CS 7934 — Computer Systems Seminar, Spring 2014

Fridays, 2:00–3:30 PM, 3485 MEB

Organizer: Eric Eide


The spring 2014 offering of CS 7934 will cover a variety of systems topics, with an eye toward two goals.

The first is to increase participants' familiarity with recent and important results in the area of computer systems research. Attendees will read and discuss 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. In contrast to recent offerings of the seminar, there is no preset “focus topic” for spring 2014. One can anticipate, however, that the semester will include discussions about operating systems, distributed systems, cloud computing, datacenters, networking, and security.

The second is to be a venue for student presentations. Every student participating in the seminar will be required to lead at least one meeting 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.

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.


The course syllabus contains important information for students, including the course's policies on grading and cheating.


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.

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.


Week Date Topic(s) Facilitator(s) Paper(s)
1 1/10 Eide no meeting — organizational email
2 1/17 designing scalable software Eide The Scalable Commutativity Rule: Designing Scalable Software for Multicore Processors. Austin Clements et al. In SOSP ’13, Nov. 2013.
3 1/24 software-defined networking Webb Participatory Networking: An API for Application Control of SDNs. Andrew D. Ferguson et al. In SIGCOMM ’13, Aug. 2013.
4 1/31 Android malware analysis Johnson DroidScope: Seamlessly Reconstructing the OS and Dalvik Semantic Views for Dynamic Android Malware Analysis. Lok Kwong Yan and Heng Yin. In USENIX Security ’12, Aug. 2012.
5 2/7 migratory compression Lin Migratory Compression: Coarse-grained Data Reordering to Improve Compressibility. Xing Lin et al. In FAST ’14, Feb. 2014.
6 2/14 untrusted code Eide Safe Loading - A Foundation for Secure Execution of Untrusted Programs. Mathias Payer et al. In IEEE S&P ’12, May 2012.
7 2/21 no meeting — student research posters
8 2/28 large-scale storage Ricci Exalt: Empowering Researchers to Evaluate Large-Scale Storage Systems. Yang Wang et al. In NSDI ’14, Apr. 2014. To appear.
9 3/7 web security Burtsev Privilege Separation for HTML5 Applications. Devdatta Akhawe et al. In USENIX Security ’12, Aug. 2012.
10 3/14 no meeting — University spring break
11 3/21 unobservable communication Eide The Parrot is Dead: Observing Unobservable Network Communications. Amir Houmansadr et al. In IEEE S&P ’13, May 2013.
12 3/28 record and replay Ardestani RelaxReplay: Record and Replay for Relaxed-Consistency Multiprocessors. Nima Honarmand and Josep Torrellas. In ASPLOS ’14, Mar. 2014.
13 4/4 cellular core networks Webb SoftCell: Scalable and Flexible Cellular Core Network Architecture. Xin Jin et al. In CoNEXT ’13, Dec. 2013.
14 4/11 measurement bias Ricci Producing Wrong Data Without Doing Anything Obviously Wrong! Todd Mytkowicz et al. In ASPLOS ’09, Mar. 2009.
15 4/18 probabalistic programming Wong Uncertain<T>: A First-Order Type for Uncertain Data. James Bornholt et al. In ASPLOS ’14, Mar. 2014.
16 4/25 really amazing new ideas Eide At 12:00 PM:
Really Amazing New Idea. Basquet Kase et al. In SIGBOVIK ’13, Apr. 2013.

A Proposal for Overhead-Free Dependency Management with Temporally Distributed Virtualization. Peter Chapman et al. In SIGBOVIK ’13, Apr. 2013.

Redistributive Version Control Systems. Karlo Angiuli and Frederick Engels. In SIGBOVIK ’13, Apr. 2013.

Potential Papers

Upcoming and recent conference proceedings are good sources of papers for discussion. Below are links to some relevant conference series.

Past CSL Seminars

Semester Focus Topic(s)
Fall 2013 no focus topic chosen; many SOSP ’13 papers
Spring 2013 reversible and “time-traveling” debugging
Fall 2012 modern networking and network management; peer-review process
Spring 2012 systems approaches to dynamic problem detection and repair
Fall 2011 datacenter architectures and issues
Spring 2011 malicious software, i.e., malware
Fall 2010 systems approaches to security
Spring 2010 testbed-like infrastructures for cloud computing and scientific computing
Fall 2009 no focus topic chosen; many SOSP ’09 papers
Fall 2008 no focus topic chosen; many OSDI ’08 papers
Summer 2008 no focus topic chosen; informal biweekly meetings
Spring 2008 no focus topic chosen
Fall 2007 no focus topic chosen; many SOSP ’07 papers
Fall 2006 no focus topic chosen; many OSDI ’06 papers
Fall 2005 no focus topic chosen; many SOSP ’05 papers
Spring 2005 no focus topic chosen; many NSDI ’05 papers

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