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Statement of Purpose

Te-Yuan Huang
Applying for: CS PH.D. huangty@gmail.com

Looking forward to a rigorous training and having independent research ability is exactly the reason
why I apply for a PHD program. My research interest involves computer networking. In Stanford, there are
many world-renown researchers and laboratories working on network traffic measurement & modeling,
network quality of service and performance evaluation, which are the sub-domains that I am particularly
interested in.
I am always curious about everything and taking courses simply cannot satisfy my curiosity. Thus,
during my undergrad years, I seized every opportunity to explore further knowledge. I served as technical
assistant in the computer center, where I learned practical system and network administrative experiences;
I also joined a research lab led by Prof. John K. Zao and implemented a multicast streaming service over
peer-to-peer network, which later received an award from the National Science Council in Taiwan. However,
being familiar with the current network services, it is intuitive for me to ask: ARE THOSE SERVICES GOOD
ENOUGH?
This question led me to the realm of research. In my senior year, I joined a project led by Prof. Polly
Huang. Starting with Skype, the goal of the project is to develop a methodology to evaluate
human-perceived performances of network services. From real life Skype traces, we revealed the
relationships between QoS factors and Skype performance. The result shows that users are most sensitive
to source rate and its jitter. We further quantified the impact of each factor and proposed a model, User
Satisfaction Index. With it, we are able to quantify user satisfaction based on network QoS factors. Then,
based on this work, IS IT POSSIBLE TO BUILD A BETTER SERVICE?
Since we have noticed that source rate and its jitter are critical for user satisfaction, a service could
have better performance if it can adapt its source rate to a high but stable bandwidth channel. Our idea is
simple, yet innovative. If the sending rate is too limited, user satisfaction must be low. On the other hand, if
the sending rate causes congestion, then users would experience packet loss and delay, which would also
degrade user satisfaction. Therefore, tuning for user satisfaction, we may be able to find such a channel. To
evaluate this idea, a rate-adaptive algorithm was designed and compared with other algorithms. The result
shows that, with proper parameter settings, our user-centric rate-adaptive algorithm does have a chance to
outperform others! I presented this exciting work in ACM SIGCOMM 2007 poster section, and the
audiences are attracted by this interesting idea and its promising preliminary result.
In the future, I would like to continue my prior research on exploring user satisfaction. There are many
issues that we have not yet fully explored; for example, the modeling of multi-modal human perception.
Recent works only were focused on voice or video perception. However, as the prevailing of multimedia
and virtual-reality system, multisensory models should be established. In addition, quantifying the quality
of VoIP conferencing is also an interesting topic. The modeling work is made even more difficult with the
complicated conversational patterns. I would like to approach these problems from objective perspective,
since objective metrics can capture subconscious reactions and keep the model simple. Along with studying
networking, I am also attracted to Artificial Intelligence. In fact, many techniques in AI, such as Bayesian

Te-Yuan Huang
http://nslab.ee.ntu.edu.tw/~huangty
Statement of Purpose
Te-Yuan Huang
huangty@gmail.com

Classifier, are very useful on network traffic classification and analysis.


As a student graduating with honor, I have well prepared myself with core curricula in the field of
computer science. As a researcher, I always keep a curious mind and polish my skills by participating in
research projects. Now, with the urge to know more about this world, I am applying for your PHD program
and seeking for the opportunity to explore further in the field of computer science!

Te-Yuan Huang
http://nslab.ee.ntu.edu.tw/~huangty