University of Utah
School of Computing

CS7934 -- Computer Systems Seminar (Spring 2008)

Time: Thursday, 15:30 - 16:45, CSL Library

Organization: Anton Burtsev and Pramod Sanaga
Helpers: John Carter, Jay Lepreau, John Regehr, and Sneha Kasera


In CS7934 we will read and discuss technical papers from recent or imminent top-tier systems conferences (e.g., SOSP, OSDI, NSDI, SIGCOMM, ...). The specific papers discussed will be chosen based on the interests of the class attendees. On occasion people may present their own research or perhaps a trip report from a major conference. We aim to be informal but substantive.

Here is a course overview document, including a list of suggested papers for presentation and discussion.

You can check out what we did last semester here.

Mailing list

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


Although the course is listed as ``variable credit'', the course is only available for one (1) credit in most circumstances -- if you wish to take the course for more than one credit you will need to get approval from the instructor. 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 facilitate the discussion of at least one paper. We urge students to sign up for one credit if you're going to be attending anyway.


Week Date Topic(s) Facilitator Paper(s)
1 1/10 Organization Anton Burtsev Organizational meeting
2 1/17 Network traffic modelling Pramod Sanaga Realistic and Responsive Network Traffic Generation K. V. Vishwanath, A. Vahdat, (SIGCOMM'06)
3 1/24 Virtual machines, security, memory protection Anton Burtsev Overshadow: A Virtualization-Based Approach to Retrofitting Protection in Commodity Operating Systems, Xiaoxin Chen, Tal Garfinkel, E Christopher Lewis, Pratap Sabrahmanyam, Carl A. Waldspurger, Dan Boneh, Jeffrey Dwoskin, and Dan R. K. Ports. (ASPLOS), March 2008.
4 1/31 Trusted computing, secure execution Anton Burtsev Flicker: An Execution Infrastructure for TCB Minimization, Jonathan M. McCuney, Bryan Parnoy, Adrian Perrigy, Michael K. Reiteryz, Hiroshi Isozaki (CMU) (Eurosys'08)
5 2/7 Storage for virtual environments Anton Burtsev Parallax: Virtual Disks for Virtual Machines, Dutch T. Meyer, Gitika Aggarwal, Brendan Cully, Geoffrey Lefebvre, Michael J. Feeley, Norman C. Hutchinson, and Andrew Warfield. To appear, EuroSys 2008.
6 2/14 Inter-domain routing, BGP, convergence Pramod Sanaga HLP: A next generation inter domain routing protocol,Lakshminarayanan Subramanian,Matthew Caesar,Cheng Tien Ee,Mark Handley,Morley Ma, Scott Shenker, Ion Stoica ( SIGCOMM '05 )
7 2/21 Organic Lecture -- No Class
8 2/28 Distributed systems debugging, liveness, model checking Robert Ricci Life, Death, and the Critical Transition: Finding Liveness Bugs in Systems Code, Charles Killian, James W. Anderson, Ranjit Jhala, and Amin Vahdat, Systems Code, NSDI'07 (Best Paper).
Pip: Detecting the Unexpected in Distributed Systems, Patrick Reynolds, Charles Killian, Janet L. Wiener, Jeffrey C. Mogul, Mehul A. Shah, and Amin Vahdat, NSDI'06.
9 3/6 Domain specific languages, distributed systems Pramod Sanaga Mace: Language Support for Building Distributed Systems, Charles Killian, James W. Anderson, Ryan Braud, Ranjit Jhala, and Amin Vahdat, (PLDI'07)
10 3/13 Unmanaged Internet, global names Robert Ricci Persistent Personal Names for Globally Connected Mobile Devices Bryan Ford, Jacob Strauss, Chris Lesniewski-Laas, Sean Rhea, Frans Kaashoek, Robert Morris (MIT), OSDI'06.
11 3/20 Spring Break -- No Class
12 3/27 Static analysis Roundtable with Matthew Might Related papers:
``Improving flow analyses via delta-CFA: Abstract garbage collection and counting'', Matthew Might and Olin Shivers, (ICFP 2006).
``Continuations and transducer composition'', Olin Shivers and Matthew Might, (PLDI 2006).
13 4/3 Static analysis Roundtable with Bor-Yuh Evan Chan Related papers:
Analysis of Low-Level Code Using Cooperating Decompilers, Bor-Yuh Evan Chang, Matthew Harren, and George C. Necula (2006) Thirteenth International Static Analysis Symposium (SAS'06), LNCS.
Shape Analysis with Structural Invariant Checkers, Bor-Yuh Evan Chang, Xavier Rival, and George C. Necula (2007), Fourteenth International Static Analysis Symposium (SAS'07), LNCS.
14 4/10 Algorithmic complexity, metrics Pramod Sanaga NetComplex: A Complexity Metric for Networked System Designs Byung-Gon Chun, ICSI; Sylvia Ratnasamy, Intel Research Berkeley; Eddie Kohler, University of California, Los Angeles (NSDI'08).
15 4/17 Optimization compilers for heterogenious memory architectures Roundtable with Mary Hall Related resources:
16 4/24 Virtual machines for evaluating large distributed systems Robert Ricci DieCast: Testing Distributed Systems with an Accurate Scale Model, Diwaker Gupta, Kashi V. Vishwanath, and Amin Vahdat, University of California, San Diego, NSDI'08
17 5/01 Network architecture and design Jay Lepreau Ethane: Taking Control of the Enterprise, Martin Casado, Michael J. Freedman, Justin Pettit, Jianying Luo, Nick McKeown (Stanford) and Scott Shenker (UCB), SIGCOMM'07
Some short/white papers:
OpenFlow: Enabling Innovation in Campus Networks, Nick McKeown, Tom Anderson, Hari Balakrishnan, Guru Parulkar, Larry Peterson, Jennifer Rexford, Scott Shenker, and Jonathan Turner, unrefereed short technical note.
NOX: Towards an Operating System for Networks, Natasha Gude, Teemu Koponen, Justin Pettit, Ben Pfaff, in submission.

Potential Papers

See overview handout for specific suggestions. In general, papers from upcoming/recent OSDI, NSDI, SOSP, SIGCOMM, and similar conference proceedings are good sources of papers for discussion.

Add your potential papers here.

NSDI'08 (link)

ASPLOS'08 (link)

EuroSys'08 (link)

FAST'08 (link)

USENIX Security'07 (link)

Oakland Security'07 (Conference, papers)

ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review
       Systems work at IBM Research (January 2008)
       Gossip-based computer networking (Oct 2007)
       Secure small-kernel systems (Jul 2007)
       Systems work at Microsoft Research (April 2007)