Brown University Computer Science (Brown CS) PhD Candidate Jonathan Mace, Ryan Roelke '15 (now at Vertica), and Brown CS Assistant Professor Rodrigo Fonseca have just received one of three Best Paper Awards at the 25th Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP 2015), currently being held in Monterey, California. SOSP is often considered the leading forum for researchers and developers of computer operating systems, and their research compared favorably with more than two dozen entries selected from over 300 global submissions, covering a wide range of theory and practice.
Jonathan, Ryan, and Rodrigo’s work (“Pivot Tracing: Dynamic Causal Monitoring for Distributed Systems”) addresses the challenge of monitoring and troubleshooting distributing systems with a monitoring framework that combines techniques from both the dynamic instrumentation and causal tracing literature. Pivot Tracing gives users, at runtime, the ability to define arbitrary metrics at one point of the system, while being able to select, alter, and group by events meaningful at other parts of the system, even when crossing component or machine boundaries. The result is a dynamic and extensible solution that enables cross-tier analysis between inter-operating applications with low execution overhead.
"This is the first framework we are aware of,” Rodrigo says, “that allows you to ask questions about a system as it runs, while causally combining metrics across its distributed components."