ACM SIGCOMM 2021, virtually (online)

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

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Workshop program

  • Monday, August 23, 2021 EDT

  • 10:00 - 10:10 am EDT      Opening + Keynote 1

  • 10:00 - 10:10 am EDT

    Opening Remarks

    Speaker(s): Workshop PC Chairs

  • 10:10 - 10:50 am EDT

    Dynamic Network Adaptation (DNA)

    Speaker(s): Jonathan Smith (Olga and Alberico Pompa Professor, UPenn/DARPA Program Manager; Bio)

  • 10:50 am - 12:05 pm EDT      Session 1: Joint Network and Application Control - I

    Session chair: Adrian Farrel (Old Dog Consulting)
  • Wide Area Network Autoscaling for Cloud Applications

    Berta Serracanta Pujol (UPC BarcelonaTech, Cisco), Jordi Paillissé Vilanova, Albert Cabellos-Aparicio (UPC BarcelonaTech), Anna Claiborne (PacketFabric), Alberto Rodriguez-Natal (Cisco), Dave Ward (PacketFabric), and Fabio Maino (Cisco)

  • Socker: Network-application Co-programming with Socket Tracing

    Dong Guo (Tongji University), Shuhe Wang (Tsinghua University), and Y. Richard Yang (Yale University)

  • Toward Stable Interdomain Network-Application Integration

    Qiao Xiang (Xiamen University), Franck Le (Thomas J. Watson Research Center), Jingxuan Zhang (Tongji University), and Y. Richard Yang (Yale University)

  • Towards an API for the Path-Aware Internet

    Thorben Krüger, David Hausheer (OVGU Magdeburg)

  • 12:05 - 12:30 pm EDT Lunch Break

  • 12:30 - 13:15 pm EDT      Keynote 2

  • 12:30 - 13:15 pm EDT

    Application-Defined Networking

    Speaker(s): Amin Vahdat (Engineering Fellow and Vice President of Systems Infrastructure, Google; Bio)

  • 13:15 - 14:05 pm EDT      Session 2: Joint Network and Application Control - II

    Session chair: Sabine Randriamasy (Nokia)
  • Tighter Application-Network Interfacing to Drive Innovation in Networked Systems

    Jetmir Haxhibeqiri, Amina Seferagic, Ramyashree Venkatesh Bhat, Ingrid Moerman, and Jeroen Hoebeke (IDLab, Ghent University, imec)

  • Leveraging In-network Application Awareness

    Nik Sultana (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Towards a Software-Defined, Fine-Grained QoS Framework for 5G and Beyond Networks

    Zhi-Li Zhang, Udhaya Kumar Dayalan, Eman Ramadan, and Timothy Salo (University of Minnesota - Twin Cities)

  • 14:10 - 15:10 pm EDT      Session 3: Application QoE and Network QoS Interaction

    Session chair: Kai Gao (Sichuan University)
  • Characterizing the Relationship Between Application QoE and Network QoS for Real-Time Services

    Giovanna Carofiglio, Giulio Grassi, Enrico Loparco, Luca Muscariello, Michele Papalini, and Jacques Samain (Cisco Systems Inc.)

  • Do Larger (More Accurate) Deep Neural Network Models Help in Edge-assisted Augmented Reality?

    Jiayi Meng, Zhaoning Kong, Qiang Xu, and Y. Charlie Hu (Purdue University)

  • IntQOE: Integrated End-to-end QoE Optimization for Edge Computing Enabled Web Application

    Jingxuan Zhang (Tongji University)

  • 15:10 - 15:50 pm EDT      Session 4: Network Modeling and Abstractions for Applications

    Session chair: Qiao Xiang (Xiamen University)
  • NetGraph: An Intelligent Operated Digital Twin Platform for Data Center Networks

    Hanshu Hong, Qin Wu, Feng Dong, Wei Song, Ronghua Sun, Tao Han (Huawei Technologies), Cheng Zhou, and Hongwei Yang (China Mobile)

  • Learning ALTO Maps from Internet Measurement: How Far are We from Practical?

    Kai Gao (Sichuan University)

  • 15:50 - 16:50 pm EDT      Panel: Key Trends, Opportunities, and Challenges in Application-Network Collaboration/Co-design

  • 15:50 - 16:50 pm EDT

    Panel chair: Luis Miguel Contreras Murillo (Telefonica)

    Panelists: Richard Alimi (Google), Yixue Lei (Tencent), Håkon Lønsethagen (Telenor), Qin Wu (Huawei Technologies), and Zhi-Li Zhang (University of Minnesota - Twin Cities); Bios of the Panelists

  • 16:50 - 17:00 pm EDT      Closing Remarks

  • 16:50 - 17:00 pm EDT

    Closing Remarks

    Speaker(s): Workshop PC chairs

Program Highlights

Keynote talk: Dynamic Network Adaptation (DNA)

Jonathan Smith (Olga and Alberico Pompa Professor, UPenn/DARPA Program Manager)

