Tag Archives: editorial

Workshop on Tracking Quality of Experience in the Internet: Summary and Outcomes

Fabian E. Bustamante, David Clark, Nick Feamster.
Abstract

This is a report on the Workshop on Tracking Quality of Experience in the Internet, held at Princeton, October 21–22, 2015, jointly sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Federal Communication Commission. The term Quality of Experience (QoE) describes a user’s subjective assessment of their experience when using a particular application. In the past, network engineers have typically focused on Quality of Service (QoS): performance metrics such as throughput, delay and jitter, packet loss, and the like. Yet, performance as measured by QoS parameters only matters if it affects the experience of users, as they attempt to use a particular application. Ultimately, the user’s experience is determined by QoE impairments (e.g., rebuffering). Although QoE and QoS are related—for example, a video rebuffering event may be caused by high packet-loss rate—QoE metrics ultimately affect a user’s experience.

Identifying the causes of QoE impairments is complex, since the impairments may arise in one or another region of the network, in the home network, on the user’s device, in servers that are part of the application, or in supporting services such as the DNS. Additionally, metrics for QoE continue to evolve, as do the methods for relating QoE impairments to underlying causes that could be measurable using standard network measurement techniques. Finally, as the capabilities of the underlying network infrastructure continues to evolve, researchers should also consider how to design infrastructure and tools can best support measurements that can better identify the locations and causes of QoE impairments.

The workshop’s aim was to understand the current state of QoE research and to contemplate a community agenda to integrate ongoing threads of QoE research into a collaboration. This summary report describes the topics discussed and summarize the key points of the discussion. Materials related to the workshop are available at http://aqualab.cs.northwestern.edu/NSFWorkshop-InternetQoE
Download the full article DOI: 10.1145/3041027.3041035

Can We Make a Cake and Eat it Too? A Discussion of ICN Security and Privacy

Edith Ngai, Borje Ohlman, Gene Tsudik, Ersin Uzun, Matthias Wahlisch, Christopher A. Wood.
Abstract

In recent years, Information-centric Networking (ICN) has received much attention from both academic and industry participants. ICN offers data-centric inter-networking that is radically different from today’s host-based IP networks. Security and privacy features on today’s Internet were originally not present and have been incrementally retrofitted over the last 35 years. As such, these issues have become increasingly important as ICN technology gradually matures towards real-world deployment. Thus, while ICN-based architectures (e.g., NDN, CCNx, etc.) are still evolving, it is both timely and important to explore ICN security and privacy issues as well as devise and assess possible mitigation techniques.

This report documents the highlights and outcomes of the Dagstuhl Seminar 16251 on “Information-centric Networking and Security.” The goal of which was to bring together researchers to discuss and address security and privacy issues particular to ICN-based architectures. Upon finishing the three-day workshop, the outlook of ICN is still unclear. Many unsolved and ill-addressed problems remain, such as namespace and identity management, object security and forward secrecy, and privacy. Regardless of the fate of ICN, one thing is certain: much more research and practical experience with these systems is needed to make progress towards solving these arduous problems.
Download the full article DOI: 10.1145/3041027.3041034

Toward a Taxonomy and Attacker Model for Secure Routing Protocols

Matthias Hollick, Cristina Nita-Rotaru, Panagiotis Papadimitratos, Adrian Perrig, Stefan Schmid.
Abstract

A secure routing protocol represents a foundational building block of a dependable communication system. Unfortunately, currently no taxonomy exists to assist in the design and analysis of secure routing protocols. Based on the Dagstuhl Seminar 15102, this paper initiates the study of more structured approaches to describe secure routing protocols and the corresponding attacker models, in an effort to better understand existing secure routing protocols, and to provide a framework for designing new protocols. We decompose the routing system into its key components based on a functional model of routing. This allows us to classify possible attacks on secure routing protocols. Using our taxonomy, we observe that the most eective attacks target the information in the control plane. Accordingly, unlike classic attackers whose capabilities are often described in terms of computation complexity we propose to classify the power of an attacker with respect to the reach, that is, the extent to which the attacker can influence the routing information indirectly, beyond the locations under its direct control.

