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Nicholas Jing Yuan, Yu Zheng, Xing Xie, Yingzi Wang, Kai Zheng, and Hui Xiong

The step of urbanization and modern civilization fosters different functional zones in a city, such as residential areas, business districts, and educational areas. In a metropolis, people commute between these functional zones every day to engage in different socioeconomic activities, e.g., working, shopping, and entertaining. In this paper, we propose a data-driven framework to discover functional zones in a city. Specifically, we introduce the concept of Latent Activity Trajectory (LAT), which...

Publication details
Date: 1 August 2016
Type: Article
Publisher: IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Abram Hindle, Christian Bird, Thomas Zimmermann, and Nachiappan Nagappan

Large organizations like Microsoft tend to rely on formal requirements documentation in order to specify and design the software products that they develop. These documents are meant to be tightly coupled with the actual implementation of the features they describe. In this paper we evaluate the value of high-level topic-based requirements traceability and issue report traceability in the version control system, using Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA). We evaluate LDA topics on practitioners...

Publication details
Date: 1 December 2015
Type: Article
Publisher: Springer
Yanjie Fu, Yong Ge, Yu Zheng, Yao, Yanchi Liu, Hui Xiong, and Nicholas Jing Yuan

Ranking residential real estates based on investment values can provide decision making support for home buyers and thus plays an important role in estate marketplace. In this paper, we aim to develop methods for ranking estates based on investment values by mining users opinions about estates from online user reviews and offline moving behaviors (e.g., taxi traces, smart card transactions, check-ins). While a variety of features could be extracted from these data, these features are intercorrelated and...

Publication details
Date: 1 December 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Yuchen Zhang, Xi Chen, Dengyong Zhou, and Michael I. Jordan

Publication details
Date: 1 December 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Emerson Murphy-Hill, Thomas Zimmermann, Christian Bird, and Nachiappan Nagappan

When software engineers fix bugs, they may have several options as to how to fix those bugs. Which fix they choose has many implications, both for practitioners and researchers: What is the risk of introducing other bugs during the fix? Is the bug fix in the same code that caused the bug? Is the change fixing the cause or just covering a symptom? In this paper, we investigate alternative fixes to bugs and present an empirical study of how engineers make design choices about how to fix bugs. We start...

Publication details
Date: 1 December 2015
Type: Article
Publisher: IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Publication details
Date: 1 December 2015
Type: Article
Mohan Yang, bolin ding, surajit chaudhuri, and kaushik chakrabarti

We aim to provide table answers to keyword queries using a knowledge base. For queries referring to multiple entities, like “Washington cities population” and “Mel Gibson movies”, it is better to represent each relevant answer as a table which aggregates a set of entities or joins of entities within the same table scheme or pattern. In this paper, we study how to find highly relevant patterns in a knowledge base for user-given keyword queries to compose table answers. A knowledge base is...

Publication details
Date: 1 August 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: VLDB – Very Large Data Bases
Badrish Chandramouli, Jonathan Goldstein, Mike Barnett, Robert DeLine, Danyel Fisher, John C. Platt, James F. Terwilliger, and John Wernsing

This paper introduces Trill – a new query processor for analytics. Trill fulfills a combination of three requirements for a query processor to serve the diverse big data analytics space: (1) Query Model: Trill is based on a tempo-relational model that enables it to handle streaming and relational queries with early results, across the latency spectrum from real-time to offline; (2) Fabric and Language Integration : Trill is architected as a high-level language library that supports...

Publication details
Date: 1 August 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: VLDB – Very Large Data Bases
Each year, Microsoft Research sponsors a semester-long class at leading design schools. Students are asked to form interdisciplinary teams of two to four students to design a user experience prototype that solves a real-world problem. From these groups, a representative team from each school presents its work to Microsoft. This year, Design Expo is excited to align with Imagine Cup and Microsoft's 40th anniversary. The event will take place from July 28th to 31st in Redmond, Washington.
Event details
Date: 8–9 July 2015
Location: Microsoft Redmond
Type: Conference
This annual event is for PhD students in their first or second year from universities and research institutions with which Microsoft Research partners, as well as all Microsoft Research PhD Scholars. It includes a series of talks of academic interest, transferable skills talks, and poster sessions that provide invited students the opportunity to present their work to Microsoft researchers.
Event details
Date: 29 June–3 July 2015
Location: Cambridge, UK
Type: Other
Fuzheng Zhang, Nicholas Jing Yuan, David Wilkie, Yu Zheng, and Xing Xie

Urban transportation is an important factor in energy consumption and pollution, and is of increasing concern due to its complexity and economic significance. Its importance will only increase as urbanization continues around the world. In this paper, we explore drivers’ refueling behavior in urban areas. Compared to questionnaire-based methods of the past, we propose a complete data-driven system that pushes towards real-time sensing of individual refueling behavior and citywide petrol consumption. Our...

Publication details
Date: 1 June 2015
Type: Article
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Pantazis Deligiannis, Jeroen Ketema, Paul Thomson, Alastair Donaldson, and Akash Lal

Programming efficient asynchronous systems is challenging because it can often be hard to express the design declaratively, or to defend against interleaving-dependent bugs such as data races and other assertion violations. Previous work has only addressed these challenges individually, either by designing a new declarative language, or a new data race detection tool, or a new testing technique. We present P#, a language for high-reliability asynchronous programming co-designed with a static analysis...

Publication details
Date: 1 June 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Akash Lal and Shaz Qadeer

A hierarchical program is one with multiple procedures but no loops or recursion. This paper studies the problem of deciding reachability queries in hierarchical programs. This problem is fundamental to verification and most directly applicable to doing bounded reachability in programs, i.e., reachability under a bound on the number of loop iterations and recursive calls.

