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  • User account | acm sigcomm
    Attendees Conference Organizers Tweets by ACMSIGCOMM User account Log in Request new password Username Enter your acm sigcomm username Password Enter the password that accompanies your username Contact us to send feedback about this page Fatal error Call to undefined

    Original URL path: http://sigcomm.org/user/login?destination=comment%2Freply%2F341%23comment-form (2016-04-25)
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  • Resources For Educators | acm sigcomm
    wiki Hype cycle Guru s Column BIN Problems Posted on 2015 12 04 11 29 by admin ACM SIGCOMM Student Mentoring Column Aditya Akella UW Madison BIN Problems As some of you may know I gave a talk at CoNEXT 2014 titled On future proofing networks see 1 for slides While most of the talk was focused on my past research projects I spent a bit of time talking about the kind of problems I like to work on I got several interesting questions about the latter both during the talk and in the weeks following the talk Given this I thought I would devote this column and perhaps parts of future columns to putting my ideas on problem selection into words I suspect what I write below will generate more questions than answers in your mind Don t hold your questions back though Write to me at guru sigcomm org BIN problems I like to work on BIN problems which are research problems that are B ig in scope I mportant in terms of their potential for intellectual or practical impact and N ebulous in terms of how to approach them It is hard to precisely define BIN problems but here are examples of BIN problems that I worked on that may give you a sense of what I m talking about How to design an evolvable Internet architecture How to model and mitigate network complexity And how to exercise software defined control over network functions Why am I attracted to BIN problems Pick one of the examples above say control over network functions NFs The scope is Big different networks use different subsets of NFs and there are many different kinds of NFs out there The problem appears Important the industry is starting to think about this From a research standpoint there appear to be few studies that offer systematic answers Thus the potential for impact on both practice and research exists The Big ness of scope and the Nebulous ness of approach mean naturally that the field is wide open i e there is no immediately obvious answer here There are many places to start approaching this problem and many potential ideas issues to consider For example do we simply control routing to NFs Does it make sense to control internal state How about dynamic context NF logic Algorithms How to deal with NF diversity I hope this example gives you a sense as to why I think BIN problems are so cool they keep your mind constantly jogging And if you succeed the pay off can be huge In what follows I will try to address two questions that may arise regarding such problems Are BIN problems risky Some of you may wonder if this is too much to take up Where do you start Which thread s do you explore first What if your exploration fails It may also be the case that the BIN problem you picked doesn t seem hot this isn t exactly true for network functions there s a lot of buzz surrounding them these days but this concern may arise more naturally for other topics such as network complexity or the Internet s evolvability I would argue that the situation is quite the contrary First note that once you ve picked a reasonable starting point control over internal NF state in the example above you ve rooted a version of the problem and this immediately makes things less vague From this point on it is like any other research problem in terms of the likelihood of finding something tangible But the I mportance aspect means that whatever you find has a big likelihood of having impact The impact could be intellectual in nature your work could spur others to build similar perhaps better systems but your system will be the first Or you may hit the nail on its head right away in which case you could directly impact practice As you explore things may turn out to be not what you started out hoping for But the thing about BIN problems is that there s enough room for refinement e g maybe you started out by casting too wide a net around NFs and your initial experience taught you that focusing on say distributed control across multiple copies of an NF is still Big and Important and now it s also less Nebulous Finally BIN problems naturally lead to bodies of work The many threads to explore at each starting point and the different potential starting points themselves often map on to distinct but related research projects problems In depth exploration of one particular starting point and associated threads often gives you enough context to explore in a more focused fashion other starting points and associated threads How to work on BIN problems Crucially as a student how do you know something is Important Also you may not be able to judge if the scope is Big enough or perhaps it too Big And related to this is the question of whether your problem statement is clear enough for you to start coming up with meaningful solutions You don t have to fight these battles alone Working on BIN problems is not something you could or would want to do sitting behind locked doors To clarify scope and to pin down a problem statement I strongly encourage you to talk to your advisor about your idea in case you haven t noticed advisors love to hear bold and fresh ideas from you more than having you simply do what you are told Talk to others in your research group including both professors and students Then talk