NYU-Poly Professors Aim to Make Web Traffic Flow More Smoothly

Huawei Technologies Awards Grants to H. Jonathan Chao and Kang Xi to Advance Performance and Resilience of the Internet

NEW YORK, March 18, 2013 – There are few things more frustrating to an Internet user than interruptions or slow-downs in service. The complexity of the Internet “backbone,” as the principal routes between large, interconnected networks and routers are sometimes called, makes such occurrences virtually unavoidable, however. Huawei Technologies recently awarded H. Jonathan Chao and Kang Xi, researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) High-Speed Networking Lab, a two-year, $366,700 grant to support their research in the areas of routing, load balancing and resilience design—work that will help to ease the slowdowns.

“A backbone network has multiple paths from source to destination, so we want to distribute traffic according to link available bandwidths,” Chao explained. “Consider this analogy: If a traveler needs to get to San Francisco, does he fly through Houston or through Chicago? His decision will probably be based on which option will be quicker or smoother. Similarly, we want to send data on the quickest, smoothest route.”

In addition to such traffic engineering, Chao and Xi will focus on the resilience of routing systems. “If a link between nodes (or routers) becomes inoperative, traffic delivery will fail and have to be rerouted. Continuing the travel analogy, if the Holland Tunnel floods, we can’t send everyone through the Lincoln Tunnel—that would cause disastrous congestion,” Chao said, referring to two of the main arteries between New Jersey and New York City. “And we can’t simply build a new tunnel every time that happens because it would be too expensive. In the same way, providers can’t simply build more nodes or lay more optical fibers. The systems must be designed to be responsive, reliable and resilient.”

NYU-Poly’s High-Speed Networking Laboratory, with which Chao and Xi are affiliated, conducts research and provides education to address the challenging problems that high-speed networking and high-performance computing are facing.

The lab’s research concentrates on developing solutions in the areas of data center and cloud computing, network security, network resilience, high-speed switching and routing, chip multiprocessor (CMP) for high-performance computing and medical implant devices for neuroengineering. In addition to private companies like Huawei, its research is sponsored by governmental agencies such as the National Science Foundation and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Chao also heads the NYU-Poly Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Huawei Technologies is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Ranked by revenues, it is the second-largest such company in the world and includes more than 62,000 research and development employees and 23 research centers around the world.