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Showing posts from December, 2015

What technological advancements will the next decade bring?

There have been amazing progress in technology in recent years. Just to name a few, I would mention deep learning, big data, ubiquitous tablets and smartphones, advances in medicine, BitCoin, 3D printing, accurate voice recognition, Arduino, Raspberry pie, maker movement, drones, etc. I can't help but wonder what we will see next, in the coming decade. What discoveries we will be able to make? How would the world change? I am very curious and excited about the future.

To extrapolate to 2025, indulge me as I go back to the year 2005 to extrapolate. Ten years ago, iPhone was still not introduced (iPhone 1 got introduced on June 29, 2007). Smartphones were rare. Internet was not a household item. Cloud was not there. Tablets were not there. In fact, none of the technologies mentioned in the previous paragraph were there. In ten years we have come a long way.

Let me add an anectode about how I witnessed this ride in the last 10 years. In 2005, I joined University at Buffalo as an Assi…

My Distributed Systems Seminar's reading list for Spring 2016

Below is the list of papers I plan to discuss in my distributed systems seminar in Spring'16 semester. These are all very exciting papers, and I am looking forward to the Spring semester.

If you have some suggestions on other good/recent papers to cover, please let me know in the comments.

Distributed coordination
No compromises: distributed transactions with consistency, availability, and performance, SOSP 15Implementing Linearizability at Large Scale and Low Latency, SOSP 15High-Performance ACID via Modular Concurrency Control, SOSP 15Existential Consistency: Measuring and Understanding Consistency at Facebook, SOSP 15Holistic Configuration Management at Facebook, SOSP 15Building Consistent Transactions with Inconsistent Replication, SOSP 15Bolt-on Causal Consistency, Sigmod 13The Design and Implementation of the Wave Transactional Filesystem
Big data
Arabesque: A System for Distributed Graph Mining, SOSP 15Petuum: A New Platform for Distributed Machine Learning on Big Data, KDD …

Paper summary: Detecting global predicates in distributed systems with clocks

Image
This is a 2000 paper by Scott Stoller. The paper is about detecting global predicates in distributed systems.

There has been a lot of previous work on predicate detection (e.g., Marzullo & Neiger WDAG 1991, Verissimo 1993), but those work considered vector clock (VC) timestamped events sorted via happened-before (hb) relationship. This paper proposes a framework for predicate detection over events timestamped with approximately-synchronized (think NTP) physical-time (PT) clocks.

This was a tough/deep paper to read and a rewarding one as well. I think this paper should receive more interest from distributed systems developers as it has applications to the cloud computing monitoring services. As you can see in Facebook stack and Google stack, monitoring services are an indispensible component of large-scale cloud computing systems.

Motivation Using PT for timestamping (and predicate detection) has several advantages over using VC. VC is O(N), whereas PT is a scalar. For capturing hb…

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