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Measurement for Europe: Training and Research for Internet Communications Science

Final Report Summary - METRICS (Measurement for Europe: Training and Research for Internet Communications Science)

METRICS summary

The METRICS consortium consists of 8 leading European partners from the industry and academia: Aalto University (Finland), Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain), Cambridge University (UK), NEC (Germany), Telefonica (Spain), Universite Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), Ericsson (Finland) and Technical University of Munich (Germany).

The METRICS project aims to study the factors that influence our understanding of the performance of the global Internet. The METRICS project is organized around three main scientific lines of work: (i) Advanced Instrumentation for Future IP Networks. The aim here is to develop new techniques to better instrument future-generation IP networks. (ii) Big Data Analysis in Support of Advanced Network Management and Operation. This work will explore how new data analysis tools can be used to aid network management and develop new services. (iii) APIs and Applications for Advanced Network Monitoring Capabilities. Here, we focus on defining APIs and case studies that make use of the measurement tools and analysis techniques developed in the previous lines of work.

The objectives set for the project in the beginning were all met during the project. Significant scientific advances with respect to the state-of-art have been achieved in all WPs. The results have been documented in the form of scientific publications, software available for the general public and standards contributions.

The training of the students has been extremely versatile. The METRICS project has organized several internal training events during the 4 years (first year boot camp, 2 summer schools, 2 industrial workshops, final seminar). In addition, each student has had his/her own individual set of training events to further enhance their professional capabilities, including taking courses as part of their PhD studies, attending conferences and giving presentations, participating in other training events/online courses and also performing scientific peer reviewing of papers. Finally, almost all students have been making internships at several institutes, universities and private companies, which has enabled the students to establish new contacts and to gain experience from working in different environments than their original hosting institutions.

Main achievements

The main achievements of the project include the following. Most notably, the scientific contributions include 10 journal publications and 36 peer-reviewed conference publications. Among the publications there is one publication in the prestigious IEEE ToN journal (Assessing the Evolution of Google+ in Its First Two Years) and also 2 publications in highly ranked IEEE magazines, one in IEEE Communications Magazine (NATwatcher: Profiling NATs in the Wild ) and one in IEEE Network Magazine (Consolidate IoT Edge Computing with Lightweight Virtualization). Additionally, one paper was accepted in the highly selective ACM SIGCOMM conference 2017 (Who is Fiddling with Prices?: Building and Deploying a Watchdog Service for E-commerce).

The work at NEC on Google advertisement charging of fake views attracted public visibility. Namely, the work was reported in 2015 in the public media in The Guardian, Financial Times (reaction from advertisers), Business Insider, Corriere Della Sera (Italy), El Pais (Spain), O Globo (Brazil), BBC Search Engine Watch, El Comercio (Peru), The Register (UK), The Times (UK) and Europapress.

The standardization efforts have focused on influencing the protocol development work in the IETF. In particular, the METRICS fellows have been actively participating in the work of the roll and 6lo working groups.

Other main achievements include publicly available software. These include the following: tools for MPTCP development, stweeler (a Twitter platform for bot analysis), $sheriff (profile based price discrimination detection tool for browsers) and eyeWnder (a real-time web advertisement analyzer for browsers).

Impact of the research

The impact of the project has been significant. As a result, the network has trained a highly skilled group of talented researchers and engineers to an almost-ready state with respect to their PhD studies; all students estimate to be within 50%-70% completion of their studies at the end of the project. The education of qualified engineers is itself an important achievement and benefits the competitiveness of the ICT sector of the European Union. The results of the project have been disseminated to the research community and the industry through numerous presentations of the students at various conferences and other events. Finally, significant transfer of knowledge has been also attained through the internships carried out by the students through the interaction of the students with the people at the hosting companies and universities.

More information

For more information, please visit the project's website: