NSDI '17 Call for Papers

Sponsored by USENIX, the Advanced Computing Systems Association, in cooperation with ACM SIGCOMM and ACM SIGOPS

Important Dates

  • Paper titles and abstracts due: Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 3:00 p.m. US PDT
  • Full paper submissions due: Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 3:00 p.m. US PDT
  • Notification to authors: Monday, December 5, 2016
  • Final paper files due: Thursday, February 23, 2017

Download Call for Papers PDF

Symposium Organizers

Program Co-Chairs

Aditya Akella, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Jon Howell, Google

Program Committee

Sharad Agarwal, Microsoft
Tom Anderson, University of Washington
Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau, University of Wisconsin—Madison
Anirudh Badam, Microsoft
Mahesh Balakrishnan, Yale University
Fabian Bustamante, Northwestern University
Ranveer Chandra, Microsoft
David Choffnes, Northeastern University
Romit Roy Choudhury, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Mosharaf Chowdhury, University of Michigan
Mike Dahlin, Google
Anja Feldmann, Technische Universität Berlin
Rodrigo Fonseca, Brown University
Nate Foster, Cornell University
Deepak Ganesan, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Phillipa Gill, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Srikanth Kandula, Microsoft
Teemu Koponen, Styra
Sanjeev Kumar, Uber
Swarun Kumar, Carnegie Mellon University
Wyatt Lloyd, University of Southern California
Boon Thau Loo, University of Pennsylvania
Jacob Lorch, Microsoft
Ratul Mahajan, Microsoft
Dahlia Malkhi, VMware
Dave Maltz, Microsoft
Z. Morley Mao, University of Michigan
Michael Mitzenmacher, Harvard University
Jason Nieh, Columbia University
George Porter, University of California, San Diego
Luigi Rizzo, University of Pisa
Srini Seshan, Carnegie Mellon University
Anees Shaikh, Google
Ankit Singla, ETH Zurich
Robbert van Renesse, Cornell University
Geoff Voelker, University of California, San Diego
David Wetherall, Google
Adam Wierman, California Institute of Technology
John Wilkes, Google
Minlan Yu, University of Southern California
Heather Zheng, University of California, Santa Barbara
Lin Zhong, Rice University

Poster Session Co-Chairs

Anirudh Badam, Microsoft
Mosharaf Chowdhury, University of Michigan

Steering Committee

Katerina Argyraki, EPFL
Paul Barham, Google
Nick Feamster, Princeton University
Casey Henderson, USENIX Association
Arvind Krishnamurthy, University of Washington
Jeff Mogul, Google
Brian Noble, University of Michigan
Timothy Roscoe, ETH Zurich
Alex C. Snoeren, University of California, San Diego


NSDI focuses on the design principles, implementation, and practical evaluation of networked and distributed systems. Our goal is to bring together researchers from across the networking and systems community to foster a broad approach to addressing overlapping research challenges.

NSDI provides a high-quality, single-track forum for presenting results and discussing ideas that further the knowledge and understanding of the networked systems community as a whole, continue a significant research dialog, or push the architectural boundaries of network services.


We solicit papers describing original and previously unpublished research. Specific topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Highly available and reliable networked systems
  • Security and privacy of networked systems
  • Distributed storage, caching, and query processing
  • Energy-efficient computing in networked systems
  • Cloud/multi-tenant systems
  • Mobile and embedded/sensor applications and systems
  • Wireless networked systems
  • Network measurements, workload, and topology characterization systems
  • Self-organizing, autonomous, and federated networked systems
  • Managing, debugging, and diagnosing problems in networked systems
  • Virtualization and resource management for networked systems and clusters
  • Systems aspects of networking hardware
  • Experience with deployed/operational networked systems
  • Communication and computing over big data on a networked system
  • Practical aspects of network economics
  • An innovative solution for a significant problem involving networked systems

Operational Systems Track

In addition to papers that describe original research, NSDI '17 also solicits papers that describe the design, implementation, analysis, and experience with large-scale, operational systems and networks. We encourage submission of papers that disprove or strengthen existing assumptions, deepen the understanding of existing problems, and validate known techniques at scales or environments in which they were never used or tested before. Such operational papers need not present new ideas or results to be accepted.

Authors should indicate on the title page of the paper and in the submission form that they are submitting to this track.

