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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

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

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

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

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

Our cloud services are losing too many battles to faults like software bugs, resource interference, and hardware failures. Many tools can help us win these battles: model checkers to verify, fault injection to find bugs, replay to debug, and many more. Unfortunately, tools are currently afterthoughts in cloud service designs that must either be tediously tangled into service implementations or integrated transparently in ways that fail to effectively capture the service’s problematic non-deterministic...

Publication details
Date: 26 November 2014
Type: Technical report
Publisher: Microsoft Research
Number: MSR-TR-2014-150

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: 8 November 2014
Type: Proceedings
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery

OAuth is undoubtedly a highly influential protocol today, because of its swift and wide adoption in the industry. The initial objective of the protocol was specific: it serves the authorization needs for websites. What motivates our work is the realization that the protocol has been significantly re-purposed and re-targeted over the years: (1) all major identity providers, e.g., Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter, have re-purposed OAuth for user authentication; (2)...

Publication details
Date: 1 November 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery

In this work, we consider the following random process, motivated by the analysis of lock-free concurrent algorithms under stochastic schedulers. In each step, a new ball is allocated into one of $n$ bins, according to a distribution $\vect{p} = (p_1, p_2, \ldots, p_n)$, where each ball goes to bin $i$ with probability $p_i$. When some bin first reaches a set threshold of balls, it registers a \emph{win}, and resets its ball count to $1$. At the same time, bins whose ball count was close to the...

Publication details
Date: 1 November 2014
Type: Technical report
Number: MSR-TR-2014-153

Network traffic prioritization is gaining attention in the WSN community, as more and more features are being integrated into sensor networks. Real-world deployment experience suggests that WSN brings new challenges to existing problems, such as resource constraints, low data-rate radios, and diverse application scenarios. We present the RushNet framework that prioritizes two common traffic patterns in multi-hop sensor networks: low-priority (LP) traffic that is large-volume but delay-tolerant, and...

Publication details
Date: 1 November 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery

In several data center applications, computational tasks are processed in a distributed system, such that each task requires a set of distinct data inputs. To ensure scalability, the assignment of tasks to machines should guarantee that tasks requiring similar data inputs are collocated, and that the load is balanced across machines.

We formulate the problem of load balancing tasks with overlapping requirements, where given an assignment of tasks to machines, the load of a machine...

Publication details
Date: 1 November 2014
Type: Technical report
Publisher: Microsoft Research
Number: MSR-TR-2014-151

Partial aggregation is of great importance in many distributed data-parallel systems. Most notably, it is commonly applied by MapReduce programs to optimize I/O by successively aggregating partially reduced results into a final result, as opposed to aggregating all input records at once. In spite of its importance, programmers currently enable partial aggregation by tediously encoding their reduce functionality into separate reduce and combine functions. This is error prone and often leads to missed...

Publication details
Date: 1 November 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: SOCC

The continuous shift towards data-driven approaches to business, and a growing attention to improving return on investments (ROI) for cluster infrastructures is generating new challenges for big-data frameworks. Systems originally designed for big batch jobs now handle an increasingly complex mix of computations. Moreover, they are expected to guarantee stringent SLAs for production jobs and minimize latency for best-effort jobs.

In this paper, we introduce reservation-based scheduling,...

Publication details
Date: 1 November 2014
Type: Article
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery

We give message-optimal randomized algorithms for two fundamental
In leader election, all n participants compete for a single item, whereas in renaming the n participants
each compete for one of n distinct items, or names.
The setting is the classic asynchronous message-passing model, where the n
processors communicate over unreliable channels, while timing and t < n / 2 processor crashes are controlled
by a...

Publication details
Date: 1 November 2014
Type: Technical report
Number: MSR-TR-2014-18

Today's cloud computing infrastructure requires substantial trust. Cloud users rely on both the provider's staff and its globally-distributed software/hardware platform not to expose any of their private data.

