Soudeh Ghorbani

I design and build reliable networked systems with provable guarantees, drawing techniques from formal methods, distributed systems, and control theory. I have been awarded the Google Cloud Platform Grant, the VMware Fellowship (one of the three winners worldwide, 2015), the HotSDN best paper award, the Feng Chen Memorial Award, the Gottlieb Fellowship, and the Wolfond Fellowship. Read more about my recent research here.

I lead the HopNets lab and we have several openings for strong students and postdoctoral scholars!

Join HopNets!

Academic Background

Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2016.
M.Sc., Computer Science, University of Toronto, 2011.
B.Sc., Computer Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, 2009.


Email (preferred): first name at cs dot jhu dot edu
Phone: (410) 516-6781
Address: Malone Hall 223, 3400 N Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218

I design and build reliable networked systems with provable guaratees, drawing techniques from formal methods, distributed systems, and control theory. Recent projects:

Micro Load Balancing in Datacenters


Paper | Slides


Paper | Slides

Microbursts, the main culprit of packet loss in datacenters, last for a few microseconds -- a time period orders of magnitude shorter than the control loop of fastest existing load balancers.

We design DRILL, a datacenter fabric that performs micro load balancing to distribute load despite microbursts via employing per-packet decisions based on queue occupancies and randomized algorithms.

Our design addresses the resulting key challenges of packet reordering and topological asymmetry. DRILL outperforms the state of the art load balancers especially for bursty workloads, e.g., it results in 2.1x improvement in the average flow completion time in an incast scenario compared to CONGA.

Seamless Scale-out of Network Elements


Paper | Slides

Naively scaling networks can cause incorrect behaviors, e.g., we show that scaled-out firewalls erroneously and permanently block hosts. We design and build COCONUT, a system that leverages vector clocks for efficient seamless network scale-out of networks.

HotSDN’14, CCR'14
Best Paper Award

Paper | Slides

We show that the state distribution techniques in existing network virtualization systems can cause incorrect application-level behavior. We also show that that the incorrect behaviors occur while the pervasive correctness invariants are preserved throughout, and that the techniques designed to preserve such invariants can themselves occasionally break the otherwise correct behavior.

Liveness Verification of Stateful Networks


Modern networks rely on a variety of stateful network functions to implement rich policies. Correct operation of such networks relies on ensuring that they support a diverse set of properties including liveness properties. Unfortunately, despite exciting recent work on network verification, no existing approach is practical for, or applicable to, validating liveness.

We develop novel encodings of the behavior of network programs under dynamic events such as network state changes using Boolean formulas that can capture rich semantics such as packet counters. We prove that our encodings are equivalent to the program and show experimentally that they can succinctly express a variety of network functions and are orders of magnitude more scalable to verify than naive encodings.

Cloud Computing

Department of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University, Spring 2019

Advanced Networks

Department of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University, Fall 2018

Program Verification and Synthesis (Guest Lecturer)

Department of Computer Science, UW-Madison, Fall 2017

Service in Community

College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Spring 2015

Board Member and Mentoring Co-Chair: N2W 2018-2020

Advisory Board: GCP 2019

NSF Panel Reviewer, 2018

Program Committee:
APNet 2018
CoNEXT Student Workshop 2018

ACM/IEEE Transactions on Networking 2017, 2018
IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management 2017, 2018
IEEE Access 2017
IEEE Transactions on Services Computing 2017