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Research in systems and networking at CCIS addresses the challenges inherent in real, large-scale computing, networking, and mobile systems. Our work spans a variety of technologies and contexts, from operating system internals, high-level protocols, and low-power wireless to Internet-scale systems. Across these areas, research reflects the following themes:

  • User security, privacy, and transparency, addressing threats from commercial as well as illicit actors.
  • Innovative measurement techniques for characterizing previously-unknown behavior and patterns on the Internet.
  • Performance, efficiency, robustness and fault tolerance, both at scale and in the presence of attacks or interference.

The products of our research are used at high-profile companies and installed on user devices. They are guiding government policy decisions and are featured in top-tier academic venues.

Areas of investigation:

  • Cloud computing
  • Cyber-physical systems
  • Distributed systems
  • High Performance Computing
  • Internet measurement
  • Mobile/wireless systems
  • Networking
  • Parallel computing
  • Security and privacy
  • Storage systems

The Systems and Networking research group conducts impactful and timely research spanning a wide variety of areas. Our faculty has fostered numerous collaborations, partnering with researchers across disciplines at Northeastern and beyond.

CCIS closely collaborates with federal, industrial, and non-profit partners, including DARPA, Draper Labs, Ericsson, Google, Intel, Narus, Raytheon, Telefonica, VMware, and the Data Transparency Lab. Our researchers publish in many of the most prestigious and selective venues in their respective areas.

Our PhD and Masters students learn about and conduct applied research grounded in solid theoretical foundations. After graduating, they go on to academic positions or research roles at leading technology companies, and some have started their own businesses.

Notable achievements:

  • Our group won a variety of prizes including the DARPA Spectrum Challenge DSC’2013, Google Android Developers Challenge ADC’2008.
  • Best paper award in DSN 2015 and IETF/IRTF Applied Networking Research Prize, 2016.
  • Our work on algorithmic auditing has received press coverage via the CBS Evening News and the Wall Street Journal
  • Our work on Internet transparency has been covered by NBC News, the New Scientist, and the Boston Globe.
  • Our decade-long development of the DMTCP software project for checkpoint-restart has received 10,000 downloads of the source code, and its use by at least 50 external research groups is documented through their refereed publications.
  • Our group members have received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the University of Toulouse and LAAS Chair of Attractivity, and several best paper awards in leading conferences.
  • CCIS developed ADWaNS, an application-driven SoC-based IoT set of devices for search and rescue, building’s health monitoring, and motion tracking.
  • Our group developed Ono, a software tool enabling faster downloads that has been adopted by more than 1.4 million users.
  • The Meddle project produced ReCon, a system to understand and control personal information leaked from mobile devices; and Differentiation Detector, which detects net neutrality violations.
  • Our group has developed techniques to perform algorithmic audits on real-world systems, and we have applied it to popular systems including Google Search, the top E-commerce retailers, and the Uber ridesharing platform. This has resulted in significant popular press coverage.
  • CCIS researchers are developing a new approach to selling cloud-based computation that aims to bring the benefits of the cloud to end users.
  • Our researchers created a platform for distributed wireless cross-layer protocols development and evaluation.
  • CCIS contributed to defining the third generation Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) and to constructing its first packet mode prototype.
  • CCIS researchers contribute to the Massachusetts Open Cloud — an innovative platform enabling multiple vendors to compete within the same cloud.
  • CCIS researchers developed Distributed MultiThreaded CheckPointing (DMTCP), the most widely used user-space package for transparent checkpoint-restart. This project is now in its second decade, with applications in HPC, the Cloud, and elsewhere. An Intel conference publication also describes how DMTCP is used within Intel Corporation.
  • CCIS researchers developed SWiFi the world’s first standard compatible Wi-Fi implementation for commodity software defined radio platforms.
Research Area - Systems & Networking