Keynote Speakers | Comsnets 2015
Thank you for making COMSNETS 2015 a great success. See you at COMSNETS 2016: 5th - 9th Jan 2016, Bangalore !
JANUARY 6 - 10

Vidhana Soudha by Ranganath Krishnamani

Keynote Speakers

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Adrian Perrig is a Professor of Computer Science at the Department of Computer Science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, where he leads the network security group. From 2002 to 2012, he was a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engineering and Public Policy, and Computer Science (courtesy) at Carnegie Mellon University; From 2007 to 2012, he also served as the technical director for Carnegie Mellon's Cybersecurity Laboratory (CyLab). He earned his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University under the guidance of J. D. Tygar, and spent three years during his Ph.D. degree at the University of California at Berkeley. He received his B.Sc. degree in Computer Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award in 2004, IBM faculty fellowships in 2004 and 2005, the Sloan research fellowship in 2006, the Security 7 award in the category of education by the Information Security Magazine in 2009, the Benjamin Richard Teare teaching award in 2011, and the ACM SIGSAC Outstanding Innovation Award in 2013. Adrian's research revolves around building secure systems -- in particular secure future Internet architectures.

Date: Wednesday, 7th January 2015

Topic: Exciting Security Research Opportunity: Next-generation Internet

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The Internet has been successful beyond even the most optimistic expectations. It permeates and intertwines with almost all aspects of our society and economy. The success of the Internet has created a dependency on communication as many of the processes underpinning the foundations of modern society would grind to a halt should communication become unavailable. However, much to our dismay, the current state of safety and availability of the Internet is not commensurate with its importance.

Although we cannot conclusively determine what the impact of a 1-minute, 1-hour, 1-day, or 1-week outage of Internet connectivity on our society would be, anecdotal evidence indicates that even short outages have a profound negative impact on governmental, economic, and societal operations. To make matters worse, the Internet has not been designed for high availability in the face of malicious actions by adversaries. Recent patches to improve Internet security and availability have been constrained by the current Internet architecture, business models, and legal aspects. Moreover, there are fundamental design decisions of the current Internet that inherently complicate secure operation.

Given the diverse nature of constituents in today's Internet, another important challenge is how to scale authentication of entities (e.g., AS ownership for routing, name servers for DNS, or domains for TLS) to a global environment. Currently prevalent PKI models (monopoly andoligarchy) do not scale globally because mutually distrusting entities cannot agree on a single trust root, and because everyday users cannot evaluate the trustworthiness of each of the many root CAs in their browsers.

To address these issues, we study the design of a next-generation Internet that is secure, available, and offers privacy by design; that provides appropriate incentives for a transition to the new architecture; and that considers economic and policy issues at the design stage. Such a research environment offers a bonanza for security researchers: a critically important problem space with a medley of challenges to address, and unfettered freedom to think creatively in the absence of limiting constraints. Once we know how good a network could be, we can then engage in incorporating these ideas into the current Internet or study strategies for transition to a next-generation network.

Sascha Meinrath

X-Lab, USA

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Sascha Meinrath is the Director of the X-Lab and the Founder of the Open Technology Institute. He has been described as a "community Internet pioneer" and an "entrepreneurial visionary." He is a well-known expert on community wireless networks, municipal broadband, and telecommunications policy. In 2009 he was named one of Ars Technica's Tech Policy "People to Watch" and is also the 2009 recipient of the Public Knowledge IP3 Award for excellence in public interest advocacy.

Sascha is a co-founder of Measurement Lab, a distributed server platform for researchers around the world to deploy Internet measurement tools, advance network research, and empower the public with useful information about their broadband connections. He also coordinates the Open Source Wireless Coalition, a global partnership of open source wireless integrators, researchers, implementors and companies dedicated to the development of open source, interoperable, low-cost wireless technologies. He is a regular contributor to Government Technology's Digital Communities, the online portal and comprehensive information resource for the public sector.

Sascha has worked with Free Press, the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), the Acorn Active Media Foundation, the Ethos Group, and the CUWiN Foundation.

Date: Thursday, 8th January 2015

Topic: X-Lab: Creating Commotion & Strengthening Participatory Democracy with Mesh Wireless Technology

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Civic participation and participatory democracy are increasingly intersecting with the virtual world. However, vast portions of the world's population, especially in rural and under-developed regions, are excluded from digital networks by dominant Internet service provision business models. This "digital disenfranchisement" is currently conceptualized as just a lack of meaningful access to online networks -- the Digital Divide -- and endeavours to bridge the Digital Divide inevitably fail when they offer top-down approaches without the tools and platforms for meaningful civic engagement. Few are paying attention to major leaps forward in community empowering communications and decision-making technologies. Tools that not only keep personal information private, but also to create entire alternative infrastructures that are far more difficult to surveille, control, censor, and shut down. I'll provide a world-wide survey of the state-of-the-art in circumvention infrastructure -- and point to the resources participants need to build their own systems, whether within their neighbourhood or community, city, or region. I'll explain some of the tools that are available and, within this context, how bridging the digital divide requires a solution that provides connectivity as well as the tools and resources to meaningfully organize and engage. Using this framework, I will explore the implications of utilizing Commotion Wireless technologies (for low-cost Internet connectivity) and the Loomio and DemocracyOS decision-making and voting platforms, as an exemplar collaboration that redefines the key components necessary for ensuring digital enfranchisement in the information age.

Venkat Padmanabhan

Microsoft Research, India

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Venkat Padmanabhan is a Principal Researcher and Research Manager at Microsoft Research India in Bangalore, where he founded and has led the Mobility, Networks, and Systems group since 2007. Venkat was previously with Microsoft Research Redmond, USA for nearly 9 years.

His research interests are broadly in networked and mobile systems, and his work over the years has led to highly-cited papers, technology transfers within Microsoft, and also industry impact. He presently serves on the Sigcomm Conference Technical Steering Committee and also the Sigcomm Industrial Advisory Board. He has also served as an affiliate faculty member at the University of Washington, where he has taught and been on student thesis committees.

Venkat holds a B.Tech. from IIT Delhi and an M.S. and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, all in Computer Science. He has been elected a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), a Fellow of the IEEE, and a Distinguished Scientist of the ACM.

Date: Friday, 9th January 2015

Topic: Why Your Smartphone May Know More About You Than You Might Guess

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The proliferation of smartphones has meant that for the first time it is feasible to measure and analyze many aspects of the human experience, continually and inexpensively. This opens up the possibility of having computers serve users in a highly personalized way. Indeed, the emergence of digital personal assistant services exemplifies this, although we have only scratched the surface of what is possible.

In this talk, I will discuss work by my colleagues and I as well as other researchers, that has anticipated these trends and has contributed to the foundations. This spans a broad swathe of topics such as user localization, tracking driving behaviour, and monitoring user health, among others. I will also touch on work in the context of the emerging mobile and wearable devices, and lay out the opportunities and challenges ahead of us.