Jonathan Smith joined DARPA as a Program Manager in September 2017 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he is a professor of computer and information science and the Olga and Alberico Pompa Professor of Engineering and Applied Science. He will return to U. Penn in September 2021.
His long-term objective is the creation of useful distributed computing systems. In research, he developed new protocol design paradigms in the “Protocol Boosters” project, and led the SwitchWare active networking effort, centered on the design of secure, high-performance programmable network infrastructures, based on a “Store-Translate-and-Forward” packet-switching model. As a DARPA program manager, he seeks to develop and execute programs in cybersecurity, networking, and distributed computing. He has led the development and execution of multiple programs including Situation Aware Protocols In Edge Network Technologies (SAPIENT), Adaptive Cognition Enhanced Radio Teams (ACERT), Brood of Spectrum Supremacy (BOSS), Dispersed Computing, Edge-Directed Cyber Technologies for Reliable Mission Communication (EdgeCT), Fast Network Interface Cards (FastNICs), Open, Programmable, Secure 5G (OPS-5G), and Extreme DDoS Defense (XD3). His work at DARPA was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service in August 2006.
He joined the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 from Bell Communications Research, where he was a member of the technical staff, a position he also held at Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Keynote talk: Application-Defined Networking

Amin Vahdat (Engineering Fellow and Vice President of Systems Infrastructure, Google)

Amin Vahdat is an Engineering Fellow and Vice President for Systems Infrastructure at Google, where his team is responsible for Compute (Google Compute Engine, Borg/Cluster Scheduling, Operating Systems and Kernel), Platforms (TPUs, Accelerators, Servers, Storage, and Networking), and Network Infrastructure (Datacenter, Campus, RPC, and End Host network software). Until 2019, he was the Area Technical Lead for networking at Google, responsible for Google's Technical Infrastructure roadmap in collaboration with peers in Compute, Storage, and Hardware. Vahdat is active in Computer Science research, with more than 41,000 citations to over 200 refereed publications across cloud infrastructure, software defined networking, data consistency, operating systems, storage systems, data center architecture, and optical networking.
In the past, he was the SAIC Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego and the Director of UCSD’s Center for Networked Systems. Vahdat received his PhD from UC Berkeley in Computer Science, is an ACM Fellow and a past recipient of the NSF CAREER award, UC Berkeley Distinguished EECS Alumni Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and the Duke University David and Janet Vaughn Teaching Award. Most recently, Amin was awarded the SIGCOMM lifetime achievement award for his groundbreaking contributions to data center and wide area networks.

Richard Alimi (Google)

Rich joined Google after completing his Ph. D at Yale University in Computer Science in 2010. He spent 8 years in Bandwidth SRE, working on productionizing and expanding our admission control and traffic engineering systems. Along the way, Rich helped form an SRE team to help grow Google’s software defined networking capabilities, then expanded into network reliability strategy. Rich is an Uber Tech Lead within Core Networking SRE, the SRE organization responsible for Google’s production network.

Yixue Lei (Tencent)

Yixue has been working in wireless technologies area after completing his Ph. D at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT) in 2007. After joined Tencent, his research focuses on application and network interaction & integration over heterogeneous wired & wireless networks. Yixue has been contributing to 4G/5G standardization in 3GPP continuously for 14 years and as the rapporteur of 3GPP Rel-17 work item 5G_AIS, he leads and complete this work item in June 2021 which targets 5G system enhancements for advanced interactive services(AIS) including cloud gaming, XR and tele-operated driving etc. Yixue is responsible for standard research team within Tencent Future Network Lab which is working on 5G-related product development, service rollout and also global standards in IETF, 3GPP, ITU etc.

Håkon Lonsethagen (Telenor)

Mr. Håkon Lønsethagen is a Senior Research Scientist at Telenor Research. Since 1990 he has been working with telecom network and service management, orchestration, and control, including systems integration and distributed systems frameworks, architectures, and middleware. Over the last years his activities have addressed inter-provider network services and business models, Internet evolution, lately including SDN, NFV and 5G technologies and ecosystems. This includes curiosity to discover and analyse dependencies between technical architecture, business architecture and multi-provider ecosystem platforms. He is currently engaged with the European 5G PPP, and member of 5G Infrastructure Association and NetworldEurope Steering Boards.

Qin Wu (Huawei)

Qin Wu joined Huawei after completing his Ph.D at Nanjing Science&Technology University in Control Theory and Engineering in 2006. He is a Lead Member of Technical Staff in Huawei's Data Communication Network Management Architecture and Design Business Group and currently a network management architect for Huawei's Carrier and Enterprise Network and manage Huawei's industry standards strategy across the company for Network Management Automation and Data Modeling technologies. He is active in IETF and was cochair of L3SM Working Group,L2SM Working Group in OPS area, currently chair ALTO Working Group, has over 15 years of experience on network design, working on network automation and YANG, performance measurement, coauthor of over 49 RFCs spanning six IETF Areas (OPS, SEC, RTG, TSV, RAI, and INT).

Zhi-Li Zhang (University of Minnesota)

Zhi-Li Zhang received Ph.D. degree in computer science from the University of Massachusetts. He joined the faculty of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota in 1997, where he is currently the McKnight Distinguished University Professor and Qwest Chair Professor in Telecommunications. He currently also serves as the Associate Director for Research at the Digital Technology Center, University of Minnesota. Prof. Zhang's research interests lie broadly in computer and communication networks, Internet technology, multimedia systems and content distribution networks, cyber-physical systems and Internet-of-Things, and (applied) machine learning and data mining. Prof. Zhang has published more than 100 journal and conference/workshop papers, many of them in top venues in networking and related fields. He is co-recipient of several Best Papers awards including IEEE INFOCOM, ICNP and ACM SIGMETRI.CS Prof. Zhang has chaired the program committees of several major conferences in networking including IEEE INFOCOM, ACM SIGMETRICS, IEEE ICNP and ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC), and served on the Editorial Board of several journals such as IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, ACM TOMPECS, and PACM MACS. He is a Fellow of IEEE.

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 (chair)

    TU Berlin

  • Yang Richard Yang (chair)


  • 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