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Topics for the Seminar on Internet Routing, WS 2017/18

Topics for the seminar on Internet Routing (WS 2017/18).
Themen für das Seminar über Internet Routing (WS 2017/18).

dRMT: Disaggregated Programmable Switching

We present dRMT (disaggregated Reconfigurable Match-Action Table), a new architecture for programmable switches. dRMT overcomes two important restrictions of RMT, the predominant pipeline-based architecture for programmable switches: (1) table memory is local to an RMT pipeline stage, implying that memory not used by one stage cannot be reclaimed by another, and (2) RMT is hard-wired to always sequentially execute matches followed by actions as packets traverse pipeline stages. We show that these restrictions make it difficult to execute programs efficiently on RMT.

dRMT resolves both issues by disaggregating the memory and compute resources of a programmable switch. Specifically, dRMT moves table memories out of pipeline stages and into a centralized pool that is accessible through a crossbar. In addition, dRMT replaces RMT’s pipeline stages with a cluster of processors that can execute match and action operations in any order.

We show how to schedule a P4 program on dRMT at compile time to guarantee deterministic throughput and latency. We also present a hardware design for dRMT and analyze its feasibility and chip area. Our results show that dRMT can run programs at line rate with fewer processors compared to RMT, and avoids performance cliffs when there are not enough processors to run a program at line rate. dRMT’s hardware design incurs a modest increase in chip area relative to RMT, mainly due to the crossbar.



SilkRoad: Making Stateful Layer-4 Load Balancing Fast and Cheap Using Switching ASICs

In this paper, we show that up to hundreds of software load balancer (SLB) servers can be replaced by a single modern switching ASIC, potentially reducing the cost of load balancing by over two orders of magnitude. Today, large data centers typically employ hundreds or thousands of servers to load-balance incoming traffic over application servers. These software load balancers (SLBs) map packets destined to a service (with a virtual IP address, or VIP), to a pool of servers tasked with providing the service (with multiple direct IP addresses, or DIPs). An SLB is stateful, it must always map a connection to the same server, even if the pool of servers changes and/or if the load is spread differently across the pool. This property is called per-connection consistency or PCC. The challenge is that the load balancer must keep track of millions of connections simultaneously.

Until recently, it was not possible to implement a load balancer with PCC in a merchant switching ASIC, because high-performance switching ASICs typically can not maintain per-connection states with PCC. Newer switching ASICs provide resources and primitives to enable PCC at a large scale. In this paper, we explore how to use switching ASICs to build much faster load balancers than have been built before. Our system, called SilkRoad, is defined in a 400 line P4 program and when compiled to a state-of-the-art switching ASIC, we show it can load-balance ten million connections simultaneously at line rate.



Re-architecting datacenter networks and stacks for low latency and high performance

Modern datacenter networks provide very high capacity via redundant Clos topologies and low switch latency, but transport protocols rarely manage to deliver performance matching the underlying hardware. We present NDP, a novel datacenter transport architecture that achieves both near-optimal completion times for short transfers and near-optimal throughput in a wide range of scenarios including incast. NDP builds upon Cut Payload (CP) which cuts packet payloads when switches overflow, but remedies CP’s shortcomings, and implements a novel high performance multipath-aware transport protocol. Headers of packets whose payload was cut due to congestion give the receiver a complete view of instantaneous demand from all senders. NDP is primarily a receiver-driven transport protocol, as the receiver is the only entity that can accurately manage this demand and prioritize between traffic from different senders during incast scenarios.

We implemented NDP in Linux end systems, in a software switch and in hardware switches based on the NetFPGA-SUME platform. We evaluate NDP’s performance both in our implementation and in large-scale simulations. NDP achieves slightly lower short-flow completion times than DCTCP running over lossless Ethernet using PFC, while having better ability to prioritize traffic from stragglers. At the same time, for large transfers in heavily loaded Clos topologies, it can achieve more than 95% of the available network capacity due to its excellent multipath capability, beating DCTCP by approximately 40%.



