Network Traffic Classification by Program Synthesis
Writing classification rules to identify interesting network traffic is a time-consuming and error-prone task. Learning-based classification systems automatically extract such rules from positive and negative traffic examples. However, due to limitations in the representation of network traffic and the learning strategy, these systems lack both expressiveness to cover a range of applications and interpretability in fully describing the traffic’s structure at the session layer. We describe Sharingan system, which uses program synthesis techniques to generate network classification programs at the session layer. Sharingan accepts raw network traces as inputs and reports potential patterns of the target traffic in NetQRE, a domain specific language designed for specifying session-layer quantitative properties. We develop a range of novel optimizations that reduce the synthesis time for large and complex tasks to a matter of minutes. Our experiments show that Sharingan is able to correctly identify patterns from a diverse set of network traces and generates explainable outputs, while achieving accuracy comparable to state-of-the-art learning-based systems.
Joint work with Boon Thau Loo and Lei Shi
Rajeev Alur is Zisman Family Professor of Computer and Information Science at University of Pennsylvania. He obtained his bachelor's degree in computer science from IIT Kanpur in 1987 and PhD in computer science from Stanford University in 1991. Before joining Penn in 1997, he was with Computing Science Research Center at Bell Labs. His research is focused on formal methods for system design. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, a Fellow of the ACM, a Fellow of the IEEE, an Alfred P. Sloan Faculty Fellow, and a Simons Investigator. He was awarded the inaugural CAV (Computer-Aided Verification) award in 2008, ACM/IEEE Logic in Computer Science (LICS) Test-of-Time award in 2010, the inaugural Alonzo Church award by ACM SIGLOG / EATCS / EACSL / Kurt Goedel Society in 2016, Distinguished Alumnus Award by IIT Kanpur in 2017 for his work on timed automata. Prof. Alur has served as the chair of ACM SIGBED (Special Interest Group on Embedded Systems), the general chair of LICS, and the lead PI of the NSF Expeditions in Computing center ExCAPE (Expeditions in Computer Augmented Program Engineering). He is the author of the textbook Principles of Cyber-Physical Systems (MIT Press, 2015).