On Wednesday 1 October 2014, CAIDA hosted a small invitation only workshop that brought together researchers working on large-scale Internet outage detection and characterization with researchers from the political sciences with specific expertise in Internet censorship, political violence (including Internet connectivity disruption ordered by authoritarian regimes for censorship), and Internet penetration. Participants viewed and demonstration of and discussed CAIDA’s current data analysis platform for the exploration of historical and realtime Internet measurement data (named “Charthouse”), and possible extensions of the platform to support political science research related to macroscopic Internet outages.
A primary use of our current platform is to detect/characterize large-scale Internet outages, i.e., entire regions or countries getting disconnected from the Internet for hours or days. We intend to extend the platform to enable more agile analysis, support larger datasets, improve geographic-based exploration and visualization, based on use case scenarios defined together with political scientists.
The workshop also included experts from the San Diego Supercomputer Center’s Data Enabled Scientific Computing Group, who provided valuable insights into methods for scalable analysis of large data sets requiring high performance computing platforms. We currently plan to implement part of the Charthouse platform using the Spark/Shark data analytics stack.