to others in the broader networking area perhaps when you bump into them at conferences also consider inviting yourself to go give a talk some place and chat 1 on 1 with people there about your BIN idea your advisor could be of help in setting up such a rendezvous In particular talking to practitioners is quite valuable here and this set includes your local campus network operators researchers at industry research labs engineers at major online service providers etc The initial reaction you get may make you feel like you are wasting your time I have in the past had people tell me I was crazy to work on something or that what I was working on was not relevant But this is actually constructive feedback in the sense that what may be happening is that your pitch for the problem needs refinement Go back to your notepad and come up with a better framing of your problem And then repeat the process above Approaching BIN problems doesn t necessarily have to be top down i e you don t have to start with a BIN problem Often you may find yourself working on a concrete and interesting problem Perhaps you have a couple of papers on that already It is a good idea to stop there and ask Is the scope of what I am working on bigger than what I ve looked at in my 1 2 papers so far And you should be open to the fact that broadening the scope may require a different approach one that is necessarily nebulous at the beginning than what you re currently exploring Working on BIN problems can take time In particular getting the right initial intuition nailed down could take a year perhaps more All the things I mentioned above talking to people gathering feedback going back to the notepad can appear to drag things out too But once you have the right intuition and given the experience you ve gathered along the way you re going to be unstoppable References 1 On future proofing networks http www cs wisc edu akella talks conext keynote web pptx Guru s Column Various Student Questions Posted on 2015 12 04 11 28 by admin ACM SIGCOMM Student Mentoring Column Aditya Akella UW Madison Topic Various Student Questions I ve received several interesting and varied questions from students all over the world Thank you for the warm response In this issue I have hand picked a small subset of questions to answer Many thanks to Brighten Godfrey UIUC and Vyas Sekar CMU for contributing their thoughts Do write to me with more questions or follow on questions to the ones below Job search related Question Say I am starting a company after my graduation And assuming that my company has failed or has been acquired by another company will my startup acquisition failure have any negative impact on academic industrial positions later Answer Brighten Godfrey One of the most important steps to succeeding at research is learning that repeated failure is part of the natural process of doing risky work Experiments don t turn out as expected good papers are rejected start ups fizzle As a result in general you will be measured more by the most impactful successes you have than by failures That said there is often a disadvantage to taking time off from academia there s a gap in your publication record your research looks a bit older and so on In some cases a startup could be viewed less as a gap and more as a positive extension of your research for example if the startup was based on your work Q After Ph D the highest academic job one could get is a tenure track professorship And most advisors help gear graduates for that end If one could not get a tenure track professorship the next closest academic position is a teaching professorship assuming that the candidate has interests in teaching What are the other possible academic positions that fall between a research and a teaching professorship with no tenure grant overheads from the former and minimal no teaching load from the latter A Aditya Akella Vyas Sekar The answer depends on which country you are considering as the overall system and framework for tenure track research faculty can vary quite significantly In the USA many academic institutions have non tenure track research scientist positions also called by other names such as research professors or research associates Such positions don t generally have mandatory teaching obligations although many research scientists do take up modest teaching loads However grant writing is a big part as research scientists are generally expected to raise money to support their research programs and themselves In other words most academic jobs require you to do at least two things out of research teaching and grant writing Paper writing related Q What is the most important section of a submission say to Sigcomm I e Is there a particular section I should pay attention to spend most time writing A Aditya All sections of a paper are important Each section adds a different facet to a paper s overall contribution That said as a reviewer I tend to look for a strong motivation section This is usually section 2 of the paper A good motivation section clearly states the problem using compelling examples and data to motivate why the problem is relevant important and why it is hard It also sets out requirements for the solution highlights challenges in designing the solution and puts the paper s claims in the context of related work Thus it is totally worthwhile to spend time framing polishing this section Q I have a paper that has been rejected multiple times Should I give up on it or send to a lower tier venue A Brighten That s a tough question Sometimes you know there s something good there and even at a somewhat lower profile venue it can get noticed Other times you Arxiv it and move on to your next great idea But is there perhaps a