Advancing Experiment Design and Lifecycle with DEW

Genevieve Bartlett, DETER researcher, presented recent advances in testbed support for experiment design and lifecycle at the 11th USENIX Workshop on Cyber Security Experimentation and Test (CSET ’18) on August 13, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. Genevieve, along with colleagues Jelena Mirkovic and Jim Blythe, are motivated to enable easier experiment design, management, sharing, and reuse. Current testbed experiments are often ad-hoc, manual, complex, and hard to repeat and reuse. The solution that these three focused researchers converged upon is DEW: Distributed Experiment Workflows as an answer to today’s problems with current testbed experiments.

Dr. Bartlett’s presentation explained that current experiment design failings are frequently attributable to the testbed community’s inability to capture, standardize, and encode experiment behavior. Current experiment representations focus primarily on topology. DEW encodes experiment behavior at both high and low levels, including topological constraints, translating into much improved realization within testbed environments. Genevieve explained how DEW enables easier experiment design, management, sharing and reuse, including how it facilitates automated generation of topologies and runnable scripts.

The work presented by Dr. Bartlett lays a path forward for improving tools for experiment design and support. Preliminary interfaces and tools are available through GitHub at: Genevieve is very enthusiastic about this work and has called on the testbed community to take action, asking for feedback from users and designers as DEW continues to evolve.

Both presentation and paper can be accessed at: