CSC News

August 10, 2006

Battestilli Wins 2006 Nancy G. Pollock Dissertation Award

Photo of LinaCongratulations to Lina Battestilli (Ph.D '05), who has been selected by the NC State University Graduate School as the recipient of the 2006 Nancy G. Pollock Dissertation Award.
Sponsored by the NC State University Graduate School, the Nancy G. Pollock Thesis and Dissertation Award program is designed to reward outstanding scholarly research and to demonstrate the positive impact of graduate-level research on both the economy of North Carolina and the quality of life for all its citizens. The Dissertation Award carries a $1000 stipend.
Fellow alum, Nikhil Baradwaj, won the 2006 Nancy G. Pollock Thesis Award. Both are the first graduate students from computer science ever to receive these prestigious awards.
Battestilli conducted her Ph.D research under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Harry Perros.
Her dissertation was entitled "Performance Analysis of Optical Burst Switched Networks with Dynamic Simultaneous Link Possession".  In this work, she developed mathematical models of Optical Burst Switched (OBS) networks using tools from queueing theory and teletraffic theory, which belong to the broad category of probability theory.  She analyzed the performance of OBS networks by first solving these mathematical models, and then performing what-if analysis.  An interesting property of the OBS networks, not typical of any other types of communication networks, is that the bursts may occupy wavelengths on one or more optical fibers at the same time as the travel from their source to their destination.  This unique feature was reflected in her queueing models, which also made her mathematical solution difficult.
Using queueing models, she was able to evaluate the performance and utilization of the OBS network resources, e.g., given the data traffic that arrives to the network, it is possible to quantify what percentage can make it to the destination without being lost along the way. Her work also provided a valuable insight in determining the optimum data burst size in order to further increase the performance of the network.  She verified the accuracy of the mathematical models with a custom event-driven OBS simulator, and showed that the mathematical results were very close to the simulation results.  The advantage of her mathematical models is that they can be solved within minutes while the simulation results typically take hours, or even days, to complete.
Battestilli completed her MS in Computer Networking at NC State in August 2002. After successfully defending her Ph.D dissertation in August, 2005, she is now working as a scientist at MCNC in the Research Triangle Park. Her latest research focus is the role, control and design of optical networks within the context of Grid computing.

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