third option that even after you have seen and understood the feedback from reviewers you still believe the work is impactful enough for a top venue A paper that I consider one of the most important of my career so far was rejected four times before being accepted at a top venue on the fifth submission That can only happen if the authors and especially the leading PhD student really believe in the vision and persist in improving the work Q A recent program committee commented that I needed to evaluate my idea using more realistic traces My work is theoretical in nature and I have proved strong theoretical guarantees backed by a small set of experiments on a real prototype using toy workloads What additional value do experiments with realistic workloads add A Brighten Aditya At a conference like SIGCOMM or NSDI this reflects the taste of the community to see real artifacts whereas a conference like SPAA or PODC might be open to work where the contribution is foundational theory Realistic workloads answer different questions than theoretical analysis A strong theorem may bound performance in the worst case or it may show expected performance under certain assumptions about the operating environment A real prototype system evaluated with realistic workloads can demonstrate performance in typical cases that people actually care about in the real world Crucially it can show that the system building and other operational difficulties that inevitably arise but don t always appear in a theoretical model don t invalidate the main insight result Q How does one write a good introduction abstract for a paper A Vyas Aditya I don t think there is one good answer and it depends both on the type of paper e g measurement vs algorithm vs position paper and the person writing it We evolve and develop an individual style of writing a good introduction in terms of both the language and presentation That being said a good introduction should generally answer the following questions paraphrasing Jim Kurose s advice http www net cs umass edu kurose writing intro style html 1 Why is the problem important 2 What was challenging in solving the problem and or why did prior work fall short 3 What was your key insight and why is it interesting 4 What are the main punchlines in terms of system algorithm performance that advances the status quo Crucially you need to keep practicing your writing Don t leave the part of writing up the abstract introduction to your advisor draft it yourself You will eventually become great at churning out perfect introductory sections Ph D Advice on Managing Your Advisor from greatresearch org Posted on 2013 09 01 21 21 by Anonymous Hello Everyone Hamed Haddadi the Information Service Director for SIGCOMM has found some of my posts over at How to Do Great Research quite worthwhile to read and has suggested that I cross post some of the content on the SIGCOMM blog I ll point you over to the blog for the full content but I ve posted a teaser below The genesis of the blog is a course for incoming Ph D students that Professor Alex Gray and I designed at Georgia Tech and have been teaching for more than five years To our surprise a lot of helpful information on the Ph D is out there but it s not really consolidated in one place We began collecting helpful information and filling in the gaps with our own material this fall as much of the material has coalesced I am putting the material into written form on a blog You ll be able to read posts such as the one below throughout the fall term I expect the flood of posts this fall may become a trickle in the future but hopefully once the initial information is seeded we ll also enrich the information we have with guest posts The course has a variety of twists and turns that we devised such as assignments to generate cross disciplinary ideas time management exercises a mock program committee etc If anyone is interested in more of the course materials or wants to talk to me more about this concept I m all ears Thanks and happy reading Nick Feamster Managing Your Advisor cross posted from How to Do Great Research With the new academic term almost upon us several of my students started to put together a list of practical advice for incoming students including various niceties such as how to gain access to the lab how to get accounts how to submit reimbursements and so forth I wanted to contribute to the list of advice and I figured I could offer some value by giving advice to new students about how to gain traction on their research as quickly as possible This post is the first in a series of a few posts on that topic in this post I will cover the topic of managing your advisor The notion of an advisor is an interesting concept for many new Ph D students Incoming graduate students typically have one of two backgrounds some come straight from undergraduate studies and hence may have never had a manager or a boss overseeing their career others have spent some time in the workforce and have decided to return to the university and begin a career in research and hence have some notion of what it is like to have a manager An advisor student relationship is unique though and will be a new experience for both types of incoming students The relationship is similar to a manager relationship but has several differentiating features First your advisor is often a collaborator on equal footing Although an incoming Ph D student is not yet a peer of his or her advisor the goal is that by the end of the Ph D process the student and advisor will be peers In this sense the Ph D is a true apprenticeship My students don t work for me they work with me Second your advisor is not a manager in the strict sense but is literally an advisor You are

