CS 7934 — Computer Systems Seminar, Fall 2012

Fridays, 2:00–3:30 PM, 3485 MEB

Instructor: Eric Eide
Organizers: Eric Eide, Robert Ricci, Kobus Van der Merwe


The fall 2012 offering of CS 7934 will cover a variety of systems topics, with an eye toward four goals.

The first is to increase participants' understanding of modern networking and network management. Networks are ubiquitous and essential in modern computing; indeed, many software applications are effectively nonfunctional when their computing platforms are not connected to a network. Modern networks are large and complex, and their operation requires understanding of many related issues including protocols and layering, routing, distributed systems, control systems, and security. We will study recent research publications that deal with these and other concerns related to networks and network management.

The second is for participants to gain familiarity with the peer-review process in academic computer science. Complementary to our study of modern network research, seminar attendees will participate in a shadow program committee for the NSDI '13 conference. The shadow program committee (PC) will read actual papers submitted to the conference and go through the entire reviewing process, ultimately arriving at a shadow conference program. This is an excellent and rare opportunity for students to learn about the peer-review process and gain experience as a reviewer.

The third goal of the seminar is to be a venue for student presentations. Every student participating in the seminar will be required to give at least one presentation during the semester. This may be a “formal” research presentation—ideally of a student's current work—or it may be an analysis of the research papers chosen for a seminar meeting.

The fourth goal of the seminar is to stay abreast of papers from recent and imminent top-tier systems conferences: e.g., SOSP, OSDI, NSDI, SIGCOMM, FAST, systems-related security conferences, and so on. Papers will be selected for their relevance to participants' research or upcoming Utah visitors.

CS 7934 is often called “the CSL seminar.” The name CSL is historic.

Mailing list

To get on the class mailing list, use Mailman to subscribe to csl-sem.


We strongly urge students to sign up for one credit if you're going to be attending anyway. Although the course is listed as “variable credit,” the course is only available for one (1) credit in all but the most exceptional circumstances. If you want to take the course for more than one credit, you must request and receive approval from the instructor.

Regarding normal paper discussions: Those taking the course for credit must read all of the papers, submit a short summary of each paper prior to class (PDF, Postscript, LaTeX), participate in each discussion, and make at least one research presentation.

Regarding the shadow program committee: Those taking the course for credit must fully participate in the shadow program committee. This involves bidding for papers, reading all assigned papers, writing and submitting reviews on schedule, and participating in the program committee discussions.

All paper summaries and reviews must consist of a student's original work. Unattributed copying of material from the papers being discussed or other sources is plagiarism as will be treated as such.
Participants in the shadow program committee must follow the ethical standards of the peer-review process. This includes, but is not limited to, treating submissions as confidential and not utilizing information from submissions in their own research. We will discuss the ethics of the peer-review process during the seminar. Violations of peer-review ethical standards will be grounds for receiving a failing grade.


(You can check out what we did last semester here.)

Week Date Topic(s) Facilitator(s) Paper(s)
1 8/24 Eide no meeting — organizational email
2 8/31 student research presentations Banerjee and Raju “Content-Aware Selection of Gateways in LTE Networks.” Arijit Banerjee.

“Challenges in Statically Analyzing PHP Code.” Srikanth Raju.
3 9/7 student research presentations Lin and Naik “Using Advance Knowledge to Improve Read Performance for Deduplicating Storage Systems.” Xing Lin.

“An Analysis of RAID Resiliency Schemes’ Effectiveness.” Yathi Naik.
4 9/14 student research presentations Burtsev and Mishrikoti “XenTT: Deterministic Systems Analysis in Xen.” Anton Burtsev.

“Performance Analysis of the Xen Hypervisor using Xentrace Logs.” Nikhil Mishrikoti.
5 9/21 software-defined networking Kim and Strum Onix: A Distributed Control Platform for Large-scale Production Networks. Teemu Koponen et al. In OSDI '10, Oct. 2010.

Abstractions for Network Update. Mark Reitblatt et al. In SIGCOMM '12, Aug. 2012.
6 9/28 NSDI '13 shadow PC Van der Merwe NSDI '13 shadow PC introduction: the review process, how to write good reviews, and peer-review ethics

“Identify the Champion”: An Organisational Pattern Language for Programme Committees. Oscar Nierstrasz. In Pattern Languages of Program Design, Volume 4, pages 539–556. Addison-Wesley, 2000.

Writing Reviews for Systems Conferences. Timothy Roscoe. Mar. 2007.

Ethics of Peer Review: A Guide for Manuscript Reviewers. Sara Rockwell. Jul. 2005.

Supplementary: How NOT to Review a Paper: The Tools and Techniques of the Adversarial Reviewer. Graham Cormode. SIGMOD Record 37(4):100–104, Mar. 2009.
7 10/5 NSDI '13 shadow PC NSDI '13 shadow PC discussion
8 10/12 no meeting — University fall break
9 10/19 NSDI '13 shadow PC NSDI '13 shadow PC discussion
10 10/26 NSDI '13 shadow PC NSDI '13 shadow PC discussion
11 11/2 NSDI '13 shadow PC NSDI '13 shadow PC discussion
12 11/9 NSDI '13 shadow PC NSDI '13 shadow PC discussion
13 11/16 NSDI '13 shadow PC NSDI '13 shadow PC discussion
14 11/23 no meeting — Thanksgiving break
15 11/30 student research presentations Khaledi and Sun “Cooperative Methods in MANET Routing Protocols.” Mojgan Khaledi.
Supplementary: Ad hoc-VCG: A Truthful and Cost-Efficient Routing Protocol for Mobile Ad Hoc Networks with Selfish Agents. Luzi Anderegg and Stephan Eidenbenz. In MobiCom '03, Sep. 2003.

“Building a Parallel and Modular Packet-Processing Framework.” Weibin Sun.
  12/01 NSDI '13 shadow PC meeting: 3147 MEB, 9:30 AM–5:30 PM
16 12/7 cloud computing isolation and availability Baek and Nayak Resource-Freeing Attacks: Improve Your Cloud Performance (At Your Neighbor's Expense). Venkatanathan Varadarajan et al. In CCS '12, Oct. 2012.

SecondSite: Disaster Tolerance as a Service. Shriram Rajagopalan et al. In VEE '12, Mar. 2012.

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional