Research for Practice

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The DevOps Phenomenon:
An executive crash course

Stressful emergency releases are a thing of the past for companies that subscribe to the DevOps method of software development and delivery. New releases are frequent. Bugs are fixed rapidly. New business opportunities are sought with gusto and confidence. New features are released, revised, and improved with rapid iterations. DevOps presents a strategic advantage for organizations when compared with traditional software-development methods. Leadership plays an important role during that transformation. DevOps is about providing guidelines for faster time to market of new software features and achieving a higher level of stability. Implementing cross-functional, product-oriented teams helps bridge the gaps between software development and operations.

by Anna Wiedemann, Nicole Forsgren, Manuel Wiesche, Heiko Gewald, Helmut Krcmar | May 29, 2019

Topic: Development

1 comments

Troubling Trends in Machine Learning Scholarship:
Some ML papers suffer from flaws that could mislead the public and stymie future research.

Flawed scholarship threatens to mislead the public and stymie future research by compromising ML’s intellectual foundations. Indeed, many of these problems have recurred cyclically throughout the history of AI and, more broadly, in scientific research. In 1976, Drew McDermott chastised the AI community for abandoning self-discipline, warning prophetically that "if we can’t criticize ourselves, someone else will save us the trouble." The current strength of machine learning owes to a large body of rigorous research to date, both theoretical and empirical. By promoting clear scientific thinking and communication, our community can sustain the trust and investment it currently enjoys.

by Zachary C. Lipton, Jacob Steinhardt | April 24, 2019

Topic: AI

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Edge Computing:
Scaling resources within multiple administrative domains

Creating edge computing infrastructures and applications encompasses quite a breadth of systems research. Let’s take a look at the academic view of edge computing and a sample of existing research that will be relevant in the coming years.

by Nitesh Mor | February 12, 2019

Topic: Databases

1 comments

Security for the Modern Age:
Securely running processes that require the entire syscall interface

Giving operators a usable means of securing the methods they use to deploy and run applications is a win for everyone. Keeping the usability-focused abstractions provided by containers, while finding new ways to automate security and defend against attacks, is a great path forward.

by Jessie Frazelle | December 19, 2018

Topic: Security

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Knowledge Base Construction in the Machine-learning Era:
Three critical design points: Joint-learning, weak supervision, and new representations

More information is accessible today than at any other time in human history. From a software perspective, however, the vast majority of this data is unusable, as it is locked away in unstructured formats such as text, PDFs, web pages, images, and other hard-to-parse formats. The goal of knowledge base construction is to extract structured information automatically from this "dark data," so that it can be used in downstream applications for search, question-answering, link prediction, visualization, modeling and much more.

by Alex Ratner, Christopher Ré | July 26, 2018

Topic: AI

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FPGAs in Data Centers:
FPGAs are slowly leaving the niche space they have occupied for decades.

This installment of Research for Practice features a curated selection from Gustavo Alonso, who provides an overview of recent developments utilizing FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays) in datacenters. As Moore’s Law has slowed and the computational overheads of datacenter workloads such as model serving and data processing have continued to rise, FPGAs offer an increasingly attractive point in the trade-off between power and performance. Gustavo’s selections highlight early successes and practical deployment considerations that inform the ongoing, high-stakes debate about the future of datacenter- and cloud-based computation substrates.

by Gustavo Alonso | June 5, 2018

Topic: Performance

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Prediction-Serving Systems:
What happens when we wish to actually deploy a machine learning model to production?

This installment of Research for Practice features a curated selection from Dan Crankshaw and Joey Gonzalez, who provide an overview of machine learning serving systems. What happens when we wish to actually deploy a machine learning model to production, and how do we serve predictions with high accuracy and high computational efficiency? Dan and Joey’s selection provides a thoughtful selection of cutting-edge techniques spanning database-level integration, video processing, and prediction middleware.

by Dan Crankshaw, Joseph Gonzalez | April 25, 2018

Topic: AI

1 comments

Toward a Network of Connected Things:
A look into the future of IoT deployments and their usability

While the scale of data presents new avenues for improvement, the key challenges for the everyday adoption of IoT systems revolve around managing this data. First, we need to consider where the data is being processed and stored and what the privacy and systems implications of these policies are. Second, we need to develop systems that generate actionable insights from this diverse, hard-to-interpret data for non-tech users. Solving these challenges will allow IoT systems to deliver maximum value to end users.

by Deepak Vasisht | February 13, 2018

Topic: Networks

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Cluster Scheduling for Data Centers:
Expert-curated Guides to the Best of CS Research: Distributed Cluster Scheduling

This installment of Research for Practice features a curated selection from Malte Schwarzkopf, who takes us on a tour of distributed cluster scheduling, from research to practice, and back again. With the rise of elastic compute resources, cluster management has become an increasingly hot topic in systems R&D, and a number of competing cluster managers including Kubernetes, Mesos, and Docker are currently jockeying for the crown in this space.

by Malte Schwarzkopf | December 13, 2017

Topic: Databases

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Private Online Communication; Highlights in Systems Verification:
The importance of private communication will continue to grow. We need techniques to build larger verified systems from verified components.