We introduce the notion of shielded execution, which protects the confidentiality and integrity of a program and its data from the platform on which it runs (i.e., the cloud operator's OS, VM and firmware). Our prototype, Haven, is the first system to achieve shielded execution of...

Publication details
Date: 6 October 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: USENIX – Advanced Computing Systems Association

An Ironclad App lets a user securely transmit her data to a remote machine with the guarantee that every instruction executed on that machine adheres to a formal abstract specification of the app’s behavior. This does more than eliminate implementation vulnerabilities such as buffer overflows, parsing errors, or data leaks; it tells the user exactly how the app will behave at all times. We provide these guarantees via complete, low-level software verification. We then use cryptography and secure...

Publication details
Date: 6 October 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: USENIX – Advanced Computing Systems Association

A significant fraction of data stored in cloud storage is rarely accessed. This data is referred to as cold data; cost-effective storage for cold data has become a challenge for cloud providers. Pelican is a rack-scale hard disk based storage unit designed as the basic building block for exabyte scale storage for cold data. In Pelican, server, power, cooling and interconnect bandwidth resources are provisioned by design to support cold data workloads; this right-provisioning...

Publication details
Date: 6 October 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: 11th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI '14)

Garbage collectors are {xact or conservative. An exact collector identifies all references precisely and may move referents and update references, whereas a conservative collector treats one or more of stack, register, and heap references as ambiguous. Ambiguous references constrain collectors in two ways. (1) Since they may be pointers, the collectors must retain referents. (2) Since they may be values, the collectors cannot modify them, pinning their referents.

We explore conservative...

Publication details
Date: 1 October 2014
Type: Article
Publication details
Date: 1 October 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: European Association for Theoretical Computer Science

This paper tackles the problem of providing familiar OS abstractions for I/O (such as pipes, network sockets, and a shared file system) to applications on heterogeneous cores including accelerators, co-processors, and offload engines. We aim to isolate the implementation of these facilities from the details of a platform's memory architecture, which is likely to include a combination of cache-coherent shared memory, non-cache-coherent shared memory, and non-shared memory, all in the same...

Publication details
Date: 1 October 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: USENIX – Advanced Computing Systems Association

Most discovery systems for silent failures work in two phases: a continuous monitoring phase that detects presence of failures through probe packets and a localization phase that pinpoints the faultyelement(s). We focus on the monitoring phase, where the goal is to balance the probing overhead with the cost associated with longer failure detection times.

We formulate a general model for the underlying fundamental subset-test scheduling problem. We unify the treatment of schedulers and cost...

Publication details
Date: 1 October 2014
Type: Technical report
Publisher: Elsevier
Number: MSR-TR-2014-113

We consider the problem of consensus in the challenging classic model. In this model, the adversary is adaptive; it can choose which processors crash at any point during the course of the algorithm. Further, communication is via asynchronous message passing: there is no known upper bound on the time to send a message from one processor to another, and all messages and coin flips are seen by the adversary.

We describe a new randomized consensus protocol for this model with expected message...

Publication details
Date: 1 October 2014
Type: Technical report
Number: MSR-TR-2014-15

The lack of performance isolation in multi-tenant datacenters at appliances like middleboxes and storage servers results in volatile application performance. To insulate tenants, we propose giving them the abstraction of a dedicated virtual datacenter (VDC). VDCs encapsulate end-to-end throughput guarantees---specified in a new metric based on virtual request cost---that hold across distributed appliances and the intervening network.

We present Pulsar, a system that offers tenants their own...

Publication details
Date: 1 October 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: USENIX – Advanced Computing Systems Association

In the last years, it has emerged a market of virtual appliances, i.e., virtual machine images specifically configured to provide a given service (e.g., web hosting). The virtual appliance model greatly reduces the burden of configuring virtual machines from scratch. However, the current model involves risks: security threats, misconfigurations, privacy loss, etc. In this paper, we propose an approach to build dependable virtual machines. It is based on trusted computing and model checking: trusted...

Publication details
Date: 1 October 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: USENIX – Advanced Computing Systems Association
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