For innovations that improved the efficiency of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) in routing Internet traffic, for laying the groundwork for software-defined networks (SDNs), and for contributions in measuring and engineering IP networks. Press Release
For contributions to network control and management systems.
For models, algorithms, and deployed systems that assure stable and efficient Internet routing without global coordination. The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is the glue that holds the disparate parts of the Internet together. However, the rapid commercialization of the Internet in the last decade has put a significant strain on the interdomain-routing system. Unlike traditional routing protocols, BGP allows the operators of each domain to design policies for selecting paths to reach the Internet's many destinations and deciding which other networks may use these paths. BGP offers significant flexibility in selecting policies, but these policies have (at best) an indirect influence on where the traffic goes. Jennifer Rexford's work has addressed these problems through deep understanding and innovation across Computer Science theory, networking protocols, Internet economics, and ISPs' operational practices. Dr. Rexford's work with Lixin Gao was the first to recognize that business relationships in the Internet have a profound influence on the behavior of the underlying protocols. This work identified simple policy guidelines that ensure the global routing system converges while remaining faithful to the economic incentives of each domain. Dr. Rexford's work with Nick Feamster provided an efficient algorithm for modeling the effects of BGP policy changes on the flow of traffic through a domain. The operators of each domain can use the algorithm to select routing policies that maximize user performance and balance network load. Hence Dr. Rexford's work identified how each domain should constrain its policies to meet the overarching goal of the stability of the Internet, as well as the concrete methods each domain can apply to satisfy its own engineering goals within those constraints.
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Jennifer joined the Computer Science Department at Princeton University in February 2005 after eight and a half years at AT&T Research. Her research focuses on Internet routing, network measurement, and network management, with the larger goal of making data networks easier to design, understand, and manage. Jennifer is co-author of the book Web Protocols and Practice: HTTP/1.1, Networking Protocols, Caching, and Traffic Measurement (Addison-Wesley, May 2001) and co-editor of She's an Engineer? Princeton Alumnae Reflect (Princeton University, 1993, see recent talk about the book). Jennifer served as the chair of ACM SIGCOMM from 2003 to 2007, and has served on the ACM Council, the board of the Computing Research Association, the advisory council of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering directorate at NSF, and the Computing Community Consortium. She received her BSE degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1991, and her MSE and PhD degrees in computer science and electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1993 and 1996, respectively. She was the winner of ACM's Grace Murray Hopper Award for outstanding young computer professional of the year for 2004.