I am an assistant professor in the College of Computer and Information
Science at Northeastern University. My research is primarily in the areas of distributed systems and
networking, with a recent focus on mobile systems. Much of my work
entails crowdsourcing measurement and performance evaluation of
Internet systems by deploying software to users at the scale of tens
or hundreds of thousands of users. To date, more than 1 million users
have installed software produced from my research and more than 15
research groups worldwide have integrated my datasets into their
Before joining Northeastern, I was a postdoctoral research associate in Tom Anderson's
group at the University of
Washington. This work has been generously funded by the CI Fellows program.
I earned my PhD in Computer Science from Northwestern University in
June, 2010, where I was awarded two Cabell Fellowships and 2009/2010
Outstanding Dissertation in EECS. Prior to that, I graduated from Amherst College, magna cum
laude, in 2002 with a double-major in Physics and French. Since the
job market for francophone physicists dried up, I was left with no
choice but to pursue a career in the textbook-authorship business with
Deitel & Associates. In two
years, I worked on three books, two of which I coauthored. After that,
I decided it was time for me to stop writing about others' work and
start making my own to write about. Fortunately, Fabián saw
fit to entertain this notion.
Also available as a PDF.
Tel. [on request only]
E-mail: choffnes *at* ccs <dot> neu <dot> eduPGP key
My research interests are broadly in the areas of networking,
distributed systems, and mobile computing. My recent focus is
improving the performance and reliability of Internet and mobile
systems. Please see my research statement
and publications list for details.
- Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA
Assistant Professor, 2013-present
- University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
Research Associate, 2010-2013
Mentor: Tom Anderson
- Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA
Computer Science December, 2006
Ph.D. in Computer Science. June,
slides, Dissertation document
- Amherst College, Amherst, MA, USA
B.A. in Physics &
French, May, 2002
- NSF/CRA Computing Innovations Fellowship, 2010-2012.
- EECS Outstanding Dissertation Award, Northwestern University,
- Terminal Year Cabell Fellowship, Northwestern University,
- Honorable Mention, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, April 2005.
- Cabell Fellowship, Northwestern University, Sept 2004.
- Magna cum laude, Amherst College, May 2002.
Selected Publications (full list)
- Jingjing Ren, Ashwin Rao, Martina Lindorfer, Arnaud Legout, David Choffnes. ReCon: Revealing and Controlling PII Leaks in Mobile Network Traffic.
In Proceedings of MobiSys (MobiSys '16), Singapore, June 2016.
- Arash Molavi Kakhki, Abbas Razaghpanah, Hyungjoon Koo, Anke Li, Rajeshkumar Golani, David Choffnes, Phillipa Gill, and Alan Mislove. Identifying Traffic Differentiation in Mobile Networks.
In Proceedings of the 15th ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC'15), Tokyo, Japan, October 2015.
- Stevens Le Blond, David Choffnes, William Caldwell, Peter Druschel, Nicholas Merritt. Herd: A Scalable, Traffic Analysis Resistant Anonymity
Network for VoIP Systems. In Proceedings of SIGCOMM (SIGCOMM '15). August 2015. (PDF)
Selected Projects and Software Releases (full list)
Platform for providing users with transparency and
control over the network traffic generated by their mobile devices.
- Differentiation Detector
System for detecting net neutrality violations from an app on your phone.
Plugin for the Vuze (Azureus) BitTorrent client that
uses CDN-based measurements to improve performance and reduce P2P
impact on ISPs. Currently 1,484,880 users and growing! (Project
- Associate Editor:
2015-2017: SIGCOMM Computer Communications Review (CCR)
2016: MobiData Workshop (co-located with MobiSys), Internet-QoE Workshop (co-located with SIGCOMM)
2015: All Things Cellular (co-located with SIGCOMM)
2014: SIGCOMM Poster and Demo, NSF Workshop on Mobile Community Measurement Infrastructure (2014)
- Technical Program Committee member:
2017: NSDI, SIGCOMM, IMC, CoNEXT, MobiSys (External PC)
2016: IMC, TMA, CoNEXT
2015: CoNEXT, TMA, ANCS
2014: Mobisys, CoNEXT, IMC
SIGCOMM Poster and Demo, CoNEXT Student Workshop, PAM
2011: SIGCOMM '11 Workshop on
Measurements "Up the Stack" (W-MUST), ACM MM '11 "Media transport and
2010: ICC '11 NGNI
2009: ICCCN 2009 P2PN (Peer-to-Peer Networking
- Journal Reviewer: ACM/IEEE ToN (Transactions on Networking),
Computer Networks, IEEE TPDS (Transactions on Parallel and Distributed
Systems), IEEE TVT (Transactions on Vehicular Technology)
- Guest Editor:
2015: Elsevier Computer Networks Special Issue on
Machine learning, data mining and Big Data frameworks for network monitoring and troubleshooting
- Assistant Professor at Northeastern University, College of Computer and Information Science, Boston, MA, 2013-present
- Postdoc at University of Washington, Dept. of CSE, Seattle, WA, 2010-2013
- Grad student and TA at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, August 2004 – June
- Research intern at AT&T Labs – Research, Florham Park, NJ, Summer 2009
- Research intern at IBM T. J. Watson Research Lab, Hawthorne, NY, Summer 2007
- Editor and author at Deitel & Associates, Maynard, MA August 2002–July 2004
- 2016: Using the Middle to Meddle with Mobile, at Tufts University.
ReCon: Improving Transparency and Control for Privacy Leaks from Mobile Devices, at Harvard University.
Reverse Traceroute: Update on Public Availability, at AIMS Workshop.
ReCon: Improving Transparency and Control for Privacy Leaks from Mobile Devices, Presented at the Data Transparency Lab Conference
Herd: A Scalable, Traffic Analysis Resistant Anonymity Network for VoIP Systems, Presented at Israeli Networking Day 2015.
Using the Middle to Meddle with Mobile, at the HUJI Networking Summer, WPI, and Harvard.
- 2013: Can you ping me now? Understanding Mobile Performance, Dagstuhl Seminar on Critical Internet Infrastructure.
Improving Transparency and Control in Mobile Networks, IIT Bombay, MSR (Redmond and Beijing), Northeastern, Tsinghusa University, Peking University.
Improving Internet Reliabilty and Performance. UC Riverside, UBC,
UC Irvine, Waterloo, University of Toronto, UCL, MPI-SWS, Northeastern University, UCLA.
- 2012: Internet Path Diagnosis and Repair. MPI-SWS,
- 2011: LIFEGUARD: Practical Repair of Persistent Route Failures.
UW Affiliates, CAIDA
- 2010: Crowdsouring Network Event Detection. Boston
University, Georgetown University, AT&T Labs-- Research, University of
Washington, Microsoft Research
- 2009: Using the Crowd to Monitor the Cloud. McGill
University, Harvard University
- 2008: Designing Distributed Systems to Ensure Sustainable Yield
in the Internet. Amherst College
Selected Popular Press