Tag Archives: editorial

The January 2022 issue

This January 2022 issue contains three technical papers and four editorial notes.

The first technical paper, Zeph & Iris Map the Internet – A resilient reinforcement learning approach to distributed IP route tracing, by Matthieu Gouel and colleagues, proposes to improve topology discovery by optimizing the use of existing probing resources. This can be done by intelligently allocating probing directives to vantage points. The system is based on the inter-working of two components: Iris, which takes care of the route tracing, and Zeph, which coordinates Iris’s measurements. The results in the paper show that Zeph, in combination with Iris, are able to facilitate fast topology measurements from geographically distributed vantage points.

The second technical paper, Towards Retina-Quality VR Video Streaming: 15ms Could Save You 80\% of Your Bandwidth, by Luke Hsiao and colleagues, investigates how to provide retina-quality video streaming in virtual reality (VR). The paper studies the impact of the motion-to-photon latency — the time between a change in the viewer’s gaze and the resulting change in the display’s pixels — on a VR system. This metric is paramount for VR systems since it impacts video compression. The paper shows, experimentally, that a client and streaming server system with sub-15 ms end-to-end motion-to-photon latency benefit from 5x better video compression than in presence of larger latencies. The paper also shows how to build such a low latency system both hardware and software-wise.

The third technical paper, Towards client-side active measurements without application control, by Palak Goenka and colleagues, proposes to harness Network Error Logging (NEL) to enable active client-side measurements (RTT and connection availability) by dynamically modifying the HTTPS endpoint where NEL reports should be uploaded. Network Error Logging (NEL) is a W3C standard which defines how web servers can receive from a browser reports about performance and failures of web requests. The techniques used in the paper enable active client-side measurements in the browser without requiring Javascript code injection, which is the current and more invasive state of the art solution.

Finally, we have four editorial notes. Roadmap for Edge AI: A Dagstuhl Perspective, by Aaron Yi Ding and his colleagues, based on the collective input of Dagstuhl Seminar (21342), presents a comprehensive discussion on AI methods and capabilities in the context of edge computing, referred as Edge AI. Then, M-Lab: User initiated Internet data for the research community, by Phillipa Gill and her colleagues, presents Measurement Lab (M-Lab), an open, distributed server platform on which researchers have deployed measurement tools. Important Concepts in Data Communications, by Craig Partridge, presents one perspective about which concepts or ideas in data communications have proven to be enduring in the evolution of data communications. Finally, Answering Three Questions About Networking Research, by Jennifer Rexford and Scott Shenker, presents the first of a series of answers to three questions that were asked to panelists during HotNets’21, about how they pick their own research topics, what areas they would like to see more research on, and how they evaluate conference papers.

I hope that you will enjoy reading this new issue and welcome comments and suggestions on CCR Online (https://ccronline.sigcomm.org) or by email at ccr-editor at sigcomm.org.

Data-driven networking research: models for academic collaboration with industry (a Google point of view)

Jeffrey C. Mogul, Priya Mahadevan, Christophe Diot, John Wilkes, Phillipa Gill, Amin Vahdat

Abstract

We in Google’s various networking teams would like to increase our collaborations with academic researchers related to data-driven networking research. There are some significant constraints on our ability to directly share data, which are not always widely-understood in the academic community; this document provides a brief summary. We describe some models which can work – primarily, interns and visiting scientists working temporarily as employees, which simplifies the handling of some confidentiality and privacy issues. We describe some specific areas where we would welcome proposals to work within those models.

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The October 2021 issue

This October 2021 issue contains two technical papers, two educational contributions, and one editorial note.

The first technical paper, When Latency Matters: Measurements and Lessons Learned, by Marco Iorio and colleagues, evaluates the “latency argument” for edge computing, i.e., that placing elastic computing and storage platforms in close proximity to end-users makes sense for latency-critical applications. The paper evaluates several sources of latency, including latency induced by core network routing inefficiencies, wired and wireless access network, transport protocol and application protocol. The paper concludes that moving data-centers close to the users is only a small part of the latency problems, and that solving it requires a more careful coordination of efforts across the network stack.