First, Albert Kwon provides an overview of recent systems for secure and private communication. Second, James Wilcox takes us on a tour of recent advances in verified systems design.

by Albert Kwon, James Wilcox | October 4, 2017

Topic: Networks

0 comments

Vigorous Public Debates in Academic Computer Science:
Expert-curated Guides to the Best of CS Research

This installment of Research for Practice features a special curated selection from John Regehr, who takes us on a tour of great debates in academic computer science research. In case you thought flame wars were reserved for Usenet mailing lists and Twitter, think again: the academic literature is full of dramatic, spectacular, and vigorous debates spanning file systems, operating system kernel design, and formal verification.

by John Regehr | August 14, 2017

Topic: Education

1 comments

Research for Practice: Technology for UnderservedCommunities; Personal Fabrication:
Expert-curated Guides to the Best of CS Research

This installment of Research for Practice provides curated reading guides to technology for underserved communities and to new developments in personal fabrication. First, Tawanna Dillahunt describes design considerations and technology for underserved and impoverished communities. Designing for the more than 1.6 billion impoverished individuals worldwide requires special consideration of community needs, constraints, and context. Tawanna’s selections span protocols for poor-quality communication networks, community-driven content generation, and resource and public service discovery. Second, Stefanie Mueller and Patrick Baudisch provide an overview of recent advances in personal fabrication (e.g., 3D printers). Their selection covers new techniques for fabricating (and emulating) complex materials (e.g., by manipulating the internal structure of an object), for more easily specifying object shape and behavior, and for human-in-the-loop rapid prototyping.

by Tawanna Dillahunt, Stefanie Mueller, Patrick Baudisch | June 6, 2017

Topic: Development

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Research for Practice: Tracing and Debugging Distributed Systems; Programming by Examples:
Expert-curated Guides to the Best of CS Research

This installment of Research for Practice covers two exciting topics in distributed systems and programming methodology. First, Peter Alvaro takes us on a tour of recent techniques for debugging some of the largest and most complex systems in the world: modern distributed systems and service-oriented architectures. The techniques Peter surveys can shed light on order amid the chaos of distributed call graphs. Second, Sumit Gulwani illustrates how to program without explicitly writing programs, instead synthesizing programs from examples! The techniques Sumit presents allow systems to "learn" a program representation from illustrative examples, allowing nonprogrammer users to create increasingly nontrivial functions such as spreadsheet macros.

by Peter Alvaro, Sumit Galwani | March 29, 2017

Topic: Debugging

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Research for Practice: Cryptocurrencies, Blockchains, and Smart Contracts; Hardware for Deep Learning:
Expert-curated Guides to the Best of CS Research

First, Arvind Narayanan and Andrew Miller, co-authors of the increasingly popular open-access Princeton Bitcoin textbook, provide an overview of ongoing research in cryptocurrencies. Second, Song Han provides an overview of hardware trends related to another long-studied academic problem that has recently seen an explosion in popularity: deep learning.

by Arvind Narayanan, Andrew Miller, Song Han | January 24, 2017

Topic: Blockchain

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Research for Practice: Distributed Transactions and Networks as Physical Sensors:
Expert-curated Guides to the Best of CS Research

First, Irene Zhang delivers a whirlwind tour of recent developments in distributed concurrency control. If you thought distributed transactions were prohibitively expensive, Irene’s selections may prompt you to reconsider: the use of atomic clocks, clever replication protocols, and new means of commit ordering all improve performance at scale. Second, Fadel Adib provides a fascinating look at using computer networks as physical sensors. It turns out that the radio waves passing through our environment and bodies are subtly modulated as they do so.

by Irene Zhang, Fadel Adib | December 7, 2016

Topic: Networks

0 comments

Research for Practice: Web Security and Mobile Web Computing:
Expert-curated Guides to the Best of CS Research

Our third installment of Research for Practice brings readings spanning programming languages, compilers, privacy, and the mobile web.

by Jean Yang, Vijay Janapa Reddi, Yuhao Zhu | October 4, 2016

Topic: Web Development

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Research for Practice: Distributed Consensus and Implications of NVM on Database Management Systems:
Expert-curated Guides to the Best of CS Research

First, how do large-scale distributed systems mediate access to shared resources, coordinate updates to mutable state, and reliably make decisions in the presence of failures? Second, while consensus concerns distributed shared state, our second selection concerns the impact of hardware trends on single-node shared state.

by Peter Bailis, Camille Fournier, Joy Arulraj, Andy Pavlo | July 5, 2016

Topic: Databases

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Introducing Research for Practice:
Expert-curated guides to the best of CS research

Reading a great research paper is a joy. A team of experts deftly guides you, the reader, through the often complicated research landscape, noting the prior art, the current trends, the pressing issues at hand--and then, sometimes artfully, sometimes through seeming sheer force of will, expands the body of knowledge in a fell swoop of 12 or so pages of prose. A great paper contains a puzzle and a solution; these can be useful, enlightening, or both.

by Peter Bailis, Justine Sherry, Simon Peter | June 2, 2016

Topic: Development

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