Every fraction of a second counts when transmitting data for time-sensitive operations like in assembly lines or autonomous vehicles. That fraction of a second can make the difference in avoiding manufacturing malfunctions or even saving someone’s life in a self-driving car by dodging a disastrous crash.

The standard method of transmitting data over the internet relies on a principle known as “best-effort delivery,” which means that while the internet service will try its best to send pieces of data, known as packets, from one computer to the next, the network makes no guarantees as to how long the process will take.

“Clearly, such a cavalier attitude toward delays is not suitable for real-time networked applications,” says Martin Reisslein, a professor of electrical engineering and chair of the graduate computer engineering program in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University.

Reisslein set out to solve this problem with Venkatraman Balasubramanian, now a senior network software engineer at Intel and an electrical engineering faculty associate at ASU. Balasubramanian studied under Reisslein as a doctoral student before graduating from ASU’s computer engineering program in the summer of 2022.

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