CS Talk - Prof. Brad Karp, UCL Dept. of Computer Science

Event time: 
Friday, November 9, 2018 - 12:00pm
AKW 200 See map
51 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

CS Talk

Speaker: Prof. Brad Karp
Professor of Computer Systems and Networks
University College London, Department of Computer Science

Host: Wenjun Hu

Title: How Topology and Routing Design Determine Internet Backbone Latency


In the ARPAnet and Internet’s early days, we defined “success” in routing as finding some communication path between two hosts despite link failures. As the Internet’s user base and total traffic volume grew rapidly, and applications grew in their capacity demands, the bar for successful routing rose to encompass choosing paths (in many cases, multiple ones) with sufficient capacity to carry users’ traffic. Today, many of the most widely used networked applications offer the best user experience when the Internet not only provides adequate capacity, but also delivers data with *low delay*.

How achievable is low-latency delivery of traffic on Internet Service Providers’ (ISPs’) backbones? In this talk, I’ll explore two distinct yet interestingly intertwined aspects of this question: (1) how well suited are ISPs’ backbone topologies to delivering traffic with low latency?; and (2) how well do state-of-the-art routing systems do at *using* the low-latency paths available in today’s ISP backbones? I’ll present experimental results that show that today’s routing systems (such as Google’s B4) have trouble using low-latency paths effectively in *precisely* those ISPs’ backbones with the greatest potential to deliver traffic with low latency. I will then outline a new approach to low-latency routing that can take full advantage of an ISP topology’s low-latency paths. Along the way, I will explore the fundamental tension in the ISP setting (where the ISP cannot perfectly predict users’ traffic demands) between routing traffic with low delay and risking driving the network into a state of congestion. I will propose link *headroom*, a mechanism that mitigates the risk of congestion in practice. I’ll conclude by briefly considering future prospects for low-latency-capable ISP topologies.

(Joint work with my UCL colleagues Nikola Gvozdiev, Stefano Vissicchio, and Mark Handley.)


Brad Karp is a Professor of Computer Systems and Networks and Head of the Systems and Networks Research Group in the Department of Computer Science at University College London (UCL). His research interests span computer system and network security (current work includes resilient auditing of servers using secure CPU enclaves and the COWL system for web browser and JavaScript security; past work includes the Wedge secure OS extensions and the Autograph and Polygraph worm signature generation systems), large-scale distributed systems (current work includes LDR, a traffic engineering system for ISPs that places traffic so as to minimize delay while avoiding congestion; past work includes the Open DHT shared public DHT service), and wireless networks (current work includes techniques for improving capacity at the MAC and PHY layers; past work includes the GPSR and CLDP scalable geographic routing protocols). Prior to taking up his post at UCL in late 2005, Karp held joint appointments at Intel Research and Carnegie Mellon, and as a researcher at ICSI at UC Berkeley. Karp received the Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award in 2005 and Best Paper Awards at USENIX ATC 1994 and 2014. He served as program co-chair for ACM SIGCOMM 2015 and ACM HotNets 2017, and currently serves on the steering committee for ACM SIGCOMM. Karp is a Member of the Board of Trustees of ICSI at UC Berkeley.