Cornell Systems Lunch

CS 7490 Spring 2020
Friday 12PM, Gates 114

Robbert van Renesse

Sponsored by Microsoft and Facebook

The Systems Lunch is a seminar for discussing recent, interesting papers in the systems area, broadly defined to span operating systems, distributed systems, networking, architecture, databases, and programming languages. The goal is to foster technical discussions among the Cornell systems research community. We meet once a week on Fridays at noon in Gates 114.

The systems lunch is open to all Cornell Ph.D. students interested in systems. First-year graduate students are especially welcome. Non-Ph.D. students have to obtain permission from the instructor. Student participants are expected to sign up for CS 7490, Systems Research Seminar, for one credit.

To join the systems lunch mailing list please send an empty message to with the subject line "join". More detailed instructions can be found here.

Links to papers and abstracts below are unlikely to work outside the Cornell CS firewall. If you have trouble viewing them, this is the likely cause.

Date Paper Presenter
January 24 How To Backdoor Federated Learning
Eugene Bagdasaryan, Andreas Veit, Yiqing Hua, Deborah Estrin, Vitaly Shmatikov (Cornell)
Eugene Bagdasaryan
January 31

Matthew Milano
February 7 RDMA: Provably More Powerful Communication

In recent years, a technology known as Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) has made its way into data centers, earning a spotlight in distributed systems research. RDMA provides the traditional send/receive communication primitives, but also allows a process to directly read/write remote memory. Recent work shows that RDMA leads to some new and exciting distributed algorithms. However, it is unclear whether the performance benefits observed with RDMA are inherent to its non-traditional features, or just an artifact of the way it is currently being used. In this talk, I will present a theoretical model of RDMA, called the Message-and-Memory model, and use it to show that RDMA has some fundamental advantages over previous communication mechanisms. I will use the classic problem of consensus to analyze the benefits that RDMA brings, and prove upper and lower bounds on fault tolerance and performance of solving crash-fault-tolerant and Byzantine-fault-tolerant consensus in this model.

Naama Ben-David (CMU)
February 14 Scalog: A Scalable Totally Ordered Log with Dynamic Data Placement
Cong Ding, David Chu, Evan Zhao, Xiang Li, Lorenzo Alvisi, Robbert van Renesse
NSDI 2020
Cong Ding
February 21 TUPAQ Unifies Consensus and Shared Registers for a Shorter Tail
Matthew Burke, Cornell University; Audrey Cheng and Wyatt Lloyd, Princeton University
NSDI 2020
Matt Burke
February 28 Cancelled (systems lab discussion)

March 6 From nesting to bare-metal: Strange adventures in the virtual world
Systems researchers have a love-hate relationship with virtualization. We love the freedom of indirection, but hate the overheads of emulation. I will discuss two projects in which we had fun exploring the extreme ends of the VM world. First I will discuss Span Virtualization, in which a single VM uses nesting to run over multiple "hypervisors" that provide different services. Next I will discuss Directvisor, in which a VM runs over "no" hypervisor, i.e., bare-metal, with direct timer and inter-processor interrupts besides live migration.
Kartik Gopalan is a Professor at Binghamton University, where he spends time exploring all things VM, but only when not driving his kids over to Ithaca Science Center. He received his Ph.D. from Stony Brook University, M.S. from IIT Madras, and B.E. from Delhi University.
Kartik Gopalan (Binghamton U.)
March 13 BitGourmet: Deterministic Approximation via Optimized Bit Selection
Saehan Jo and Immanuel Trummer
CIDR 2020
Saehan Jo
March 20

Xinwen Wang
March 27

Yue Guo
April 3 Spring Break, no meeting.
April 10

Haobin Ni
April 17 ACSU Luncheon no systems lunch, no meeting.
April 24

Youer Pu
May 1

Rama Venu (Google)
May 8 uP4

(extra lecture)
Hardik Soni