The second technical paper, REDACT: Refraction Networking from the Data Center, by Arjun Devraj and colleagues, extends the concept of refraction networking by assigning the edge router of a cloud datacenter the role of a decoy router.

The first educational contribution, Machine learning-based Analysis of COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on US Research Networks, by Mariam Kiran and colleagues, sheds light on the performance of a large network throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Extensive traces are studied and analyzed, with a number of interesting findings using various statistical techniques.

The second educational contribution, An educational toolkit for teaching cloud computing, by Cosimo Anglano and colleagues, proposes the creation of a software layer to hide the specifics of the underlying cloud platforms from students, enabling them to perform their assignments atop a general API. The proposed approach is an innovative idea to improve the educational experience of students on cloud platforms.

Finally, we have an editorial note. Data-driven Networking Research: models for academic collaboration with industry (a Google point of view), by Jeffrey C. Mogul and his colleagues, describes collaboration models aimed at stimulating data-driven networking research. The authors describe specific areas where they would welcome proposals to work within those models.

I hope that you will enjoy reading this new issue and welcome comments and suggestions on CCR Online (https://ccronline.sigcomm.org) or by email at ccr-editor at sigcomm.org.

A square law revisited

Brian Carpenter

Abstract

An earlier study observed that until 2008, the size of the BGP4 system for IPv4 appeared to have grown approximately in proportion to the square root of the host count of the globally addressable Internet. This article revisits this study by including IPv4 data until 2020 and adding IPv6 data. The results indicate that BGP4 for IPv4 is continuing to scale steadily even as IPv4 approaches its end of life, and that it is working as it should for IPv6, except for a slight concern that the number of announced routes is trending upwards faster as time goes on.

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Workshop on Overcoming Measurement Barriers to Internet Research (WOMBIR 2021) final report

KC Claffy, David Clark, John Heidemann, Fabian Bustamante, Mattijs Jonker, Aaron Schulman, Ellen Zegura

Abstract

In January and April 2021 we held the Workshop on Overcoming Measurement Barriers to Internet Research (WOMBIR) with the goal of understanding challenges in network and security data set collection and sharing. Most workshop attendees provided white papers describing their perspectives, and many participated in short-talks and discussion in two virtual workshops over five days. That discussion produced consensus around several points. First, many aspects of the Internet are characterized by decreasing visibility of important network properties, which is in tension with the Internet’s role as critical infrastructure. We discussed three specific research areas that illustrate this tension: security, Internet access; and mobile networking. We discussed visibility challenges at all layers of the networking stack, and the challenge of gathering data and validating inferences. Important data sets require longitudinal (long-term, ongoing) data collection and sharing, support for which is more challenging for Internet research than other fields. We discussed why a combination of technical and policy methods are necessary to safeguard privacy when using or sharing measurement data. Workshop participants proposed several opportunities to accelerate progress, some of which require coordination across government, industry, and academia.

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Collaboration in the IETF: an initial analysis of two decades in email discussions

Michael Welzl, Stephan Oepen, Cezary Jaskula, Carsten Griwodz, Safiqul Islam

Abstract

RFC 9000, published in May 2021, marks an important milestone for the Internet’s standardization body, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF): finally, the specification of the QUIC protocol is available. QUIC is the result of a five-year effort – and it is also the second of two major protocols (the first being SPDY, which later became HTTP/2) that Google LLC first deployed, and then brought to the IETF for standardization. This begs the question: when big players follow such a “shoot first, discuss later” approach, is IETF collaboration still “real”, or is the IETF now being (mis-)used to approve protocols for standardization when they are already practically established, without really actively involving anyone but the main proponents?

