Jennifer Rexford

Jennifer Rexford
Princeton University | PU · Department of Computer Science

PhD, University of Michigan, 1996

About

441
Publications
108,165
Reads
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37,506
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2005 - present
Princeton University
Position
  • Professor
September 1996 - January 2005
August 1991 - July 1996
University of Michigan

Publications

Publications (441)
Article
High-speed programmable switches have emerged as a promising building block for developing performant data-plane applications. In this paper, we argue that the resource constraints and programming model of hardware switches have led to developers adopting problematic design patterns, whose security implications are not widely understood. We bridge...
Article
Full-text available
Caching is at the core of most modern communication systems, where caches are used to store content and traffic classification rules. While network components can leverage caching in a cooperative manner, one important aspect of such systems concerns possible dependencies among stored items. A major use case of such dependencies appears in rule pla...
Preprint
Full-text available
High-speed programmable switches have emerged as a promising building block for developing performant data-plane applications. In this paper, we argue that the resource constraints and programming model in hardware switches has led to developers adopting problematic design patterns, whose security implications are not widely understood. We bridge t...
Article
Refraction networking is a promising censorship circumvention technique in which a participating router along the path to an innocuous destination deflects traffic to a covert site that is otherwise blocked by the censor. However, refraction networking faces major practical challenges due to performance issues and various attacks (e.g., routing-aro...
Preprint
Full-text available
Programmable switch hardware makes it possible to move fine-grained control logic inside the network data plane, improving performance for a wide range of applications. However, applications with integrated control are inherently hard to write in existing data-plane programming languages such as P4. This paper presents Lucid, a language that raises...
Article
Application-layer and network-layer defenses are critical for fortifying routing attacks.
Article
There is now a significant and growing functional gap between the public Internet, whose basic architecture has remained unchanged for several decades, and a new generation of more sophisticated private networks. To address this increasing divergence of functionality and overcome the Internet's architectural stagnation, we argue for the creation of...
Article
Many promising networking research ideas in programmable networks never see the light of day. Yet, deploying research prototypes in production networks can help validate research ideas, improve them with faster feedback, uncover new research questions, and also ease the subsequent transition to practice. In this paper, we show how researchers can r...
Article
Networks play a central role in cyber-security: networks deliver security attacks, suffer from them, defend against them, and sometimes even cause them. This article is a concise tutorial on the large subject of networks and security, written for all those interested in networking, whether their specialty is security or not. To achieve this goal, w...
Article
Middleboxes are crucial for improving network security and performance, but only if the right traffic goes through the right middleboxes at the right time. Existing traffic-steering techniques rely on a central controller to install fine-grained forwarding rules in network elements—at the expense of a large number of rules, a central point of fai...
Article
Controlling an opaque system by reading some "dials" and setting some "knobs," without really knowing what they do, is a hazardous and fruitless endeavor, particularly at scale. What we need are transparent networks, that start at the top with a high-level intent and map all the way down, through the control plane to the data plane. If we can speci...
Preprint
The trustworthiness of modern networked services is too important to leave to chance. We need to design these services with specific properties in mind, and verify that the properties hold. In this paper, we argue that a compositional network architecture, based on a notion of layering where each layer is its own complete network customized for a s...
Article
We present Elmo, a system that addresses the multicast scalability problem in multi-tenant datacenters. Modern cloud applications frequently exhibit one-to-many communication patterns and, at the same time, require sub-millisecond latencies and high throughput. IP multicast can achieve these requirements but has control- and data-plane scalability...
Preprint
In this paper, we develop a method to create a large, labeled dataset of visible network device vendors across the Internet by mapping network-visible IP addresses to device vendors. We use Internet-wide scanning, banner grabs of network-visible devices across the IPv4 address space, and clustering techniques to assign labels to more than 160,000 d...
Preprint
Recent advances in programmable switch hardware offer a fresh opportunity to protect user privacy. This paper presents PINOT, a lightweight in-network anonymity solution that runs at line rate within the memory and processing constraints of hardware switches. PINOT encrypts a client's IPv4 address with an efficient encryption scheme to hide the add...
Preprint
Attacks on Internet routing are typically viewed through the lens of availability and confidentiality, assuming an adversary that either discards traffic or performs eavesdropping. Yet, a strategic adversary can use routing attacks to compromise the security of critical Internet applications like Tor, certificate authorities, and the bitcoin networ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Networks play a central role in cyber-security: networks deliver security attacks, suffer from them, defend against them, and sometimes even cause them. This article is a concise tutorial on the large subject of networks and security, written for all those interested in networking, whether their specialty is security or not. To achieve this goal, w...