NFP: Enabling Network Function Parallelism in NFV

Software-based sequential service chains in Network Function Virtualization (NFV) could introduce significant performance overhead. Current acceleration efforts for NFV mainly target on optimizing each component of the sequential service chain. However, based on the statistics from real world enterprise networks, we observe that 53.8% network function (NF) pairs can work in parallel. In particular, 41.5% NF pairs can be parallelized without causing extra resource overhead. In this paper, we present NFP, a high performance framework, that innovatively enables network function parallelism to improve NFV performance. NFP consists of three logical components. First, NFP provides a policy specification scheme for operators to intuitively describe sequential or parallel NF chaining intents. Second, NFP orchestrator intelligently identifies NF dependency and automatically compiles the policies into high performance service graphs. Third, NFP infrastructure performs light-weight packet copying, distributed parallel packet delivery, and load-balanced merging of packet copies to support NF parallelism. We implement an NFP prototype based on DPDK in Linux containers. Our evaluation results show that NFP achieves significant latency reduction for real world service chains.



Dynamic Service Chaining with Dysco

Middleboxes are crucial for improving network security and performance, but only if the right traffic goes through the right middleboxes at the right time. Existing traffic-steering techniques rely on a central controller to install fine-grained forwarding rules in network elements—at the expense of a large number of rules, a central point of failure, challenges in ensuring all packets of a session traverse the same middleboxes, and difficulties with middleboxes that modify the “five tuple.” We argue that a session-level protocol is a fundamentally better approach to traffic steering, while naturally supporting host mobility and multihoming in an integrated fashion. In addition, a session-level protocol can enable new capabilities like dynamic service chaining, where the sequence of middleboxes can change during the life of a session, e.g., to remove a load-balancer that is no longer needed, replace a middlebox undergoing maintenance, or add a packet scrubber when traffic looks suspicious. Our Dysco protocol steers the packets of a TCP session through a service chain, and can dynamically reconfigure the chain for an ongoing session. Dysco requires no changes to end-host and middlebox applications, host TCP stacks, or IP routing. Dysco’s distributed reconfiguration protocol handles the removal of proxies that terminate TCP connections, middleboxes that change the size of a byte stream, and concurrent requests to reconfigure different parts of a chain. Through formal verification using Spin and experiments with our Linux-based prototype, we show that Dysco is provably correct, highly scalable, and able to reconfigure service chains across a range of middleboxes.



NFVnice: Dynamic Backpressure and Scheduling for NFV Service Chains

Managing Network Function (NF) service chains requires careful system resource management. We propose NFVnice, a user space NF scheduling and service chain management framework to provide fair, efficient and dynamic resource scheduling capabilities on Network Function Virtualization (NFV) platforms.

The NFVnice framework monitors load on a service chain at high frequency (1000Hz) and employs backpressure to shed load early in the service chain, thereby preventing wasted work. Borrowing concepts such as rate proportional scheduling from hardware packet schedulers, CPU shares are computed by accounting for heterogeneous packet processing costs of NFs, I/O, and traffic arrival characteristics. By leveraging cgroups, a user space process scheduling abstraction exposed by the operating system, NFVnice is capable of controlling when network functions should be scheduled. NFVnice improves NF performance by complementing the capabilities of the OS scheduler but without requiring changes to the OS’s scheduling mechanisms. Our controlled experiments show that NFVnice provides the appropriate rate-cost proportional fair share of CPU to NFs and significantly improves NF performance (throughput and loss) by reducing wasted work across an NF chain, compared to using the default OS scheduler. NFVnice achieves this even for heterogeneous NFs with vastly different computational costs and for heterogeneous workloads.



Language-directed hardware design for network performance monitoring

Network performance monitoring today is restricted by existing switch support for measurement, forcing operators to rely heavily on endpoints with poor visibility into the network core. Switch vendors have added progressively more monitoring features to switches, but the current trajectory of adding specific features is unsustainable given the ever-changing demands of network operators. Instead, we ask what switch hardware primitives are required to support an expressive language of network performance questions. We believe that the resulting switch hardware design could address a wide variety of current and future performance monitoring needs.

