Internet Engineering

In my day job I work as an Internet Engineering researcher at the University of Aberdeen. I work within the Electronics Research Group which has been around for quite some time working on projects relating to the design, simulation, optimisation, and benchmarking of systems. I am currently funded by the EU Horizon 2020 MAMI Project.

My area of specialty is in measurement and testbeds, evaluating existing and new approaches to problems on the Internet. In the past this has included performance measurements but is now more focussed on measuring path transparency in the Internet.

The end-to-end nature of the Internet, with “smart” features in the end hosts and a dumb network in between, has been disappearing. There has been an increasing use of middlemeddleboxes in networks, which can provide functionality that is necessary to keep networks manageable and economically viable. These can also perform packet mangling - whether essential for the needed functionality or accidental as an unwanted side effect - which make it more and more difficult to deploy new protocols or extensions of existing protocols. For the evolution of the protocol stack, it is important to know which network impairments exist and potentially need to be worked around.

I am currently contributing to the development of PATHspider, a tool designed to detect issues with path transparency to new protocols or extensions.

As part of my work, I also maintain our Internet Engineering Testbed (INET). This is our dedicated research network that provides services to researchers and often has purpose-built extensions for various research tasks.

Outside of my funded work, I am a participant in dn42, which can be described as an “amateur Internet”, built from tunnels and operated with Internet technologies like BGP. I operate AS4242421092. If you are located in the United Kingdom (especially if you’re located in Scotland) and would like to peer, please send me an email and I’d be happy to arrange that.