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AI Networking The Internet

MIT Uses Machine Learning Algorithm To Make TCP Twice As Fast 250

Posted by timothy
from the do-it-again-for-four-times-faster dept.
An anonymous reader writes "MIT is claiming they can make the Internet faster if we let computers redesign TCP/IP instead of coding it by hand. They used machine learning to design a version of TCP that's twice the speed and causes half the delay, even with modern bufferbloated networks. They also claim it's more 'fair.' The researchers have put up a lengthy FAQ and source code where they admit they don't know why the system works, only that it goes faster than normal TCP."
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MIT Uses Machine Learning Algorithm To Make TCP Twice As Fast

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  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @12:45AM (#44335105)
    Allow a computer to design a faster TCP? Sure!

    Let them actually implement it without knowing how it works? Oh, Hell no!

    I'm not talking "Skynet" or anything here... but if it breaks, who's going to fix it?
  • by tloh (451585) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @12:46AM (#44335111)

    they admit they don't know why the system works

    I'm guessing the next big revolution in AI is the quest to figure out how to get digital problem solvers to teach us meat heads how they actually figured this stuff out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 20, 2013 @01:01AM (#44335169)

    FYI: There's a difference in "knowing the precise mechanism for how it works" and "knowing that the algorithm is stable" are two very different things. Presumably they've proven the latter.

  • by Clarious (1177725) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @01:30AM (#44335253)

    A bit offtopic, roughtly 10 years ago I came to /. and was amazed by the technological insight/information in the comments here. And now more than half of the comments are jokes about skynet without any insight of understanding what TFA is about. Of course, informative posts still can be found often, but slashdot has fallen quite low...

  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @01:36AM (#44335271)
    Kudos, but can't OP say "MIT Researchers Keith Winstein and Hari Balakrishnan". Despite the best efforts of their AI labs, MIT is not the Borg. When someone who works for MIT buys an orange juice, "MIT" has not bought an orange juice.

    And if they have software that can outcode me, COOL! How many professions are this lax with job security? :-)
  • by techhead79 (1517299) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @01:38AM (#44335279)

    we don't have to know WHY it works better, just that it does and how to build a working copy

    But the fact that it does work better means we're either missing a part of the picture that is obviously important or the AI version is leveraging quirks with the system that no current model we have represents. I'm shocked to read that anyone would be comfortable just ignoring the why of something just so we can progress beyond our understanding. If we don't understand the why then we're missing something very important that could lead to breakthroughs in many other areas. Do not let go of the curiosity that got us here to begin with.

  • Come on now (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dbIII (701233) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @02:10AM (#44335357)
    As complex systems goes there are far worse. Go ask an engineer or a scientist.
  • by blankinthefill (665181) <blachanc@noSPAM.gmail.com> on Saturday July 20, 2013 @02:12AM (#44335367) Journal
    I don't think they just drop the questions and run with it. I'm pretty sure that, when we don't understand how things that are useful work, we just implement them... and study them at the same time. I guarantee you that SOMEONE, at least, is studying why an AI antenna works better than our man-designed ones, and they're doing it for the very reasons that you mention. But I think the point the GP was trying to get at is that we've never let out ability to not understand things hinder our adoption of those very things in the past, and as long as we have good evidence that this thing performs correctly, and we can replicate it, then why wouldn't we use it at the same time we study it?
  • by evilviper (135110) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @10:00AM (#44336523) Journal

    A bit offtopic, roughtly 10 years ago I came to /. and was amazed by the technological insight/information in the comments here.

    Yes, all the comments about pouring hot grits on a naked and petrified Natalie Portman had really superb mathematical proofs backing them up...

    FWIW, you're absolutely correct. Before /. tried to become digg, and then reddit, and then a flamefest of AGW/evolution/etc. supporters and deniers, there was a much more vibrant community with a tremendous number of experts in fields from mathematics and physics to biology and psychology, always chiming in on the topic of the day, and providing incredible insight into the field and the specific topic that one wouldn't find anywhere else.

    It seems that model didn't result in enough ad impressions and profits for the parent company, so flamefests it is. /. has only recently backed off of editors posting complete and total crap, so my belated plans to drop this site entirely were aborted, and I remain. These days, there really are only a handful of folks who provide real insightful comments across many articles. It's easy to spot them if you read this site regularly, and it's such a small group I could rattle off a list of names from memory.

    The only reason /. has any relevancy today, and the audience hasn't completely disappeared, is that all other tech sites have HORRIBLE comment/discussion systems that make it hard to follow the discussion, and do not really promote good comments to a wider readership than the first-post crap.

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance. -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"

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