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What Makes Internet Worms Virulent?, March 9

Many network phenomena are modeled as spreads of epidemics through a network. Familiar examples include the propagation of worms (i.e., Slammer), viruses and faults. In this talk, Don Towsley, professor of computer science and co-director of the Computer Networks Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, will discuss epidemic spreading models, paying particular attention to the following questions.

  • What makes an epidemic virulent?
  • How does network topology affect the virulence of an epidemic?

In the context of a worm, virulence relates to the time required for it to spread. And in the context of the propagation of faults (cascading failures), virulence relates to the time until faults die out. Towsley will illustrate how simple fluid and Markov epidemic spreading models can shed light on the virulence and the propagation of worms and faults.

Towsley's research interests include high-speed networks, multimedia systems and stochastic scheduling. He sits on the editorial boards of the journals Networks and Performance Evaluation, and is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

The discussion will be held Wednesday, March 9, at 1 1 a.m. in the Interschool Laboratory (7th floor CEPSR/Shapiro).

Published: Mar 07, 2005
Last modified: Mar 04, 2005

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