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Jiansong Zhang, Jin Zhang, Kun Tan, Lin Yang, Yongguang Zhang, and Qian Zhang
Publication details
Date: 1 June 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM Mobihoc 2015
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
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
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
Gennady Pekhimenko, Dimitrios Lymberopoulos, Oriana Riva, Karin Strauss, and Doug Burger

Trending search topics cause unpredictable query load spikes that hurt the end-user search experience, particularly the mobile one, by introducing longer delays. To understand how trending search topics are formed and evolve over time, we analyze 21 million queries submitted during periods where popular events caused search query volume spikes. Based on our findings, we design and evaluate PocketTrend, a system that automatically detects trending topics in real time, identifies the search...

Publication details
Date: 1 May 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Hucheng Zhou, Jian-Guang Lou, Hongyu Zhang, Haibo Lin, Haoxiang Lin, and Tingting Qin

Big Data computing platform has evolved to be a multi-tenant service. The service quality matters because system failure or performance slowdown could adversely affect business and user experience. There is few study in literature on service quality issues of production Big Data computing platform. In this paper, we present an empirical study on the service quality issues of Microsoft ProductA, which is a company-wide multi-tenant Big Data computing platform, serving thousands of customers from hundreds...

Publication details
Date: 1 May 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ICSE SEIP
Sudip Roy, Arnd Christian König, Igor Dvorkin, and Manish Kumar

Cloud platforms involve multiple independently developed components, often executing on diverse hardware configurations and across multiple data centers. This complexity makes tracking various key performance indicators (KPIs) and manual diagnosing of anomalies in system behavior both difficult and expensive. In this paper, we describe Argus, an automated system for mining service logs to identify anomalies and help formulate data-driven hypotheses.

Argus includes a suite of efficient mining...

Publication details
Date: 15 April 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: IEEE
Chieh-Jan Mike Liang, Börje F. Karlsson, Nicholas D. Lane, Feng Zhao, Junbei Zhang, Zheyi Pan, Zhao Li, and Yong Yu

As the number of connected devices explodes, the use scenarios of these devices and data have multiplied. Many of these scenarios, e.g., home automation, require tools beyond data visualizations, to express user intents and to ensure interactions do not cause undesired effects in the physical world. We present SIFT, a safety-centric programming platform for connected devices in IoT environments. First, to simplify programming, users express high-level intents in declarative IoT apps. The system then...

Publication details
Date: 1 April 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Zhice Yang, Jiansong Zhang, kun tan, Qian Zhang, and Yongguang Zhang

Today's WLANs are struggling to provide desirable features like high efficiency, fairness and QoS because of the use of Distributed Coordination Function (DCF). In this paper we present OpenTDMF, an architecture to enable TDMA on commodity WLAN devices. Our hope is to provide the desirable features without entirely rebuilding the WLAN infrastructure. OpenTDMF is inspired by and architecturally similar to Software Defined Networking (SDN). Specifically, we leverage the backhaul of WLAN to coordinate all...

Publication details
Date: 1 April 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: IEEE INFOCOM 15
Sid Roberts, Paul Garnett, and Ranveer Chandra

More than 4 billion people are not connected to the Internet. This is either because there is no infrastructure or because Internet access is not affordable. This digital divide is extreme in Africa. At Microsoft, we have been investigating various technologies to bridge this divide. In this paper we describe our research around the TV White Spaces, and how we have leveraged it, and worked with our partners to connect communities in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Publication details
Date: 1 April 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Dimitrios Lymberopoulos, Jie Liu, Xue Yang, Romit Roy Choudhury, Vlado Handziski, Souvik Sen, Filip Lemic, Jasper Buesch, Zhiping Jiang, Han Zou, Hao Jiang, Chi Zhang, Ashwin Ashok, Chenren Xu, Patrick Lazik, Niranjini Rajagopal, Anthony Rowe, Avik Ghose, Nasim Ahmed, Zhuoling Xiao, Hongkai Wen, Traian E. Abrudan, Andrew Markham, Thomas Schmid, Daniel Lee, Martin Klepal, Christian Beder, Maciej Nikodem, Szymon Szymczak, Pawel Hoffmann, Leo Selavo, Domenico Giustiniano, Vincent Lenders, Maurizio Rea, Andreas Marcaletti, Christos Laoudias, Demetrios Zeinalipour-Yazti, Yu-Kuen Tsai, Arne Bestmann, Ronne Reimann, Liqun Li, Chunshui Zhao, Stephan Adler, Simon Schmitt, Vincenzo Dentamaro, Domenico Colucci, Pasquale Ambrosini, Andre Ferraz, Lucas Martins, Pedro Bello, Alan Alvino, Vladica Sark, Gerald Pirkl, and Peter Hevesi

