Chen-Nee Chuah and Qing Zhao Share NSF Research Grant

UC Davis Professor Chen-Nee ChuahChen-Nee Chuah and Qing Zhao, both professors in the UC Davis Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, have received a National Science Foundation grant for their proposal titled “NeTS: Small: Beating the Odds in Traffic Measurements/ 
Detection with Optimal Online Learning and Adaptive Policies.”
 Chuah and Zhao, as principal and co-principal investigators, will receive $300,000 to be distributed for the next three years. 

As the Internet continues its exponential growth and becomes increasingly essential to world communication and commerce, it also becomes more vulnerable to malicious activities. Firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems monitor network traffic in order to understand and better engineer the Internet “backbone,” and therefore prevent such incursions, but the precise analysis of data — known as “packet traces” — has become more difficult as the information highway has accelerated to 100Gbps (gigabits per second). 

Chuah and Zhao’s project will develop optimal online learning and adaptation strategies for more accurate traffic sampling, inference and detection under hard resource constraints — such as limited CPU or router memory — and dynamic network/traffic conditions. If successful, this research will provide fundamental design principles for a flexible traffic measurement infrastructure under the software-defined networking (SDN) paradigm. 

The project also will provide interdisciplinary training to graduate and undergraduate students in a team environment. 

Chuah received her master’s degree and PhD in electrical engineering and computer sciences from UC Berkeley in 1997 and 2001, respectively. After a short stint as a visiting researcher of the IP Group at Sprint’s Advanced Technology Laboratories, she joined the UC Davis faculty in July 2002. She is a UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellow and currently leads the Robust and Ubiquitous Networking (RUBINET) Research Group. Her research interests include communications and computer networks, distributed systems and wireless/mobile computing, with an emphasis on Internet architecture. 

Zhao obtained her master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1997 at Fudan University in Shanghai, China; she emigrated to the United States to obtain her doctorate, also in electrical engineering, at New York’s Cornell University in 2001. She conducted postdoctoral research at Cornell through 2004, at which point she joined the UC Davis faculty. She also is a UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellow, and her research interests include stochastic optimization and decision theory in dynamic systems; statistical signal processing, algorithmic theory and computational techniques; and infrastructure networks, communication systems and social economic systems. 

The award comes from the NSF’s Division of Computer and Network Systems (CNS), which seeks to develop a better understanding of the fundamental properties of computer and network systems, and to create better abstractions and tools for designing, building, analyzing and measuring future systems. The CNS Division also supports the computing infrastructure that is required for experimental computer science, and it coordinates cross-divisional activities that foster the integration of research, education and workforce development. 

Chen-Nee Chuah: 
Qing Zhao: 
National Science Foundation: