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UConn Leads Major Educational Project for Future Internets

By Joy Billion

Computer Science & Engineering Associate Professor Bing Wang is leading a major educational effort in the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) project. GENI is a unique virtual laboratory for at-scale networking experimentation where the highest minds unite to envision and create new possibilities for future internets. According to the program website, GENI creates major opportunities to understand, innovate, and transform global networks and their interactions with society. It also opens up new areas of research at the frontiers of network science and engineering plus increases the opportunity for significant socio-economic impact.

GREE2Dr. Wang explained “Many researchers believe that the only way to fix the shortcomings of the current Internet is to start a design from scratch. The new designs, however, cannot be tested in the current Internet. GENI, started in 2006, was intended to provide the infrastructure needed to emulate all the distributive resources, including software, hardware, servers, routers and switches for researchers to evaluate their new designs that are not supported by the current Internet.”

Dr. Wang’s GENI project began in 2010 and is carried out in collaboration with Rochester Institute of Technology and Iowa State University. The goal of the project is to understand and use the GENI infrastructure for networking research and education through workshops, summer camps, and course curriculums.

Under the leadership of Dr. Wang, UConn held its Second GENI Research and Educational Experiment Summer Camp during the week of June 24-28, 2013. The camp was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Raytheon BBN, with generous support from the UConn School of Engineering. Attending the camp were 14 students and faculty from academic institutions across the country plus the Ontario Institute of Technology in Canada. The keynote speaker was Ivan Seskar from Rutgers University who is best known for his large-scale experimental research; he is the main contributor of the ORBIT and WiMax testbeds used to simulate information for the future Internet.

During the one-week intensive training, campers gained significant knowledge and hands-on experience using GENI resources and tools, working on specific projects based on their research or dissertation topics. The topics included: adaptive flow control, resilient networks, WiMax-based campus surveillance network, virtual machine migration, and network path restoration.

GENI camp participant Yunsheng Wang, a student at Temple University, remarked, “I learned about the new GENI technologies, such as GENI desktop, ProtoGENI, OpenFlow, and GEMINI. I found the WiMAX tutorial very useful for my current research and will use the ORBIT system to do some simulations and experiments.” Fellow participant Shuai Zhao, a University of Missouri student, agreed that the camp was informative.   “Advisors and students spent a lot of time together learning and discussing the GENI technology, along with tutorials that gave us some real hands-on experience. As a newcomer, I gained a wealth of knowledge about GENI that will help me with my future research.”

GENI camp culminated with project presentations by the five student teams on the final day, before an audience that included GENI Program Office managers and staff. To view the specific projects, click here and see “Final Presentations.” The attendees agreed that the GENI camp helped them to significantly improve their understanding of GENI resources and that they plan to continue using GENI resources after the summer camp for research or education