Caesar wins NSF CAREER Award
CSL researcher Matthew Caesar, a member of Illinois' computer science faculty, has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. The agency gives the award to the most promising researchers.
Caesar proposes to design the first interactive debugging system for modern networked systems with his “Getting RID of Bugs: Realizing Interactive Debugging of Networked Systems.” Caesar takes the position that manual labor is a necessary evil of debugging problems in networked systems, but believes that the system can be made vastly simpler with in-network support for debugging.
“The Internet is the most complex distributed software infrastructure ever created,” says Caesar. It’s this complexity that makes it particularly prone to bugs introduced by human error. Research to date on debugging the modern networked system has focused on automation. According to Caesar however, the enormous complexity of such systems and their fundamental need for domain-specific knowledge has rendered such approaches limited in practice, leaving debugging a painstakingly manual process.
Caesar will build on his previous work in network architecture and network failure diagnosis to develop new techniques and tools for interactive debugging on WAN systems. His work aims to make significant contributions to network architecture and protocol design by creating a new network layer substrate that allows for tight controls on network execution and extensions to support debugging in untrusted environments.
Caesar explains the need for his systems by pointing out that network and service providers today spend billions hiring armies of skilled developers and troubleshooters. “Networks that can be rapidly repaired after exceptions are an essential component of disaster survival and recovery for business and communication systems, and it can accelerate deployment of networks in underdeveloped regions lacking experienced technicians.