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Stanford University Networking Seminar

Nate Foster (Cornell / Barefoot Networks)
Software Synthesis for Networks

12:15pm, Thursday, December 8 2017
Gates 104

About the Talk

Software synthesis is a powerful technique that can dramatically increase the productivity of programmers by automating the construction of complex code. One area where synthesis seems particularly promising is in computer networks. Although SDN architectures make it possible to build rich applications in software, programmers today are forced to deal with numerous low-level details such as encoding high-level policies using low-level hardware primitives, processing asynchronous events, dealing with unexpected failures, etc.

This talk will present highlights from recent work using synthesis to generate correct-by-construction network programs. In the first part of the talk, I will describe an approach for generating configuration updates that are guaranteed to preserve specified invariants. In the second part of the talk, I will present an extension that supports finer-grained updates triggered by data-plane events.

Joint work with Pavol Cerny (University of Colorado at Boulder), Jedidiah McClurg (University of Colorado at Boulder), Hossein Hojjat (Rochester Institute of Technology), Andrew Noyes (Google), and Todd Warszawski (Stanford University).

About the Speaker

Nate Foster is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University and a Visiting Researcher at Barefoot Networks. The goal of his research is developing programming languages and tools for building reliable systems. He received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge University in 2008, and a BA in Computer Science from Williams College in 2001. His awards include a Sloan Research Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, a Most Influential POPL Paper Award, a Tien ’72 Teaching Award, a Google Research Award, a Yahoo! Academic Career Enhancement Award, and the Morris and Dorothy Rubinoff Award.