Title: @ACIS : the newsletter of the ACIS lab
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095864/00001
 Material Information
Title: @ACIS : the newsletter of the ACIS lab
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Advanced Computing and Information Systems Laboratory, College of Engineering, University of Florida
Publisher: Advanced Computing and Information Systems Laboratory, College of Engineering, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Fall 2008
Copyright Date: 2009
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00095864
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

Issue 1
@ACIS: The newsletter of the ACIS Lab Fall 2008

A Message from the Director
Dear Readers,
I am delighted to address you by way of the first issue of @ACIS, the Newsletter of the Advanced
Computing and Information Systems Lab at the University of Florida. By reading @ACIS you can
i L stay abreast of the many exciting activities and accomplishments of ACIS lab members and their
collaborators. Our intended readership includes faculty members, students, alumni, industry
professionals, funding agency officers, administrators and other friends of the ACIS lab. We wel-
come comments and contributions from each and every one of you. If you are a faculty member
we encourage you to join us in collaborative research efforts and to contribute an article about
your research on topics related to ACIS activities. If you are a student we are eager to publish your thoughts on
science and technology and on the life of the young and the restless in the ACIS lab. If you are an ACIS alum you
should consider providing content reflecting the wisdom of years gone by since your graduation. If you work in
industry we invite you to visit the ACIS lab and express your "real-world" perspective on topics related to ACIS lab
activities. If you workfor a funding agency please share with us your vision and let us know how we can help you in
fulfilling your agency's mission. If you are an administrator we lookfor your contributions informing the readership
of @ACIS of interesting announcements and initiatives. Last but not least, the friends of the ACIS lab are always
welcome to visit us and to express your thoughts in the pages of @ACIS. Your comments and contributions can be
sent to me at newsletter@acis.ufl.edu. Hoping you will enjoy reading @ACIS, I remain
Sincerely yours,
Jose A. B. Fortes (on behalf of ACIS lab members)

Meet the ACIS Lab
The ACIS Lab at the University
of Florida. Pictured, top
row (left to right): Julie
Walters, Cayla Townes, Selvi
Kadirvel, Erin Taylor, David
Wolinsky,Jianyang Xu,
Girish Venkatasubramanian,
Yuchu Tong, Vineet Chadha,
Wangyuan Zhang. Middle
row (left to right): Prapaporn
Rattanatamrong,Jing Xu,
Pierre St. Juste, Keyu Chen,
Andrea Matsunaga, Dr. Renato
Figueiredo, Dr. Tao Li. Bottom
row (left to right): Dr. Jose
Fortes, Dr. Oscar Boykin,
Tae Woong Choi, Mauricio
Tsugawa. Not pictured:
Herman Lam, Priya Bhat,
Diego Mesa, Xin Fu

From the Editor
I'm proud to present the first issue of @ACIS. This newsletter will be published three times a year and will keep subscribers up to date
on the latest happenings at ACIS Lab. In the next two issues, we'll continue our introduction to ACIS Lab with features about ACIS
faculty, computing facilities, and research. I hope you enjoy our first issue, and we'll keep in touch!
Best, Julie Walters (editor of @ACIS)

Student Life @ACIS

Nine graduate students from ACIS Lab attended this
year's International Conference on Autonomic Com-
puting (ICAC), held in Chicago from June 2-6. Profes-
sional conferences are an important part of the gradu-
ate school experience, according to lab director Dr.
Jose Fortes. "Conferences like ICAC are a vital part of
the graduate school experience," Fortes says. "Not only
do students gain a broader knowledge of the field;
they also get the chance to make contacts that will be
of tremendous value after they graduate." We asked
some of the ACIS ICAC'08 attendees to share some of
their thoughts on the conference.
"ICAC 2008 was my first professional IEEE conference
as a Ph.D. student. It gave me the opportunity to learn
and understand the complete publication process,"
said Pierre St. Juste, a graduate of the University of
Florida and a member of the lab since 2007. "Overall,
the conference allowed me to be more aware of what
is happening in the autonomic computing community,
Mr. St. Juste said. "The trip also provided great bonding
time with my labmates."

"One of the high points of the conference for me was
the Hot Topics in Autonomic Computing workshop
held on the first day" said Erin Taylor, an ACIS student
and National Science Foundation Research Fellow who
received both her B.S. and M.S. from the University of
Florida."This workshop consisted of nearly a dozen dif-
ferent talks from researchers in the field of autonom-
ics and presented some of the fundamental research
challenges currently being tackled by academia and
Ms. Taylor also remarked on her experience as a pre-
senter at the conference's poster session, saying that
"the demo and poster session on the evening of June 3
was an excellent opportunity to meet fellow research-
ers in the field. It also gave me the chance to introduce
my own current research and get feedback from both
an academic and industrial perspective. Overall, my
topic seemed to be of great interest to the individuals
that I spoke to which helps to confirm the applicability
of my work."

Spring Break 2008

'L-I SLUUteltI rie me DL. JU.LE dilU
Prapaporn Rattanatamrong at the
International Conference on Autonomic
Computing, Chicago, June 2008
For Prapaporn Rattanatamrong, one of the most im-
portant benefits of attending ICAC was the opportuni-
ties it afforded for discussing her research with experts
in the field. "I had several interesting discussions with
experts in the field and exchanged some perspectives
and comments with authors presenting their papers at
the conference which are very useful to my study and
research," Ms. Rattanatamrong said. "People did show
their interests to discuss and give helpful comments
for others' works," she added. "I was so surprised by
how accessible they were."

The above photo of the ACIS graduate students was
taken at a barbecue the students hosted at Kanapaha
Park during spring break. Pictured from left to right, top
row: David Wolinsky, Wangyuan Zhang, Dr. Figueiredo,
Jing Xu, Tae-Woong Choi, Pierre St. Juste, James Poe,
Yuchu Tong, Dr. Boykin, Dr. Fortes; bottom row: Ke-Yu
Chen, Prapaporn Rattanatamrong, Xin Fu, Erin Taylor,
Selvi Kadirvel, Jiangyan Xu, Girish Venkatasubrama-
nian, Vineet Chadha, and Arijit Ganguly. Thanks to the
students for a great day!

Featured Research Project: Center for Autonomic Computing

In January of 2008, the National Science Foundation
(NSF) has awarded a grant to launch the Center for Au-
tonomic Computing (CAC), a collaborative group that
combines resources from universities, private compa-
nies, and federal government to make all kinds of com-
putersystems and applications-from humble desktop
computers to air traffic control systems-more reliable,
more secure, more efficient, and easier to manage.
An autonomic computing system is any system that is
designed to function with minimal management even
as conditions and users change, according to Dr. Jose
Fortes, director of the new center at the CAC's Univer-
sity of Florida site. Autonomic computing algorithms,
Fortes says, can greatly reduce the growing costs of
administrating computer systems and protect against
loss of service in systems performing critical functions,
including those managing power grids, stock markets,
and hospital networks. They can also greatly improve
the speed and efficiency of complex systems that uti-
lize a large number of hardware and software compo-
Autonomic behaviors are collectively known as "self-*"
behaviors. For instance, a system that stores secure
information could use a self-protecting algorithm to
detect and mount a defense against attacks. Similarly,
a system that provides critical services could use a self-
healing algorithm to identify and recover from disrup-
tions triggered by hardware and/or software failures.
Without these algorithms, Dr. Fortes points out, large
networks can shut down entirely due to failure of one
For instance, on August 11,2007, an estimated 20,000
passengers were held at LAX for up to 14 hours be-
cause of a single computer failure that prevented U.S.
Customs from screening arrivals. In February of 2007,
the Dow dropped 546.02 points; because the worst
of the plunge happened after 2:30 p.m., trading limits
were not activated.
Autonomic algorithms have an extremely wide range
of applications, says Dr. Renato Figueiredo, a CAC co-
Principal Investigator at the University of Florida. Auto-
nomictechniques developed at the Center will comple-
ment cutting-edge research already underway at ACIS,
such as Dr. Figueiredo's studies of wide-area overlay
networks. "For instance, an autonomic overlay network
is able to self-configure routing tables and connections
among its nodes in a fully decentralized manner' says
Dr. Figueiredo."In addition, self-healing algorithms can
identify disruptions triggered by transient networkfail-
ures and autonomously establish alternative overlay

links to maintain connectivity, and self-optimization
algorithms can optimize the selection of such links
based on performance metrics such as latency. These
algorithms greatly reduce the complexity in the man-
agement of wide-area overlay networks."
The CAC is organized under the auspices of NSF's suc-
cessful Industry/University Cooperative Research Cen-
ters (I/UCRC) program. The University of Arizona and
Rutgers University are collaborative partners led by Dr.
Salim Hariri (Arizona CAC site director) and Dr. Manish
Parashar (Rutgers CAC site director). The growing list
of its industry members includes BAE Systems, Citrix,
EWA Government Systems, IBM, Intel, Merrill-Lynch,
Microsoft, Northrop-Grumman, NEC, Raytheon, Xerox,
Avirtec, Imaginestics, and ISCA Technologies. The cen-
ter is funded by membership fees from industry part-
ners, university matching funds, and by the National
Science Foundation's I/UCRC Program. The center's
website is www.nsfcac.org.

