Report from IEEE INFOCOM 2012

Day 1: Mini-conference
Mini-conference papers are those that were discussed but not accepted in the main conference. They’re borderline papers, though sometimes more thought-provoking than
papers accepted at the main conference. Also, the variety in the topics of these
mini-conference papers is better than those accepted at the main conference.

Day 2: Conference opening, keynote, and afternoon sessions
Conference received about 1500 papers, less than 300 were accepted. A few awards were given during the opening. The keynote was given by Broadcom CTO. The topic was data-centers, very focused on the switch product line of Broadcom. Very limited comments on management or new topics such as OpenFlow were given despite being interesting for the research community.

The main conference was organized as 6 parallel tracks. 10 sessions addressed sensor networks design, showing the increased importance of this topic, strongly related to Internet of Things. A significant fraction of the papers deal with non-wired communications, such as sensors, wireless and mobile communications. Hot topics such as data-centers, cloud/grid, social computing, energy-efficiency, software-defined radio, are of course getting more attention than they used to in the past. The only missing topic surprisingly is optical communications.

Day 3
Sessions on cloud/grid were interesting, covering many aspects of the issues in cloud. INFOCOM being a rather applied theory conference, most of the papers address topics from an optimization, game theory, or performance evaluation viewpoint. The session on network optimization was the most interesting of the day in my opinion, with 3 papers from Google about traffic engineering on the Google network, worth reading.

Day 4
This last day of the conference was very interesting, with sessions on Internet measurement, Future Internet architectures, and Internet routing and router design. Multiple very interesting papers, such as:
- A Hybrid IP Lookup Architecture with Fast Updates: this paper proposes to fast IP lookups by using both TCAM and SRAM/FPGA to ensure updates have limited disruptive impact on lookups.
- Transparent acceleration of software packet forwarding using netmap: bypassing the TCP/IP stack through simplified drivers that allow applications to speak directly with the NICs.