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[Colloquium] BAR Protocols for MAD Services

October 29, 2010

Watch Colloquium: 

M4V file (647 MB)


  • Date: Friday, October 29, 2010 
  • Time: 12noon — 12:50 pm 
  • Place: Centennial Engineering Center, Room 1041

Mike Dahlin 
Professor, Department of Computer Science University of Texas at Austin

MAD services, spanning Multiple Administrative Domains, coordinate machines controlled by different organizations to provide a desired service. Examples includelude peer-to-peer systems, Internet routing, and cloud storage. MAD services require machines to cooperate and rely on each other. However, some machines may crash or malfunction; some software may be buggy or misconfigured; and some users may be selfish or even malicious. How do we build distributed services that work when no node has an a priori guarantee that any of the ofther nodes will follow the protocol?

In this talk we examine Byzantine Altruistic Rational (BAR) protocols. To meet the needs of MAD environments, BAR protocols draw from distributed systems and game theory to tolerate both *Byzantine* behaviors when broken, misconfigured, or malicious nodes arbitrarily deviate from their specialized protocol to increase their own utility. In this talk, we first argue BAR is the right model for constructing MAD services. Then, we explore the challenges of constructing such protocols by examining several case study services. Finally, we identify several limitations and open research questions.

Bio: Mike Dahlin’s research interests include Internet- and large-scale services, fault tolerance, security, operating systems, distributed systems, and file systems. He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1995 under the supervision of professors Tom Anderson and Dave Patterson, and he joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin in 1996. He received the NSF CAREER award in 1998, received the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship interest 2000, and held a departmental Faculty Fellowship in Computer Science interest 1999-2002 and 2004-2007. Professor Dahlin has published over 50 scholarly works, including three award papers at SOSP, two at WWW, and one at each of USENIX, SASO, and WCW.