The Princeton EDGE Lab has experimental facilities to study edge networking, wireless as well as wireline. It crosses the boundary between theory and systems in the networking research community. It leverages the lessons and data accumulated through realistic experiments to validate the predictions of theory, falsify the assumptions behind theory, sharpen the characterizations that are loose in theory, and inspire new question formulations in theory.

It consists of a wide range of equipments offering programmability at various layers and visibility at various temporal and spatial scales.

Theory is "inalienable" since it offers explanatory, rather than descriptive models and top-down design with predictive power. Theory is also "incomplete" given its sensitivity to the mathematical crystallization and the need to make a difference in live networks. As an edge between theory and practice of networking, the Princeton EDGE Lab builds systems designed by proven theorems, and proves theorems about deployed systems. It targets at:

A. Bigger overlap between the two (e.g., develop the theory for tight bounds on convergence rate, transient behavior characterization rather than equilibrium behavior, impact of control parameter granularity and feedback noise, remove timescale separation assumptions, etc.)

B. New theory questions (e.g., proper accounting of computational and communication overhead, or simplicity-driven optimization: insist on zero overhead rather than optimality proof and then tightly bound suboptimality gap and its impact on user performance)

C. Theory-inspired deployment (e.g., transfer some of the theory inspired algorithms to commercial adoption and large scale operations serving real customers, and turn some of the challenges in that process to inspire new theory).

As of June 3, the Princeton EDGE Lab equipments are up and running. Collectively the facilities provide a unique system, configurable and realistic at the same time, covering wireless and wireline edge networking with end-to-end and layers 1-7 capabilities. Below is the baseline logical topology of the lab, followed by photos of some of the equipments. Over summer, extensions such as configurable femtocell and EPON will be further added to the map.

Server rack overview

Close-ups of certain pieces of equipment:

WAN Emulator

Deep Packet Inspection Device

Power Distribution Unit

WARP Boards

Spectrum Analyzer

WARP Boards with Spectrum Analyzer and Signal Generator

LCD TV and Set-Top Box

EDGE Lab home page