December 6–9, 2011
The University of Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan

Panel Session: Interdisciplinary opportunities for networking researchers


Short Description

Over the last 30-40 years, our networking research community has contributed significantly to the development and tremendous success of computer networks in general and of the Internet in particular. However, is this all we can do?

We are experts in networks, in their topological structure and their dynamical properties, in their design and analysis, in algorithms that compute communication paths and that can deliver information under various constraints. With more expertise in this field than other communities.

Over the last 10 years or so, “network science” has emerged as an interdisciplinary research endeavor that uses network abstractions to model diverse complex systems in biology, neuroscience, sociology, economics, manufacturing and in many other disciplines. It is surprising that only a handful of networking researchers are actively working in network science, at least so far as we can tell.

In this panel, we will discuss whether the networking community can play a significant role in intersciplinary research involving networks.

Do we really have the appropriate expertise to pursue such problems? Have we focused so much on computer networks, the Internet or the TCP/IP stack that we have lost our connection with more general network-related concepts? Is it better to stay within the territory of computer networks and attempt to transform that area with our research (for example, re-designing the Internet from scratch)? Are there real research opportunities for our community in the emerging field of network science?

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