December 2, 2009

Lehigh University

Electrical and Computer Engineering Seminar Series

Fall 2009 

Time is of the Essence: Exploiting an Unused Degree of Freedom in Packet Networks

Assistant Professor Negar Kiyavash
Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wednesday, December 2nd

(Refreshments at 3:45pm Packard Lobby)

at 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.,

Packard 466


As the use of network-based services proliferates, it is ever more important to be able to reliably communicate, control and predict the end-to-end performance of distributed applications. Establishing this overall trust requires the use of sophisticated techniques that will not excessively perturb the normal operation of networks.  The talk will present a conceptual framework that exploits packet timings (a.k.a. timing channels) in networks as a way to gather and convey information.  This new approach is information-theoretic in nature and provides (1) a coding theory that enables practical implementation of timing-based communication over networks, and (2) a single-letter characterization of the canonical rate-distortion function of a Poisson process pertaining to networks. These results prove promising in providing fundamental limits of, and practical solutions to, applications such as: communications, functional mapping of distributed systems, traffic analysis, and network security.



Negar Kiyavash is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering (IESE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She received a B.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, in 1999, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, also in Electrical and Computer Engineering, both from UIUC in 2003 and 2006, respectively. From 2006 through 2008, she was a Research Faculty at Department of Computer Science and a Research Scientist at Information Trust Institute both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests are in statistical signal processing and information theory with applications to computer, communication and multimedia security.