We present the results, experiences and lessons learned from comparing a diverse set of technical approaches to indoor localization during the 2014 Microsoft Indoor Localization Competition. 22 different solutions to indoor localization from different teams around the world were put to test in the same unfamiliar space over the course of 2 days, allowing us to directly compare the accuracy and overhead of various technologies. In this paper, we provide a detailed analysis of the evaluation study's...

Publication details
Date: 1 April 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Bo Zong, Christos Gkantsidis, and Milan Vojnovic

We study the problem of placing streaming queries into servers. Unlike previous work, we focus on queries that consume events of relative low rates, each computed in a single server (i.e. no scaling-out per query). However, we need to place a very large and dynamic number of queries in relatively few servers. Our focus is motivated by the need to support a platform for hosting end-user streaming queries that may come from a variety of applications, such as the Cortana personal assistant.

The...

Publication details
Date: 20 March 2015
Type: Technical report
Publisher: Microsoft Research
Number: MSR-TR-2015-26
Gordon Stewart, Mahanth Gowda, Geoffrey Mainland, Bozidar Radunovic, Dimitrios Vytiniotis, and Cristina Luengo Agulló

Software-defined radio (SDR) brings the flexibility of software to wireless protocol design, promising an ideal platform for innovation and rapid protocol deployment. However, implementing modern wireless protocols on existing SDR platforms often requires careful hand-tuning of low-level code, which can undermine the advantages of software.

Ziria is a new domain-specific language (DSL) that offers programming abstractions suitable for wireless physical (PHY) layer tasks while emphasizing the...

Publication details
Date: 1 March 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Ying Yan, Jiaxing Zhang, Bojun Huang, Xuzhan Sun, Jiaqi Mu, Zheng Zhang, and Thomas Moscibroda

Computing outliers and related statistical aggregation functions from large-scale big data sources is a critical operation in many cloud computing scenarios, e.g. service quality assurance, fraud detection, or novelty discovery. Such problems commonly have to be solved in a distributed environment where each node only has a local slice of the entirety of the data. To process a query on the global data, each node must transmit its local slice of data or an aggregated subset thereof to a global aggregator...

Publication details
Date: 1 March 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Philip A. Bernstein and Sudipto Das

In optimistic concurrency control, a certifier algorithm processes a log of transaction operations to determine whether each transaction satisfies a given isolation level and therefore should commit or abort. This logging and certification of transactions is often sequential and can become a bottleneck. To improve transaction throughput, it is beneficial to parallelize or scale out the certifier and the log. One common technique for such parallelization is to partition the database. If the database is...

Publication details
Date: 1 March 2015
Type: Article
Publisher: IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number: 1
Ankush Desai, Shaz Qadeer, and Sanjit Seshia

We introduce the concept of a delaying explorer with the
goal of performing prioritized exploration of the behaviors
of an asynchronous reactive program. A delaying explorer
stratifies the search space using a custom strategy, and a de-
lay operation that allows deviation from that strategy. We
show that prioritized search with a delaying explorer per-
forms significantly better than existing prioritization tech-
niques. We also demonstrate empirically the need for...

