging optical technologies impacting the design of rack-scale, data-center, metro, and wide-area networks
  • New congestion control and network stacks for optical networks
  • Scheduling and time synchronization algorithms for microsecond/nanosecond Optical Circuit Switches
  • Programming abstractions for orchestration between the SDN/IP layer and optical devices
  • Reconfigurable optical topologies
  • Analysis and experience with operational optical networks
  • Models, algorithms, and theory for optical networks
  • Economic and cost aspects of optical networks
  • Monitoring and diagnosis of performance issues across layers
  • Free-space optical interconnects

Submission Instructions

Submissions must be original, unpublished work, and not under consideration at another conference or journal. LaTeX sources can be found at this link. With older versions of this template, authors should use "10pt" in the documentclass command to ensure that the font size for all submitted papers is 10 points. The length of the submitted paper should be at most 4 pages, excluding references. Authors are welcome to include an appendix beyond the page limit, but the main paper should be self-contained. We also encourage demos for which a two-page extended abstract must be submitted in the same format as the workshop papers. Papers and extended abstracts must include author names and affiliations for single-blind peer reviewing by the PC. Authors of accepted submissions are expected to present and discuss their work at the workshop. We encourage both "work-in-progress" and “vision” papers that benefit from the interactive nature of OptSys and can stimulate reflection and discussion. Papers accepted by the workshop will be published in the conference proceedings published by ACM SIGCOMM. Authors of published papers at OptSys could choose to extend their work to full-length conference papers later.

Please submit your paper via


Attendance of the workshop is by open registration and subject to the same registration fees and rules as all the other SIGCOMM 2021 workshops. The registrants of the workshop may freely attend any workshop on the same day.

Important Dates

  • May 31, 2021

    Submission deadline

  • June 21 June 28, 2021

    Acceptance notification

  • July 2, 2021

    Camera-ready deadline

  • August 23, 2021

    Workshop day


  • Organizing Committee
  • Chen Avin

    Ben Gurion University, Israel

  • Paolo Costa

    Microsoft Research, UK

  • Manya Ghobadi

    MIT, USA

  • George Porter


  • Stefan Schmid

    University of Vienna, Austria

  • Program Committee
  • Vyas Sekar


  • Alex C. Snoeren


  • Zhizhen Zhong


  • T. S. Eugene Ng

    Rice U

  • Hongqiang “Harry” Liu

    Alibaba Group