What’s the Latest Development?
A new artificial intelligence has proven more effective than human engineers at regulating Internet traffic, say researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. The AI, called Remy, is designed to make improvements to TCP, or transmission control protocol, which is one of the core protocols governing the Internet. “When you have even a handful of connections,” said electrical engineering professor Hari Balakrishnan, “that’s very hard for human beings to reason about. And computers seem to be a lot better about navigating that search space.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Remy is a machine-learning system, meaning that it arrives at its output by trying lots of different possibilities, and exploring further variations on those that seem to work best. “Indeed, where a typical TCP congestion-control algorithm might consist of a handful of rules — if the percentage of dropped packets crosses some threshold, cut the transmission rate in half — the algorithms that Remy produces can have more than 150 distinct rules.” Microsoft researcher Victor Bahl said that Remy could be especially good at allowing networked computers to adopt different congestion-control policies depending on the types of applications they’re running.
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