Computing Platforms Seminar Series (COMPASS)

The Computing Platforms Seminar Series (COMPASS) is focused on talks by industry and academia around the general topic of computing platforms.

COMPASS is held on most Thursdays during the semester 10:00-11:00 (with some exceptions) in CAB E 72.

Upcoming Talks:

Thursday, 21. February 2019, 10:00-11:00 in
CAB E 72

Speaker: Thomas Würthinger  (Oracle Labs)

Title: Bringing the Code to the Data with GraalVM



High-performance language runtimes often execute isolated from datastores. Encoding logic in the form of stored procedures requires relying on different execution engines and sometimes even different languages. Our vision of the future of execution runtimes is GraalVM: an integrated, polyglot, high-performance execution environment that can not only run stand-alone but also efficiently embedded in other systems. It supports shared tooling independent of the specific language and specific embedding. We designed the GraalVM runtime with complete separation of logical and physical data layout in mind. This allows direct access to custom data formats without marshalling overheads. GraalVM supports dynamic languages such as JavaScript, Ruby, Python and R. Additionally, even lower level languages such as C, C++, Go, and Rust are integrated into the ecosystem via LLVM bitcode and can execute in a sandboxed and secure manner. We believe this language-level virtualisation will provide major benefits for system performance and developer productivity.


Thomas Wuerthinger is researcher at Oracle Labs Switzerland. His research interests include Virtual Machines, Feedback-directed Runtime Optimizations, and Static Program Analysis. His current focus is the Graal project that aims at developing a new dynamic compiler for Java. Additionally, he is the architect of the Truffle self-optimizing runtime system, which uses partial evaluation for automatically deriving high-performance compiled code from AST interpreters. Before joining Oracle Labs, he has worked on the IdealGraphVisualizer, the Crankshaft/V8 optimizing compiler, and the Dynamic Code Evolution VM. He received a PhD degree from the Johannes Kepler University Linz.


Thursday, 28. February 2019, 10:00-11:00 in CAB E 72

Speaker: Alberto Lerner (University of Fribourg, Switzerland)

Title: The Case for Network-Accelerated Query Processing






The fastest plans in MPP databases are usually those with the least amount of data movement across nodes, as data is not processed while in transit. The network switches that connect MPP nodes are hard-wired to perform packet-forwarding logic only. However, in a recent paradigm shift, network devices are becoming “programmable.” The quotes here are cautionary. Switches are not becoming general purpose computers (just yet). But now the set of tasks they can perform can be encoded in software.

In this talk we explore this programmability to accelerate OLAP queries. We found that we can offload onto the switch some very common and expensive query patterns. Moving data through networking equipment can hence for the first time contribute to query execution. Our preliminary results show that we can improve response times on even the best agreed upon plans by more than 2x using 25 Gbps networks. We also see the promise of linear performance improvement with faster speeds. The use of programmable switches can open new possibilities of architecting rack- and datacenter-sized database systems, with implications across the stack.


Alberto Lerner is a Senior Researcher at the eXascale Infolab at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. His interests include systems that explore closely coupling of hardware and software in order to realize untapped performance and/or functionality. Previously, he spent years in the industry consulting for large, data-hungry verticals such as finance and advertisement. He had also been part of the teams behind a few different database engines: IBM's DB2, working on robustness aspects of the query optimizer, Google's Bigtable, on elasticity aspects, and MongoDB, on general architecture. Alberto received his Ph.D. from ENST - Paris (now ParisTech), having done his thesis research work at INRIA/Rocquencourt and NYU. He's also done post-doctoral work at IBM Research (both at T.J. Watson and Almaden). 

Thursday, 21. March 2019, 10:00-11:00 in CAB E 72

Speaker: Marko Vukolic (IBM Research)

Title: TBA


Past COMPASS Talks:  

Date Speaker Affiliation Talk
31.01.2019 Irene Zhang Microsoft Research, Redmond Demikernel: An Operating System Architecture for Hardware-Accelerated Datacenter Servers
25.10.2018 Mihnea Andrei SAP HANA Snapshot isolation in HANA - the evolution towards production-grade HTAP
04.10.2018 Philippe Bonnet IT University, Copenhagen, Denmark Near-Data Processing with Open-Channel SSDs
25.09.2018 Nandita Vijaykumar   Carnegie Mellon University Expressive Memory: Rethinking the Hardware-Software Contract with Rich Cross-Layer Abstractions
20.09.2018 Patrick Stüdi IBM Research Data processing at the speed of 100 Gbps using Apache Crail (Incubating)
15.08.2018 Leonid Yavits
Technion Resistive CAM based architectures: Resistive Associative In-Storage Processor and Resistive Address Decoder
06.07.2018 Martin Burtscher Texas State University Automatic Hierarchical Parallelization of Linear Recurrences
15.06.2018 Nitin Agrawal Samsung Research Low-Latency Analytics on Colossal Data Streams with SummaryStore
24.05.2018 Cagri Balkesen Oracle Labs RAPID: In-Memory Analytical Query Processing Engine with Extreme Performance per Watt
16.05.2018 Carsten Binnig TU Darmstadt Towards Interactive Data Exploration
09.05.2018 Bastian Hossbach Oracle Labs Modern programming languages and code generation in the Oracle Database
26.04.2018 Spyros Blanas Ohio State University Scaling database systems to high-performance computers
19.04.2018 Jane Hung MIT The Challenges and Promises of Large-Scale Biological Imaging
12.04.2018 Christoph Hagleitner IBM Research Heterogeneous Computing Systems for Datacenter and HPC Applications
14.03.2018  Eric Sedlar
 Oracle Labs
Why Systems Research Needs Social Science Added to the Computer Science
01.03.2018 Saughata Ghose Carnegie Mellon University How Safe Is Your Storage? A Look at the Reliability and Vulnerability of Modern Solid-State Drives
22.02.2018  Ioannis Koltsidas IBM Research Zurich System software for commodity solid-state storage