Frederic Francois

Phd Student in Computer Network Optimization

frederic_francois_photo Contact Details:
University email:
Personal email: fredericfran(dot)gmail(dot)com
Postal address: Centre for Communication Systems Research (CCSR)
23 BA 02
Surrey University
Guildford GU2 7XH, UK

Who am I?

I am a PhD student on “Policy-driven Energy Efficiency in ISP Backbone Networks” at the Centre for Communications System Research (CCSR), University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.


What do I do?

I develop heuristics that exploit certain characteristics of operational networks in order to save energy primarily. The optimization techniques employ to develop these heuristics are not only limited to improving the energy-efficiency of networks but also other objectives.

In developing these heuristics, I do not look solely at finding and applying the optimal solution (e.g. the largest energy savings possible) to the network but how this solution can be applied to an operational network without unacceptable adverse effects such as a big increase in packet delay and increased instability of the networks. As a result of these design goals, the performance of the primary objective of the optimal solution might need to be reduced in exchange for better performance on secondary objectives.

In summary, I'm involved in developing new elegant algorithms to make a better use of the resources of networks.


What are my main areas of interests?

1) Operations Research – This field involves all mathematical techniques that are involved in optimizing resources such as Linear Programming (LP) and Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP). I am also interested in finding the fundamental properties of problems such as convexity and decomposability of problems.

2) Heuristic design – This involves the development of algorithms that can achieve acceptable performance in an operational network scenario. I aim to design heuristics which are directly applicable to current networks. In order to achieve this, I take great care in finding how operational networks actually work and what are technologies available to enable optimization.

3) Network Measurements and Simulations – In order to evaluate the performance of my heuristics, I prefer to make use of data about operational networks. Unfortunately, the data about operational networks are limited and there is a need to resort to synthetic data. Great care must be taken in producing synthetic data that represent as close as possible the behaviour of real networks.


What are my current publications?

1) F. Francois, N. Wang, K. Moessner, S. Georgoulas, and K. Xu, "Leveraging MPLS Fast ReRoute Paths for Distributed Green Traffic Engineering", in Proc. ACM/IEEE IWQoS, 2013 (Poster).

2) F. Francois, N. Wang, K. Moessner, S. Georgoulas, and K. Xu, "Green IGP Link Weights for Energy-Efficiency and Load-balancing in IP Backbone Networks", in Proc. IEEE/IFIP Networking, 2013.

3) F. Francois, N. Wang, K. Moessner, and S. Georgoulas, "Optimizing Link Sleeping Reconfigurations in ISP Networks with Off-peak Time Failure Protection", IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management (TNSM), Vol:10, Issue:2, pp:176-188 2012.

4) F. Francois, N. Wang, K. Moessner, and S. Georgoulas, "Optimization for time-driven link sleeping reconfigurations in ISP backbone networks",in Proc. NOMS, 2012, pp.221-228. (Best Student Paper award).


What did I do previously?

I obtained a 1st class degree in MEng in Electronic and Communications Engineering with Business Skills at The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK. During my undergraduate years, I did two summer internships in a semiconductor university research group where I designed mainly instrumentation workstations. This involves the design and installation of new characterization equipment and also writing up new software in (National Instruments LabView) to automate measurements and processing of the results.

During my third undergraduate year, I undertook a research project about the design of InAs avalanche photodiodes. I did also a summer internship at a telecom company and had the opportunity to shadow engineers in various departments such as fixed telephony, satellite communications and wireless networks.