We present a performance query language, Marple, modeled on familiar functional constructs like map, filter, groupby, and zip. is backed by a new programmable key-value store primitive on switch hardware. The key-value store performs flexible aggregations at line rate (e.g., a moving average of queueing latencies per flow), and scales to millions of keys. We present a Marple compiler that targets a P4-programmable software switch and a simulator for high-speed programmable switches. Marple can express switch queries that could previously run only on end hosts, while Marple queries only occupy a modest fraction of a switch’s hardware resources.



Quantitative Network Monitoring with NetQRE

In network management today, dynamic updates are required for traffic engineering and for timely response to security threats. Decisions for such updates are based on monitoring network traffic to compute numerical quantities based on a variety of network and application-level performance metrics. Today’s state-of-the-art tools lack programming abstractions that capture application or session-layer semantics, and thus require network operators to specify and reason about complex state machines and interactions across layers. To address this limitation, we present the design and implementation of NetQRE, a high-level declarative toolkit that aims to simplify the specification and implementation of such quantitative network policies. NetQRE integrates regular-expression-like pattern matching at flow-level as well as application-level payloads with aggregation operations such as sum and average counts. We describe a compiler for NetQRE that automatically generates an efficient implementation with low memory footprint. Our evaluation results demonstrate that NetQRE allows natural specification of a wide range of quantitative network tasks ranging from detecting security attacks to enforcing application-layer network management policies. NetQRE results in high performance that is comparable with optimized manually-written low-level code and is significantly more efficient than alternative solutions, and can provide timely enforcement of network policies that require quantitative network monitoring.



SketchVisor: Robust Network Measurement for Software Packet Processing

Network measurement remains a missing piece in today’s software packet processing platforms. Sketches provide a promising building block for filling this void by monitoring every packet with fixed-size memory and bounded errors. However, our analysis shows that existing sketch-based measurement solutions suffer from severe performance drops under high traffic load. Although sketches are efficiently designed, applying them in network measurement inevitably incurs heavy computational overhead.

We present SketchVisor, a robust network measurement framework for software packet processing. It augments sketch-based measurement in the data plane with a fast path, which is activated under high traffic load to provide high-performance local measurement with slight accuracy degradations. It further recovers accurate network-wide measurement results via compressive sensing. We have built a SketchVisor prototype on top of Open vSwitch. Extensive testbed experiments show that SketchVisor achieves high throughput and high accuracy for a wide range of network measurement tasks and microbenchmarks.



Constant Time Updates in Hierarchical Heavy Hitters

Monitoring tasks, such as anomaly and DDoS detection, require identifying frequent flow aggregates based on common IP prefixes. These are known as hierarchical heavy hitters (HHH), where the hierarchy is determined based on the type of prefixes of interest in a given application. The per packet complexity of existing HHH algorithms is proportional to the size of the hierarchy, imposing significant overheads.

In this paper, we propose a randomized constant time algorithm for HHH. We prove probabilistic precision bounds backed by an empirical evaluation. Using four real Internet packet traces, we demonstrate that our algorithm indeed obtains comparable accuracy and recall as previous works, while running up to 62 times faster. Finally, we extended Open vSwitch (OVS) with our algorithm and showed it is able to handle 13.8 millions of packets per second. In contrast, incorporating previous works in OVS only obtained 2.5 times lower throughput.



A Formally Verified NAT

We present a Network Address Translator (NAT) written in C and proven to be semantically correct according to RFC 3022, as well as crash-free and memory-safe. There exists a lot of recent work on network verification, but it mostly assumes models of network functions and proves properties specific to network configuration, such as reachability and absence of loops. Our proof applies directly to the C code of a network function, and it demonstrates the absence of implementation bugs. Prior work argued that this is not feasible (i.e., that verifying a real, stateful network function written in C does not scale) but we demonstrate otherwise: NAT is one of the most popular network functions and maintains per-flow state that needs to be properly updated and expired, which is a typical source of verification challenges. We tackle the scalability challenge with a new combination of symbolic execution and proof checking using separation logic; this combination matches well the typical structure of a network function. We then demonstrate that formally proven correctness in this case does not come at the cost of performance. The NAT code, proof toolchain, and proofs are available at vignat.github.io.



