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Assertions for Distributed Systems

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Distributed protocols are the only way to build fault-tolerant services. However, this fault tolerance comes at the cost of complexity and correctly implementing a distributed protocol is challenging. In recent years, several projects have looked at addressing this challenge by proposing frameworks that can be used to build provably-correct implementations of distributed protocols. However, these these frameworks must limit how applications are written so that proving correctness is tractable, and thus add to development costs and produce implementations which have lower performance. In this talk I will describe an alternate approach where rather than proving that an implementation is correct, we provide mechanisms to detect and respond to implementation bugs at runtime. The talk will present the vision for this approach, describe challenges, and present some preliminary results.

Bio: Aurojit Panda is an assistant professor in the Computer Science department at New York University. He is primarily interested in systems and networking, and how techniques from formal methods and programming languages can be applied to challenges in these areas. He received his PhD in 2017 from UC Berkeley, where he was advised by Scott Shenker. He received the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship in 2012, the Eurosys Best Paper Award in 2013, the SIGCOMM Best Student Paper Award in 2015, the UC Berkeley EECS Demetri Angelakos Memorial Achievement Award in 2017, a VMware Early Career Faculty Award in 2018, a Google Research Scholar Award in 2021, and a NSF Career award in 2021.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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