Big And Distributed Systems (BAD Systems) conference

Symposium Overview

BAD Systems is a new showcase for the excellent work done in the confines of CS 736, the graduate operating systems course here at the University of Wisconsin. Though purportedly about Big and Distributed systems, BAD actually accepts papers on all sorts of systems topics.

The 2003 BAD Systems conference seeks original and innovative papers about the applications, architecture, implementation, and performance of computing systems. Or really, papers about things that interest Remzi. Some topics of interest include:

Controlled Memory Management
Memory-aware Scheduling
Upgrades Via OS Hints
Heterogeneous RAID
Virtualized DOS
User-mode Linux Memory Overheads
User-mode Linux Networking Overheads
Benchmarking the ext3 File System
Smarter Event-based Servers
Finding Windows Security Holes
Virtualizing NFS
Interpreters for Active Disks
Critiquing the NASD Interface
Papers on all other topics will be rejected.

Reviewing of full papers will be done by the BAD program committee, which consists of me (Remzi). Papers must use a typeface no smaller than 10 point, and be no longer than fourteen (14) 8.5" by 11" pages including everything (text, figures, references, and so forth). All papers must be submitted as PDF or Postscript (or both).

Program Committee

Remzi H. Arpaci-Dusseau, University of Wisconsin, Madison, (Program Chair, General Chair, Likes to sit in a Chair)

Important Dates and Locations

Paper submissions are due by Midnight, Friday, December 19, 2003
Date of conference: Conference will unfortunately never take place.
Why not? Because you insist on having a "break" this "winter".

Submitting a Paper

As described above, submitted papers must be no longer than 14 single-spaced 8.5" x 11" pages, including figures, tables, and references, using 10 point or larger fonts. Papers longer than 14 pages will be ripped to bits by the program chair and automatically receive a very bad grade, like a D. Papers so short as to be considered "much too short" will not receive full consideration and thus also a bad grade, like a C. Papers are allowed to be in (should be in?) two-column format. Papers must be submitted in PDF or Postscript file format. A good paper will demonstrate that the authors:
  • are attacking a significant problem
  • have devised an interesting, compelling solution
  • have demonstrated the practicality and benefits of the solution
  • have drawn appropriate conclusions
  • have clearly described what they have done
  • have clearly articulated the relation to previous work
  • Submissions will be judged on originality, significance, interest, clarity, relevance, and correctness. Unlike most other conferences, all papers will be accepted and distributed via the online electronic proceedings. Thus, submit and be guaranteed a place in this BAD conference!

    Paper Organization

    A good paper will likely have the following components:
    Title and Author List: should be self-evident.
    Abstract: Describe in short what you do, how you do it, and the results.
    Introduction: Spend a little more time. Motivate the problem. Start with generalities, and narrow in on your problem. Describe your approach. What is good about it? Potential weaknesses? Summarize results. Give an outline of the rest of the paper.
    Related Work: Write about other similiar work. What is different than what you did? What is similar? Try to draw general conclusions about what others have missed.
    Description of what you did/built: Use pictures and words to show what you did. Be detailed. Think about how to organize what you are doing.
    Results: Graphs and tables, all clear and understandable. Full description of each experiment and the results. What is the point of each graph? What conclusions can you draw from it?
    Conclusions: Appropriately drawn from the work described, as general as possible, with a hint of "lessons learned"; what did you get out of the study? Summary is what you did; conclusions are what you learned.
    One good way to structure a paper is to find a paper you liked in class and copy its structure (loosely).

    If you plan on using latex (which is great for this sort of thing), click here for an example Latex template (in tar format). If you plan on using MS Word, please make sure you know how to generate PDF.

    Authors of all papers will be expected to provide an HTML page containing the abstract of and links to their paper, and to the software and experimental data described in their paper. Papers, software, and data will all be collected for inclusion in an electronic version of the symposium.

    Deadline and Submission Instructions

    Submitted papers must be received by Midnight, December 19, 2003. Submission of all papers must be made in electronic form, in either PDF or Postscript format. As stated above, an HTML page, containing the abstract and author information, and including a link to the paper, should be submitted. A template of the abstract page is available. All submissions should be sent to, and the email should consist of a link to the HTML page and related documents and software.

    Best Paper Award

    An award will be given for the best paper at the symposium, likely in the form of a handshake and friendly smile from the instructor.

    Sister Conferences

    BAD Systems is the fourth in a series of systems conferences based around CS 736. Its sister conferences are USEDNIX, SOS-Please and OS-DIE. Please feel free to peruse the on-line proceedings of these conferences for examples of previously accepted submissions.