Conference Paper
Short-lived surges in traffic can cause periods of high queue utilization, leading to packet loss and delay. To diagnose and alleviate performance problems, networks need support for real-time, fine-grained queue measurement. By identifying the flows that contribute significantly to queue build-up directly in the data plane, switches can make targe...
Preprint
Network performance problems are notoriously difficult to diagnose. Prior profiling systems collect performance statistics by keeping information about each network flow, but maintaining per-flow state is not scalable on resource-constrained NIC and switch hardware. Instead, we propose sketch-based performance monitoring using memory that is sublin...
Article
It's been 15 years since what we now call Software Defined Network began emerging out of a set of ideas in the networking research community. This editorial note traces how the ideas in one particular paper from that time have evolved and found practical applications.
Article
Creating a better Internet---a global communications infrastructure that is more secure, reliable, performant, flexible, and so on---is one of the grand challenges of our time. Yet, making substantive change to such a large, distributed, operational network is inherently difficult. This position paper argues that the networking research community s...
Conference Paper
The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is the primary routing protocol for the Internet backbone, yet it lacks adequate security mechanisms. While simple BGP hijack attacks only involve an adversary hijacking Internet traffic destined to a victim, more complex and challenging interception attacks require that adversary intercept a victim's traffic and f...
Conference Paper
We present Elmo, a system that addresses the multicast scalability problem in multi-tenant datacenters. Modern cloud applications frequently exhibit one-to-many communication patterns and, at the same time, require sub-millisecond latencies and high throughput. IP multicast can achieve these requirements but has control- and data-plane scalability...
Article
The cloud and telecommunications industry is in the midst of a transition towards the edge. There is a tremendous opportunity for the research community to influence this transformation, but doing so requires understanding industry momentum, and making a concerted effort to align with that momentum. We believe there are three keys to doing this: (1...
Preprint
In 2015, the CCC co-sponsored an industry round table that produced the document "The Future of Computing Research: Industry-Academic Collaborations". Since then, several important trends in computing research have emerged, and this document considers how those trends impact the interaction between academia and industry in computing fields. We reac...
Article
IN 1992, THE explosive growth of the World Wide Web began. The architecture of the Internet was commonly described as having four layers above the physical media, each providing a distinct function: a “link” layer providing local packet delivery over heterogeneous physical networks, a “network” layer providing best-effort global packet delivery acr...
Preprint
We present Contra, a system for performance-aware routing that can adapt to traffic changes at hardware speeds. While existing work has developed point solutions for performance-aware routing on a fixed topology (e.g., a Fattree) with a fixed routing policy (e.g., use least utilized paths), Contra can be configured to operate seamlessly over any ne...
Article
Full-text available
Traffic splitting is essential for load balancing over multiple servers, middleboxes, and paths. Often the target traffic distribution is not uniform (e.g., due to heterogeneous servers or path capacities). A natural approach is to implement traffic split in existing rule matching tables in commodity switches. In this paper we conduct an analytical...
Conference Paper
Short-lived traffic surges, known as microbursts, can cause periods of unexpectedly high packet delay and loss on a link. Today, preventing microbursts requires deploying switches with larger packet buffers (incurring higher cost) or running the network at low utilization (sacrificing efficiency). Instead, we argue that switches should detect micro...
Conference Paper
Managing and securing networks requires collecting and analyzing network traffic data in real time. Existing telemetry systems do not allow operators to express the range of queries needed to perform management or scale to large traffic volumes and rates. We present Sonata, an expressive and scalable telemetry system that coordinates joint collecti...
Conference Paper
The proliferation of networked devices, systems, and applications that we depend on every day makes managing networks more important than ever. The increasing security, availability, and performance demands of these applications suggest that these increasingly difficult network management problems be solved in real time, across a complex web of int...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Traffic splitting is essential for load balancing over multiple servers, middleboxes, and paths. Often the target traffic distribution is not uniform (e.g., due to heterogeneous servers or path capacities). A natural approach is to implement traffic split in existing rule matching tables in commodity switches. In this paper we suggest an analytical...
