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Welcome to the Network Systems Lab (NSL) at SFU!

We are interested in the broad areas of multimedia networking and multimedia systems. We develop algorithms and protocols to efficiently distribute multimedia content to large-scale user communities over wired and wireless networks. The Network Systems Lab is led by Dr. Mohamed Hefeeda. The NSL lab is located in the TASC1 building, room 8201.

We hold regular group meeting for discussion and brainstorming.

Our current research interests include multimedia networking, mobile multimedia, and cloud computing. Brief description and links to currently active projects are given below.

Multimedia Networking

We are focusing on distributed streaming in dynamic environments and for heterogeneous clients. Our goal is to analyze and understand scalable coding techniques, and to design several optimization and streaming algorithms to make the best possible use of them in real multimedia systems. This will yield better quality for users, and more efficient utilization of network and server resources. We are also designing algorithms to optimize streaming quality for wireless and mobile clients.

Cloud Computing

We are exploring the opportunities of utilizing new architectures such as GPUs, multi-core processors, and distributed clusters (cloud computing) to efficiently solve research problems related to multimedia content analysis, large-scale data analysis, and machine learning techniques. We are also designing novel cloud services, such as Automation as Service.

Peer-to-Peer Systems

We are exploring the applicability of the P2P paradigm to build cost-effective content distribution systems. Problems such as sender selection, adaptive object replication, and content caching are being studied. We are also developing models to analyze the new characteristics of the P2P traffic and the impact of these characteristics on the cache replacement policies and object replication strategies. Furthermore, we are devising analytic models to study the dynamics of the P2P system capacity and the impact of various parameters on it.

Concluded Projects

Online Networked Games

We are designing various algorithms to improve the performance of online games.

Wireless Sensor Networks

We are developing coverage and connectivity maintenance protocols that consider probabilistic (i.e., more realistic) sensing and communication models. We are also designing protocols that provide controllable degrees of coverage (k-coverage).

Network Security

We are exploring network monitoring techniques to detect and thwart intrusion and denial-of-service attacks in their early stages by observing unusual traffic patterns injected by such attacks. We are studying the security of multimedia streaming systems that employ multi-layer and fine-grain scalable video streams.

Online Advertising

Online advertising is a form of promotion that uses the Internet and World Wide Web for advertising a good or service to attract users. Examples of online advertising include contextual ads on search engine results pages,, banner ads, Rich Media Ads.

P2P and Multimedia Systems