Events: CAC Kickoff Meeting
The CAC kickoff meeting was held April 8-10, 2008. At
the meeting, researchers from the University of Florida,
the University of Arizona, and Rutgers University pro-
posed projects to be undertaken using the center's
resources, and representatives from member compa-
nies gave feedback and selected which projects would
be pursued. One of the highlights of the meeting was
the conference dinner, held at the Florida Museum of
Natural History's Butterfly Rainforest, which houses the
second-largest Lepidoptera collection in the world.

Dr. Fortes and
Don Cox of
Raytheon at
the CAC kickoff
meeting dinner

Dr. Manish
(Rutgers Univ.),
Dr. Salim
Hariri (Univ. of
Arizona) and
Keith Goldstein
at the kickoff
meeting dinner

Best Paper, IEEE Workshops for Infrastructures for
Collaborative Enterprises, Collaborative P2P Infor-
mation Systems (WETICE COPS) Workshop, Rome,
Italy, June 2008. ACIS members Dr. Renato Figueiredo,
Dr. P Oscar Boykin, Pierre St. Juste and David Wolinsky
won the best paper award for their submission entitled
"Social VPNs: Integrating Overlay and Social Networks
for Seamless P2P Networking."
Best Paper, Seventeenth International Symposium
on High-Performance Distributed Computing HPDC,
Boston, MA, June 2008. ACIS members Arijit Gangu-
ly, David Wolinsky, Dr. P Oscar Boykin and Dr. Renato
Figueiredo won the best paper award for their paper
entitled "Improving Peer Connectivity in Wide-area
Overlays of Virtual Workstations."
Dr. Figueiredo awarded tenure. ACIS faculty member
Dr. Renato Figueiredo was promoted this June to As-
sociate Professor in the Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering at the University of Florida.
Congratulations, Dr. Figueiredo!

SMing Zhaoand
SJing Xu at their
wedding, May
O on 15,2008

i 4 1

Ming and Jing got married! ACIS graduate students
Ming Zhao and Jing Xu were married in Gainesville, FL
on May 15. Best wishes to the happy couple from ev-
eryone here in the ACIS Lab.
Ming Zhao graduated, in the Spring of 2008, and has
received a job as an Assistant Professor at Florida Inter-
national University. Congratulations, Ming!
Arijit Ganguly graduated at the end of Summer 2008
and has relocated to Seattle, Washington for a job with
Amazon.com as a Software Development Engineer.
Congratulations, Arijit!
ACIS leads newly awarded NSF grant to build com-
puter architecture community. ACIS Lab is leading a
team of collaborators from seven other universities that
was recently awarded a National Science Foundation
grant for a project entitled Archer-Seeding a Commu-
nity-based Computing Infrastructure for ComputerArchi-

tecture Research and Education. The Archer project will
create a distributed computing facility dediacted to
research on computer architecture and create a reposi-
tory where research groups can share code.
ACIS researchers will head new effort to develop re-
sources for computational biology research. Led by
ACIS researchers, faculty from six departments at the
University of Florida have been awarded a National Sci-
ence Foundation grant for the proposal entitled MRI:
Acquisition of Instrumentation for Coupled Experimen-
tal-Computational Neuroscience and Biology Research.
This project will create a computing infrastructure for
computational biology and will increase the comput-
ing power of the ACIS lab as a whole.
Next CAC semiannual meeting scheduled for No-
vember 2008. The next meeting for the Center for Au-
tonomic Computing is scheduled for November 5 & 6
and will be hosted by the University of Arizona CAC site
in Phoenix, Arizona.

Facilities at ACIS
Facilities in the ACIS Lab include cutting-edge com-
puter systems and software infrastructure mirroring
state-of-the-art capabilities found in industry settings.
Unique capabilities include upwards of 500 computing
nodes based on Intel Xeon, AMD Opteron, IBM Power
and SUN Sparc systems, 50 Terabytes of storage, com-
mercial and open-source OS software and middleware
for virtualization, database management, Web servic-
es, grid computing, P2P computing, etc. ACIS resources
are locally and externally connected via high-speed

The ACIS Lab is supported by the following generous
sponsors: Army Research Office, BellSouth Foundation,
Citrix Systems, Intel Corporation, IBM, Merrill-Lynch, Na-
tional Aeronautical & Science Administration (NASA),
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA), National Science Foundation (NSF), Northrop-
Grumman, Office of Naval Research, Semiconductor
Research Corporation, and Southeastern Universities
Research Association (SURA).

Find out more!
Want to know more about ACIS? Visit our
or call Cayla at (352) 392-4964. Thanks!

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