|Title||:||TCP ex Machina: Computer-Synthesized Congestion Control|
|Speaker||:||Hari Balakrishnan (MIT, USA)|
|Details||:||Wed, 5 Aug, 2015 3:00 PM @ BSB 361|
|Abstract:||:||In computer networks, a fundamental problem is congestion control: how
should endpoints transmit data to ensure good performance for their
transfers and allocate network resources efficiently? This problem has
received much attention over the past thirty years, with solutions
embedded in what is perhaps the most popular software program in the
world (TCP). It remains important because of rapid changes in network
technologies (wireless and datacenters) and applications.
The design of such protocols, and indeed similar algorithms in all fields of computer science, has largely been a creative, human effort. In this talk, I as: whether it is possible for a computer program to computer program to 'design' (or 'discover') the right rules for congestion control? Should computers, rather than humans, be tasked with developing congestion control methods? And just how well can we make computers perform this task?
I will describe a program and research agenda to answer these questions, called Remy. Remy seeks to optimize explicitly-stated objectives for network applications and create rules that endpoints can follow. The most surprising result we have found is that, in many cases, Remy not only matches what the best network researchers have invented, but handily surpasses them in performance. I will describe how Remy works, its strengths and limitations, and the many open questions that arise from this work.
This project is joint work with my students Keith Winstein (now on the faculty at Stanford), Anirudh Sivaraman, and Pratisha Thaker.
Bio: Hari Balakrishnan is the Fujitsu Chair Professor of Computer Science at MIT and a Director of MIT's Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing. His research is in networked computer systems, with current interests in networking, data management, and sensing for a world of 'truly mobile' devices connected to cloud services running in large datacenters. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2015. Other honors include ACM Fellow (2008), Sloan Fellow (2002), ACM dissertation award (1998), and many best-paper awards, including the 2004 IEEE Bennett Prize and the 2011 SIGCOMM 'Test of Time' award for the Chord distributed hash table. He founded and is CTO of Cambridge Mobile Telematics, which uses mobile sensing and data analytics to make roads and drivers safer around the world. He received a PhD from UC Berkeley and a B.Tech. from IIT Madras, which named him a distinguished alumnus in 2013.