| in Faculty, Features

Boston University Prof. Mark Crovella, professor of computer science in the College of Arts & Sciences, has been awarded a $450,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. Working with two graduate students, Crovella will use the funds to study ways of simplifying the graphs that are used to describe and understand complex networks.

Many important problems in computer networking depend on the observed properties of network graphs—graphs obtained by measuring the behavior of networks such as routers, wireless nodes, and even social relationships. Unfortunately, despite the explosion of detailed data now available, such graphs are still poorly understood, in part because of the difficulty of displaying complex, or “high-dimensional,” data such as that found in complex networks. Crovella and his team aim to use hyperbolic geometry to create graphs that are simpler. They hope to create software tools that will facilitate others’ research involving networks, and to develop new methods for routing that can be used in creating networks.

Crovella’s research interests are in performance evaluation, focusing on parallel and networked computer systems. In the networking arena, he has worked on characterizing the Internet and the World Wide Web. He has also investigated the implications of Web workloads for the design of scalable and cost-effective Web servers. Crovella is co-author of Internet Measurement: Infrastructure, Traffic, and Applications (Wiley Press, 2006) and is the author of over one hundred papers on networking and computer systems.

Crovella joined the BU faculty in 1994. During 2003-2004, he was a visiting associate professor at the Laboratoire d’Infomatique de Paris VI (LIP6). He received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He received his PhD in computer science from the University of Rochester. From 1984 to 1994, he worked at Calspan Corporation in Buffalo, NY, eventually as a senior computer scientist.

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