Niklas Carlsson

Associate Professor
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, content delivery, multimedia networking (including HAS/DASH, VR, AR, mixed reality), network 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. (Link to 2018 thesis examples.)

Current PhD Students at LiU

  • Nikita Korzhitskii: Nikita is doing research on a number of network security topics related to certificates and their usage. His characterization of the root landscape of certificate transparency logs was presented at IFIP Networking 2020 (pdf). With some other interesting findings and ideas in the pipeline, he also has some other good research papers on the horizon.
  • Minh-Ha Le: Minh-Ha is doing research on ... His work on ... was published at ACM WPES @CCS 2020. [under construction]

Graduated PhD Students at LiU

  • Vengatanathan Krishnamoorthi (graduated Mar. 2018): 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. Our ACM Multimedia 2015 (pdf) paper presents a novel bandwidth-aware prefetching solution for proactive multi-video preloading and improved HAS performance. Vengatanathan's work also includes the design and implementation of an optimized interactive streaming solution in which users can select among many alternative viewpoints, published in IEEE Trans. on Multimedia, July 2017 (pdf), and the BUFFEST framework for predicting buffer conditions and real-time requirements of HTTP(S) adaptive streaming clients, published in ACM MMSys 2017 (pdf). Other joint publications include works at IEEE ICC 2017 (pdf), IEEE/ACM IWQoS 2018 (pdf), and ACM MMSys 2018 (pdf). Dr. Krishnamoorthi now works at Ericsson.
  • Rahul Hiran (graduated Dec. 2016): Rahul was 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), his distributed alliance framework for collaborative BGP monitoring and prefix-based security, called PrefiSec, is published at ACM WISCS @ CCS 2014 (pdf) and his CrowdSec paper is published at IEEE CNS 2015 (pdf). Finally, scale, size, and locality aspects of a wide range of collaborative BGP security mechanisms are evaluated in his most recent IFIP Networking 2016 paper (pdf). Other joint publications include works at IEEE ICC 2017 (pdf) and Computer Networks 2017 (pdf). Dr. Hiran now works at Ericsson.
  • Anna Vapen (graduated Sept. 2016): Anna was 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 about the privacy risks and information sharing in this landscape are published at IFIP SEC 2015 (pdf). Her shorter poster paper of this work also won an outstanding poster award at ACM CODASPY 2015 (pdf). A longitudinal analysis was presented at the NDSS workshop UEOP 2016 (pdf), and a high-level overview about the third-party identity management landscape can be found in our Internet Computing (pdf) article published 2016. Dr. Vapen now works at Mindcamp.