A General Approach to Network Configuration Verification

We present Minesweeper, a tool to verify that a network satisfies a wide range of intended properties such as reachability or isolation among nodes, waypointing, black holes, bounded path length, load-balancing, functional equivalence of two routers, and fault-tolerance. Minesweeper translates network configuration files into a logical formula that captures the stable states to which the network forwarding will converge as a result of interactions between routing protocols such as OSPF, BGP and static routes. It then combines the formula with constraints that describe the intended property. If the combined formula is satisfiable, there exists a stable state of the network in which the property does not hold. Otherwise, no stable state (if any) violates the property. We used Minesweeper to check four properties of 152 real networks from a large cloud provider. We found 120 violations, some of which are potentially serious security vulnerabilities. We also evaluated Minesweeper on synthetic benchmarks, and found that it can verify rich properties for networks with hundreds of routers in under five minutes. This performance is due to a suite of model-slicing and hoisting optimizations that we developed, which reduce runtime by over 460x for large networks.



Pretzel: Email encryption and provider-supplied functions are compatible

Emails today are often encrypted, but only between mail servers—the vast majority of emails are exposed in plaintext to the mail servers that handle them. While better than no encryption, this arrangement leaves open the possibility of attacks, privacy violations, and other disclosures. Publicly, email providers have stated that default end-to-end encryption would conflict with essential functions (spam filtering, etc.), because the latter requires analyzing email text. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate that there is no conflict. We do so by designing, implementing, and evaluating Pretzel. Starting from a cryptographic protocol that enables two parties to jointly perform a classification task without revealing their inputs to each other, Pretzel refines and adapts this protocol to the email context. Our experimental evaluation of a prototype demonstrates that email can be encrypted end-to-end and providers can compute over it, at tolerable cost: clients must devote some storage and processing, and provider overhead is roughly 5 times versus the status quo



The QUIC Transport Protocol: Design and Internet-Scale Deployment

We present our experience with QUIC, an encrypted, multiplexed, and low-latency transport protocol designed from the ground up to improve transport performance for HTTPS traffic and to enable rapid deployment and continued evolution of transport mechanisms. QUIC has been globally deployed at Google on thousands of servers and is used to serve traffic to a range of clients including a widely-used web browser (Chrome) and a popular mobile video streaming app (YouTube). We estimate that 7% of Internet traffic is now QUIC. We describe our motivations for developing a new transport, the principles that guided our design, the Internet-scale process that we used to perform iterative experiments on QUIC, performance improvements seen by our various services, and our experience deploying QUIC globally. We also share lessons about transport design and the Internet ecosystem that we learned from our deployment.



Neural Adaptive Video Streaming with Pensieve

Client-side video players employ adaptive bitrate (ABR) algorithms to optimize user quality of experience (QoE). Despite the abundance of recently proposed schemes, state-of-the-art ABR algorithms suffer from a key limitation: they use fixed control rules based on simplified or inaccurate models of the deployment environment. As a result, existing schemes inevitably fail to achieve optimal performance across a broad set of network conditions and QoE objectives.

We propose Pensieve, a system that generates ABR algorithms using reinforcement learning (RL). Pensieve uses RL to train a neural network model that selects bitrates for future video chunks based on observations collected by client video players. Unlike existing approaches, Pensieve does not rely upon pre-programmed models or assumptions about the environment. Instead, it learns to make ABR decisions solely through observations of the resulting performance of past decisions. As a result, Pensieve can automatically learn ABR algorithms that adapt to a wide range of environments and QoE metrics. We compare Pensieve to state-of-the-art ABR algorithms using trace-driven and real world experiments spanning a wide variety of network conditions, QoE metrics, and video properties. In all considered scenarios, Pensieve outperforms the best state-of-the-art scheme, with improvements in average QoE of 12%-25%. Pensieve also generalizes well, outperforming existing schemes even on networks for which it was not explicitly trained.



