Most hacking during these three months period concentrated on MeasurementKit (mainly pre-release cleanups) and NetworkMeter. This is a rather technical post. But, before entering into the details of the merged pull requests, here's some details for humans. I had a great summer vacation time, spanning three weeks all along August, in my home city (Bordighera) and nearby cities (such as Ventimiglia). Of course I never went to the sea, but spent lots of time with friends and dedicated the nights (after 2:00 AM) to hacking. The following photo shows the harbor of Bordighera from a small nearby hill (and reminds me of one famous picture by Monet also authored in Bordighera).
I have also started contributing to network-meter, a shell for running network measurement tools (e.g. Neubot, OONI) and for visualizing their results. This effort is spearheaded by Poly, a OONI volunteer. Also network-meter is on GitHub under the umbrella of the measurement-kit organization.
Il 23 Aprile scorso ho presentato Neubot durante l'evento Digital Championship di Turin. In effetti io non sono un Digital Champions e originariamente infatti avevano invitato a parlare di Neubot Federico Morando che e' il Digital Champion di Novi Ligure. Tuttavia lui non c'era, cosi' alla fine sono andato io.
Durante la mia presentazione ho descritto la storia di Neubot (il focus sulla neutralita' della rete, gli obiettivi di ricerca) e ho parlato degli obiettivi futuri (misure su mobile, empowerment degli utenti via corsi e altri materiale online, scrittura di esperimenti che tengono conto di cio' che e' importante con gli utenti). Qua di seguito il video, che parte proprio nel momento in cui inizio a parlare:
Non ho preso un voto altissimo, ma a fine manifestazione un po' di persone mi hanno comunque fatto i complimenti per il progetto. E' stato anche interessante lo scambio che ho avuto con Marco Boglione (verso la fine del mio intervento) a proposito di open source e modelli di business.
Osservo come al solito con soddisfazione che il tempo che intercorre tra la decisione di postare sul blog di Neubot e il momento in cui posto e' sempre maggiore di due settimane. Alla prossima!
City of Arts and Sciences (Valencia)—Pictures by me (CC BY 3.0)
NNTools2015. In January we held at Nexa a workshop, called NNTools2015, in which we invited people working on network measurements tools and people working on telecommunication policy to discuss ways to increase joint work by tools developers and within different communities. We are currently working to a paper summarizing up the conclusion of the workshop, which we aim to submit to the Internet Policy Review journal.
CAPS proposal. We are also currently working to submit a CAPS proposal, which will focus on making network measurements more accessible to (and understandable by) people and to incorporate into such tools also measurements that people care about. Among the thing we would like to do, in this respect, there is the idea of preparing an online course explaining (in a pop way, not in the traditional academic way!) what network measurements do and why they matter. The idea to do this came out in a discussion with a brilliant Politecnico di Torino student who attended NNTools2015, Mattia. Below, you find a video of me discussing the concept of our proposal during the Paris CAPS Info Day back in February.
/me speaking at CAPS Info Day (Paris)—Video by Lorenzo (CC BY 3.0)
Neubot server and www. Speaking of Neubot proper, I made some progresses towards deciding the future structure of the software project.
Most of the development work in the last three months focused on libight, a library for running network experiments on the mobile platform developed in cooperation with Arturo Filastò (Tor Project / Hermes Center). This library is developed to implement the mobile applications of Neubot and OONI.
Meanwhile, Alessandro has been working to implement a utp engine for libight. Once libight is stable and the utp engine is merged, the plan is to implement a utp test for Neubot using libight. Probably, given the work to run Neubot tests as independent processes (see below), this will be implementing by packaging an executable linking libight with Neubot.
I was also invited at the 3rd Workshop on Internet Censorship Measurements—organized by Meredith Whittaker of M-Lab and held in New York City the 29-30 October 2014—to discuss issues at the intersection between traffic shaping and Internet censorship.
New York City seen from Central Park—Picture by me (CC BY 3.0)
I have also worked on the draft of the journal paper describing Neubot, integrating changes proposed by Juan Carlos and further polishing and refining the text.
So, here's an update concerning our work on Neubot in the last few months.
I finished editing my doctoral thesis on Neubot, the final version of which was delivered to Politecnico di Torino on July 18, 2014. We are currently working on a journal paper partly based on such thesis. Considering the typical rules of the publication industry, it is safer to publish my thesis on this website only after we're done with the journal paper.
I presented my doctoral thesis in Nexa Wednesday #66 (the discussion was all held in Italian, see below for the video).
After my thesis was complete, @demartin and I spent a lot of time working on the above-mentioned journal paper that, by the way, is codenamed "Neubot, the full story." At the end of the quarter, the paper's draft was complete and we were further revising and polishing it. We look forward to submit it by the end of the year.
Regarding development, I opened two development branches.
In the paper, written by Enrico Zimuel, Simone Basso, Juan Carlos De Martin, and me, we describe NeuViz (Neubot Visualizer), an architecture to analyze and visualize Neubot data to identify cases (to be investigated with more specific tests) in which a protocol seems discriminated.
This wealth of knowledge has been crucial to realize with Enrico Zimuel the Big Dive final project (entitled "Gramsci devoted"), in which we developed in a few days a prototype of a Web visualization tool to explore the network measurement experiments performed by Neubot.
Here are the photos taken during the course and the final presentation:
Within the Big Dive final project I was initially involved in the front-end development of the Web interface. Once I finished the course, in the second work phase on our prototype I studied Twisted, an “event-driven networking engine written in Python”, and implemented the prototype code to create a REST API module to retrieve Neubot data, which can be exploited by other applications, as well as from our Web interface.
As explained in a previous post, the Big Dive experience led to the development of NeuViz, a prototype data processing and visualization framework to explore network measurement experiments, and to the publication entitled "Visualizing Internet-Measurements Data for Research Purposes: the NeuViz Data Visualization Tool", in occasion of the 2013 AICA Congress.
The slides of the Big Dive final project are available on Slide Share.