Van Jacobson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Van Jacobson in January 2006

Van Jacobson (born 1950) is an American computer scientist, renowned for his work on TCP/IP network performance and scaling.[1] He is one of the primary contributors to the TCP/IP protocol stack—the technological foundation of today’s Internet.[2] Since 2013, Jacobson is an adjunct professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) working on Named Data Networking.

Early life and education[edit]

Jacobson studied Modern Poetry, Physics, and Mathematics and received an M.S. in physics and a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Arizona.[3] He did graduate work at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.[4]


His work redesigning TCP/IP's congestion control algorithms (Jacobson's algorithm)[5][6] to better handle congestion is said to have saved the Internet from collapsing in the late 1980s and early 1990s.[7] He is also known for the TCP/IP Header Compression protocol described in RFC 1144: Compressing TCP/IP Headers for Low-Speed Serial Links, popularly known as Van Jacobson TCP/IP Header Compression.

He is the co-author of several widely used network diagnostic tools, including traceroute, tcpdump, and pathchar. He was a leader in the development of the multicast backbone (MBone)[8] and the multimedia tools vic,[9] vat,[10] and wb.[11]

Jacobson worked at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory from 1974 to 1998 as a Research scientist in the Real-time Controls Group and later group leader for the Network Research Group.[12] He was Chief Scientist at Cisco Systems from 1998 to 2000.[13] In 2000 he became Chief Scientist for Packet Design, Inc. and in 2002 for a spin-off, Precision I/O.[14] He joined PARC as a research fellow in August 2006.

In January 2006 at, Jacobson presented another idea about network performance improvement, which has since been referred to as network channels.[15] Jacobson discussed his ideas on Named data networking (NDN), the focus of his work at PARC, in August 2006 as part of the Google Tech Talks.[16][17] Van Jacobson is now working with the NDN Consortium funded by the National Science Foundation to explore and create the future of the internet.

Awards and memberships[edit]

Van Jacobson together with his colleague at LBL, Steven McCanne, won R&D Magazine's 1995 R&D 100 Award for development of a software toolpack that enables multiparty audio and visual conferencing via the MBone (Multicast Backbone).[18]

For his work, Jacobson received the 2001 ACM SIGCOMM Award for Lifetime Achievement "for contributions to protocol architecture and congestion control",[1] the 2002 IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award,[7] and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004 for his "contributions to network protocols, including multicasting and the control of congestion."[19]

In 2012, Jacobson was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 2001 SIGCOMM Award for Lifetime Achievement to Van Jacobson "for contributions to protocol architecture and congestion control."
  2. ^ "Van Jacobson Biography", IEEE Global History Network, accessed 31 March 2012
  3. ^ "An Analysis of TCP Processing Overhead" (Biography), David D. Clark, et al., IEEE Communications Magazine, June 1989, p. 29
  4. ^ Borsook, Paulina. "Profile: Van Jacobson keeps communications channels open", Network World, March 24, 1994, p. 51
  5. ^ "Congestion avoidance and control", Van Jacobson, Proceedings of SIGCOMM ’88, Stanford, CA, Aug. 1988, ACM
  6. ^ "Congestion avoidance and control", Van Jacobson, ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review - Special twenty-fifth anniversary issue, Highlights from 25 years of the Computer Communication Review, Volume 25 Issue 1, Jan. 1995, pp.157-187
  7. ^ a b "Van Jacobson: 2002 IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award Recipient", IEEE web site
  8. ^ ""Building the Internet's MBone: LBL's Van Jacobson a Principal Architect", Jeffery Kahn, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 9 December 1994
  9. ^ "vic - Video Conferencing Tool", web page at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  10. ^ "vat - LBL Audio Conferencing Tool", web page at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  11. ^ "wb - LBNL Whiteboard Tool", web page at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  12. ^ "LBNL's Network Research Group", Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, August 2009
  13. ^ Van Jacobson: Past and Current Positions in "TCP/IP pioneer's past is prologue", Loring Wirbel, EE Times, March 7, 2005
  14. ^ Packet Design, website
  15. ^ "Speeding up Networking", Van Jacobson and Bob Felderman, 2006, Dunedin, NZ
  16. ^ "Content-centric networking", PARC A Xerox Company
  17. ^ "A New Way to look at Networking", Van Jacobson, Google Tech Talk, 30 August 2006, YouTube Video
  18. ^ " Lab's connection to the MBone wins '95 R&D 100 Award", Bruce Davies, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
  19. ^ "Mr. Van Jacobson", Members Directory, National Academy of Engineering
  20. ^ 2012 Inductees, Internet Hall of Fame website. Last accessed April 24, 2012

External links[edit]