Picture of Iraj Saniee

Iraj Saniee

Murray Hill, NJ, USA
Group Leader


Ph. D. degree in operations research and control theory,  University of Cambridge
M. A. (Hon.) degree in mathematics,  University of Cambridge
B. A. (Hon.) degree in mathematics,  University of Cambridge


Iraj Saniee is Head of the Mathematics & Algorithms Research Group at Nokia Bell Labs, in Murray Hill, NJ. The Group consists of three departments focusing on Systems, Communications and Networks in  Cambridge (United Kingdom), Murray Hill (USA), and Paris-Saclay (France). The departments are headed by Matthew Andrews, Carl Nuzman and Gerard Burnside.

Iraj's research interests span a spectrum of topics in applied mathematics, modeling & analysis, and optimization of communications networks and systems, with focus on the structure and architecture of networks, scalable algorithms for network problems and applications to the design tools and control mechanisms for emerging communication systems.

Prior to Bell Labs and until 1998, he was a research director in the Information Sciences Lab at Bellcore in Morristown, New Jersey.

In addition to his research in support of Nokia products and services, in the past decade Iraj has been the recipient of DARPA, AFOSR and NIST contracts and grants on such topics as control mechanisms for MANETs, large-scale geometry of networks and inference from large graphs. His current focus is on deep learning, large graph analytics and distributed self-organizing network control.


Research Interests

  • Computational & Algorithmic Sciences
  • Deep Learning
  • Machine Learning
  • Mathematics of Networks
  • Network Architecture & Design

Honors and Awards

  • National Academies Keck Futures Initiative on Beyond Boundaries, November 2017
  • External Advisory Committee, NSF Center for Science of Information, Purdue University (2015- )
  • National Academies Keck Futures Initiative on Collective Behavior, November 2014
  • ECE Board, George Washington University (2012-2014)
  • 2012 INFORMS Edelman Alumni (Class of 1994)
  • AFOSR Research Grant (PI: Renormalization Groups for Networks), Sep 2011 - Oct 2013
  • NIST Research Grant (PI: Intrinsic Geometry of Networks), Sep 2010 - Oct 2013
  • AFOSR Research Grant (PI: Analytical Estimations for Networks), Sep 2008 - Oct 2011
  • National Academies Keck Futures Initiative on Complex Systems, November 2009
  • Bell Labs Grand Challenge, Finalist May 2008
  • Bell Labs President’s Award, Finalist, May 2006
  • DARPA Contract (IA-MANET), 2007-2008
  • DARPA Contract (CB-MANET), 2006-2007
  • Central Bell Labs Teamwork Award, June 2004
  • Central Bell Labs Teamwork Award, June 2002
  • President's Recognition Award, Bell Communications Research, 1996
  • Franz Edelman International Award in Operations Research, Finalist, INFORMS, 1994
  • Distinguished Member of Technical Staff Award, Bell Communications Research


Professional Activities


Selected Articles and Publications


Efficient Deep Approximation of GMMs
S. Jalali, C. Nuzman, Iraj Saniee.  Proceedings of 33rd NeurIPS Conference, December 2019 (see also the summary poster)

Digital innovation networks at the nexus of new productivity growth
S. Kamat, S. Prakash, Iraj Saniee, M. Weldon.  To appear in BLTJ 2020.

Efficient Deep Learning of GMMs
S. Jalali, C. Nuzman, Iraj Saniee, arXiv, February 2019

Fast approximation algorithms for p-centres in large δ-hyperbolic graphs 
K. Edwards, S. Kennedy, Iraj Saniee, Algorithmica, Vol 80, Issue 12, pp 3889-3907,  Dec 2018, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00453-018-0425-6

Will productivity growth return in the new digital era?
Iraj Saniee, S. Kamas, S. Prakash, M. Weldon, Bell Labs Technical Journal, Spring 2017

Quantifying the benefits of infrastructure sharing 
M. Andrews, M. Bradonjic, Iraj Saniee, NetEcon '17, Proc. 12th Workshop on Economics of Networks, Systems, MIT, 2017

Fast approximation algorithms for p-centres in large δ-hyperbolic graphs 
K. Edwards, S. Kennedy, Iraj Saniee, Proceedings of WAW16, Springer, 2016. 

Scalable algorithms for large and dynamic networks: Reducing big data for small computations 
Iraj Saniee, Bell Labs Technical Journal, Vol: 20, pp 23-33, Wiley, July 2015

Lack of hyperbolicity in asymptotic Erdos-Renyi random graphs
O. Narayan, Iraj Saniee, G. H. Tucci, Internet Mathematics, Vol. 11-3, Taylor & Francis, May 2015.

Bootstrap percolation in periodic trees
M. Bradonjic, Iraj Saniee, ANALCO15, SIAM, January 2015.

Non-concave utility maximization in locally coupled systems with applications to wireless & wireline networks 
S. Borst, M. Markakis, Iraj Saniee,
IEEE Trans. on Networking, Vol. 22, Issue: 2, pages: 674-687, April 2014.

Spectral analysis of communication networks using Dirichlet eigenvalues
A. Tsiatas, Iraj Saniee, O. Narayan, Matthew Andrews
Proc. of ACM WWW2013, Rio de Janiero, May 2013.

