Robbert van Renesse

Senior Research Associate
Ph.D. Vrije University, Amsterdam, 1989

I am currently interested in two new directions in scalable group communications. The first is using epidemic protocols. These probabilistic protocols can provide excellent robustness and efficiency. Using epidemic techniques, I have designed and built a highly scalable

and secure resource monitoring and location service. The service also exploits mobile code to implement on-the-fly aggregation of monitored data in domains.

The other direction is constructing adaptive network protocols from non-adaptive ones. For example, there are many techniques, with different pros and cons, for ordering updates to distributed replicas. Depending on changing network conditions or application behavior, it may be desirable to switch from one technique to another. In cooperation with the Nuprl group, we are looking at formal approaches to building such hybrid protocols and verifying their correctness.

In addition to scalable group communication, I am also involved in the design and implementation of an on-line certification authority, multi-media gateways and protocols, and web and digital library request routing.

Professional Activities

Associate Editor: IEEE Trans. Parallel and Distributed Systems.

Vice-President, R&D: Reliable Network Solutions, Inc.

Member: NSF Review Panel. Technical Consultant to FAST.


“The Hierarchical Daisy Architecture for Causal Delivery.” Distributed Systems Engineering Journal, Vol. 6 (1999), 71–81 (with R. Baldoni and R. Friedman).

“Efficient Buffering in Reliable Multicast Protocols.” Proc. of NGC99. Pisa, Italy (November 1999) (with O. Ozkasap, K.P. Birman, and Z. Xiao).

“Building Reliable, High-Performance Communication Systems from Components.” Proc. of the 17th ACM Symposium on Operating System Principles, Kiawah Island Resort, SC (December 1999), 80-92 (with X. Liu, C. Kreitz, J. Hickey, M. Hayden, K.P. Birman, and R. Constable).

“Scalable and Secure Resource Location.” Proc. Of the 33rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Maui, HI (January 2000).