Download the full article DOI: 10.1145/3041027.3041033

Report from the 6th PhD School on Traffic Monitoring and Analysis (TMA)

Idilio Drago, Fabio Ricciato, Ramin Sadre
Abstract

This is a summary report by the organizers of the 6th TMA PhD school held in Louvain-la-Neuve on 5-6 April 2016. The insight and feedback received about the event might turn useful for the organization of future editions and similar events targeting students and young researchers.

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“Resource Pooling” for Wireless Networks: Solutions for the Developing World

Junaid Qadir, Arjuna Sathiaseelan, Liang Wang.
Abstract

We live in a world in which there is a great disparity between the lives of the rich and the poor. Technology offers great promise in bridging this gap. In particular, wireless technology unfetters developing communities from the constraints of infrastructure providing a great opportunity to leapfrog years of neglect and technological waywardness. In this paper, we highlight the role of resource pooling for wireless networks in the developing world. Resource pooling involves (i) abstracting a collection of networked resources to behave like a single unified resource pool and (ii) developing mechanisms for shifting load between the various parts of the unified resource pool. The popularity of resource pooling stems from its ability to provide resilience, high utilization, and flexibility at an acceptable cost. We show that “resource pooling”, which is very popular in its various manifestations, is the key unifying principle underlying a diverse number of successful wireless technologies (such as white space networking, community networks, etc.). We discuss various applications of resource pooled wireless technologies and provide a discussion on open issues.

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The 8th Workshop on Active Internet Measurements (AIMS-8) Report

Abstract

On 10-12 February 2016, CAIDA hosted the eighth Workshop on Active Internet Measurements (AIMS-8) as part of our series of Internet Statistics and Metrics Analysis (ISMA) workshops. This workshop series provides a forum for stakeholders in Internet active measurement projects to communicate their interests and concerns, and explore cooperative approaches to maximizing the collective benefit of deployed infrastructure and gathered measurements. Discussion topics included: infrastructure development status and plans; experimental design, execution, and cross-validation; challenges to incentivize hosting, sharing, and using measurement infrastructure; data access, sharing, and analytics; and challenges of emerging high bandwidth network measurement infrastructure. Other recurrent topics included paths toward increased interoperability and cooperative use of infrastructures, and ethical frameworks to support active Internet measurement. Materials related to the workshop are at
http://www.caida.org/workshops/aims/1602/.

