Presenter: Radia Perlman
Abstract: It would be nice if a participant in a distributed system were in one of two states: working perfectly, or halting. But this is not always true. Compromised systems, or even non-malicious problems (bugs, misconfiguration, hardware problems), can cause a system to continue operating, but doing the wrong things. This talk describes several examples of problems in which a small number (perhaps even one) of malfunctioning trusted participants can disrupt operations, and approaches that will make the system resilient. There is no single approach, because problems are different, which is why looking at several examples is useful.
Radia Perlman is a Fellow at EMC Corporation. Her work has had a major impact on how computer networks work today. Her inventions in network routing makes today’s Internet more robust, scalable, and self-configuring. She designed IS-IS which many ISPs still use as a method of computing routes. Her spanning tree algorithm transformed Ethernet from something that could support just a few hundred nodes within a building to something that can support hundreds of thousands of nodes. More recently, she invented TRILL, a technology that removes the data path restrictions in Ethernet so that data can travel over shortest paths, multiple paths, and use traffic engineering. She has also made major contributions to network security; making networks robust even if some of the components are malicious, DDOS (distributed denial of service) defense, authentication, authorization, and time-based guaranteed expiration of data from storage. As an undergraduate at MIT she developed a version of the educational robotics language LOGO, including special input devices, suitable for very young children (3-5 years old), making her also known as a pianeer of "tangible computing" (creating programs out of physical objects). She is the author of “Interconnections: Bridges, Routers, Switches, and Internetworking Protocols”, and coauthor of “Network Security: Private Communication in a Public World”, both of which are popular textbooks. She holds over 100 issued patents. She has received numerous industry awards including lifetime achievement awards from ACM’s SIGCOMM and Usenix, election to National Academy of Engineering, induction into the Internet Hall of Fame, and an honorary doctorate from KTH (Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden). She has a PhD in computer science from MIT.
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