Disk|Crypt|Net: rethinking the stack for high performance video streaming

Conventional general-purpose operating systems form the core of today’s networked and storage systems. Although network stacks have evolved to become faster, disk-related bottlenecks could greatly mask any CPU- or network-associated overheads, and this has traditionally been the reason that persistent storage was explicitly kept out of the fast path of performance-critical network services. An exciting opportunity is presented by the commoditization of PCIe-attached flash: memories have become faster, more reliable, and affordable, while jettisoning conventional storage buses/interfaces (e.g., AHCI/SATA) and attaching storage directly to the PCIe bus.

We present diskmap, a novel framework that provides safe high-performance userspace direct I/O access to NVME devices, while amortizing system overheads by utilizing efficient batching of outstanding I/O requests, process-to-completion and zerocopy operations. Building upon diskmap and netmap, we show how to design and implement high performance network services that saturate existing hardware while serving data directly from disks, without the need of a traditional in-memory buffer cache. We demonstrate how a buffer-cache-free design is not only practical, but required in order to achieve efficient use of memory bandwidth on contemporary microarchitectures, and we illustrate the power of this design by building a video streaming web server that outperforms state-of-the-art configurations, and saturates modern NIC hardware while using a fraction of the available CPU cores on commodity hardware.



DRILL: Micro Load Balancing for Low-latency Data Center Networks

The trend towards simple datacenter network fabric strips most network functionality, including load balancing, out of the network core and pushes it to the edge. This slows reaction to microbursts, the main culprit of packet loss in datacenters. We investigate the opposite direction: could slightly smarter fabric significantly improve load balancing?

This paper presents DRILL, a datacenter fabric for Clos networks which performs micro load balancing to distribute load as evenly as possible on microsecond timescales. DRILL employs per-packet decisions at each switch based on local queue occupancies and randomized algorithms to distribute load. Our design addresses the resulting key challenges of packet reordering and topological asymmetry. In simulations with a detailed switch hardware model and realistic workloads, DRILL outperforms recent edge-based load balancers particularly under heavy load. Under 80% load, for example, it achieves 1.3-1.4× lower mean flow completion time than recent proposals, primarily due to shorter upstream queues. To test hardware feasibility, we implement DRILL in Verilog and estimate its area overhead to be less than 1%. Finally, we analyze DRILL’s stability and throughput-efficiency.



Credit-Scheduled Delay-Bounded Congestion Control for Datacenters

Small RTTs (∼tens of microseconds), bursty flow arrivals, and a large number of concurrent flows (thousands) in datacenters bring fundamental challenges to congestion control as they either force a flow to send at most one packet per RTT or induce a large queue build-up. The widespread use of shallow buffered switches also makes the problem more challenging with hosts generating many flows in bursts. In addition, as link speeds increase, algorithms that gradually probe for bandwidth take a long time to reach the fair-share. An ideal datacenter congestion control must provide 1) zero data loss, 2) fast convergence, 3) low buffer occupancy, and 4) high utilization. However, these requirements present conflicting goals.

This paper presents a new radical approach, called ExpressPass, an end-to-end credit-scheduled, delay-bounded congestion control for datacenters. ExpressPass uses credit packets to control congestion even before sending data packets, which enables us to achieve bounded delay and fast convergence. It gracefully handles bursty flow arrivals. We implement ExpressPass using commodity switches and provide evaluations using testbed experiments and simulations. ExpressPass converges up to 80 times faster than DCTCP in 10Gbps links, and the gap increases as link speeds become faster. It greatly improves performance under heavy incast workloads and significantly reduces the flow completion times, especially, for small and medium size flows compared to RCP, DCTCP, HULL, and DX under realistic workloads.



Resilient Datacenter Load Balancing in the Wild

Production datacenters operate under various uncertainties such as traffic dynamics, topology asymmetry, and failures. Therefore, datacenter load balancing schemes must be resilient to these uncertainties; i.e., they should accurately sense path conditions and timely react to mitigate the fallouts. Despite significant efforts, prior solutions have important drawbacks. On the one hand, solutions such as Presto and DRB are oblivious to path conditions and blindly reroute at fixed granularity. On the other hand, solutions such as CONGA and CLOVE can sense congestion, but they can only reroute when flowlets emerge; thus, they cannot always react timely to uncertainties. To make things worse, these solutions fail to detect/handle failures such as blackholes and random packet drops, which greatly degrades their performance.

