Duffield presented Google Faculty Research Award

DuffieldDr. Nick Duffield, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, was chosen by the Google Faculty Research Awards Program as a recipient of financial support for his proposal, "Traffic Measurement from High-level Names in Software Defined Networking."

Duffield’s project is one of 122 chosen from a total of 808 considered by Google during its winter 2015 call for research project proposals.

The project is a collaboration between Duffield and Dr. Minlan Yu, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California. Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a new paradigm for controlling computer networks, which enables rapid and flexible reconfiguration of the network to realize operational policies such as balancing network loads over different links and servers, or selecting suspicious traffic for inspection. Effective network management requires good systems measurement.

Both routine measurement and debugging involve measuring subsets of traffic at all subsystems with which they interact. However, the identifiers used to select traffic and will differ between subsystems and may change during the type of configuration common in SDN. Resource constraints preclude simply measuring all traffic at all subsystems and correlating the results later. This project investigates how to exploit the flexibility of SDN to efficiently measure traffic in a coordinated way across the network.

Before joining the department Duffield was a research professor at the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) at Rutgers University, from 2013 until 2014. From 1995 until 2013, he worked at AT&T Labs-Research, Florham Park, New Jersey, where he held the position of distinguished member of technical staff and was an AT&T Fellow. He previously held post-doctoral and faculty positions in Dublin, Ireland and Heidelberg, Germany.

Duffield received his bachelor's degree in natural sciences in 1982 and a MMath (Part III Maths) in 1983 from the University of Cambridge, UK. He received his Ph.D. in mathematical physics from the University of London, U.K., in 1987.

His research focuses on data and network science, particularly applications of probability, statistics, algorithms and machine learning to the acquisition, management and analysis of large datasets in communications networks and beyond. In Spring 2015 he is teaching an ECEN/CSCE 489/689 Special Topics course in Data Mining and Analysis.

Duffield, the author of numerous papers and holder of many patents, is a co-inventor of the smart sampling technologies that lie at the heart of AT&T’s scalable Traffic Analysis Service. He recently was named specialty editor in chief of the newly created journal Frontiers in ICT and he was charter chair of the IETF working group on packet sampling. Duffield is an IEEE Fellow and was a co-recipient of the ACM Sigmetrics Test of Time Award in both 2012 and 2013 for work in Network Tomography.
One of the goals of the Google Faculty Research Awards Program is to fund leading edge advancements in new technology projects in computer science, engineering, and related fields. Its next submission deadline is April 15, 2015. To learn more about the Google Faculty Research Awards Program, visit http://research.google.com/university/relations/research_awards.html.