Niklas Carlsson

Associate Professor (Swedish: Docent+universitetslektor)
Linköping University, Dept of Comp & Info Science (IDA)

Contact Info


I very much enjoy supervising and mentoring students. Since graduating in 2006, I have been supervising and/or assisting in the supervision of students at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada), University of Calgary (Canada), IIT Delhi (India), NICTA (Australia), and Linköping University (Sweden).

NEWS: I am looking for self motivated students with interest in computer networks, security, distributed systems, performance/systems modeling, or data mining/analysis. Please contact me if you are interested in doing a project or thesis in one of these topics.

Current PhD Students

  • Rahul Hiran: Rahul is co-supervised with Nahid Shahmehri and Patrick Lambrix. His research proposes new collaborative distributed security protocols and uses measurements to analyze BGP security. His work characterizing the China Telecom incident on April 8, 2010, appears in PAM 2013 (pdf), and his distributed alliance framework for collaborative BGP monitoring and prefix-based security, called PrefiSec, is published at ACM WISCS @ CCS 2014 (pdf).
  • Vengatanathan Krishnamoorthi: Vengatanathan is co-supervised with Nahid Shahmehri. His research on proxy-assisted HTTP-based adaptive streaming (HAS) appeared in IEEE MASCOTS 2013 (pdf). His work on branched video (also sometimes called "nonlinear" or "multipath" streaming) won the best paper award at the ACM SIGCOMM workshop FhMN 2013 (pdf). Our ACM Multimedia 2014 (pdf) paper shows how the playback quality for branched video can be optimized using branch-aware prefetching policies, while ensuring ensure seamless playback without playback interruptions.
  • Anna Vapen: Anna is co-supervised with Nahid Shahmehri. Her research is on Web authentication and federated identity management. A large-scale measurement study of the identity management landscape appears in PAM 2014 (pdf), and other exciting findings are under preparation.

Internship Students, Postdocs, and Researchers

  • Benoy Varghese (visiting PhD internship student, 2014): During his internship Benoy primarily worked on experiments and modeling of low-power server and proxy systems. Some of this work was published at IGCC 2014 (pdf).
  • Cyriac James (researcher, 2013): During this period, Cyriac did research on the impact that a router implementing energy-aware adaptive link rate policies has on neighboring routers. Some of this work appears in ACM/SPEC ICPE 2015 (pdf). Cyriac is now a PhD student at University of Calgary.
  • Vengatanathan Krishnamoorthi (researcher, 2012): During this period, Vengatanathan worked on proxy-assisted HTTP-based adaptive streaming (HAS). The work appeared in IEEE MASCOTS 2013 (pdf) and Vengatanathan is now working as a PhD student in the group.
  • Youmna Borghol (visiting PhD internship student, 2011): During her internship Youmna primarily worked on content popularity dynamics of YouTube videos. This work was published at ACM SIGKDD 2012 (pdf). Dr. Borghol is now a Data Analytics Manager at MediaCom, Sydney, Australia.
  • Ajay Gopinathan (postdoc, 2011): During his postdoc Ajay worked on content replica selection. This work extends our prior work on replica selection (e.g., pdf, pdf) to consider optimized caching and request routing in cloud-based content delivery systems; published at IFIP Performance 2014 (pdf). Dr. Gopinathan is now with Google, Mountain View, CA, USA.

