Leonard Kleinrock

Leonard Kleinrock

Past Awards

INFORMS Elected Fellows: Awardee(s)

INFORMS President's Award: Awardee(s)

Professor Leonard Kleinrock of UCLA has played a crucial role in the establishment of the Internet and in its subsequent development. He published the first paper on packet switching theory in 1961 and the first book on the subject in 1964, both of which made essential use of queueing theory and other operations research techniques. Having proven the theoretical advantages of packet switching over circuit switching, he helped convince others to implement experimental networks based on these principles. This led to the 1968 decision to build ARPANET, the immediate predecessor of the Internet. On the UCLA faculty since 1963, Professor Kleinrock founded and ran the Network Measurement Center there, which was selected as the site of the first ARPANET node. This node was set up at UCLA in September 1969 under his direction, and a month later he supervised the sending of the first host-to-host message to a second node in the Bay Area. His Queueing Systems, Volume II was the first book on the ARPANET, and it has been widely adopted and much acclaimed (e.g., the 1976 Lanchester Prize).

The ARPANET became today's Internet, which has grown with astonishing speed to more than 50 million host computers as of this writing. This could not have happened without important contributions by many people, but Kleinrock's were as seminal as any. He has continued to be influential in the Internet community as a researcher, teacher, and public policy advisor.

His computer networking research is reported in more than 200 papers and six books, and has won numerous prestigious awards. These include the Ericsson Prize from Sweden, the Marconi Award from Belgium, and membership in the National Academy of Engineering.

His excellence in classroom teaching is proven by several distinguished teaching awards, and he has produced more than 40 doctoral graduates in computer networking, many of whom have gone on to important positions in academia and industry.

His impact on public policy is most visible in the two studies he chaired for the National Research Council in 1988 and 1994. The first was influential on then Senator Al Gore, and helped stimulate the development of high speed networks. The second presented a powerful vision of the National Information Infrastructure and brought national focus and clarity to numerous pertinent policy issues still in the public eye today.

The Internet is, of course, the basis for one of the greatest revolutions since the dawn of the Industrial Age. This revolution is permitting people around the world to interact and collaborate with each other far more easily than ever, enabling information dissemination on a vastly larger scale than ever before, undermining the social sustainability of totalitarian political regimes, creating new kinds of work and leisure activities, and dramatically reshaping the world of business in ways that improve its efficiency.

For his wide-ranging and fundamental contributions to the birth and development of the Internet, and thereby to the global welfare of society, INFORMS is proud to present its President's Award for 1999 — the Internet's 30th anniversary year — to Professor Leonard Kleinrock."

—Thomas L. Magnanti, INFORMS President 1999 (presenting the award in November 1999)

Frederick W. Lanchester Prize: Winner(s)

Two books have been awarded ORSA's 1976 Lanchester Prize —

Ralph Disney, Chairman of the 1976 Lanchester Prize Committee, stated that ". . .Both books portray the balance of theory and application expected of exemplary operations research. Both books address problems of significance. Both books lay a foundation that future operations researchers will build upon and use for many years. Both books share with the reader not only the theory of what is being done but also the experience, intuition, good judgment, trials and tribulation requisite to successful implementation." The two prize citations are as follows:

Kleinrock, Leonard, Queueing Systems: Vol. II--Computer Applications, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 1976.

Applying queueing theory is an art. Kleinrock is an artist. In this book he shares with the reader those insights and that knowledge requisite to applying an enormous amount of existing theory to the large scale, economically important problem of computer systems design.

Much of the theory presented in this book and the companion, Vol. I (which was not considered by the 1976 committee), has existed in the research journals and text books for years. Pulling together this enormous quantity of material, carefully selecting that which is needed for successful application and then applying it in a skillful, creative, imaginative way is the contribution of the book. It is an outstanding example of applied operations research.

Based largely on the pioneering work of Kleinrock, the use of queueing theory in computer systems design and analysis is now widespread. Indeed, this use of queueing theory may now rival in importance the original use of it in telephone systems. The juxtaposition of these two fields, in fact, is today one of the major areas of new research effort and economically important new applications.

Reading Kleinrock's later chapters is just plain fun. One can nearly see the fun and excitement the author must have felt as he tried to bring complex theory and equal complex system's description to a general audience. But the book is serious and deserves the careful attention of the queueing theorist, the operations researchers confronted with similar problems and the general reader trying to understand how one could ever make use of some seemingly esoteric topics.

In terms of making a major contribution to the state-of-the-art, creatively unifying and simplifying existing ideas, opening new areas of application, making use of existing knowledge in a highly original way, and presenting all of this succinctly, intelligently and enthusiastically, this book must be considered an outstanding example of excellent operations research.