John S. Baras


Prof. Baras delivers an Invited Talk at Inter-Perf 2008

This talk was focussed on developing a unifying analytical and optimization framework for the design, operation and performance evaluation of networks of autonomous agents. The fundamental view is that agents in such a network are dynamic entities that collaborate because via collaboration they can accomplish objectives and goals much better than working alone, or even accomplish objectives that they cannot achieve alone at all. Yet the benefits derived from such collaboration require some costs (or expenditures), for example due to communications. Or in equivalent terms, the collaboration is subject to constraints (could also be dynamic). Understanding and quantifying this trade-off between the benefits vs the costs of collaboration, leads to new methods that can be used to analyze, design and control/operate networks of agents. Multiple metrics for benefits and costs can be considered within this framework. Results on the significant effects of network topology on performance were presented. In all cases distributed and partially asynchronous algorithms and solutions using local information were emphasized.

Event Info:
Date: October 24, 2008
Paper Title: Constrained Coalitional Games and Networks for Autonomous Agents
Place: Athens, Greece

Dr. John Baras delivers an Invited Talk at the 46th Annual Allerton Conference

A network user’s decision to start and continue using security products is based on economic considerations. The cost of a security compromise (e.g. worm infection) is compared against the cost of deploying and maintaining a sufficient level of security. These costs are not necessarily the real ones, but rather the perceived costs, which depend on the amount of information available to a user at each time. Moreover, the costs (whether real or perceived) depend on the decisions of other users, too: The probability of a user getting infected depends on the security deployed by all the other users. In this talk, we combine an epidemic model for malware propagation in a network with a game theoretic model of the users’ decisions to deploy security or not. Users can dynamically change their decision in order to maximize their currently perceived utility. We study the equilibrium points, and their dependence on various learning processes that the users can follow.

Event Info:
Date: September 24, 2008
Paper Title: Dynamic Network Security Deployment Under Partial Information
Place: Monticello, Illinois

Baras Delivers Keynote Address at MobiCom 2008

Professor John Baras delivered the plenary keynote address at the 14th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom 2008), held in San Francisco, California, on September 16, 2008. The MobiCom conference series serves as the premier international forum addressing networks, systems, algorithms, and applications that support the symbiosis of mobile computers and wireless networks. MobiCom is a highly selective conference focusing on all issues in mobile computing and wireless and mobile networking at the link layer and above. The title of his lecture was “Multi-hop Mobile Wireless Network Design: Implicit Cross-Layer Loss Models and Performance Sensitivities”. Dr. Baras was honored for his new and pioneering research results towards systematic, model-based design of mobile wireless networks to meet performance specifications.

Event Info:
Date: September 16, 2008
Paper Title: Multi-hop Mobile Wireless Network Design: Implicit Cross-Layer Loss Models and Performance Sensitivities
Place: San Francisco, California


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