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1 Sept '06-Present — Master's of Computing Science, [Simon Fraser University](http://www.sfu.ca/), Burnaby, B.C.
2
3 * supervisor: [Jiangchuan Liu](http://www.cs.sfu.ca/~jcliu/)
4 * group: [Multimedia and Wireless Networking](http://netsg.cs.sfu.ca/)
5 * studying networking, in particual peer-to-peer networking and bittorrent
6 * cumulative GPA of 4.13
7
8 ----
9
10 I began work on a Master's in Computing Science (thesis option) at Simon Fraser University in
11 September of 2006. This is a change from my [[undergraduate work|Undergrad]], in which my major
12 was in Physics, though I did minor in Computing Science.
13
14 I chose Networking as the main area for my research, and further decided to focus on
15 peer-to-peer networking. This has led me to choose Dr. Jiangchuan Liu as my supervisor, as he has
16 contributed a lot of reasearch in this area, including the introduction of
17 [CoolStreaming](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CoolStreaming).
18
19 My work is partially funded by an
20 [NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship M](http://www.nserc.ca/sf_e.asp?nav=sfnav&lbi=2a),
21 which I was awarded in March of 2007.
22
23 #### Research
24
25 My current research is focussed mainly on [BitTorrent](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bittorrent).
26 One aspect I have studied is the effectiveness of the
27 [*rarest-first* policy](http://wiki.theory.org/Availability) to evenly distribute
28 pieces of the download throughout the peers. I have found that the policy is mostly effective at
29 maintaining a near-optimal piece population distribution, though there are some areas for
30 improvement.
31
32 I have also examined the different network topologies formed between peers in a BitTorrent swarm.
33 Some of the networks I have found to have
34 [scale-free behaviour](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scale-free_network), verifying the resilience of the swarm to the failures and
35 departures that are common in all peer-to-peer networking scenarios. Others that were previously thought to have
36 [small-world characteristics](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small-world_network), I have found to contain very little
37 clustering. I have therefore introduced an enhancement to the BitTorrent tracker to introduce clustering
38 and create a small-world from the BitTorrent swarm, which should improve the
39 effectiveness of the BitTorrent protocol at
40 distributing the download to peers.
41
42 Using this work as a foundation, I am currently working on a new peer-to-peer download system for
43 distributors of free content (mostly software packages) over the web.
44 The system uses a Distributed Hash Table to support
45 downloading the individual content files from peers, which reduces the strain
46 on the network of mirrors that is usually required to support the downloads.
47 This work includes implementing a new download client for software packages of
48 Debian-based systems called [[apt-p2p]].
49
50 To simulate and measure BitTorrent swarms, I have been able to use the
51 [PlanetLab](http://www.planet-lab.org/) network, a global co-operative research network in over
52 300 locations around the world that supports the development of new network services. For more
53 information on this research, see my [[PlanetLab]] page.
54
55 In collaboration with another student, [Xu Cheng](http://www.cs.sfu.ca/~xuc/personal/), we have
56 studied the video sharing site [YouTube](http://www.youtube.com). This new type of video
57 distribution has not seen much research yet, and we find some interesting differences between it
58 and traditional video distribution. My work focussed mostly on the social networking aspect of
59 YouTube, which is unique among video sharing sites. The results showed that YouTube videos form a
60 [small-world network](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small-world_network), which suggests that
61 videos are strongly correlated with each other. This feature can be used to develop interesting caching
62 or peer-to-peer distribution strategies for videos.
63
64 #### Publications
65
66 The following papers have been submitted and accepted to conferences:
67
68 * "Evolution and Enhancement of BitTorrent Network Topologies"
69 * Authors: **Cameron Dale**, Jiangchuan Liu, Joseph Peters, Bo Li
70 * Accepted To: [IEEE IWQoS, University of Twente, Netherlands, June 2-4, 2008][30]
71 * File: [PDF, 7.3 MB](btnetworks.pdf)
72
73 * "Understanding the Characteristics of Internet Short Video Sharing: YouTube as a Case Study"
74 * Authors: Xu Cheng, **Cameron Dale**, Jiangchuan Liu
75 * Accepted To: [IEEE IWQoS, University of Twente, Netherlands, June 2-4, 2008][30]
76 * File: [PDF, 960 KB](youtube.pdf)
77
78 * "A Measurement Study of Piece Population in BitTorrent"
79 * Authors: **Cameron Dale**, Jiangchuan Liu
80 * Accepted To: [IEEE Globecom, Washington, DC, USA, November 26-30, 2007][40]
81 * File: [PDF, 68 KB](pieces.pdf)
82
83 [30]: http://iwqos08.ewi.utwente.nl/
84 [40]: http://www.comsoc.org/confs/globecom/2007/
85
86 #### List of Courses Completed
87
88 <table border="1" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="5">
89 <tr>
90 <th>Discipline</th>
91 <th>Number</th>
92 <th>Course Name</th>
93 <th>Grade</th>
94 </tr>
95 <tr>
96 <td>Computing Science</td>
97 <td>705</td>
98 <td>Design and Analysis of Computing Algorithms</td>
99 <td>A</td>
100 </tr>
101 <tr>
102 <td>Computing Science</td>
103 <td>740</td>
104 <td>Database Systems</td>
105 <td>A-</td>
106 </tr>
107 <tr>
108 <td>Computing Science</td>
109 <td>765</td>
110 <td>Computer Networks</td>
111 <td>A+</td>
112 </tr>
113 <tr>
114 <td>Computing Science</td>
115 <td>816</td>
116 <td>Theory of Communication Networks</td>
117 <td>A+</td>
118 </tr>
119 <tr>
120 <td>Computing Science</td>
121 <td>880</td>
122 <td>Special Topics: Multimedia & Sensor Networking</td>
123 <td>A+</td>
124 </tr>
125 </table>

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