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Calling all Coders: SDSC’s CAIDA Internet Group to Hold Inaugural Hackathon

Teams will Model, Measure, and Monitor Internet Infrastructure

Researchers and students from various institutions around the world are invited to participate in a “hackathon” hosted by the Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), and jointly organized with other universities and institutions. The goal is to promote the development of tools used to model, measure, and monitor the routing infrastructure of the global Internet for both operational and research objectives.

The focus of the inaugural event, to be held February 6-7, 2016 at SDSC, an Organized Research Unit of the University of California, San Diego, is live Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) measurements and monitoring. BGP is the de-facto standard inter-domain routing protocol for the Internet; in effect its central nervous system. Its primary function is to exchange reachability information among Autonomous Systems (networks administered by different organizations) within the Internet.

An application to participate in the CAIDA’s BGP Hackathon is now available. Applications will be accepted up until one week before the event or until capacity is reached. There is no application or participation fee but, due to limited availability, application does not guarantee participation. The deadline to apply for travel reimbursement is December 22, 2015.

A hackathon is a social event that brings computer programmers together, typically for more than one day, to intensively collaborate to create or improve a software code base. CAIDA’s BGP Hackathon is scheduled just before NANOG 66 in San Diego on February 8-10, and precedes CAIDA’s annual AIMS (Active Internet Measurements) workshop, to be held at SDSC February 10-12. The organizers hope to attract attendees who are already planning to be in San Diego for the NANOG meeting, and vice versa. NANOG is a professional association for those involved in Internet engineering and operations.

Teams and Challenges

The BGP Hackathon will be structured so each team of two to four participants will focus on a specific software development challenge. The hackathon’s program committee developed a set of candidate hackathon projects, but participants may propose totally new challenges or modify existing ones. The set of potential challenges is listed on the Hackathon Wiki (click here), and will continuously evolve in the days preceding the event. At the end of the hackathon on February 7, participants will make short presentations to a jury, followed by a reception to announce the winning teams. Full details are here.

The organizing institutions and sponsors will provide participating teams with access to data sources and a toolbox that includes live streaming of BGP data, the new BGPMon interface, BGP processing tools and APIs such as the opensource BGPStream software framework, the PEERING testbed, RIPE RIS, visualization tools, and data-plane active measurement platforms such as CAIDA Ark and RIPE Atlas.

“Participating teams will work on challenges that extend, integrate, and demonstrate the utility of existing platforms and data for understanding or solving a range of practical problems,” said Alberto Dainotti, a research scientist with CAIDA and leading organizer of the event. “Outcomes will include software support for tasks such as detecting BGP prefix hijacking, evaluating ‘anycast’ performance, or effectively visualizing phenomena.”

CAIDA’s BGP Hackathon is sponsored by industry, professional organizations, and government agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Google (NetOPs and Open Source Research Groups), Comcast, the Internet Society (ISOC), and ACM SIGCOMM. Additional co-organizers include Colorado State University, the University of Southern California, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil), RouteViews, RIPE NCC, and FORTH.

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