CS-739: Reading Questions

CHANGE: put homework in ~cs739-1/handin/hw/username not ~cs739-1/handin/username (in other words, in the hw subdirectory under your handin directory). Thanks!

Recall that answers to reading questions should be written up as a text file (e.g., with emacs or vim or ...) and placed in your handin directory before 9am on the day of the class. The handin directories are found in ~cs739-1/handin/hw/username where username is your CS username. These directories are mounted on all departmental Linux machines. Note that your directory may not yet be there if you are not yet enrolled in class; if so, don't worry, we will figure it out.

IMPORTANT: File name should follow this format exactly: for question 1, make a file with the name 1.txt. Of course, the number of the question should change each time. Thus, to see your work for question 1, I should be able to type:

cat ~cs739-1/handin/username/1.txt
and see what you have written - assuming your login is username that is.

Tip #1: Keep it short, say 2-3 paragraphs.

Tip #2: Don't spend time regurgitating obvious stuff from the papers! The point of these questions is to think , and then to write down what it is that you thought about. I read a lot of write-ups, so the more interesting you are, the better! If you find yourself just repeating a lot of details from the paper, you are going down the wrong path.

Tip #3: Don't spend time criticizing how the authors wrote the paper. That is, I don't need to know whether you thought the paper was well written or not. We'll have plenty of time to talk about those types of things later in the class. Focus on technical aspects for these questions.


Q1 (due 9/8 @ 9am): What was the most interesting aspect in the Hamilton paper? In the Dean slides? In the Brewer paper? Also, which aspect of each do you think is least relevant or important today?

Q2 (due 9/13 @ 12pm): What is the best design decision in the RPC paper? What is the worst?

Q3 (due 9/15 @ 10am): Are kernel-based communication layers inherently slow? Why or why not? As devices become faster, it is fundamental that they eventually must be user-level services?

Q4 (due 9/20 @ 10am): What aspect of Gray's paper is most correct still today? Which is most wrong? For the Yuan paper, considering all of the data from the paper, do you agree or disagree with the main premise, as expressed in the title? ("simple testing can prevent most critical failures") Is this a useful result/claim?

Q5 (due 09/22 @ 10am): Pick one figure or table from each of the three papers that you think is most interesting. Describe what you think is most interesting about it, in a sentence or three.

Q6 (due 09/27 @ 10am): Actually, no question - just read the SSD papers and think about what you learned from each of them. Also, please fill out this form found here. And finish P1!

Q7 (due 09/29 @ 10am): What is a good real world example for logical clock? Can you think of an example where a logical clock will not be sufficient, and you would need a vector clock?

Q8 (due 10/04 @ 10am): What is a helper process, and why was it needed in the Flash web server paper? Would it still be needed today?

Q9 (due 10/05 @ 10am): Which type of vulnerability uncovered by ALICE is least realistic/important? Which performance result of WiscKey is most surprising?

Q10 (due 10/11 @ 10am): How could leases be used to improve NFS client cache consistency?

No question for 10/13. Just come to class and enjoy!

No question for 10/20. Read the papers and work on your assignment.

No question for 10/27. Read the papers and work on your assignment.

Q11 (due 11/01 @ 12:30pm). Describe what you think the main difficulty of using eventually-consistent storage systems would be when developing applications on top of them.

Q12 (due 11/08 @ 11am). What is the biggest weakness of the approach to isolation described in the Pisces paper?

No question for 11/10. Read the papers. We'll generally reduce questions to one/week so as to enable focus on your final projects.

No question for 11/15.

No question for 11/17.

No more questions this year - just read the papers and be ready to discuss!