External PhD Students

I have also had the pleasure to work with some excellent external PhD students. This list highlights students for which our joint works have been published and become a major part of their thesis elswehere. For these collaborations I am grateful to my external collaborators, which include Sebastien Ardon (NICTA, Australia), Martin Arlitt (HP labs, USA), György Dan (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden), Derek Eager (University of Saskatchewan, Canada), Diwakar Krishnamurthy (University of Calgary, Canada), Zongpeng Li (University of Calgary, Canada), Anirban Mahanti (NICTA, Australia), and Carey Williamson (University of Calgary, Canada).
  • Raoufehsadat Hashemian (ongoing PhD @ University of Calgary, Canada): Raoufeh has done some really cool work on multicore Web servers that help improve the utilization of the servers. Joint publications related to her thesis appeared in ACM/SPEC ICPE 2013 (pdf) and CCPE (pdf).
  • Benoy Varghese (ongoing PhD @ NICTA, Australia): Benoy's thesis focuses on experiments and modeling of low-power server and proxy systems. Joint publications related to his thesis appeared in IGCC 2014 (pdf).
  • Aniket Mahanti (PhD, 2012 @ University of Calgary, Canada): Aniket's thesis characterized the one-click hosting landscape. Joint publications related to his thesis appeared in IFIP Performance 2011 (pdf), IEEE MASCOTS 2012 (pdf), IEEE LCN 2012 (pdf), and IEEE Network (pdf). After graduation, Dr. Mahanti took a job as an Assistant Professor at the University of Auckland, New Zeeland.
  • Youmna Borghol (PhD, 2012 @ University of New South Wales, Australia): Youmna's thesis focused on popularity dynamic in YouTube. Joint publications related to her thesis appeared in IFIP Performance 2011 (pdf) and ACM SIGKDD 2012 (pdf). Dr. Borghol is now a Data Analytics Manager at MediaCom, Australia.

Highlighted Students with Final Year Research Project/Assignments

I have also had the pleasure to work with some excellent final year students. The following list highlights students for which our joint works have been published and become a major part of their thesis either here at Linköping University (LiU) or elsewhere.
  • Alberto García Estévez (BSc, 2013 @ LiU): Alberto designed, implemented, and evaluated a geo-smart scheduler and a geo-location-aware emulation framework for performance evaluation of mobile applications. This work appears at IEEE/IFIP WONS 2014 (pdf).
  • M. Aminul Islam (MSc, 2013 @ University of Saskatchewan, Canada): Aminul characterized and modelled popularity dynamics of user-generated content. This work appears at IEEE MASCOTS 2013 (pdf).
  • Patrik Bergström (BSc, 2012 @ LiU): Patrik implemented a novel proof-of-concept HAS-based player for nonlinear multipath video streaming. This work later received the best paper award at the ACM SIGCOMM workshop FhMN 2013 (pdf).
  • Song Zhang (MSc, 2011 @ University of Calgary, Canada): Song's thesis experimentally validates some of our works on dynamic bundling in peer-to-peer systems (pdf). Joint works appeared in IEEE IWQoS 2010 (pdf) and IEEE LCN 2012 (pdf).
  • Siddharth Mitra (MTech, 2010 @ IIT Dehli, India): Siddharth characterized the popularity dynamics in YouTube. His thesis won a best thesis award at IIT Dehli and joint works where published in ACM Transactions on the Web (pdf), and IFIP Performance 2011 (pdf).
  • Trinabh Gupta and Sanchit Garg (BTech, 2009 @ IIT Dehli, India): Trinabh and Sanchit characterized the evolution of a social aggregation network. Their thesis won a best thesis award at IIT Dehli and joint publications appeared in ACM IMC 2009 (pdf) and AAAI ICWSM 2009 (pdf). Trinabh is now doing his PhD at University of Texas at Austin.
In addition to the above student theses, I have very much enjoyed working with many other excellent students. While all have done interesting work, this list only highlight works that have been published.

External Examiner and/or Thesis Committee

  • Adele Lu Jia (PhD, 2013) @ Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands
  • Tomas Kupka (PhD, 2013) @ Simula and University of Oslo, Norway

Completed Final-year Thesis Students (at companies, as part of courses, or research)

  • Erman Döser (MSc, 2014 @ Ericsson research)
  • Tim Hedlund (MSc, 2014 @ Ida Infront)
  • Robert Nissa Holmgren (MSc, 2014 @ Spotify)
  • Elias Kärnsund and Jakob Bäcklund (BSc, 2014 @ LiU)
  • Johanna Thorheim and Anna Boyer de la Giroday (BSc, 2014 @ LiU)
  • Matteus Hemström and Anton Niklasson (BSc, 2014 @ LiU)
  • Milad Barsomo and Mats Hurtig (BSc, 2014 @ LiU)
  • Emmie Nilsek and Christoffer Olsson (BSc, 2014 @ LiU)
  • Fredrik Säveros (MSc, 2013 @ Attentec)
  • Anders Skoglund (MSc, 2013 @ LiU, research project)
  • Pavithra Velusamy Chandramohan (MSc, 2013 @ Sonos)
  • Alberto García Estévez (BSc, 2013 @ LiU, research project)
  • Carlos Fernández Fernández (BSc, 2013 @ LiU, research project)
  • Maryam Mehrabian (MSc, 2012 @ Ericsson)
  • Patrik Bergström (BSc, 2012 @ LiU, research project)

