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Applied Network Research Prize presentations at IETF 110

4 Mar 2021

A pair of presentations featured during the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) Open session of the IETF 110 Online meeting (8-12 March 2021) will highlight the application of machine learning to video bit-rate adaptation and Domain Name System (DNS) caching and privacy.

The Applied Networking Research Prize (ANRP) awards are presented each year for recent results in applied networking research that are relevant to shipping Internet products and related standardization efforts. The ANRP presentations at IETF 110 will be livestreamed at 1200 UTC on 8 March 2021.

Francis Y. Yan will talk about his work to apply machine learning to video bitrate adaptation. In streaming nearly four decades worth of video to more than 60,000 users across the global Internet, researchers found the statistical margins of error in quantifying streaming performance are considerable. These uncertainties affect the design space of machine-learning approaches that can practically be deployed. The team then developed an adaptive bitrate (ABR) algorithm that robustly outperformed other schemes by reinforcement learning in situ. To support further investigation, they are publishing data and results on the Puffer website and inviting the research community to train and test new streaming algorithms.

Audrey Randall will discuss work on Trufflehunter, a DNS cache snooping tool for estimating the prevalence of rare and sensitive Internet applications. Unlike previous efforts that have focused on small, misconfigured open DNS resolvers, Trufflehunter models the complex behavior of large multi-layer distributed caching infrastructures. The large footprint of such resolvers presents an opportunity to observe rare domain usage, while preserving the privacy of the users accessing them. A controlled testbed allowed evaluation of how accurately Trufflehunter can estimate domain name usage across the U.S., providing a way to make a lower-bound estimate about the popularity of several rare and sensitive applications (most notably smartphone stalkerware) which are otherwise challenging to survey.

The ANRP program recognizes the best new ideas in networking and provides them with greater visibility within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) communities. Additional presentations by additional 2021 prize winners will be scheduled for upcoming IETF meetings.

For those interested in applied networking research, submissions for the ACM/IRTF Applied Networking Research Workshop (ANRW) 2021 will open shortly. This year’s workshop is organised by Andra Lutu and Nick Feamster, and will co-locate with IETF 111 in July. The paper submission deadline will be April 21, 2021.

The ANRP is supported by the Internet Society and the IRTF, and sponsored by Comcast and NBC Universal.

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