Updated at: Jan 04, 2016
Walter Willinger is Chief Scientist at NIKSUN, Inc., the world leader in real-time monitoring and cyber forensics solutions. Before joining NIKSUN, he worked at AT&T Labs-Research in Florham Park, NJ from 1996 to 2013 and at Bellcore Applied Research from 1986 to 1996. For the last 25 years, his research has centered around Internet-related measurements, first in the form of packet traffic traces, later in the form of routing and traceroute data, and more recently in the form of “big data” for cyber security. His work is featured in "The Best of the Best - Fifty Years of Communications and Networking Research" (a 2007 IEEE Communications Society book compiling the most outstanding papers published in the communications and networking field in the last half century), was included in “The Princeton Anthology of Best Writing on Mathematics 2010 (a Princeton University Press publication that collected the finest writing on mathematics published in 2009 from around the world), and garnered a number of IEEE and ACM SIGCOMM paper awards.Abstract
With peta-bytes of data that are continuously collected about various aspects of the Internet, how hard can it be to obtain an accurate picture of the network’s various technological (e.g., routing), economic (e.g., interconnections), or socio-economic aspects (e.g., cyber threats)? On the one hand, such big data is often widely available but generally of subpar quality, and properly sanitizing it before putting it to good use is rarely done because it typically requires attention to details that is hard to automate. On the other hand, big Internet data of highest quality is in general no only hard to obtain but almost always raises strong privacy-related questions that often severely limit the data’s exposure to the necessary scientific scrutiny. Faced with this dilemma that has become especially acute in the context of cybersecurity-related studies, what is a responsible Internet researcher supposed to do? Using examples of past and current Internet measurement studies, this course is intended to illustrate the changes that are necessary for the much-heralded big data approach to Internet research to achieve its full potential.