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The July 2016 Issue

This issue of Computer Communication Review is again a bit special. The previous issue was the last issue published on paper. The issue that you read is the first to be printed only on electrons. We hope that moving to an entirely online publication model will allow CCR to better serve the needs of the community. CCR is now available through a dedicated website : https://ccronline.sigcomm.org . We will add new features on the website to encourage interactions among the entire community. Ideas and suggestions on how to improve the website are more than welcome.
This issue contains a wide range of articles. Four peer-reviewed articles have been accepted. In “Controlling Queueing Delays for Real-Time Communication : The Interplay of E2E and AQM Algorithms”, Gaetano Carlucci et al. analyse the performance of the Google Congestion Control algorithm for real time communication with Active Queue Management (AQM) and scheduling techniques. In “What do Parrots and BGP Routers have in common”, David Hauwele et al. use controlled experiments and measurements to determine why BGP routers send duplicate messages. In “TussleOS: Managing Privacy versus Functionality Trade-offs on IOT Devices”, Rayman Preet Singh et al. propose a different model to improve OS-level support for privacy in Internet of Things. In “InKeV: In-Kernel Distributed Network Virtualisation for DCN”, Zaafar Ahmed et al. propose to leverage the extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBFP), a way to safely introduce new functionality into the Linux kernel.
In addition to the peer-reviewed technical papers, this issue contains a record number of editorial papers. In “Opening Up Attendance at Hotnets”, the HotNets Steering Committee reports the results of the more open attendance policy used for Hotnets 2015. In “EZ-PC: Program Committee Selection Made Easy”, Vyas Sekar argues that selecting a technical program committee (PC) for a conference or workshop is a complex process that can be improved by using software tools. He proposes EZ-PC, an open-source software that formulates this process as a simple constraint satisfaction problem and reports on his experience with the software. In “New Kid on the Block: Network Functions Virtualization: From Big Boxes to Carrier Clouds”, Leonhard Nobach et al. provide an overview on the current state-of-the-art and open research questions in Network Function Virtualisation (NFV). Then five editorials summarise the main findings of five recently held workshops : the Roundtable on Real-Time Communications Research: 5G and Real-Time Communications — Topics for Research, the 2015 Workshop on Internet Economics (WIE), the Internet Research Task Force and Internet Society workshop on Research and Applications of Internet Measurements (RAIM), the Research and Infrastructure Challenges for Applications and Services in the Year 2021 and the 2016 BGP Hackathon. The 2016 BGP Hackathon was a joint effort between researchers who study the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and network operators who manage routers that rely on this protocol. During a few days in February 2016, members from these two communities met to develop new software tools together. The results of this hackathon are a clear example that it is possible to achieve excellent results by joining forces and working together on a common objective. The organisers of the hackathon applied for community funding from ACM SIGCOMM and used this funding to offer travel grants and increase the participation of researchers to the hackathon. I hope that the SIGCOMM Executive Committee will receive other requests for funding for similar hackathons in the coming months and years.
Finally, we also have our regular columns. In his student mentoring column, Aditya Akella discusses the different between journal and conference papers, different types of jobs and conference talks. In the industrial column, Nandita Dukkipati and her colleagues discuss the deployment of new congestion control schemes in datacenters and on the Internet based on their experience at a large cloud provider.
Olivier Bonaventure
CCR Editor

Student mentoring column

Dear students:

In this edition of the student mentoring column, we will cover three topics: the importance of journal and workshop papers, questions pertaining to giving/listening to talks, and two specific questions about jobs in networking. Hope you find the answers useful.

I got plenty of help in preparing this edition. In particular, many thanks to Rodrigo Fonseca, Harsha Madhyastha, George Porter, Vyas Sekar, and Minlan Yu.

Journal and Workshop Papers

Q: What are the pros and cons of submitting to a journal vs. a conference in networking?

A: The benefits of conferences are that they are timely (typically, half a year or less from submission to publication), and they have a very wide audience who keeps up with all the research there. The benefits of a journal are that you aren’t limited in terms of page limits (although several conferences are also going this route by, e.g., allowing each submitted paper an unlimited appendix), and your work is evaluated more or less on its own, rather than in a once-yearly batch of hundreds of other papers.

Q: There is a lot of pressure on getting high profile papers to get research positions. How does one balance the tradeoff between “quantity” and “depth”?

A: Research-oriented academic job searches don’t look for quantity–that’s a common myth that many graduate students appear to believe in! Academic job searches always look for impact and the potential to be a research superstar. One paper at the best venue in your field that solves a really important problem, or has had a lot of impact gets you noticed and could definitely get you an interview. So always shoot for quality and depth in your work.

Q: Are workshop papers helpful in the long term on my CV?

A: This is the wrong question to ask. What’s more important in your CV is the quality of your work overall, rather than individual papers or the number of papers you have published.

Workshop papers could be important toward your research program, though. They provide an opportunity to disseminate early or risky/crazy ideas, and get feedback from the community. Also, going to workshops is a great way to both see what topics are active in your field, and also to meet researchers carrying out that work.

Jobs:

Q: How does one apply and obtain a postdoc position in networking?

