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Julie Wernert
Manager, UITS External Communications
jwernert@indiana.edu
812-856-5517

Daphne Siefert-Herron
Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University
dsiefert@indiana.edu
812-856-1242

Last modified: Tuesday, October 20, 2009

IU research team receives grant to develop GENI experimental network tools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 20, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Researchers are working on new models of computer networks that may someday replace the Internet, and researchers at Indiana University have been awarded a grant to develop tools to ensure that detailed network conditions can be measured for research.

As computer network experiments increase in complexity and size, it has become increasingly difficult to fully understand the circumstances under which a network experiment was run, particularly when it comes time to reproduce the results. A collaborative team from Indiana University will lead the effort to provide essential tools related to the history and authenticity of an experiment's data set (called "provenance") for the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) computer network.

Plale image

Photo by Chris Meyer

Beth Plale

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The GENI provenance effort, which is supported by a $484,485 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), will be led by Principal Investigator Beth Plale, director of the Data to Insight Center in the Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University. Plale, a professor in the IU Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing, partnered with co-PI Chris Small, a network engineer and research scientist at the IU Global Research Network Operations Center (Global NOC). The collaboration leverages Plale's expertise in data provenance with Small's deep knowledge of advanced computer networking.

Sponsored by the NSF, GENI supports the development of a national-scale suite of infrastructure for experimental research in groundbreaking network science and engineering. Provenance information is valuable to GENI scientists, helping them to accurately understand, repeat, and learn from experiments conducted on the network over time.

"Provenance gives an orientation on data collection that is considerably different from auditing or performance monitoring," said Plale. "Provenance can provide a better understanding of how experiments were run because it can capture relationships between events in the layers in the GENI infrastructure. We feel that provenance collection will add considerable value to GENI for new users and for those wanting to repeat experiments they or other computer scientists carried out earlier in time."

The provenance collection will be based on the Karma tool, developed with funding from the NSF Strategic Data for Cyberinfrastructure (SDCI) program, and applied to collection in an informatics application for pharmaceutical discovery. It will also be applied to a weather modeling and analysis framework. The GENI Provenance Registry, called NetKarma, will capture the activities of user experiments conducted on a slice of the GENI network by monitoring all layers of the complex network of computers.

"This research grant in network science is a testament to IU's national leadership in the area of advanced networking and was made possible by IU's unique collaboration involving the IU Global NOC, PTI and the School of Informatics and Computing," said Brad Wheeler, vice president for information technology and CIO at Indiana University.

About Pervasive Technology Institute

Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI) at Indiana University is a world-class organization dedicated to the development and delivery of innovative information technology to advance research, education, industry, and society. Supported in part by a $15 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., PTI is built upon a spirit of collaboration and brings together researchers and technologists from a range of disciplines and organizations, including the IU School of Informatics and Computing at Bloomington, the IU Maurer School of Law, and University Information Technology Services at Indiana University. See http://www.pti.iu.edu/.

About the IU Global NOC

The Global Research Network Operations Center (Global NOC) at Indiana University is a premier provider of highly responsive network coordination, engineering, and installation services that support the advancement of R&E networking.

From its support of Internet2's Network, to National LambdaRail's FrameNet and PacketNet, to the IPGrid optical network, the IU Global NOC has become an unrivaled provider of 24x7x365 expert support for the most advanced research networks in the country. See http://globalnoc.iu.edu/.

About GENI

The Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) is a suite of experimental network research infrastructure sponsored by the National Science Foundation. As envisioned by the community, this suite will support a wide range of network science and engineering experiments such as new protocols and data dissemination techniques running over a substantial fiber optic infrastructure with next-generation optical switches, novel high-speed routers, city-wide experimental urban radio networks, high-end computational clusters, and sensor grids. All infrastructures are envisioned to be shared among a large number of individual, simultaneous experiments with extensive instrumentation that makes it easy to collect, analyze, and share real measurements. See http://www.geni.net.