United States – 2013

For contributions in cross-layer wireless networking, wireless network coding, and Internet congestion control.

ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award
MIT - CSAIL United States – 2012

For her seminal contributions to the theory and practice of network congestion control and bandwidth allocation.

Dina Katabi's dissertation work on the explicit Control Protocol (XCP) is one of the most important contributions in the area of network congestion control. It has introduced theoretical methods  in particular, stability analysis from control theory  to the design of scalable practical network protocols. Such protocols aim to minimize network congestion, thereby maximizing utilization efficiency, while ensuring a fair allocation of capacity among different flows that compete for the same bandwidth. Katabi's XCP was the first protocol to achieve both goals simultaneously without imposing the impractical requirement that routers maintain per-flow state. Her innovation is based on the novel and theoretically justified observation that congestion control mechanisms and capacity allocation among flows can be addressed separately. She designed an ingenious packet-marking scheme to carry information about network congestion and used methods from control theory to show that her algorithm provided a stable solution  for suitable values of the algorithm's parameters  to the delayed-feedback control problem defined by this scheme. Her work thus solved an important practical problem in a novel and rigorous way while opening up hitherto unexplored connections between networking and control theory.

Katabi's research on XCP initiated a new approach to network protocol design and is essential reading for current courses in the area. Her ideas have impacted many subsequent protocols and computer systems. Perhaps more importantly, by changing the way we think about the algorithmic control of network behavior, Katabi's work is likely to impact future Internet developments to an even greater extent.

Press Release

ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award
Honorable Mention United States – 2003

For her dissertation, Decoupling Congestion Control from the Bandwidth Allocation Policy and its Application to High Bandwidth-Delay Product Networks, nominated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Martin Casado And Dina Katabi Named 2012 Recipients Of The Grace Murray Hopper Award For Advances In Network Efficiency


Martin Casado helped create the Software Defined Networking (SDN) movement, an approach that provides a software alternative to hardware-based network components. He introduced an open interface (OpenFlow) and open-source software components, which uncouple the network from its hardware. This level of abstraction creates virtual networks that are able to deliver the same features as physical networks, but with the operational flexibility of virtualization. These innovations, readily and widely adopted by industry, have spawned a burgeoning SDN research community with the potential to change the field. Casado was Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Nicira, which was acquired by VMware in 2012. He is currently the Chief Network Architect of VMware as well as a consulting assistant professor at Stanford University.
Dina Katabi initiated a new approach to network design using an explicit Control Protocol (XCP) that minimizes network congestion and maximizes utilization efficiency. Her research addressed a strategic technological problem of Internet growth, which requires extreme scalability and robustness.  She developed XCP, an algorithm to ensure fair allocation of capacity among different flows that compete for the same Internet bandwidth. Her scheme is the first protocol to achieve both goals simultaneously without imposing excessive per-flow overhead on Internet routers. The design separated the efficiency and fairness policies of congestion control, which delivered the highest possible application performance over a broad range of network infrastructure. Katabi is a professor at MIT and a member of its Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). She leads the NetworksMIT research group, and is director of WirelessMIT, the MIT center for wireless networks and mobile computing.