A: Typically, most postdocs are hired without a formal process. Your best bet is to identify whom you would like to work with, based on the research area that you hope to pursue during your postdoc. Then, accost your ideal prospective postdoc advisor in the hallway at the next conference. He/she may not know you, but this initial conversation will provide some context for you to follow up by email later, and you will find out if he/she is both interested in and has funding for hiring a postdoc. After that, it is just a matter of whether your prospective postdoc advisor is impressed by the research you’ve done over the course of your PhD. Some advisors may invite you to visit and give a talk before making this decision. If your record is strong, they may invite you mostly to impress upon you as to why you should do a postdoc with them and not someone else!

Q: Given some entrepreneurial interests, but would rather not be tied down to one company’s success, how easy or hard it is for a Ph.D. graduate to get a venture capitalist position?

A: (with help from Alex Benik from Battery Ventures) First, there is no clear correlation between having a PhD and being a successful venture capitalist. There are examples of very successful VCs with and without PhDs. While there are a set of overlapping skills, one stark difference is that a freshly minted PhD knows as much as, or more, than anyone else, about a very specific technical area, whereas a VC usually has a much broader, but necessarily much less deep view of more areas. Moving from one to the other is very personal, in that some might find it frustrating to not be able to go as deep, while others might find it exciting.

There is no single path that leads to a VC position, VC firms are interesting that they are “never hiring and always hiring”, they are in the business of tracking interesting people who might be founders, technical advisors, or join the firm. One potentially good strategy is to get involved in the industry, perhaps by joining a startup for a couple of years. It is really important to get a “sense of product”, what makes a good product is different from what makes a good research project. It’s important to understand how going to market interacts with research and development. Especially for technology-oriented folks, it is easy to underestimate how difficult it is to sell an idea or product, to convince investors or companies to give you money. Technology for technology’s sake is not sufficient, and people won’t buy solely because of a good architecture, for example.

Finally, there is a lot of variation among different VC firms. Some companies, for example, will recruit people young, and use an apprenticeship model, where people go from doing market research to observing more senior people making several decisions, until they finally get to make their own investments. Other firms will prefer people with entrepreneurial or operational experience.

So, unfortunately, there is no direct answer to your question, but I hope this helps!

Talks: Giving them, and listening to them

Q: How to listen to a talk effectively?

A: Depends on your goals in listening to the talk. Are you interested in getting better at giving talks? Or are you interested in learning about their actual work?

In the first case, some things I personally look for in a good talk are clear overall structure and a good narrative arc throughout the talk. It is important that the author tells a story that is interesting, and anticipates the needs of the listener. A good talk, even one that is just 12-20 minutes long, has a beginning, middle, and end, and even when the author is explaining the details of their algorithm or whatever, you have a clear sense for why they are describing what they are describing.

In the second case, I’d say you mainly want to focus on the first part of the talk to understand the problem they are trying to solve, their understanding of the problem, and their main approach or idea. If all of those seem of interest, then you can dive into their paper to get all the details.

Q: Is there an “algorithm” for giving a good talk at a conference?

A: Yes, watch as many conference talks as you can. This could include going to conferences, but also many now live stream the talks, so you have a wide set of potential talks to watch. You can see what aspects work, and which don’t. You will also see which elements going into a talk on a measurement study, vs a talk on a big systems building effort, vs. a talk on a more theoretical result. Finally, when you create a talk, you need to show it to as many people as possible, and listen to their feedback! Don’t be hesitant to go through multiple rounds of practice and feedback, and be aware that you may have to rewrite your talk entirely to improve how you deliver your message.

Aditya Akella, UW—Madison

Opening up Attendance at HotNets

Jeffrey C. Mogul , Bruce Davie, Hari Balakrishnan, Ramesh Govindan.
Abstract

HotNets has historically been invitation-only. The SIGCOMM community has recently encouraged HotNets to allow broader participation. This note reports on a HotNets 2015 experiment with a more open attendance policy, and on the results of a post-workshop survey of the attendees. Based on this experiment and the survey, the HotNets Steering Committee believes it is possible for the workshop to support broader attendance, while preserving an atmosphere that encourages free-flowing discussions.

 

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