Impactful papers: Research that changed the world

As part of the IET’s 150th anniversary, we’re taking you on a whistle-stop tour of some of the most influential papers to have been published in our journals over the past few decades.

The papers selected by the editors of the various IET journals often show initial research at the cutting edge of aspects of technology that we now take for granted as part of our daily lives: 5G, Wi-Fi access, hybrid vehicles, and digital twins are all to be found in the pages of the IET’s journals.

Over the decades, the IET has published thousands upon thousands of research papers. Here, today’s editors have cherry-picked ten papers that they consider to be the most ground-breaking…

Multiphase induction motor drives – a technology status review

In 2007, a team of academic researchers collaborated to produce a paper for IET Electric Power Applications called Multiphase induction motor drives – a technology status review.

Written by authorities from world-leading laboratories, the paper was essentially a tutorial on current thinking, with an emphasis on induction motor drives which were a prevailing solution. After surveying the basic characteristics of multiphase machines, the paper progressed to explain modeling and control principles, including both vector control and direct torque control.

Radar, Sonar & Navigation journal

The IET’s Radar, Sonar & Navigation journal covers the theory and practice of systems and signals for radar, sonar, radiolocation, navigation, and surveillance purposes in aerospace and terrestrial applications. Its pages include two of the first publications – today regarded as ‘classics’ on the subject – on passive radar, which has now become a mainstream subject within the overall radar domain. The first investigated analogue television transmissions, while the second covered FM radio transmissions.

 

Doubly fed induction generator using back-to-back PWM converters and its application to variable-speed wind-energy generation

Published in 1996, at a time when wind utilisation for electric energy generation was in its infancy, the paper entitled Doubly fed induction generator using back-to-back PWM converters and its application to variable-speed wind-energy generation appeared in IEE Proceedings – Electric Power Applications.

Review of substrate-integrate waveguide circuits and antennas

IET Microwaves, Antennas & Propagation is dedicated to the coverage of microwave and RF circuits, microwave, and millimetre wave amplifiers, oscillators, switches, mixers, and other components. In June 2010, it published its Review of substrate-integrate waveguide circuits and antennas, a paper that has been widely used in understanding and realising the use of substrate integrated waveguides.

Contemporary notes on metamaterials

In February 2007, there was also the publication of a special edition of the journal co-authored by Sergei Tretyakov, whose Contemporary notes on metamaterials detailed developments in metamaterials since the Second World War that have led to many different applications through which antennas can be designed, as well as demonstrating the vast usage of metamaterials and new avenues of thought that have been further considered as materials have advanced.

Variable size block matching motion compensation with applications to video coding

Professor Farzin Deravi, Editor-in-Chief of IET Image Processing says that with “the rapid rise of audio-visual communication in recent decades, there has been a continuous drive for developing more efficient encodings of video information to facilitate the ever-increasing demand for higher quality at lower transmission rates.” He draws attention to a seminal paper published in IEE Proceedings I in 1990 – Variable size block matching motion compensation with applications to video coding – that “resulted in a step-change in automatic techniques for encoding differences between video frames caused by the motion of the camera and/or objects – a key stage in efficient video compression.”

Identifiability of load models

In the same decade, IEE Proceedings: Generation, Transmission and Distribution published a paper anticipating today’s trend for digital twins. Identifiability of load models discussed how the modelling of electrical power systems is a key aspect for setting up digital twins for power system analysis in planning and operation.

LSTM network: a deep learning approach for short-term traffic forecast

IET Intelligent Transport Systems is an interdisciplinary journal devoted to research into the practical applications of ITS and infrastructures. According to its editor-in-chief David Fernández Llorca “undoubtedly the most influential article in the specific field of short-term traffic forecasting” that the journal has published is LSTM network: a deep learning approach for short-term traffic forecast. With nearly a thousand citations (and counting) on Web of Science and Google Scholar, the figures, “are impressive for a paper in the field with only four years of history.”

Reinforcement learning-based multi-agent system for network traffic signal control

Another highlight, published in 2010 is Reinforcement learning-based multi-agent system for network traffic signal control, which is “probably the most relevant of the last decade in the specific context of the use of RL for traffic signal control. Using RL for traffic signal control requires the formulation of the control and optimisation problems in the language of RL, defining a state space, an action space, and a reward.”

Consensus strategies for cooperative control of vehicle formations

Accurate maintenance of a geometric configuration between multiple vehicles moving in formation has many applications including cooperative search, cooperative transport, and space-based interferometry. The idea is that through efficient coordination many inexpensive, simple vehicles can achieve enhanced coordinated performance superior to that of a single monolithic vehicle. A 2007 paper published in IET Control Theory & Applications entitled Consensus strategies for cooperative control of vehicle formations introduces extensions of a consensus algorithm for systems modelled by second-order dynamics.

Detection algorithm and initial laboratory results using V-BLAST space-time communication architecture

Today, Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) is a de facto component of all modern communications systems, including the fifth generation (5G) New Radio (NR) cellular standards. But towards the end of the 20th century a paper called Detection algorithm and initial laboratory results using V-BLAST space-time communication architecture was published in IEE Electronics Letters, demonstrating one of the first real-time implementation of the V-BLAST MIMO system in a laboratory environment.

Translinear circuits: a proposed classification

For our last highlight, we go back nearly half a century to the ‘golden age of bipolar analog circuits’ to revisit a paper published in IET Electronics Letters by Barrie Gilbert, entitled Translinear circuits: a proposed classification. Says Paolo S. Crovetti, Subject Editor-in-Chief for Circuits and Systems: “In this seminal Letter, the groundbreaking concept exploited in those circuits was formalised, generalised and designated as ‘translinear principle’ for the first time. The idea, indeed, is extremely simple, powerful and elegant.”