Publication details
Date: 1 March 2015
Type: Technical report
Number: MSR-TR-2015-25
Íñigo Goiri, Ricardo Bianchini, Santosh Nagarakatte, and Thu D. Nguyen
Publication details
Date: 1 March 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Nitesh Mor, Oriana Riva, Suman Nath, and John Kubiatowicz

We propose BloomCookies that encode a user's profile in a compact and privacy-preserving way, without preventing online services from using it for personalization purposes. The BloomCookies design is inspired by our analysis of a large set of web search logs that shows drawbacks of two profile obfuscation techniques, namely profile generalization and noise injection, today used by many privacy-preserving personalization systems. We find that profile generalization significantly hurts personalization and...

Publication details
Date: 1 February 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Dan Alistarh, Jennifer Iglesias, and Milan Vojnovic

In many applications, the structure of data can be represented by a hyper-graph, where the data items are vertices, and the associations among items are represented by hyper-edges. Equivalently, we are given as input a bipartite graph with two kinds of vertices: items, and associations (which we refer to as topics). We consider the problem of partitioning the set of items into a given number of partitions, such that the maximum number of topics covered by a partition is minimized.

This is a...

Publication details
Date: 1 February 2015
Type: Technical report
Publisher: Microsoft Research
Number: MSR-TR-2015-15
He Wang, Dimitrios Lymberopoulos, and Jie Liu

We study the feasibility of leveraging the sensors embedded on mobile devices to enable a user authentication mechanism that is easy for users to perform, but hard for attackers to bypass. The proposed approach lies on the fact that users perform gestures in a unique way that depends on how they hold the phone, and on their hand's geometry, size, and flexibility. Based on this observation, we introduce two new unlock gestures that have been designed to enable the phone's embedded sensors to properly...

Publication details
Date: 1 February 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: Springer
Konstantinos Karanasos, Sriram Rao, Carlo Curino, Chris Douglas, Kishore Chaliparambil, Giovanni Fumarola, Solom Heddaya, Raghu Ramakrishnan, and Sarvesh Sakalanaga

Datacenter-scale computing for analytics workloads is increasingly common. High operational costs force heterogeneous applications to share cluster resources for achieving economy of scale. Scheduling such large and diverse workloads is inherently hard, and existing approaches tackle this in two alternative ways: 1) centralized solutions offer strict, secure enforcement of scheduling invariants (e.g., fairness, capacity) for heterogeneous applications, 2) distributed solutions offer...

Publication details
Date: 1 February 2015
Type: Technical report
Number: MSR-TR-2015-6
Ashish Vulimiri, Carlo Curino, Brighten Godfrey, Konstantinos Karanasos, and George Varghese

Large organizations today operate data centers around the globe where massive amounts of data are produced and consumed by local users. Despite their geographically diverse origin, such data must be analyzed/mined as a whole. We call the problem of supporting rich DAGs of computation across geographically distributed data: Wide-Area Big-Data (WABD) . To the best of our knowledge, WABD is not supported by currently deployed systems nor sufficiently studied in literature; it is addressed today by...

Publication details
Date: 1 January 2015
Type: Article
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Publication details
Date: 1 December 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Awards: Best Paper Award
Luo Mai, Lukas Rupprecht, Abdul Alim, Paolo Costa, Matteo Migliavacca, Peter Pietzuch, and Alexander L. Wolf

Data centre applications for batch processing (e.g., map/reduce frameworks) and online services (e.g., search engines) scale by distributing data and computation across many servers. They typically follow a partition/aggregation pattern: tasks are first partitioned across servers that process data locally, and then those partial results are aggregated. This data aggregation step, however, shifts the performance bottleneck to the network, which typically struggles to support many-to-few,...

Publication details
Date: 1 December 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Minjie Wang, Tianjun Xiao, Jianpeng Li, Jiaxing Zhang, Chuntao Hong, and Zheng Zhang

The tooling landscape of deep learning is fragmented by a growing gap between the generic and productivity-oriented tools that optimize for algorithm development and the task-specific ones that optimize for speed and scale. This creates an artificial barrier to bring new innovations into real-world applications. Minerva addresses this issue with a layered design that provides language flexibility and execution efficiency simultaneously within one coherent framework. It proposes a matrix-based API,...

Publication details
Date: 1 December 2014
Type: Inproceeding
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