As part of a broader organisational restructure, data networking
research at Swinburne University of Technology has moved from
the Centre for Advanced Internet Architecture (CAIA)
to the Internet For Things (I4T) Research Lab.
Although CAIA no longer exists, this website reflects CAIA's activities and
outputs between March 2002 and February 2017,
and is being maintained as a service to the broader data networking research community.
Advice for people interested in doing a PhD with me
Each year I receive emails from people
hoping to become a PhD student under my supervision. Whilst I am interested in finding bright new students who are keen to do
data networking research, I only accept
people whose interests match my interests. Before you contact me about
doing a PhD, please consider the following points.
You could be my "ideal PhD student" if:
You have already experimented with installing Linux or
FreeBSD on an old PC, made an IP network (at home or work) and wondered
"how does the Internet really work, and how can I make networks and networked applications perform better?"
You are aware that "perform better" is a rather imprecise goal without more context, so you seek to understand context.
You have a passion for discovering new insights into network behaviours and operations - both theoretical and applied.
You are not afraid to build prototypes and testbeds that might violate your assumptions.
done a 4-year degree in electronic engineering (or similar, such as
telecommunications engineering, or strongly systems-focused
Computer Science degree) with first class honours (or high 2nd class
honours in rare circumstances).
You can explain to me why you want a PhD in one of the areas I've listed below under Research Projects.
Please do not contact me if the above description is not you. I do not enjoy writing rejection emails, and you probaby wont enjoy receiving one. Ideal supervisor? As noted here,
my research interests tend to focus on IP network infrastructure.
In particular the way protocols and systems interact to impact on
network performance, scalability, resilience and monitoring. Ultimately
I view things through the lens of an end-user's experience of 'the
internet'. I am also particularly interested in the interactions
between IP networks and multiparty immersive/virtual
environnments designed to operate on top of IP networks.
I also take a keen interest in developing the skills of my students in both doing and
presenting their research. My approach is heavily directed towards
performing experiments to better understand existing systems and test
out new ideas.
If this sounds interesting, perhaps I could be your "ideal supervisor".
Research Projects: I'm currently looking to supervise students in the following areas:
Characterising and modelling the growth of internet routing and addressing
address space may be allocated (e.g to ISPs) but that doesn't mean it
is utilised. Network address translation (NAT) is increasingly deployed
to decouple customer network addressing from limitations of ISP address
allocations. The number of ISPs making up the Internet, their business
relationships and degree of interconnectedness, continues to change
every week. This project will review and improve on existing techniques
for measuring (e.g. through probing, monitoring and surveys) and
modeling such dynamic attributes of the Internet's structure. Potential
benefits include improved predictive models for future address
allocation policies, evaluating causes for (and potential mitigtation
of) excess BGP update traffic between Autonomous Systems (ASes),
estimating the like demand for IPv6 address space if NAT were to be
phased out, etc. [STING]
TCP and consumer expectations - what congestion control plays nice with interactive applications?
control protocol (TCP) deserves signiﬁcant credit for the internet’s
wide-spread utility over the past 25+ years. The relatively modern
NewReno variant of TCP balances two key goals: Provide reliable
transfer of byte-streams across the IP layer’s unpredictable
packet-based service, and minimise congestion inside end hosts and the
underlying IP network(s) while maximising performance. Maximisation of
TCP performance has been an active and challenging area for academic
and industry research into congestion control (CC) techniques. New
research is required into an increasingly important new scenario - TCP
ﬂows sharing consumer-grade ‘broadband’ links with non-reactive,
latency-sensitive UDP-based applications such as Voice over IP (VoIP)
and online games. CUBIC (currently the default CC algorithm for Linux)
induces more latency (RTT) than NewReno, negatively impacting on VoIP
or game traffic sharing a home broadband link. Can we discover and
demonstrate an improved TCP variant that co-exists nicely with
real-time traffic over home WiFi, ADSL, cable modem and optical fibre
links? [NGEN, NewTCP]
of IP traffic classification schemes
for network resource management and privacy-enhanced traffic
The ability to
inspect IP packet payloads has long been used to classify the nature of
individual traffic flows. For legal reasons, or due to end-user use of
IP layer encryption, IP packet payloads are becoming less useful (or
simply unavailble) for classification. In this project we will study
and improve upon the use of machine learning to perform classification
of IP traffic based on previously-learned statistical patterns. Such
newer techniques avoid parsing and interpreting the contents of IP
payloads, yet retain the potential to categorise the types of
applications that generate different types of IP flows. This has
applications as diverse as automated control of network Quality of
Service (QoS) features, non-intrusive characterisation of customer
traffic profiles for Lawful Interception (LI), and surveys of customer
usage patterns for marketing purposes. [DIFFUSE, ANGEL, DSTC]
Using multiplayer game engines to visualise and control dynamic network state
operators are continually challenged by the task of identifying, and
subsequently reacting to, anomalous (and potentially malicious)
Internet Protocol (IP) traffic entering, traversing or leaving their
systems. Recognising and reaction to anomalous network events (such as
by updating firewall rules, re-routing traffic, etc) is often
labour-intensive except in simple, clearly defined computer-controlled
scenarios. Imagine a virtual world where real-world events (like port
scans) were mapped into dynamic behaviour of objects inside the virtual
world. Imagine further that avatars inside the virtual world could
trigger changes to the real-world by interacting with those objects
inside the virtual world. Multiplayer game engines provide a convenient
platform on which to create exactly this kind of environment, with the
potential for participants to join from desktop PCs, laptops or
networked tablets and PDAs. We havedemonstrated the basic idea using Quake III Arena
, but more work is required to explore and characterise the limits and
capabilities of building and using such "virtual" network operation
Development and/or detection of covert channels across IP networks
channels aim to hide the very existence of certain communication
between two parties by overloading the semantics of an existing means
of communication (overt channel). Their use is often motivated by the existence of an adversarial
relationship between two parties. Covert channels in computer networks
are analogous to techniques for hiding information in audio, visual or
textual content (steganography). While steganography requires some form
of content as cover, covert channels require some network protocol and
traffic as a carrier. In this project we will study and model the
performance characteristics of different covert channels when
implemented in common IP network environments. Concurrently (or as an
alternative) we will study the potential for covert channels to be
detected and suppressed without interfering with the overt IP data
Network support for interactive online games / immersive environments
Interactive, real-time online games represent a considerable challenge for ISPs. In
an ideal world with excess funding an ISP could simply over-provision
their entire network. But the real world demands that new online game
players must be supported on existing links - shared with everyone
else's web surfing, file sharing, and email traffic. Network
engineering is a balancing act. A proactive ISP tries to maintain
packet latency, loss, and throughput expectations of its customers by
adapting their internal resources to the offered load. I am interested
in research that provides new insights into topics such as the latency
tolerance of players, network layer mechanisms for cheat-mitigation,
the hidden network-layer impact of server discovery protocols,
synthetic construction of realistic game traffic simulations, passive
real-time detection of live game traffic in ISP access networks, and
the use of 3D game engines for interactive visualisation of network
Applying for candidature under my supervision: Before sending me an email, check Swinburne's requirements at this page.
Then write a 1 or 2 page research proposal (including references)
showing how your research interests map into one of my projects above.
This information will help me decide whether to have further
discussions with you about possible candidature and scholarships.