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Stanford University Networking Seminar

Richard Mortier ( University of Nottingham )
Understanding and Control : Owning your Home Network

12:00pm, Thursday November 29, 2012
Gates 104

About the Talk

Does your home network work the way you want it to, every day? Does your parents’? Your neighbours’?

Home networking has become mundane, but it remains one of the most complex domestic technologies that people have to install and manage. In contrast to much work in the space, the Homework project began by explicitly considering the users’ needs rather than blindly reusing existing technology. Properly addressing these needs requires more than just new user interfaces bolted on top of existing infrastructure, having interesting design and implementation implications that go much further down the stack.

In this talk I will give some background to Homework, briefly describe some of the ethnographic work we carried out, and go into the impact this had on our technology design. In doing so I will describe the design and implementation of our Homework Router on Linux using Open vSwitch and NOX, and some of the capabilities we have built using it: putting people into the protocols, providing physically mediated access control, reducing interaction overhead for secure wireless association, and enabling users to implement network policies. I may also reflect briefly on the process of doing work like this that sits at the intersection of HCI and systems/networking.

About the Speaker

Richard Mortier is Horizon Transitional Fellow in Computer Science, and a founding member of the Network Systems Group, at the University of Nottingham. His research focuses on user-centred systems, investigating the challenges that arise when we design and deploy infrastructure technology with which real people must interact. Current projects include exokernels for secure high-performance multiscale computing (Mirage); infrastructure for building a market around privacy-preserving third-party access to personal data (Dataware); and novel personal network services (eg., Signposts). Prior to joining Nottingham he spent two years as a founder of Vipadia Limited designing and building the Clackpoint and Karaka real-time communications services (acquired by Voxeo Corp.), six years as a researcher with Microsoft Research Cambridge, and seven months as a visitor at Sprint ATL, CA. He holds a Ph.D. from the Systems Research Group at the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory, and a B.A. in Mathematics, also from the University of Cambridge. < rmm>