Measurement-Lab was excited to be represented at this year’s SIGCOMM conference with a tutorial and conference talk in the Best of CCR session. This post overviews M-Lab’s activities at SIGCOMM and includes references for the tutorial materials.
The tutorial included a hands on exercise which you can try for yourself using this Colab Notebook! (We recommend referencing the tutorial slides for additional guidance). In this hands-on activity, attendees learned how to get tests to/from specific locations, how to extract and compare different performance metrics, and how to work with M-Lab’s traceroute data. This exercise also featured the notable example of a spike in testing we observed during Facebook’s outage in Fall 2021.
We then wrapped up with a panel on open challenges in network measuring featuring researchers from industry and academia: Timur Friedman (Sorbonne U/LIP6); Amreesh Phokeer (ISOC), Renata Teixeira (Netflix), and Kevin Vermeulen (CNRS).
The panel highlighted many salient points for measuring network performance in practice including the importance of agreeing on how metrics are defined and what methods are used to monitor them. Specifically, trade-offs between active vs. passive measurement frameworks and the importance of vantage points to get a clear picture of network performance. For example, a lack of servers to measure against can impact data quality in developing regions.
Finally, the panel highlighted the importance of bringing together policy makers and computer scientists to make progress in this space. While networking researchers can bring deep technical understanding of the data and novel measurement techniques, policy makers are important to help translate this work into practical guidelines with clear bars for network performance. This latter point highlighted an open area where we hope to make strides in the coming year.
Best of CCR Session
Measurement Lab’s recent CCR paper was also recognised as one of the Best papers of CCR in the past year and was presented in a special session during the main conference.
Get in Touch!
We hope that this tutorial and the associated presentations will inspire folks to find new ways to use our data and platform. We are trying to follow up with everyone who approached us at SIGCOMM but please feel free to email email@example.com to get in touch about research opportunities or to have your organization join the M-Lab Consortium.