Bootstrap percolation on random geometric graphs
M. Bradonjic, Iraj Saniee
Extended abstract: Proc. of SIAM Analytic Algos and Combi.Conf, New Orleans, Jan. 2013
Full article: Prob. in Engin. and Inform. Sciences, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Large-scale curvature of networks
O. Narayan, Iraj Saniee
Physical Review E (statistical physics), Vol. 84, No. 066108, Dec. 2011.

Scaling of load in communication networks
O. Narayan, Iraj Saniee
Physical Review E (statistical physics), Vol. 82, No. 036102, Sep. 2010.

Decentralized control and optimization of networks with QoS-constrained services
Iraj Saniee
Proceedings of the IEEE-ICC 2009, Dresden, June 2009.

Combined network design and multi-period pricing: modeling, solution techniques and computation
D. Bienstock, O. Raskina, Iraj Saniee, Q. Wang
Operations Research, Vol. 54, No. 2, pp261-276, March-April 2006.

Dynamic optimization in cellular networks
S. C. Borst, A. Buvaneswari, L. M. Drabeck, M. J. Flanagan, J. M. Graybeal, G. K. Hampel, M. Haner, W. M. MacDonald, P. A. Polakos, G. Rittenhouse
Iraj Saniee, A. Weiss, P. A. Whiting
Bell Labs Technical Journal, Volume 10, Issue 2
Special Issue on Future Wireless Communications, p 99-119,
Wiley Interscience, Summer 2005.

Load characterization and load anomaly detection for Voice over IP traffic
M. Mandjes, Iraj Saniee, S. Stolyar
IEEE Trans. on Neural Networks, Special Issues on Adaptive Learning Systems in Communication Networks
Edtr. A. Parlos, Vol. 16, No. 5, pp1019-1026, Sep 2005.

Analytic description of shared restoration capacity for mesh networks
M. Bhardwaj, L. McCaughan, S.K. Korotky, Iraj Saniee
Journal of Optical Networking, Vol 4, No. 3, pp130-141, Feb. 2005.

Simplified layering and flexible bandwidth with TWIN
I. Widjaja, Iraj Saniee
Proceedings of Workshop on Future Directions in Network Architecture,
SIGComm 2004, Portland, Oregon, Aug 2004


Books and Chapters

Collective Behavior: from Cells to Societies, (IDR Team, Group A) Gene Robinson et al, Steering Committee, The National Academies Keck Future Initiative, NA Press, July 2015.

Bell Labs Technical Journal Special Issue on Self-Organizing and Self-Optimizing Networks, Iraj Saniee, U. Barth, Guest Editors, Vol. 15, Issue 3, Dec. 2010.

Complex Systems, (Task Group Summary 9) H. Eugene Stanley et al, Steering Committee, The National Academies Keck Future Initiative, NA Press, 2009.

New Trends in Network Design, Edited by W. Ben-Ameur, D. Bienstock and Iraj Saniee, Special issue of Annals of Operation Research (in conjunction with the International Network Optimization Conference Evry/Paris, 27-29 October, 2003), Vol. 146, No. 1, Sep 2006.

Load balancing in dynamic CDMA networks, S. Borst, G. Hampel, Iraj Saniee, P. Whiting, Handbook of Optimization in Telecommunications, Ed. P.M. Pardalos and M.G.C. Resende, Springer Science, 2006.

Heuristic Approaches for Telecommunications Network Management, Planning and Expansion, Edited by R. Doverspike and Iraj Saniee, Kluwer Academic Publishers, April 2000.



o 10,545,629 Graphical interface for an augmented intelligence system

o 10,142,407 Centralized load balancer with weighted hash function

o 9,104,487 Reducing response time variance of virtual processors

o 9,100,347 Method of burst scheduling in a communication network

o 8,937,957 Intelligent media gateway selection for multimedia communication sessions

o 8,606,274 Method of load-aware dynamic handover in cellular networks

o 8,537,835 Methods and apparatus for self-organized caching in a content delivery network

o 8,055,134Optical telecommunications network and method

o 7,941,156 System of wireless base stations employing shadow prices for power load balancing

o 7,885,803 System and method for simulating traffic loads in packetized communication networks

o 7,729,704 Power load balancing in cellular networks employing shadow prices of base stations

o 7,653,042 Method of burst scheduling in a communication network

o 7,633,865 Network operations control in packet data networks

o 7,573,815 Flow control and congestion management for random scheduling in time-domain wavelength interleaved networks

o 7,561,534 Methods of network routing having improved resistance to faults affecting groups of links subject to common risks

o 7,466,913 Method for WDM optical networks including alternate routes for fault recovery

o 7,340,172 Optical WDM-TDM network

o 7,283,753 System and method for WDM communication with interleaving of optical signals for efficient wavelength utilization

o 7,283,552 Method of scheduling bursts of data for transmission in a communication network

o 7,280,526 Fast and scalable approximation methods for finding minimum cost flows with shared recovery strategies, and system using same

o 7,058,296 Design method for WDM optical networks including alternate routes for fault recovery

o 5,546,542 Method for efficiently determining the direction for routing a set of anticipated demands between selected nodes on a ring communication network