In this paper, we introduce Hermes, a datacenter load balancer that is resilient to the aforementioned uncertainties. At its heart, Hermes leverages comprehensive sensing to detect path conditions including failures unattended before, and it reacts using timely yet cautious rerouting. Hermes is a practical edge-based solution with no switch modification. We have implemented Hermes with commodity switches and evaluated it through both testbed experiments and large-scale simulations. Our results show that Hermes achieves comparable performance to CONGA and Presto in normal cases, and well handles uncertainties: under asymmetries, Hermes achieves up to 10% and 20% better flow completion time (FCT) than CONGA and CLOVE; under switch failures, it outperforms all other schemes by over 32%.



RotorNet: A Scalable, Low-complexity, Optical Datacenter Network

The ever-increasing bandwidth requirements of modern datacenters have led researchers to propose networks based upon optical circuit switches, but these proposals face significant deployment challenges. In particular, previous proposals dynamically configure circuit switches in response to changes in workload, requiring network-wide demand estimation, centralized circuit assignment, and tight time synchronization between various network elements—resulting in a complex and unwieldy control plane. Moreover, limitations in the technologies underlying the individual circuit switches restrict both the rate at which they can be reconfigured and the scale of the network that can be constructed.

We propose RotorNet, a circuit-based network design that addresses these two challenges. While RotorNet dynamically reconfigures its constituent circuit switches, it decouples switch configuration from traffic patterns, obviating the need for demand collection and admitting a fully decentralized control plane. At the physical layer, RotorNet relaxes the requirements on the underlying circuit switches—in particular by not requiring individual switches to implement a full crossbar—enabling them to scale to 1000s of ports. We show that RotorNet outperforms comparably priced Fat Tree topologies under a variety of workload conditions, including traces taken from two commercial datacenters. We also demonstrate a small-scale RotorNet operating in practice on an eight-node testbed.



Beyond fat-trees without antennae, mirrors, and disco-balls

Recent studies have observed that large data center networks often have a few hotspots while most of the network is underutilized. Consequently, numerous data center network designs have explored the approach of identifying these communication hotspots in real-time and eliminating them by leveraging flexible optical or wireless connections to dynamically alter the network topology. These proposals are based on the premise that statically wired network topologies, which lack the opportunity for such online optimization, are fundamentally inefficient, and must be built at uniform full capacity to handle unpredictably skewed traffic.

We show this assumption to be false. Our results establish that state-of-the-art static networks can also achieve the performance benefits claimed by dynamic, reconfigurable designs of the same cost: for the skewed traffic workloads used to make the case for dynamic networks, the evaluated static networks can achieve performance matching full-bandwidth fat-trees at two-thirds of the cost. Surprisingly, this can be accomplished even without relying on any form of online optimization, including the optimization of routing configuration in response to the traffic demands.

Our results substantially lower the barriers for improving upon today’s data centers by showing that a static, cabling-friendly topology built using commodity equipment yields superior performance when combined with well-understood routing methods.



A Tale of Two Topologies: Exploring Convertible Data Center Network Architectures with Flat-tree

This paper promotes convertible data center network architectures, which can dynamically change the network topology to combine the benefits of multiple architectures. We propose the flat-tree prototype architecture as the first step to realize this concept. Flat-tree can be implemented as a Clos network and later be converted to approximate random graphs of different sizes, thus achieving both Clos-like implementation simplicity and random-graph-like transmission performance. We present the detailed design for the network architecture and the control system. Simulations using real data center traffic traces show that flat-tree is able to optimize various workloads with different topology options. We implement an example flat-tree network on a 20-switch 24- server testbed. The traffic reaches the maximal throughput in 2.5s after a topology change, proving the feasibility of converting topology at run time. The network core bandwidth is increased by 27.6% just by converting the topology from Clos to approximate random graph. This improvement can be translated into acceleration of applications as we observe reduced communication time in Spark and Hadoop jobs.