Internship Students, Postdocs, and Researchers at LiU

  • Tatiana Polishchuk (postdoc, 2015): During her postdoc Tatiana worked on optimization problems related to our new HAS-based content delivery techniques for tomorrow's streaming services. This work is published in IEEE Transactions on Multimedia (pdf) and extends our prior works presented at ACM Multimedia 2014 (pdf) and ACM Multimedia 2015 (pdf).
  • 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 continued this work as a PhD student in the group (now graduated).
  • 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 spectrum auctions (pdf) and content replica selection (pdf). The replica selection work extends our prior work (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 (PhD, 2019 @ 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) CCPE 2014 (pdf), ACM/SPEC ICPE 2017 (pdf), IoT 2019 (pdf), ACM/SPEC ICPE 2020 (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.
  • Daniel Persson Proos (MSc, 2019 @ Scania): Daniel's thesis presented a performance comparison of messaging protocols and serialization formats. This work was published and presented at IFIP Networking 2020. (pdf).
  • Madeleine Backstrom, Linn Hallonqvist (BSc, 2019 @ LiU): Madeleine and Linn performed a three-phase user study of the value of a brached video playback bar and its features. An extension of this work was published and presented at ACM Multimedia 2019 (pdf).
  • Per Lindstrom (BSc, 2019 @ Signality): Per used implemented and evaluated an imitation learning method using recurrent neural networks, which he used to learn individual soccer players' behavior and to perform rollouts of player movements on previously unseen play sequences. An extension of his work was published and presented at MLSA @ECML/PKDD 2019 (pdf).
  • Eric Lindskog, Jesper Wrang (BSc, 2018 @ LiU): Eric and Jesper implemented and evaluated a brached video playback bar in dash.js. An extension of this work was published and presented at ACM Multimedia 2019 (pdf).
  • Edward Nsolo (MSc, 2018 @ LiU): Edward use various machine learning algorithms to compare and contrast which attributes and skills best predict the success of individual soccer players. An extension of his work was published and presented at MLSA @ECML/PKDD 2018 (pdf).
  • Eric Henziger (MSc, 2018 @ LiU): Eric characterized the overheads associated with using client-side encryption (CSE) in cloud storage systems. His work (including extensions) was published and presented at IEEE/ACM UCC 2019 (pdf) and IEEE CloudCom 2019 (pdf). The first of these two papers was one of three papers nominated for the best paper award at IEEE/ACM UCC 2019.
  • Erik Arestrom (MSc, 2018 @ Ericsson): Erik presented a framework for traffic classification of encrypted traffic, which combines multi-fractal feature extraction, principal component analysis (PCA) based feature selection, and man-in-the-middle (MITM) based flow labeling. His work was published at the IEEE INFOCOM 2019 workshop on Intelligent Cloud Computing and Networking (pdf).
  • Jesper Holmstrom, Daniel Jonsson, Linnea Lundstrom, Sebastian Ragnarsson (BSc, 2017 @ LiU): Jesper and Daniel built a measurement framework for longitudinal analysis of the spreading of news on Twitter, and analyzed the collected dataset. Linnea and Sebastian analyzed the spread as seen in related datasets. An extension of their works was published and presented at ACM/IEEE ASONAM 2019 (pdf).
  • Mathias Almquist, Viktor Almquist (MSc, 2017 @ LiU): Mathias and Viktor designed and performed a 360-degree video streaming study. An extension of this work is published and presented at ACM MMSys 2018 (pdf). Here, we characterize and analyze the prefetch aggressiveness tradeoff in 360 video streaming, using both measurements and an optimization framework.
  • Filip Polbratt, Olav Nilsson (BSc, 2017 @ LiU): Filip and Olav built a measurement framework for longitudinal analysis of the spreading of fake news on Twitter. An extension of this work was published and presented at ACM/IEEE ASONAM 2019 (pdf).
  • Carl Nykvist, Linus Sjöström (BSc, 2017 @ LiU): Carl and Linus used measurements to characterize the server-side adoption of Certificate Transparency (CT). An extension of this work was published and presented at PAM 2018 (pdf).
  • Josef Gustafsson (MSc, 2016 @ NORDUnet): Josef implemented a Certificate Transparency (CT) monitor and characterized the emerging CT landscape. An extension of this work was published and presented at PAM 2017 (pdf). Here, we provide the first large-scale characterization of the CT landscape. Other joint work with Josef have been published at IEEE ICC 2017 (pdf) and PAM 2018 (pdf).
  • Georgios Rizothanasis (MSc, 2015 @ LiU): George developed timing-based techniques to identify user actions from within the large amount of HTTP(S) traffic (dominated by requests not explicitly made by the clients) seen in modern networks. The performance was evaluated within a rigorous and automated evaluation framework that he also developed. This work is presented at IEEE LCN 2016 (pdf).
  • Joel Purra (MSc, 2015 @ .SE): Joel developed a measurement methodology and performed analysis of the third-party tracking usage. His IEEE LCN 2016 (pdf) paper highlights the current state of the third-party tracking landscape, including differences across tracking service classes, domain categories, and the organizations that owns the tracker services.
  • Tova Linder, Pontus Persson, Anton Forsberg and Jakob Danielsson (BSc, 2015 @ LiU): Tova and Pontus characterized the bandwidth variations observed in measurements from Bredbandskollen (the most popular speedtest service in Sweden) and evaluated the prediction accuracy that such crowd-sourced datasets can provide. Anton and Jacob evaluated the performance improvements that such predictions can provide mobile clients. This work appears at IEEE/IFIP WONS 2016 (pdf).
  • 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 later did his PhD at University of Texas at Austin and is now a faculty member at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB).
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

  • Linus Åkesson (Lic, 2016) @ Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • Manfred Dellkrantz (Lic, 2016) @ Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • Ekhiotz Jon Vergara (PhD, 2016) @ Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  • Ahmed Ali-Eldin (PhD, 2015) @ Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
  • Adele Lu Jia (PhD, 2013) @ Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands
  • Tomas Kupka (PhD, 2013) @ Simula and University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

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

  • Josef Gustafsson (MSc, 2016 @ NORDUnet, research project)
  • Georgios Rizothanasis (MSc, 2015 @ LiU, research project)
  • Nicklas Blomqvist and Björn Bylund (MSc, 2015 @ Ericsson research)
  • Joel Purra (MSc, 2015 @ .SE, research project)
  • Tova Linder and Pontus Persson (BSc, 2015 @ LiU, research project)
  • Anton Forsberg and Jakob Danielsson (BSc, 2015 @ LiU, research project)
  • Karl Andersson and Marcus Odlander (BSc, 2015 @ LiU)
  • 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, future streaming services (including HAS/DASH, VR, AR, mixed reality), popularity dynamics, network security, social networking, performance/systems modeling, measurements/characterization, and data mining/analysis. Much of my ongoing research contributes towards providing inovative and effective ways to disseminate content and information for tomorrow's society. 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 have a genuine interest in learning, discovering, and carefully exploring new things, and have the ambition 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 or 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.

Data mining project on Content Popularity Dynamics
This thesis would involve follow up work on our ACM KDD 2012 (pdf) paper, and would involve both data collection and analysis of datasets.

Multimedia project on Branched Video Streaming
This thesis would involve follow up work on our ACM SIGCOMM FhMN best paper award (pdf) paper and our ACM MM 2014 (pdf) paper. For this project, preference would be given to a student that is good at ActionScript 3.0 (based on javaScript 2.0) or that is a strong programmer so that he/she quickly can grasp the code/language.

Some other example projects
  • 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.
  • We are looking for a student to help in the design and implementation of a Planetlab demonstrator and teaching tools.
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.