Joint MIT CINCS / Hamilton Institute Seminar

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 14:00 to 15:00
on Zoom, Meeting ID: 926 1428 6042 (no password).

Speaker: Professor Manya Ghobadi, CSAIL, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

Title: "The Impact of COVID-19 on a Large-scale Backbone Network."

Abstract: With the COVID-19 global pandemic, remarkable social distancing efforts have prompted the world to operate online. This shift to online platforms presents a real-time stress test of the Internet infrastructure. In this talk, I will present a first-hand study of the implications of COVID-19 on a large-scale network infrastructure. We report our findings on four categories of measurements: traffic volume, population mobility, IP/optical layer failures, and network risk. Our results show that traffic has increased globally, and cities with lower mobility (i.e., more strict social distancing) tend to have a higher traffic footprint on our network. Surprisingly, while the distribution of IP-layer failures has not changed significantly, the optical-layer failures have decreased, resulting in a healthier backbone during the pandemic. Finally, I share the operation experience to manage network risk and provide insights for future research problems on network operations.

Bio: Manya Ghobadi is an assistant professor at the EECS department at MIT. Before MIT, she was a researcher at Microsoft Research and a software engineer at Google Platforms. Manya is a computer systems researcher with a networking focus and has worked on a broad set of topics, including data center networking, optical networks, transport protocols, and network measurement. Her work has won the best dataset award and best paper award at the ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC) as well as Google research excellent paper award (twice).