    Original URL path: http://sigcomm.org/for-educators?destination=node%2F295 (2016-04-25)
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  • Upcoming Conferences | acm sigcomm
    SIGCOMM Applied Networking Research Workshop 2016 Berlin Germany https irtf org anrw 2016 cfp Paper Submission Deadline 16 May 2016 Dates 16 July 2016 Sponsored by SIGCOMM ACM SIGCOMM 2016 Salvador Brazil http conferences sigcomm org sigcomm 2016 Dates 22 August 2016 26 August 2016 Sponsored by SIGCOMM ACM Internet Measurement Conference 2016 Los Angeles California USA http conferences sigcomm org imc 2016 index html Abstract Registration Deadline 5 May

    Original URL path: http://sigcomm.org/conferences/sponsored (2016-04-25)
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  • Upcoming Conferences | acm sigcomm
    ACMSIGCOMM User login Username Password Request new password Upcoming Conferences Upcoming Conferences 28th International Teletraffic Congress ITC 28 Würzburg Germany http itc28 org en call for papers html Abstract Registration Deadline 11 March 2016 Paper Submission Deadline 18 March 2016

    Original URL path: http://sigcomm.org/conferences/cooperation (2016-04-25)
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  • ACM e-Energy 2016 | acm sigcomm
    ACM e Energy aims to be the premier venue for researchers working in the broad areas of computing and communication for smart energy systems and in energy efficient computing and communication systems By bringing together researchers in a high quality single track conference with significant opportunities for individual and small group interaction it will serve as a major forum for presentations and discussions that will shape the future of this

    Original URL path: http://sigcomm.org/content/acm-e-energy-2016 (2016-04-25)
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  • Applied Networking Research Workshop 2016 | acm sigcomm
    community to present and discuss emerging results in applied networking research Researchers should consider submitting early emerging results that illustrate the scientific and engineering principles underlying the Internet architecture protocols and applications that demonstrate new capabilities features or extensions to the Internet protocol layers that enhance our understanding of how Internet protocols work in real world deployments or realistic testbeds or that improve Internet security and privacy scalability performance and

    Original URL path: http://sigcomm.org/content/applied-networking-research-workshop-2016 (2016-04-25)
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  • ACM SIGCOMM 2016 | acm sigcomm
    SIGCOMM 2016 16 June 2015 5 25pm admin The organizing committee is delighted to invite you to ACM SIGCOMM 2016 to be held in Salvador Brazil August 22 26 2016 SIGCOMM is the flagship annual conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication SIGCOMM on the applications technologies architectures and protocols for computer communication Location Salvador Brazil Dates 22 August 2016 26 August 2016 Cooperation or Sponsored Sponsored

    Original URL path: http://sigcomm.org/content/acm-sigcomm-2016 (2016-04-25)
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  • 28th International Teletraffic Congress (ITC 28) | acm sigcomm
    Tweets by ACMSIGCOMM User login Username Password Request new password 28th International Teletraffic Congress ITC 28 20 February 2016 7 27am admin 28th International Teletraffic Congress ITC 28 September 12 16 2016 Würzburg Germany Location Würzburg Germany Abstract Registration Deadline 11 March 2016 Paper Submission Deadline 18 March 2016 Dates 12 September 2016 16 September 2016 Cooperation or Sponsored In cooperation with SIGCOMM Call for Papers http itc28 org en

    Original URL path: http://sigcomm.org/content/28th-international-teletraffic-congress-itc-28 (2016-04-25)
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