Computer Systems



Embedded Systems

Professor Regehr’s efforts address problems in creating dependable embedded software, particularly for highly constrained platforms. His group has created tools that take existing sensor network applications and enforce type-safe execution, detect the possibility of stack overflow, and reduce RAM usage using data compression techniques. Professor Davis’ group is designing high performance, low-power, flexible domain-specific architectures which do things like speech and visual feature recognition. They are also designing tools to automate the design process.

Networking and Operating Systems

Computer systems research at Utah spans operating systems, distributed systems, networking, and security. Much of this work is done in collaboration with researchers in programming languages and compilers, mobile and embedded systems, software engineering, and formal methods.

The Flux Research Group, led by several systems faculty and senior technical staff, develops the internationally acclaimed Emulab network emulation testbed. Technologies and ideas from Emulab will help form the basis of NSF’s new GENI network instrumentation and experimentation infrastructure. Current Flux projects also include building an experimentation workbench, which integrates scientific workflow with Emulab, and developing a programmable wireless testbed using software radios. Past projects include operating systems like Fluke and Janos, which pushed the envelope in terms of OS design and features.

Professor Kasera’s networking research encompasses mobile systems and wireless networks, network security, new network architectures, and networks measurements. Ongoing research includes developing novel methods for enhancing wireless network security using unique device fingerprints and link signatures, developing distributed medium access protocols for next generation wireless communication technologies, building social networking platforms to facilitate collective decision making, and building robust overload control. Professor Kasera’s group is also building mobile ad hoc network routing and security using accurate network performance characterizations and cross layer approaches.

Scalable Software Systems

The Scalable Software Systems Lab headed by Ryan Stutsman works at the intersection of Distributed Systems, Operating Systems, and Databases. Ongoing work focuses on systems that allow large-scale applications to access data more intensively than has been possible in the past. A recent major thrust of the lab has been to build low-latency in-memory storage systems that support thousands of tenants per machine while allowing tenants to provide their own custom in-storage code and data model extensions. With modern networking hardware servers can process hundreds of millions of requests per server with just a few microseconds of processing per request. As a result, a key area of focus for the lab is allowing fast, native-code storage extensions while eliminating the use of ordinary, costly hardware protection mechanisms for isolation.