Dr. Nick Duffield, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, and professor by courtesy in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, is part of a group that was awarded a multi-million dollar contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to help develop new networking and security technologies at the Wide Area Network (WAN) edge.
The awards fall under DARPA’s Edge-Directed Cyber Technologies for Reliable Mission or Edge-CT program that the agency says will combine real- time network analytics, holistic decision systems and dynamically configurable protocol stacks to mitigate WAN failures and attacks on the fly. Its objective is to bolster the resilience of communication over Internet Protocol networks solely by instantiating new capabilities in computing devices within user enclaves at the WAN edge.
The project is led by Applied Communication Sciences with partnership from Apogee Research, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Pennsylvania and Texas A&M University, where Duffield is principal investigator. The partners propose to develop Distributed Enclave Defense Using Configurable Edges (DEDUCE). DEDUCE is a new architectural approach to edge-directed network adaptation that incorporates novel approaches to sensing, actuation and control, creating a robust and scalable system that exceeds Edge-CT goals and evolves in response to changes in the network.
Duffield’s involvement in the project stems from his research in Network Tomography, in which end–to-end performance measurements between network edges can be correlated to identify common origins of performance degradation. In DEDUCE, this information will be used to inform strategies for alternate routing on an overlay network between enclaves. Duffield was a co-recipient of the ACM SIGMETRCIS Test of Time Award in both 2012 and 2013 for work in Network Tomography.
Duffield received his bachelor’s degree in natural sciences in 1982 and a master’s in 1983 from the University of Cambridge, UK. He received his Ph.D. in mathematical physics from the University of London, U.K., in 1987. His research focuses on data and network science, particularly applications of probability, statistics, algorithms and machine learning to the acquisition, management and analysis of large datasets in communications networks and beyond.
Before joining the department, Duffield worked at AT&T Labs-Research, Florham Park, New Jersey, where he held the position of distinguished member of technical staff and was an AT&T Fellow. He previously held post-doctoral and faculty positions in Dublin, Ireland and Heidelberg, Germany.
Duffield, the author of numerous papers and holder of many patents, is co-inventor of the smart sampling technologies that lie at the heart of AT&T’s scalable Traffic Analysis Service. He is specialty editor-in-chief of journal Frontiers in ICT and he was charter chair of the IETF working group on packet sampling. Duffield is an IEEE Fellow and serves on the Board of Directors of ACM SIGMETRICS. He is an associate member of the Oxford-Man Institute of Quantitative Finance.