ACM SIGCOMM 2021, virtually (online)

ACM SIGCOMM 2021 Workshop on Network-Application Integration (NAI 2021)

Call for Papers

The Internet was designed and launched 50 years ago to satisfy yet unforeseen applications. The Internet's adaptation and scalability have been proved remarkably successful over the years. Today, more than 4 billion users (half of the global population) and 20 billion devices are online — the exponential growth of the connected people and devices are expected to continue over the next years.

However, the general-purpose and best-effort model of the Internet continues to be challenged with an ever-growing demand for more complex applications with stricter application-specific requirements. How can we deliver 4k videos to everybody (including the rest 4 billion people)? How can we ensure ultra-low latency for applications such as self-driving cars and cloud gaming? How do we support high-bandwidth, low latency applications such as AR, VR, and holographic communications? How can we guarantee 100% service availability? How can we enable innovation at the edges for the next wave of 5G and IoT applications? How do applications adapt when the underlying infrastructure cannot provide the services?

Network-Application Integration (NAI) can push the boundaries of what can be achieved. The maturing of NAI protocols such as ALTO, the real deployment and benefits of large-scale NAI systems such as the recently reported Flow Director system, and potential NAI solutions made possible by the emergence and rapid development of new, flexible networking technologies such as APN6, PAN, P4, NPL, INT, and SmartNIC, all make NAI an exciting field for exploration by the core networking community.

In this workshop, we search for contributions to the design principles and real implementations of systems that enable network-application co-design. We will focus on realistic NAI designs, implementations and experiences, and explore both sides of NAI: application-aware networking (AAN) and network-aware application (NAA). Keynotes and a panel will be included to complement more traditional paper sessions, to set the research agenda, debate the issues, and share the most recent progress.

Topics of Interest

  • Network abstraction models (e.g., resource, state)
  • Exposure of network information and control interfaces
  • Data collection (e.g., measurement) for network abstraction
  • Coordination of information and decisions across multiple domains (regions and technology layers)
  • Data processing techniques to generate network abstraction (e.g., low level, filtering)
  • Data distribution techniques (i.e., how, when and where to make data available for processing/analysis) for real-time network information exposure
  • Validation of network abstractions (e.g., conforming to model)
  • Privacy analysis of exposing network and application information
  • Economical/game-theoretical analysis of network information/service exposure
  • Stability design and analysis of application-network control loop
  • Optimality design and analysis of application-network control loop
  • Condition management and conflict resolution in complex closed-loop systems
  • Control with multiple dimensional constraints (privacy, policy, beyond networking)
  • Co-design for specialized apps (e.g., video, ML, IoT)
  • Integrating learning and big data analytics (e.g., wide area, application and user)
  • Experience and deployment of application-network co-design and integration
  • Application adaptation to network information/service models

Submission Instructions

Submissions must be original, unpublished work, and not under consideration at another conference or journal. Submitted papers must be at most six (6) pages long, including all figures, tables, references, and appendices in two-column 10pt ACM format. We also encourage industrial demos for which a two-page extended abstract must be submitted in the same format as the workshop papers. Papers and extended abstracts must include author names and affiliations for single-blind peer reviewing by the PC. Authors of accepted submissions are expected to present and discuss their work at the workshop.

Please submit your paper via

Important Dates

  • May 21 May 26 May 31, 2021

    Submission deadline

  • June 9 June 16, 2021

    Acceptance notification

  • June 30, 2021

    Camera-ready deadline

  • August 23, 2021

    Workshop day


  • Steering Committee
  • Georgios Smaragdakis

    TU Berlin

  • Yang Richard Yang


  • Program Co-Chairs
  • Kai Gao

    Sichuan University

  • Sabine Randriamasy


  • Qin Wu


  • Industry Chair
  • Luis M. Contreras


  • Publicity Chair
  • Qiao Xiang

    Xiamen University

  • Program Committee
  • Maria Apostolaki


  • Mohamed Boucadair


  • Luis M. Contreras


  • Yong Cui

    Tsinghua University

  • Adrian Farrel

    Old Dog Consulting

  • Kai Gao

    Sichuan University

  • Vijay Gurbani

    Illinois Institute of Technology / Vail Systems

  • Jianfei He

    City University of Hong Kong

  • Junchen Jiang

    University of Chicago

  • Gang Li

    China Mobile

  • Zhenbin Li


  • Daniel King

    Lancaster University

  • Börje Ohlman


  • Sabine Randriamasy


  • Christian Esteve Rothenberg

    University of Campinas

  • Jan Seedorf

    HFT Stuttgart

  • Georgios Smaragdakis

    TU Berlin

  • Qin Wu


  • Qiao Xiang

    Xiamen University

  • Chunshan Xiong


  • Richard Yang

    Yale University