Award Recognizes DCTCP Pioneer
Written by Sue Gee   
Tuesday, 09 May 2023

Mohammad Alizadeh is the latest recipient of The ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award which recognizes the outstanding young computer professional of the year, selected on the basis of a single recent major technical or service contribution. 

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The award commemorating Grace Hopper and her commitment to encouraging young people is one of the ACM's annual Technical Awards. Established in 1971 it is currently worth $35,000, funded by Microsoft. The recipient has to be 35 or younger at the time the qualifying contribution was made.

The citation in respect of Mohammad Alizadeh, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology reads:

For pioneering and impactful contributions to datacenter networks

M Alizadeh

Alizadeh fundamentally advanced how datacenters communicate efficiently in transporting data by his groundbreaking Data Center Transport Control Protocol (DCTCP).

DCTCP helps control datacenter network congestion and packet loss thereby significantly increasing performance in datacenter environments where state-of-the-art TCP protocols fall short.

Alizadeh's contribution led to important new techniques to balance network load in datacenters (CONGA and Letflow), to reduce flow completion times (pFabric), and to minimize packet transport latency of short messages on commodity hardware (Homa and HULL) while utilizing network capacity efficiently.

DCTCP is in mainline Linux and is supported by many network interface and switch manufacturers. Aspects of it are in the RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet) standard.

Techniques pioneered by Alizadeh are used in datacenters and products from industry-leading companies including Google, Intel, Meta and Microsoft and some of his proposed techniques serve as the basis from which other datacenter network protocols are derived, including a transport protocol for remote direct memory access networks (HPCC).

According to the ACM:

his key contribution and the works derived from it will continue to influence significantly how researchers in academia and industry think about, design, build, and operate high-performance datacenter networks and networking protocols deployable in current and future systems.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 May 2023 )