Peter Pietzuch


Peter Pietzuch, Imperial College London:
Edge Computing for Lower Latency in Mobile Applications


While the strict separation of networks and applications has dominated the design of Internet and cloud computing systems for the past decades, we recently witness that the boundary between the two becomes blurry. An edge computing model pushes computation into the network fabric itself, which can improve the performance, efficiency and management of applications. In this talk, I describe our work on two examples of edge computing in the context of data centre networking and mobile networks:

In data centres, the performance of distributed "big data" frameworks such as Hadoop, Spark and Stratosphere is frequently limited by network bottlenecks - data is distributed over many servers, which leads to network contention caused by many-to-few, high-bandwidth traffic flows. By executing job-specific aggregation functions on network elements along communication paths, we can alleviate network hotspots at servers, thus improving performance.

The user experience of mobile apps that require Internet backend services depends on the latency of network paths from mobile devices to data centres. This is especially an issue for latency-sensitive apps such as multi-player games and augmented reality applications. By placing parts of the backend service within the mobile network itself and migrating it according to mobility patterns, it becomes possible to achieve consistently low latencies for mobile users.


Peter Pietzuch is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at Imperial College London, leading the Large-scale Distributed Systems (LSDS) group in the Department of Computing. His research focuses on the design and engineering of scalable, reliable and secure large-scale software systems, with a particular interest in data management and networking issues. He has published over sixty research papers in international venues, including USENIX ATC, NSDI, SIGMOD, VLDB, ICDE, ICDCS, Middleware and DEBS. He has co-authored a book on Distributed Event-based Systems published by Springer. Before joining Imperial College, he was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University. He holds PhD and MA degrees from the University of Cambridge. (