Systems and Networking

The Systems researchers focus on ways to take advantage of efficiencies made possible by new computer architecture. Members of the group have significant strengths in the areas of storage systems, including solid-state storage and disk/flash systems; cloud computing; wireless communications; Internet and wireless security; and network algorithms.

Through research involving checkpoint-restart and high performance computing, they aim to provide fault-tolerant and resilient computing for high performance computing, with applications ranging from Android running on smartphones to huge computations running on the latest supercomputers and in the computational cloud.  They also collaborate with the college’s research groups in formal methods and with the college of engineering’s systems faculty, in order to improve the resilience of software.

Through research involving wireless networks they aim to provide secure, safe and reliable services to users via the open network. As a result, the researchers are applying this knowledge to such applications as smart homes and the monitoring of elderly or disabled patients. They also collaborate with the college’s research groups in programming languages, formal methods, software engineering and robotics in order to improve the reliability of software.

Team Achievements

  • Lead an interdisciplinary team developing a new generation of application-driven wireless sensor networks advantageous in search and rescue, building inspection, health monitoring and motion tracking
  • Developed adaptive strategies for efficient resource management in wireless ad hoc networks
  • Developed network performance and approximation algorithms to improve the design and efficient utilization of networks
  • Developed Meddle, a software tool that offers users greater transparency and control over network traffic generated by their mobile devices, and Ono, a software tool that permits faster downloads and has been adopted by more than 1.4 million users.
  • Created a platform for distributed wireless cross-layer protocols development and evaluation
  • Improved scheduling for optimizing inter-domain latency
  • Participated Contributed to defining the third generation Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) standardized as 3GPP and to constructing its first packet mode prototype
  • Designed a system providing massive data durability in decentralized systems
  • Developed DMTCP (Distributed Multi-Threaded Check-Pointing), the most widely used user-space package for transparent checkpoint-restart, with a user base estimated in the many thousands, and with software packages for most major Linux distributions.
  • Developed the adaptive plugin model of checkpoint-restart, enabling DMTCP to be used in a series of novel applications (e.g., checkpoint of a network of virtual machines, transparent checkpoint over Infini Band, checkpoint of the Intel Xeon Phi).
  • Developed Geant4MT, the multi-threaded version of Geant4.  This has been adopted into the mainstream version 10.0 release of Geant4. The systems group co-authored an older description of Geant4 (without the recent Geant4MT enhancement), which was published at NIM in 2003.  That paper has over 3500 citations (over 2000 citations, excluding conference publications)