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Some research projects that we're working on: eFIT, WIT, GreenNet, Topology, BGP, PSKI, Multicast, NAT


eFIT: enabling Future Internet innovations through Transit wire

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History has shown that the essential value of the Internet does not lie on any particular protocol or application, but rather on the Internet's overall ability to enable innovations. The Internet has nurtured fantastic innovations that contributed to the welfare of the global society. Furthermore, Internet innovations are driven by the global user community and many of the innovations were not envisioned by the original Internet designers. If past history provides any lesson, it is that we cannot hope to predict a priori what new Internet innovations the next ten years may bring, but we know they will come as long as the global user community can be provided with a nurturing and enabling environment. Therefore we believe the foremost objective of the Internet architecture is to enable and facilitate future innovations over the Internet.

However the universal connectivity provided by the Internet is facing major challenges in sustaining user innovations. The current Internet architecture provides end-to-end connectivity by putting both network users and Internet service providers (ISPs) in the same address space and routing space. Not only has this architecture been eroding over the years, as demonstrated by the prevalent use of NAT which has been a roadblock to universal connectivity, but the architecture also created mutual constraints on both parties to explore their own innovations, as demonstrated by the slow adoption of new technologies such as IPv6, IP multicast and so on.

User networks and ISPs have different purposes, distinct characteristics, and are moving in almost opposite technological directions. However, they are tightly bundled together in the current architecture. We posit that the inter-dependency between network users and ISPs imposed by the existing architecture creates a major roadblock to future Internet innovation. As shown in the evolution of many natural and man-made systems, when a system grows larger in size by orders of magnitude, a change in form becomes necessary.

We propose a new Internet architecture design, eFIT, to achieve the objective of enabling future innovations by ensuring strong universal connectivity at the architectural level. eFIT places user networks and provider networks in different address spaces and routing spaces, removing the inter-dependency between the two worlds. With eFIT, users can treat the transit core of the Internet as simply a "transit wire" with strong universal connectivity, and providers are insulated from the various problems caused by explosive growth in user networks. Therefore both users and providers will be able to innovate freely on their own without any architectural constraints.


WIT: A Watchdog System for Internet Routing


The current Internet lacks defense mechanisms against false routing announcements, which can be caused by either malicious attacks or inadvertent operational mistakes. A well publicized example is the recent hijacking of YouTube's IP prefix by Pakistan Telecom [1, 2 ] in Feburary 2008. In this project we develop a monitoring system to detect false routing announcements and mitigation mechanisms to help operators take quick actions.

GreenNet: Energy Management for Network Infrastructure

On today's Internet, energy management is becoming an integral part of end hosts such as servers, personal computers and mobile devices, but the underlying network infrastructure, namely routers, switches and other network devices, still lacks effective energy management solutions. Currently the Internet Service Providers build and operate networks for maximum service availability, resulting in low energy efficiency since network devices are up all the time at full capacity. There are great opportunities to improve network energy efficiency, as well as great research challenges in how to maintain the quality of service at the desired level. In this project, we will measure and profile energy consumption of network devices, design novel routing techniques and energy management mechanisms for routers, and investigate potential cooperation between Internet Service Providers and Content Providers to achieve overall energy efficiency.


Internet Topology and its Evolution

The Internet has been evolving rapidly over time like a living organism, and so has its network topology. The evolution of the global Internet topology is the result of the interplay between many economic, technological and operational factors. In this project, we characterize the Internet topology and its evolution through empirical studies, develope theoretical models to understand the driving forces, predict topology in the forseeable future based on recent trends, and evaluate its impacts on routing architecture and protocol design.

BGP Routing Dynamics

The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is the de facto inter-domain routing protocol, which glues tens of thousands of network domains into what we know as the Internet. Due to the large scale of the system, the diversity of routing policies and the complexity of network operations, inter-domain routing in the wild is still not well understood. We analyze BGP routing data to understand routing stability, help identify and diagnose problems.

Universal Multicast

Integrate overlay multicast and IP multicast; design solutions that are economically viable and incrementally deployable for global content distribution.

PSKI, a Public Space Key Infrastructure

Different from traditional public key infrastructures, which requires all participants to agree upon a hierarchy for trust delegation, PSKI doesn't enforce any rigid structure. PSKI makes user actions public to other users, take user feedbacks and make them public as well. We hope that the large number of users and the large amount of feedbacks can form a dynamic reputation system, which will help users make their trust decisions.

  • "Security Through Publicity," Eric Osterweil, Dan Massey, Batsukh Tsendjav, Beichuan Zhang, Lixia Zhang, Workshop on Hot Topics in Security (HotSec), 2006

NAT Traversal

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