Future Students

We are in the process of building a new high-caliber research group which specializes in the design, modeling, and performance evaluation of distributed systems and networks. We are therefore looking for self motivated students that are interested in doing a project or thesis in our group.
  • Topics: Potential topics include, but are not limited to: content distribution, popularity dynamics, sustainable and energy efficient ICT, peer-to-peer, branched video, social networking, data/information-centric networking, as well as new architectures, applications and services for smartphones. Much of my ongoing research contributes towards providing simple and effective ways to disseminate content and information to increasingly mobile clients. As a more concrete example, we want to make the mobile Web faster and more energy efficient. There are of course many other candidate topics, which I would be happy to discuss in person. You can also find some recent research papers on my website.
  • Methodologies: We will always try to use the best tools for the problem at hand. Our research include a combination of measurements, data analysis/mining, applied statistics, analytic modeling, optimization, simulations, system implementation and design, as well as real-world experiments. We are looking for ambitious students interested in applying one or more of these methodologies to improve and better understand systems.
Please contact me if you are interested in doing a project or thesis with us.

Prospective thesis and graduate students: I am always looking for self motivated and ambitious students. If you fit the above description, please send me an email. There are always bachelor and master's thesis projects avalible. We are also constantly looking for good PhD candidates.
  • PhD Candidates ("doktorander", in Swedish) should have a MSc degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or other related discipline. While a strong background in mathematics is a plus, this is not a requirement. (See description of methodologies above.) The primary requirement for these positions is that you are ambitious, hardworking, and interested in doing high-quality research. PhD candidates are employed with a monthly salary.
  • Masters Thesis: There are thesis projects available for students interested in any of the above topics or methodologies. (Particularly strong, ambitious, and hardworking masters students can be accepted/promoted into the PhD program.)
  • Bachelor Thesis: There are some thesis projects available for ambitious students.
To indicate interest, you can send me an email with your CV, transcripts (scanned, including grades and degrees, if applicable), and a cover letter (in which you describe why you are a suitable candidate). Any attachments should be in pdf format. (Other formats will not be opened.)

Example Projects for BSc/MSc Thesis

There are some candidate thesis topics that I would be particularly excited finding good students for (many of which are related to our ongoing research projects). Rather than listing all these projects publically, I am happy to sit down individually with suitable candidates and discuss such projects. (For some projects, including the ones listed below, there are also some brief summary write-ups that can be shared with students genuinely interested in doing a project.)

Below are some very brief example announcements for project we are hoping to find people.

  • Content and service delivery: There are many projects here that would allow you to learn about different services at depth; perhaps even your favorite service (e.g., BitTorrent, Netflix, Skype, Spotify, YouTube, etc.). If you are curious, like to investigate, and/or just like to build your knowledge, these projects may be of interest of you.
  • Hockey interested and interested in data mining (or statistics)? If this sounds like you please contact me. We have the perfect project for you!! We also have other data mining and/or data analysis oriented projects.
  • Interested in learning about the weaknesses of SSL and Web security? There is a very interesting project for you! We also have a number of other security-related projects.
  • Interested in analytic modeling or mathematics? This may be a great opportunity to apply those skills to better understand how systems, networks, and/or services work and should best be designed.
  • Data mining and analyzis tools for understanding popularity dynamics.
  • We are looking for a student to help in the design and implementation of a Planetlab demonstrator and teaching tools.
  • In a multimedia-related work (that will involve working with the user interface), we are looking for a student that is good at ActionScript 3.0 (javaScript 2.0, or is a strong programmer) so that you quickly can grasp the code/language.
As hopefully suggested from the above descriptions, there is the potential for a wide variety of other candidate projects as well. I encourage you to check out my publication page for example papers and topics that we actively research.