Research

Out of date: see me for up-to-date information.

My general research interests include operating systems, compilers, and programming languages. I am especially interested in the above topics as they relate to distributed and parallel computing. I direct several Masters and PhD students under the banner of the Operating System Research Group.

Projects

There many previous projects, which I describe in no particular order. One is High-Performance, Power-Aware Computing. The project will development a modified MPI runtime system that will allow for significant energy savings with little or no increase in execution time. In developing this system, we expect that we will develop novel algorithms and/or measurement techniques for dynamic analysis. The net result of this project will be a publicly-available MPI runtime that can be used in a nearly transparent way to significantly reduce energy consumption in supercomputing centers. A secondary aspect of this project is the development of a system for commercial servers. It consists of a general framework for boosting throughput at a local level while load-balancing the available aggregate power under a set of operating constraints. This is funded by an IBM UPP award. David Lowenthal and I co-founded the Workshop on High-Performance, Power-Aware Computing.

Another project is Runtime/Operating System Synergy to Exploit Simultaneous Multithreading. This proposal focuses on a synergistic approach combining runtime and operating system support to fully unfold the capabilities of SMTs. This project is funded by an NSF DS award.

FreeLoader. A great many machines, from personal workstations to large clusters, are under utilized. Meanwhile, for the fear of slowing down the native tasks, resource scavenging systems hesitate to aggressively harness idle resources. We have developed a quantitative approach for fine-grained scavenging that can effectively utilizes very small slack periods without adversely impacting the native workload, and automatically adapts to the native workload's changes in resource consumption. The fourth project is the Governor, which is a performance impact control framework, that seamlessly and autonomically restricts a scavenging application's resource consumption, and adapts to the ever-changing native workload. The main idea is to characterize the performance impact of a given scavenging application on a set of micro-benchmarks, each of which intensively uses one type of system resource, such as CPU and network. The Governor throttles resource utilization by periodically inserting slack into the scavenging process, thereby reducing the time the scavenger competes with the native workload for resources.

I completed a project in Understanding Open Source Software Development, see this. This multi-disciplinary project studies the open source software (OSS) phenomenon, developing empirical models and simulations of the interactions between developers and software projects. This project in by an NSF DST award.

I co-developed parasitic computing. See these press releases: one and two. Appeared on some radio shows: NPR's All Things Considered (synopsis, [ram])http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/atc/20010829.atc.14.ram) and A(ustralia)BC's The Buzz. Here is a magazine article.

I once directed the System_Software_Research_Group (SSR_Projects). Professor David_Lowenthal and I created the Filaments package for architecture-independent parallel programming, with a little help from our advisor: Professor Greg Andrews. Additionally, I was once a contributor to the SR Project. Today, I just have fond memories of when I had time to program. This is a summary of my research as it stood in 2002.