Empowering Low-Power Wide Area Networks in Urban Settings

Low-Power Wide Area Networks (LP-WANs) are an attractive emerging platform to connect the Internet-of-things. LP-WANs enable low-cost devices with a 10-year battery to communicate at few kbps to a base station, kilometers away. But deploying LP-WANs in large urban environments is challenging, given the sheer density of nodes that causes interference, coupled with attenuation from buildings that limits signal range. Yet, state-of-the-art techniques to address these limitations demand inordinate hardware complexity at the base stations or clients, increasing their size and cost.

This paper presents Choir, a system that overcomes challenges pertaining to density and range of urban LP-WANs despite the limited capabilities of base station and client hardware. First, Choir proposes a novel technique that aims to disentangle and decode large numbers of interfering transmissions at a simple, single-antenna LP-WAN base station. It does so, perhaps counter-intuitively, by taking the hardware imperfections of low-cost LP-WAN clients to its advantage. Second, Choir exploits the correlation of sensed data collected by LP-WAN nodes to collaboratively reach a far-away base station, even if individual clients are beyond its range. We implement and evaluate Choir on USRP N210 base stations serving a 10 square kilometer area surrounding Carnegie Mellon University campus. Our results reveal that Choir improves network throughput of commodity LP-WAN clients by 6.84× and expands communication range by 2.65×.



Wi-Fi Goes to Town: Rapid Picocell Switching for Wireless Transit Networks

This paper presents the design and implementation of Wi-Fi Goes to Town, the first Wi-Fi based roadside hotspot network designed to operate at vehicular speeds with meter-sized picocells. Wi-Fi Goes to Town APs make delivery decisions to the vehicular clients they serve at millisecond-level granularities, exploiting path diversity in roadside networks. In order to accomplish this, we introduce new buffer management algorithms that allow participating APs to manage each others’ queues, rapidly quenching each others’ transmissions and flushing each others’ queues. We furthermore integrate our fine-grained AP selection and queue management into 802.11’s frame aggregation and block acknowledgment functions, making the system effective at modern 802.11 bit rates that need frame aggregation to maintain high spectral efficiency. We have implemented our system in an eight-AP network alongside a nearby road, and evaluate its performance with mobile clients moving at up to 35 mph. Depending on the clients’ speed, Wi-Fi Goes to Town achieves a 2.4–4.7X TCP throughput improvement over a baseline fast handover protocol that captures the state of the art in Wi-Fi roaming, including the recent IEEE 802.11k and 802.11r standards.



Drone Relays for Battery-Free Networks

Battery-free sensors, such as RFIDs, are annually attached to billions of items including pharmaceutical drugs, clothes, and manufacturing parts. The fundamental challenge with battery-free sensors is that they are only reliable at short distances of tens of centimeters to few meters. As a result, today’s systems for communicating with and localizing battery-free sensors are crippled by the limited range.

To overcome this challenge, this paper presents RFly, a system that leverages drones as relays for battery-free networks. RFly delivers two key innovations. It introduces the first full-duplex relay for battery-free networks. The relay can seamlessly integrate with a deployed RFID infrastructure, and it preserves phase and timing characteristics of the forwarded packets. RFly also develops the first RF-localization algorithm that can operate through a mobile relay.

We built a hardware prototype of RFly’s relay into a custom PCB circuit and mounted it on a Parrot Bebop drone. Our experimental evaluation demonstrates that RFly enables communication with commercial RFIDs at over 50m. Moreover, its through-relay localization algorithm has a median accuracy of 19 centimeters. These results demonstrate that RFly provides powerful primitives for communication and localization in battery-free networks.



Zusatzinformationen / Extras


Schnellnavigation zur Seite über Nummerneingabe

Internet Routing (Se,WS 17/18)


Dozent: Anja Feldmann

ab 24.10.2017

Ort: MAR 4.033