Jonathan B. Postel Professor of Computer Science, UCLA
I worked for the first part of my career on making the Internet faster, a field I call Network Algorithmics, for which I was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2022,, to the Internet Hall of Fame in 2021, to the National Academy of Inventors in 2020, and to the National Academy of Engineering in 2017. Recently, I am helping jumpstart a new area we call Network Design Automation (NDA) to provide a set of tools for operating and debugging networks -- just as researchers in Berkeley and elsewhere created Electronic Design Automation (EDA) and eventually companies like Cadence & Synopsys.
Engineering VI - Room 477
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My current research interest, which makes me enjoy coming into work, is Network Design Automation (NDA). I am interested in designing tools based on various techniques that operators can use to manage and debug large networks. This leads to interesting questions. How can we build tools to verify and test manual router configurations that have brought down whole swaths of the Internet (including United Airlines for 2 hours)? How can we design debuggers for networks? How can we possibly "Step" through a Gigabit per second network?
While my current interest is in making the Internet correct, my past interest was in making the Internet fast. This was born in the 1980s when routers were slow and no match for the speed of fiber links. I worked on various techniques that combined hardware ideas and network specific algorithms to help create a field I called Network Algorithmics. Fortunately, most router vendors today like Arista, Broadcom, and Cisco consider high speed routers a solved problem at even Terabit speeds.