Conference Paper
While the growth of the Internet has fostered more efficient communications around the world, there is a large digital divide between Western countries and the rest of the world. Countries such as Brazil, China, and Saudi Arabia have questioned and criticized America's Internet hegemony. This paper studies the extent to which various countries rely...
Article
Major cloud providers offer networks of virtual machines with private IP addresses as a service on the cloud. To isolate the address space of different customers, customers are required to tunnel their traffic to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) gateway, which is typically a middlebox inside the cloud that internally tunnels each packet to the corre...
Conference Paper
Many network monitoring tasks identify subsets of traffic that stand out, e.g., top-k flows for a particular statistic. A Protocol Independent Switch Architecture (PISA) switch can identify these "heavy hitter" flows directly in the data plane, by aggregating traffic statistics across packets and comparing against a threshold. However, network oper...
Article
Modern networks run "middleboxes" that offer services ranging from network address translation and server load balancing to firewalls, encryption, and compression. In an industry trend known as Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), these middleboxes run as virtual machines on any commodity server, and the switches steer traffic through the releva...
Conference Paper
Congestion control in multi-tenant data centers is an active area of research because of its significant impact on customer experience, and, consequently, on revenue. Therefore, new algorithms and protocols are expected to emerge as the Cloud evolves. Deploying new congestion control algorithms in the end host's hypervisor allows frequent updates,...
Conference Paper
Most datacenters still use Equal Cost Multi-Path (ECMP), which performs congestion-oblivious hashing of flows over multiple paths, leading to an uneven distribution of traffic. Alternatives to ECMP come with deployment challenges, as they require either changing the tenant VM network stacks (e.g., MPTCP) or replacing all of the switches (e.g., CONG...
Article
As publishers increasingly use Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) to distribute content across geographically diverse networks, CDNs themselves are becoming unwitting targets of requests for both access to user data and content takedown. From copyright infringement to moderation of online speech, CDNs have found themselves at the forefront of man...
Article
The proliferation of networked devices, systems, and applications that we depend on every day makes managing networks more important than ever. The increasing security, availability, and performance demands of these applications suggest that these increasingly difficult network management problems be solved in real time, across a complex web of int...
Conference Paper
Middleboxes are crucial for improving network security and performance, but only if the right traffic goes through the right middleboxes at the right time. Existing traffic-steering techniques rely on a central controller to install fine-grained forwarding rules in network elements---at the expense of a large number of rules, a central point of fai...
Article
Full-text available
Progress in many domains increasingly benefits from our ability to view the systems through a computational lens, i.e., using computational abstractions of the domains; and our ability to acquire, share, integrate, and analyze disparate types of data. These advances would not be possible without the advanced data and computational cyberinfrastructu...
Article
Operating networks depends on collecting and analyzing measurement data. Current technologies do not make it easy to do so, typically because they separate data collection (e.g., packet capture or flow monitoring) from analysis, producing either too much data to answer a general question or too little data to answer a detailed question. In this pap...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Our infrastructure touches the day-today life of each of our fellow citizens, and its health is crucial to the overall competitiveness and prosperity of our country. Unfortunately, the current state of U.S. infrastructure is not good: the American Society of Civil Engineers' latest report on America's infrastructure ranked it at a D+-in need of $3....
Conference Paper
Network devices such as routers and switches forward traffic based on entries in their local forwarding tables. Although these forwarding tables conventionally make decisions based on a packet header field such as a destination address, tagging flows with sets or sequences of attributes and making forwarding decisions based on these attributes can...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Identifying the "heavy hitter" flows or flows with large traffic volumes in the data plane is important for several applications e.g., flow-size aware routing, DoS detection, and traffic engineering. However, measurement in the data plane is constrained by the need for line-rate processing (at 10-100Gb/s) and limited memory in switching hardware. W...
Conference Paper
As P4 and its associated compilers move beyond relative immaturity, there is a need for common evaluation criteria. In this paper, we propose Whippersnapper, a set of benchmarks for P4. Rather than simply selecting a set of representative data-plane programs, the benchmark is designed from first principles, identifying and exploring key features an...
Conference Paper
With more applications moving to the cloud, cloud providers need to diagnose performance problems in a timely manner. Offline processing of logs is slow and inefficient, and instrumenting the end-host network stack would violate the tenants' rights to manage their own virtual machines (VMs). Instead, our system Dapper analyzes TCP performance in re...
