# Congestion control train-wreck workshop at Stanford: Call for Demos

Mon Sep 3 17:28:52 UTC 2007

Congestion control train-wreck workshop at Stanford: Call for Demos

We would like to invite you to a two-day congestion control workshop,
titled "Train-wrecks and congestion control: What happens if we do
nothing?", which we are hosting at Stanford on 31 March - 1 April, 2008.

Spurred on by a widespread belief that TCP is showing its age and
needs replacing - and a deeper understanding of the dynamics of
congestion control - the research community has brought forward many
new congestion control algorithms. There has been lots of debate about
the relative merits and demerits of the new schemes; and a
standardization effort is under way in the IETF.

But before the next congestion control mechanism is deployed, it will
need to be deployed widely in operating systems and - in some cases -
in switches and routers too. This will be a long road, requiring the
leaders too. Our own experience of proposing new congestion control
algorithms has been met with the challenge: "Show me the compelling
need for a new congestion control mechanisms?", and "What will really
happen to the Internet (and my business) if we keep TCP just the way
it is?"

As a community, we need examples that are simple to understand, and
demonstrate a compelling need for change. We call them the "Train
wreck scenarios". Examples might show that distribution of video over
wireless in the home will come to a halt without new algorithms. Or
that P2P traffic will bring the whole network crashing down. Or that
huge, high-performance data-centers need new algorithms. Whatever your
favorite example, we believe that if we are collectively armed with a
handful of mutually agreed examples, it will be much easier to make a
business case for change. Or put another way, if we can't articulate
compelling examples to industry leaders, then is the cost and risk of
change worth it?

The goal of the workshop is to identify a handful of really compelling
demonstrations of the impending train-wreck. The outcome will be a set
of canonical examples that we will use to persuade industry of the
need for change.

We are deliberately inviting you many months ahead of time - to give
you time to create your compelling train-wreck demonstration. You can
choose the way you present your demonstration: You could bring
equipment and show a live-demo; you could show simulations or
animations; or you could produce a video showing a real or synthetic
demo. Whatever method you choose, the goal is to create a case that
the need for change.

We will invite a panel of judges to give prizes for the most
compelling examples in two categories: (1) The Overall Most Compelling
Example, which will be judged on a combination of the technical merits
and the presentation of the scenario, and (2) The Most Technically
Compelling Example, which will be judged on its technical merit alone,
without consideration of the way it is presented.

The whole purpose of the workshop it to focus on the {\em problem},
not the solutions. We are most definitely {\em not} interested in your
favorite scheme, or ours. So we need some ground-rules.
\begin{center}
{\em No-one is allowed to mention a specific mechanism, algorithm or
proposal at any time during the workshop: Not in their talk, not in a
panel, and not in questions to the speakers. The only mechanisms that
will be allowed mention are: TCP (in its standard and deployed
flavors), and idealized alternatives for purposes of demonstration.
For example, comparing TCP with an oracle that provides instantaneous
optimal rates to each flow.}
\end{center}

Attendance to the workshop will be by invitation only - to keep the
discussion focused and lively.  We will video the entire workshop and
all the demonstrations, and make it publicly available on the
Internet. We will make any proceedings and talks available too. The
goal is to open up the demonstrations for public scrutiny and feedback
after the event.

The event is hosted by the Stanford Clean Slate Program -
http://cleanslate.stanford.edu - and local arrangements will be made
by Nick McKeown and Nandita Dukkipati. The workshop has received
offers of support and funding from Cisco Systems and Microsoft. We
hope to make a limited number of travel grants available.

We have a small Program Committee (listed below) to select the final
demonstrations. We are soliciting a 1-page description of your demo.

Important Dates:
===============
Workshop: 31 March - 1 April, 2008
1-page demo description submission deadline: 1 Dec, 2007
Notification of acceptance: 15 Dec, 2007
Final demo submissions: 17 March, 2008
Last date for demo withdrawals: 25 March, 2008

Nandita Dukkipati <nanditad at stanford.edu> and
Nick McKeown <nickm at stanford.edu>

Best wishes, and we hope to see you in Stanford!

Nandita Dukkipati
Nick McKeown

Program Committee:
==================
1. Albert Greenberg, Microsoft Research
2. Peter Key, Microsoft Research
3. Flavio Bonomi, Cisco
4. Bruce Davie, Cisco
5. Steven Low, Caltech
6. Frank Kelly, Cambridge
7. Lars Eggert, Nokia Research/IETF
8. Nick McKeown, Stanford
9. Guru Parulkar, Stanford
10. Nandita Dukkipati, Stanford/Cisco/Princeton