acmqueue

Queue is published 6 times per year, with issues available via an app on iPhone and iPad and Android devices or via a browser-based 'digital edition' (DE).

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Volume 19, Issue 6 (November/December 2021) Table of Contents

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November/December 2021 acmqueue


Features


Interpretable Machine Learning
There is a disconnect between research into the technical objectives of machine learning and its actual use cases. The field of interpretable machine learning is an attempt to translate methodological advances into widespread practical impact.
- Valerie Chen, Jeffrey Li, Joon Sik Kim, Gregory Plumb, Ameet Talwalkar

The Keys to the Kingdom
Clumsy fingers accidentally deleted the private key needed to sign new firmware updates—and business came to a standstill. The author was called in to save the day by patching a new static root of trust into the bootloader.
- Phil Vachon

FPGAs in Client Compute Hardware
An FPGA may take up more space, consume more power, and cost more to integrate into a device, yet it offers significant security and performance benefits over an ASIC.
- Michael Mattioli, Goldman Sachs & Co.


Departments


THE BIKESHED
Surveillance Too Cheap to Meter

Tech companies often know your next move before you do, but it costs more to turn off this surveillance than it does to continue it.
- Poul-Henning Kamp

KODE VICIOUS
Getting off the Mad Path

By its very nature, debugging is an iterative process, which at its tedious worst, can lead to madness. There are ways to avoid going down this path.
- George Neville-Neil

DRILL BITS
Steampunk Machine Learning

Fitting models to data is all the rage nowadays but has long been an essential skill of engineers. Veterans know that real-world systems foil textbook techniques by interleaving routine operating conditions with bouts of overload and failure; to be practical, a method must model the former without distortion by the latter. Surprisingly effective aid comes from an unlikely quarter: a simple and intuitive model-fitting approach that predates the Babbage Engine. The foundation of industrial-strength decision support and anomaly detection for production datacenters, this approach yields accurate yet intelligible models without hand-holding or fuss. It is easy to practice with modern analytics software and is widely applicable to computing systems and beyond.
- Terence Kelly

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