Article
Our infrastructure touches the day-to-day life of each of our fellow citizens, and its capabilities, integrity and sustainability are crucial to the overall competitiveness and prosperity of our country. Unfortunately, the current state of U.S. infrastructure is not good: the American Society of Civil Engineers' latest report on America's infrastru...
Article
In enterprise networks, policies (e.g., QoS or security) are often defined based on the categorization of hosts along dimensions, such as the organizational role of the host (faculty versus student) and department (engineering versus sales). While current best practices (virtual local area networks) help when hosts are categorized along a single di...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying the "heavy hitter" flows or flows with large traffic volumes in the dataplane is important for several applications e.g., flow-size aware routing, DoS detection and traffic engineering. However, measurement in the data plane is constrained by the need for line-rate processing (at 10-100Gb/s) and limited memory in switching hardware. We...
Conference Paper
Despite the growing popularity of video streaming over the Internet, problems such as re-buffering and high startup latency continue to plague users. In this paper, we present an end-to-end characterization of Yahoo's video streaming service, analyzing over 500 million video chunks downloaded over a two-week period. We gain unique visibility into t...
Conference Paper
Diagnosing performance problems in networks is important, for example to determine where packets experience high latency or loss. However, existing performance diagnoses are constrained by limited switch mechanisms for measurement. Alternatively, operators use endpoint information indirectly to infer root causes for problematic latency or drops. In...
Conference Paper
Multi-tenant datacenters predominantly use equal-cost multipath (ECMP) routing to distribute traffic over multiple network paths. However, ECMP static hashing causes unequal load-balancing and collisions, leading to low throughput and high latencies. Recently proposed alternatives for load-balancing perform better, but are impractical as they requi...
Article
Full-text available
With more applications moving to the cloud, cloud providers need to diagnose performance problems in a timely manner. Offline processing of logs is slow and inefficient, and instrumenting the end-host network stack would violate the tenants' rights to manage their own virtual machines (VMs). Instead, our Dapper system analyzes TCP performance in re...
Article
Diagnosing performance problems in networks is important, for example to determine where packets experience high latency or loss. However, existing performance diagnoses are constrained by limited switch mechanisms for measurement. Alternatively, operators use endpoint information indirectly to infer root causes for problematic latency or drops. In...
Conference Paper
Early programming languages for software-defined networking (SDN) were built on top of the simple match-action paradigm offered by OpenFlow 1.0. However, emerging hardware and software switches offer much more sophisticated support for persistent state in the data plane, without involving a central controller. Nevertheless, managing stateful, distr...
Conference Paper
An increasing number of countries are passing laws that facilitate the mass surveillance of their citizens. In response, governments and citizens are increasingly paying attention to the countries that their Internet traffic traverses. In some cases, countries are taking extreme steps, such as building new IXPs and encouraging local interconnection...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bulk transfer on the wide-area network (WAN) is a fundamental service to many globally-distributed applications. It is challenging to efficiently utilize expensive WAN bandwidth to achieve short transfer completion time and meet mission-critical deadlines. Advancements in software-defined networking (SDN) and optical hardware make it feasible and b...
Conference Paper
Video streaming, in conjunction with social networks, have given birth to a new traffic pattern over the Internet: transient, localized traffic surges, known as flash crowds. Traditional traffic-engineering methods can hardly cope with these surges, as they are unpredictable by nature. Consequently, networks either have to be overprovisioned, which...
Conference Paper
Hypervisors use software switches to steer packets to and from virtual machines (VMs). These switches frequently need upgrading and customization—to support new protocol headers or encapsulations for tunneling and overlays, to improve measurement and debugging features, and even to add middlebox-like functions. Software switches are typically based...
Article
Control planes for global carrier networks should be programmable (so that new functionality can be easily introduced) and scalable (so they can handle the numerical scale and geographic scope of these networks). Neither traditional control planes nor new SDN-based control planes meet both of these goals. In this paper, we propose a framework for r...
Article
Full-text available
An increasing number of countries are passing laws that facilitate the mass surveillance of Internet traffic. In response, governments and citizens are increasingly paying attention to the countries that their Internet traffic traverses. In some cases, countries are taking extreme steps, such as building new Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), which a...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the growing popularity of video streaming over the Internet, problems such as re-buffering and high startup latency continue to plague users. In this paper, we present an end-to-end characterization of Yahoo's video streaming service, analyzing over 500 million video chunks downloaded over a two-week period. We gain unique visibility into t...