Alex Afanasyev

Florida International University | School of Computing and Information Sciences

Lecture Information:
  • October 6, 2017
  • 2:00 PM
  • ECS 241
Photo of Alex Afanasyev

Speaker Bio

Alex Afanasyev is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computing and Information Sciences at Florida International University. He received his Ph.D. degree in computer science from UCLA in 2013. His research focus is on the next-generation Internet architecture as part of the Named Data Networking (NDN) project. His research interests include a variety of topics that are vital for the success of NDN, including scalability of name-based routing, auto-configuration, distributed data synchronization, application and network security. He is also leading the development effort of the overall NDN codebase.
His particular interest right now is application of Information-Centric Networking (ICN) to Internet-of-Things (IoT), specifically realizing the vision of IoT where applications securely communicate with and about “things” without being concerned about specific details of the devices/controllers that represent things.


The Internet of Things (IoT) is a vision for interconnecting all of the world’s “things”—from vehicles to diet scales, smart homes, and electrical grids—through a common set of networking technologies. Realizing this vision using a host-to-host communication paradigm, such as that of the Internet Protocol (IP), is challenging in the context of highly heterogeneous, constrained devices that connect intermittently to one or more networks, often using multiple interfaces; communicate within various security regimes; and require both local and global communication capability. Using IP and similar protocols as the narrow waist of interoperability for IoT requires managing data exchange and security in terms that are largely orthogonal to application semantics, while simultaneously needing to minimize resource usage.

In this talk, I will first introduce the Named Data Networking (NDN) architecture proposal that makes information the centerpiece for communication and security. NDN retrieves data chunks using application-defined names, and each chunk carries a crypto signature that binds the name to its content; inherently addressing the root causes of the IoT challenges providing a way to achieve the IoT vision in a more secure, straightforward, and innovation-friendly manner. NDN’s data-centric communication model aligns the network and application semantics, enabling developers to work with “things” and their data directly, and for IoT networks to be deployed and configured easily. Moreover, NDN enables straightforward and robust implementation of security and rendezvous functions, the core of for IoT networks, without strict dependency in cloud connectivity.