Friedman to direct major networking project

Starting in September 2008, Timur Friedman (UMass Amherst CS Ph.D. ‘02) will be the Scientific Director of OneLab2, a European computer networking project that aims to facilitate the emergence of the future internet. The project brings together researchers from twenty-six academic and industrial laboratories to develop a common test bed on which radically new networking technologies can be tried out at a global scale. The project’s total budget is 8.9 million euros (14 million dollars) for two years, of which 6.3 million euros is provided as a grant from the European Union.

Shortly after completing his dissertation under the supervision of Distinguished Professors Don Towsley and Jim Kurose, Friedman became a Maître de Conférences (assistant professor) at UPMC Paris Universitas (formerly known as the University of Paris VI) in France, and he joined the Networks and Performance Analysis research group of Professor Serge Fdida at the university’s LIP6 computer science laboratory. Friedman worked with Fdida to assemble a coalition of ten research groups and obtained funding for the initial OneLab project, which started in September 2006.

As Director of OneLab, Friedman has put in place the PlanetLab Europe test bed. “We’ve taken the highly successful free open-source PlanetLab software and used it to create an infrastructure for European researchers,” says Friedman. “Our test bed is federated with the original PlanetLab run by Princeton University.” Researchers on each platform have access to the combined system. The INRIA research center in Sophia Antipolis in the south of France, a OneLab partner and technical lead on the project, has become a co-developer of the PlanetLab code base. “This gives us the ability to introduce functionalities that meet the demands of researchers in Europe,” says Friedman, “such as our emulation capabilities for new wireless technologies.”

As a result of this work, OneLab is at the center of the European Union’s Future Internet Research and Experimentation (FIRE) Initiative for developing new internetworking paradigms and providing experimental facilities upon which to test them. OneLab2 will be one of FIRE’s two flagship projects. Friedman and his colleagues are taking on a global leadership role in this area of research. “We are in regular dialog with similarly-motivated initiatives, such as GENI/FIND in the United States, and AKARI in Japan, which are also promising to devote considerable resources to this area,” says Friedman. “It is an exciting time in computer networking.”