The 31st IASTED International Conference on
Modelling, Identification, and Control
MIC 2011

February 14 – 16, 2011
Innsbruck, Austria


The Internet: A difficult beast to control?

Prof. Vic Grout
Glyndwr University, United Kingdom


We all know that the Internet is a large and complex thing, but that's not really a problem, is it? Our textbooks are awash with mathematical techniques to model and simulate networks and algorithms to control and optimize them. Surely it's just a question of ‘scaling up'?
Well, the problem with managing the Internet is not so much its size as the complex way in which it operates. Simple models produce simple, and inaccurate, results. Textbook algorithms provide textbook solutions – not real-world ones.
This talk (unofficially subtitled a rambling – and probably confused – collection of thoughts from 25 years' research into network algorithms) will use some typical examples of the need for control and optimization in the Internet to compare theory and practice. Sometimes the textbook solution works, but sometimes it doesn't; what then?