NSF Funds Quanta Research at EVL in Support of Optical Networking

Participants: Jason Leigh, Thomas A. DeFanti

URL: http://www.evl.uic.edu/cavern/teranode

Chicago, IL

The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year, $540,000 grant to Jason Leigh and Oliver Yu of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) to develop Quanta - a software system for supporting adaptive Quality-of-Service (QoS) over extremely high-speed optical networks.

Compared to the congested “two-lane highway” commodity network the world relies on today, an emerging optical network, currently in the formative stages of being designed and built on both a national and international scale, will have a proportionate bandwidth capacity of dozens of lanes. The challenge then is to give applications the horsepower and control to race through the lanes.

Getting applications to work optimally on a high-speed optical network will not be as simple as connecting ones computer to the Internet. Today’s protocol stacks and scientific applications will be unable to use the extreme level of bandwidth. The researchers at EVL intend to address this problem with Quanta, by providing scientific applications a high-level way to specify their data delivery requirements (such as bandwidth, latency, jitter, reliability), and then transparently translate them into the appropriate transmission protocol and network QoS services.

Quanta will consist of novel networking protocols designed to handle a wide variety of extremely high bandwidth application traffic flows. Its QoS architecture will allow flexible control of these protocols, and support wire and optical QoS mechanisms such as Generalized Multi Protocol Label / Lambda Switching (GMPLS). This means that distributed scientists will communicate more fluidly, and distributed applications will communicate more quickly and efficiently. Ultimately, both advantages will translate to scientists being able to make discoveries more rapidly.

Email: cavern@evl.uic.edu

Date: November 6, 2001 - November 6, 2003

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