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Limited domains considered useful

Brian Carpenter, Jon Crowcroft, Dirk Trossen

Abstract

Limited domains were defined conceptually in RFC 8799 to cater to requirements and behaviours that extend the dominant view of IP packet delivery in the Internet. This paper argues not only that limited domains have been with us from the very beginning of the Internet but also that they have been shaping innovation of Internet technologies ever since, and will continue to do so. In order to build limited domains that successfully interoperate with the existing Internet, we propose an architectural framework as a blueprint. We discuss the role of the IETF in ensuring continued innovation in Internet technologies by embracing the wider research community’s work on limited domain technology, leading to our key insight that Limited Domains are not only considered useful but a must to sustain innovation.

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The July 2021 issue

This July 2021 issue contains one technical paper, two educational contributions, as well as four editorial notes.

The technical paper, NemFi: Record-and-replay to emulate WiFi, by Abhishek kumar Mishra and colleagues, proposes a trace-driven WiFi emulator called NemFi, that allows modeling of transmission opportunities of uplink and downlink directions, packet loss, frame aggregation, and media access control behavior. The latter two concepts are unique for WiFi when compared with other similar tools that have been built for cellular networks.

The first educational contribution, The Graph Neural Networking Challenge: A Worldwide Competition for Education in AI/ML for Networks, by Jose Suarez-Varela and colleagues, proposes a ”challenge” to teach students about applications of AI/MLin computer networks. The authors describe a process to select a dataset, and a competition-based approach where participants must design a neural-network-based approach to infer properties of the dataset with as much accuracy as possible.

The second educational contribution, P4Pi: P4 on Raspberry Pi for Networking Education, by Sandor Laki and colleagues, presents a novel platform for networking education based on a Raspberry Pi, allowing students to program P4.

Then, we have four editorial notes. The first one, Limited Domains Considered Useful, by Brian Carpenter and his colleagues, argues not only that limited domains have been with us from the very beginning of the Internet but also that they have been shaping innovation of Internet technologies ever since, and will continue to do so.

The second editorial note, Collaboration in the IETF: An Initial Analysis of Two Decades in Email Discussions, by Michael Welzl and his colleagues, discusses the following question: when big players follow such a “shoot first, discuss later” approach, is IETF collaboration still “real”, or is the IETF now being (mis-)used to approve protocols for standardization when they are already practically established, without really actively involving anyone but the main proponents?

The third editorial note, Workshop on Overcoming Measurement Barriers to Internet Research (WOMBIR 2021) Final Report, by kc claffy and her colleagues, reports on the Workshop on Overcoming Measurement Barriers to Internet Research (WOMBIR), held earlier in 2021.

The fourth and last editorial note, A Square Law Revisited, by Brian Carpenter, revisits the approximate apparent growth of the globally addressable Internet in proportion to the square root of the host count.

I hope that you will enjoy reading this new issue and welcome comments and suggestions on CCR Online (https://ccronline.sigcomm.org) or by email at ccr-editor at sigcomm.org.

Great educators in computer networking: Bruce Davie

Matthew Caesar, Bruce Davie

Abstract

This interview is part of a series on Great Educators in Computer Networking, where we interview some of the most impactful and skilled educators in our field. Here, we interviewed Australian Bruce Davie, the self-described computer scientist/engineer/runner/cyclist, who agreed to talk to us about his thoughts on computer networking education, his role in it, his thoughts about the big ideas in our field, and how the pandemic is changing our work. Bruce has over 30 years of industry experience and is well known for a broad spectrum of educational initiatives such as co-authoring several textbooks, as well as his contributions to many networking standards and technologies, including IP quality of service, network virtualization, software defined networking, and more.

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SatNetLab: A call to arms for the next global Internet testbed

Ankit Singla

Abstract

The space industry is moving rapidly towards offering low-latency and high-bandwidth global Internet coverage using low Earth orbit satellites. Such networks represent “one giant leap” in Internet infrastructure, both in their goals and the underlying technology. Due to their unique characteristics, they open up new opportunities, and pose new research challenges. I thus lay out a case for networking researchers to collaboratively undertake the construction of SatNetLab, a research platform that enables experimentation across upcoming satellite-based networks.

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