The usual method of deciding reachability in hierarchical programs is to first
inline all procedures and then do...

Publication details
Date: 1 June 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Hao Fang, Saurabh Gupta, Forrest Iandola, Rupesh Srivastava, Li Deng, Piotr Dollar, Jianfeng Gao, Xiaodong He, Margaret Mitchell, John Platt, Lawrence Zitnick, and Geoffrey Zweig

This paper presents a novel approach for automatically generating image descriptions: visual detectors and language models learn directly from a dataset of image captions.We use Multiple Instance Learning to train visual detectors for words that commonly occur in captions, including many different parts of speech such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives. The word detector outputs serve as conditional inputs to a maximum-entropy language model. The language model learns from a set of over 400,000 image...

Publication details
Date: 1 June 2015
Type: Article
Publisher: IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Shuo Ma, Yu Zheng, and Ouri Wolfson

We proposed and developed a taxi-sharing system that accepts taxi passengers’ real-time ride requests sent from smartphones and schedules proper taxis to pick up them via ridesharing, subject to time, capacity, and monetary constraints. The monetary constraints provide incentives for both passengers and taxi drivers: passengers will not pay more compared with no ridesharing and get compensated if their travel time is lengthened due to ridesharing; taxi drivers will make money for all the detour distance...

Publication details
Date: 1 June 2015
Type: Article
Publisher: IEEE
Philip A. Bernstein, Sudipto Das, Bailu Ding, and Markus Pilman

Scaling-out a database system typically requires partitioning the database across multiple servers. If applications do not partition perfectly, then transactions accessing multiple partitions end up being distributed, which has well-known scalability challenges. To address them, we describe a high-performance transaction mechanism that uses optimistic concurrency control on a multi-versioned tree-structured database stored in a shared log. The system scales out by adding servers, without partitioning...

Publication details
Date: 31 May 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
The Devices and Networking Summit 2015 will bring together 250 thought leaders, researchers and practitioners from academia and industry, drawn from a broad range of disciplines including computer science, engineering and design. Together we will discuss some of the key advances and challenges relating to the development and deployment of the next generation of devices and services.
Event details
Date: 11–13 May 2015
Location: Paris, France
Type: Conference
Jacob R. Lorch, Andrew Baumann, Lisa Glendenning, Dutch T. Meyer, and Andrew Warfield

Many services need to survive machine failures, but designing and deploying fault-tolerant services can be difficult and error-prone. In this work, we present Tardigrade, a system that deploys an existing, unmodified binary as a fault-tolerant service. Tardigrade replicates the service on several machines so that it continues running even when some of them fail. Yet, it keeps the service states synchronized so clients see strongly consistent results. To achieve this efficiently, we use lightweight...

Publication details
Date: 4 May 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: USENIX – Advanced Computing Systems Association
Jacob R. Lorch, Andrew Baumann, Lisa Glendenning, Dutch T. Meyer, and Andrew Warfield

Many services need to survive machine failures, but designing and deploying fault-tolerant services can be difficult and error-prone. In this work, we present Tardigrade, a system that deploys an existing, unmodified binary as a fault-tolerant service. Tardigrade replicates the service on several machines so that it continues running even when some of them fail. Yet, it keeps the service states synchronized so clients see strongly consistent results. To achieve this efficiently, we use lightweight...

Publication details
Date: 4 May 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: USENIX – Advanced Computing Systems Association
Edward K. Smith, Christian Bird, and Thomas Zimmermann

Developers sometimes take the initiative to build tools to solve problems they face. What motivates developers to build these tools? What is the value for a company? Are the tools built useful for anyone besides their creator? We conducted a qualitative study of tool building, adoption, and impact within Microsoft. This paper presents our findings on the extrinsic and intrinsic factors linked to toolbuilding, the value of building tools, and the factors associated with tool spread. We find that the...

Publication details
Date: 1 May 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Ryen W. White, Matthew Richardson, and Wen-tau Yih

Search systems traditionally require searchers to formulate information needs as keywords rather than in a more natural form, such as questions. Recent studies have found that Web search engines are observing an increase in the fraction of queries phrased as natural language. As part of building better search engines, it is important to understand the nature and prevalence of these intentions, and the impact of this increase on search engine performance. In this work, we show that while 10.3% of queries...

Publication details
Date: 1 May 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Jonathan Mace, Peter Bodik, Rodrigo Fonseca, and Madanlal Musuvathi

In distributed systems shared by multiple tenants, effective resource management is an important pre-requisite to providing quality of service guarantees. Many systems deployed today lack performance isolation and experience contention, slowdown, and even outages caused by aggressive workloads or by improperly throttled maintenance tasks such as data replication. In this work we present Retro, a resource management framework for shared distributed systems. Retro monitors per-tenant resource usage both...

Publication details
Date: 1 May 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Kim Herzig, Michaela Greiler, Jacek Czerwonka, and Brendan Murphy

Testing is a key element of software development processes for the management and assessment of product quality. In most development environments, the software engineers are responsible for ensuring the functional correctness of code. However, for large complex software products, there is an additional need to check that changes do not negatively impact other parts of the software and they comply with system constraints such as backward compatibility, performance, security etc. Ensuring these system...

Publication details
Date: 1 May 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Publication details
Date: 1 May 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Kim Herzig and Nachiappan Nagappan

Applying code changes to software systems and testing these code changes can be a complex task that involves many different types of software testing strategies, e.g. system and integration tests. However, not all test failures reported during code integration are hinting towards code defects. Testing large systems such as the Microsoft Windows operating system requires complex test infrastructures, which may lead to test failures caused by faulty tests and test infrastructure issues. Such false test...

Publication details
Date: 1 May 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
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