[ISS4E] Talk by Prof. Keith Winstein, Stanford University

S. Keshav keshav at uwaterloo.ca
Tue Oct 7 09:12:16 EDT 2014

Lazy Networking for Lousy Networks

Prof. Keith Winstein
Stanford University

Tuesday, October 14, 11am-noon
DC 2585

Abstract: The technologies that make up the Internet are changing every
year, but some transport protocols continue to act as though the network
behaved as it did 20 years ago. This can cause poor performance on newer
kinds of networks -- cellular networks, datacenters, intermittent
connections among the "Internet of Things" -- and makes it challenging 
to roll out
networking technologies that break with the past. How do we make
applications and protocols that can keep up with a rapidly evolving
Internet? I will discuss our work at letting computers generate 
protocols from first principles, as a function of a well-specified
objective and set of prior assumptions about the network's behaviour and 

In some cases, these computer-generated protocols achieve manyfold gains
over existing human-designed approaches. But trying to train a computer 
become a protocol designer also teaches us about the problem, and it 
us ask new questions, e.g., What's the cost of maintaining backwards
compatibility with existing protocols, including the Transmission 
Protocol as it exists now? Is there a tradeoff between a system's
performance today and its ability to adapt to networks of the future?

This talk includes joint work with Anirudh Sivaraman, Pratiksha Thaker,
Pauline Varley, and Hari Balakrishnan.

Bio: Keith Winstein is an assistant professor of computer science at
Stanford University. His work applies statistical and predictive
approaches to teach computers to design better network protocols and 
Winstein and colleagues created the State Synchronization Protocol and 
Mosh (mobile shell) tool for remote access over challenged networks, the
Sprout algorithm for transporting video over cellular networks, and the
Remy system, in which computers design network protocols from first
principles. From 2007 to 2010, Keith worked as a staff reporter at The
Wall Street Journal, covering science and medicine.

More information about the Iss4e mailing list