Toward Orchestration of Complex Networking Experiments


Alefiya Hussain, USC/Information Sciences Institute; Prateek Jaipuria, Hulu; Geoff Lawler, Stephen Schwab, and Terry Benzel, USC/Information Sciences Institute

Long Experience Paper


Experimentation is an essential tool for developing networked and distributed systems. However, it is inherently complex due to the concurrent, asynchronous, heterogeneous, and prototype-based systems that must be integrated into representative scenarios to conduct valid evaluations. This paper offers a retrospective on the development and use of MAGI, an orchestration tool, that translates an experiment specification into an execution on an emulation-based testbed with high-level directives for message passing, remote process execution, and failure tracking, for conducting large and complex experiments. The MAGI tool has been used for more than seven years in a variety of experiments, including undergraduate education, anonymous communication, cyber-physical systems, and attacker-defender games on the DETER testbed. We hope the insights and takeaways learned from using our tool will aid in developing the next-generation experiment management tools.

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@inproceedings {256942,
author = {Alefiya Hussain and Prateek Jaipuria and Geoff Lawler and Stephen Schwab and Terry Benzel},
title = {Toward Orchestration of Complex Networking Experiments},
booktitle = {13th {USENIX} Workshop on Cyber Security Experimentation and Test ({CSET} 20)},
year = {2020},
url = {},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = aug,

Presentation Video