Martin Dodge

What is the best way to map the Internet?

My talk will look at the ways people have tried to map the Internet over the last thirty years or so. A huge number of different maps have been produced, with very diverse forms and functions, ranging from simple geographic plans of cable routes to complex real-time 3D visualisations. They have been produced for a number of distinct purposes from planning network deployment, operational management, to prove academic theories, as grad student projects, for market research, for monitoring public policy, for policing and intelligence gathering. And, of course, many have been motivated to map the Internet for no better reason than because it is there! There are many different aspects of the Internet that have been mapped from physical infrastructures, logical layers and protocols, traffic flows, user demographics. The maps cover a range of different scales from LANs up to global scale. Many of these maps are beautiful and many more are really rather ugly. A few are actually quite useful, but many more are not very helpful at all. However, all the maps provide a fascinating picture of what the Internet looks like, or rather they provide fascinating insights into what people think the Internet should look like. I will review a number of the most interesting and useful maps and attempt to answer the question, what is the best way to map the Internet.

Simon Davies

The mother of all surveillance schemes

The UK government has launched two consultations on retention of communications data and access to data. The government's aim appears to be the creation of a comprehensive mandatory regime of data storage that will cover all aspects of location and communication traffic on almost the entire population. These proposals follow a string of initiatives designed to shift the privacy default in favour of law enforcement, revenue and national security. In this talk I will outline the threats and benefits of universal surveillance of communications, and place this assessment into the broader context of the declining state of privacy in Britain. Simon Davies is Director of Privacy International.

Leslie Lamport

High-Level Specifications: Lessons from Industry

The TLA+ specification language and the TLC model checker are described. Experience using them at Compaq/HP and Intel for writing and debugging high-level specifications is described, and lessons are drawn. Many popular fads are found to be irrelevant to high-level specification.

Sean Holden

The Theory of Boosting: A Review

Some time ago, Rob Schapire obtained a remarkable result in computational learning theory: that "weak" classifiers can be "boosted" using a suitable algorithm such that a properly constructed combination of weak classifiers provides better performance than might be expected. Since this foundational result appeared applicable versions of the algorithm, and in particular the AdaBoost algorithm, have been used in many real problems, often with considerable success. In particular they have been demonstrated in many cases to exhibit a remarkable resistance to the usual "overfitting" problem in machine learning. In an attempt to explain this useful behaviour, and to better understand it, several theoretical frameworks have been proposed for the analysis of boosting algorithms, and the field is ripe for further study. This talk introduces boosting and reviews some of the theory that has appeared.