Challenges in Building and Deploying Distributed Systems

30 Nov
Tuesday, 11/30/2010 8:00am to 9:00am

Joseph Loyall and Michael Atighetchi
Raytheon BBN Technologies

Computer Science Building, Room 150

The world of computing science is getting more and more distributed, with both increasing and decreasing scale. Increasing in the terms of the numbers of devices that are interconnected and decreasing in terms of the size of the devices being interconnected. As distributed systems have become pervasive, we have moved beyond the challenges of how to distribute system functionality, which are met by numerous interface standards (e.g., CORBA, SOA, Web Services), networking standards, and even competing paradigms (e.g., net-centric, data-centric, and service-oriented). The challenges today exist in how to make distributed systems

  • Secure - Balancing the need to share information versus the need to protect it
  • Survivable - Applications and services that are accessible via a network are accessible by cyberattackers
  • Predictable - Distributed systems are susceptible to jitter, data loss, and delay that can reduce their usability

We will provide a brief overview of research in the Distributed Systems Group at BBN Technologies, highlighting a technique that we have developed for system survivability and security, analogous to the Crumple Zone in a car. It provides a layer of protection for service-oriented and Web Service applications, absorbing the effects of attacks, and maintaining the integrity and availability of critical services. The Crumple Zone helps applications survive zero day and insider attacks by tolerating the effects of attacks, not relying on attack signatures.

We describe the Crumple Zone in the larger context of BBN's distributed systems research which includes networked unmanned vehicles, cross domain information exchange, intelligent information lifecycle management, cloud computing, fully homomorphic computing, and synthetic biology.

Joseph P. Loyall is a Principal Scientist at BBN Technologies in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Loyall is a Senior Technical Director of the Distributed Systems Technology group at BBN. He received a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Illinois in 1991, and is a senior member of the IEEE. At BBN, Dr. Loyall conducts research in the areas of distributed real-time embedded systems, adaptive middleware, quality of service, and information management

Michael Atighetchi is a Senior Scientist at BBN Technologies. He received his M.S. in Computer Science from UMass Amherst in 1999 and is a senior member of the IEEE. While at UMass Amherst, he worked with Professors Victor Lesser and David Jensen. At BBN, Mr. Atighetchi conducts research in cross domain information sharing and adaptive security paradigms for service-oriented systems.

About Raytheon BBN Technologies:

Raytheon BBN Technologies is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Company. Raytheon BBN Technologies is a legendary R&D organization that creates technology and leverages the resulting intellectual property to produce advanced, repeatable solutions such as the Boomerang shooter detection system. With expertise spanning information security, speech and language processing, networking, distributed systems, and sensing and control systems, BBN scientists and engineers have amassed a substantial collection of innovations and patented solutions. Raytheon Company, with 2009 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 88 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 75,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit

Talk with Joe and Michael about BBN's available positions and internships.

Lunch (burritos) will be provided from Bueno Y Sano