What to Submit   Submit Your Work

NSDI '17 is double-blind, meaning that authors should make a good faith effort to anonymize papers. This is new for NSDI in 2017. As an author, you should not identify yourself in the paper either explicitly or by implication (e.g., through the references or acknowledgments). However, only non-destructive anonymization is required. For example, system names may be left un-anonymized, if the system name is important for a reviewer to be able to evaluate the work. For example, a paper on experiences with the design of .NET should not be re-written to be about "an anonymous but widely used commercial distributed systems platform."

Additionally, please take the following steps when preparing your submission:

  • Remove authors' names and affiliations from the title page.
  • Remove acknowledgment of identifying names and funding sources.
  • Use care in naming your files. Source file names, e.g., Joe.Smith.dvi, are often embedded in the final output as readily accessible comments.
  • Use care in referring to related work, particularly your own. Do not omit references to provide anonymity, as this leaves the reviewer unable to grasp the context. Instead, a good solution is to reference your past work in the third person, just as you would any other piece of related work.
  • If you need to reference another submission at NSDI’17 on a related topic, reference it as follows: "A related paper describes the design and implementation of our compiler [Anonymous 2017]." with the corresponding citation: "[Anonymous 2017] Under submission. Details omitted for double-blind reviewing."
  • Work that extends an author's previous workshop paper is welcome, but authors should (a) acknowledge their own previous workshop publications with an anonymous citation and (b) explain the differences between the NSDI submission and the prior workshop paper.
  • If you cite anonymous work, you must also send the deanonymized reference(s) to the PC chair in a separate email.
  • Blinding is intended to not be a great burden. If blinding your paper seems too burdensome, please contact the program co-chairs and discuss your specific situation.

Submissions must be no longer than 12 pages, including footnotes, figures, and tables. Submissions may include as many additional pages as needed for references and for supplementary material in appendices. The paper should stand alone without the supplementary material, but authors may use this space for content that may be of interest to some readers but is peripheral to the main technical contributions of the paper. Note that members of the program committee are free to not read this material when reviewing the paper.

Submissions must be in two-column format, using 10-point type on 12-point (single-spaced) leading, with a maximum text block of 6.5" wide x 9" deep, with .25" inter-column space, formatted for 8.5" x 11" paper. Papers not meeting these criteria will be rejected without review, and no deadline extensions will be granted for reformatting. Pages should be numbered, and figures and tables should be legible when printed without requiring magnification. Authors may use color in their figures, but the figures should be readable when printed in black and white. All papers must be submitted via the Web form.

Submissions will be judged on originality, significance, interest, clarity, relevance, and correctness.


Simultaneous submission of the same work to multiple venues, submission of previously published work, or plagiarism constitutes dishonesty or fraud. USENIX, like other scientific and technical conferences and journals, prohibits these practices and may take action against authors who have committed them. See the USENIX Conference Submissions Policy for details.

Previous publication at a workshop is acceptable as long as the NSDI submission includes substantial new material. See remarks above about how to cite and contrast with a workshop paper.

Authors uncertain whether their submission meets USENIX’s guidelines should contact the Program Co-Chairs, nsdi17chairs@usenix.org.

Papers accompanied by nondisclosure agreement forms will not be considered. All submissions will be treated as confidential prior to publication on the USENIX NSDI '17 web site; rejected submissions will be permanently treated as confidential.

Ethical Considerations

Papers describing experiments with users or user data (e.g., network traffic, passwords, social network information), should follow the basic principles of ethical research, e.g., beneficence (maximizing the benefits to an individual or to society while minimizing harm to the individual), minimal risk (appropriateness of the risk versus benefit ratio), voluntary consent, respect for privacy, and limited deception. When appropriate, authors are encouraged to include a subsection describing these issues. Authors may want to consult the Menlo Report for further information on ethical principles, or the Allman/Paxson IMC '07 paper for guidance on ethical data sharing.

Authors must, as part of the submission process, attest that their work complies with all applicable ethical standards of their home institution(s), including, but not limited to privacy policies and policies on experiments involving humans. Note that submitting research for approval by one's institution's ethics review body is necessary, but not sufficient—in cases where the PC has concerns about the ethics of the work in a submission, the PC will have its own discussion of the ethics of that work. The PC’s review process may examine the ethical soundness of the paper just as it examines the technical soundness.

Processes for Accepted Papers

If your paper is accepted and you need an invitation letter to apply for a visa to attend the conference, please contact conference@usenix.org as soon as possible. (Visa applications can take at least 30 working days to process.) Please identify yourself as a presenter and include your mailing address in your email.

Accepted papers may be shepherded through an editorial review process by a member of the Program Committee. Based on initial feedback from the Program Committee, authors of shepherded papers will submit an editorial revision of their paper to their Program Committee shepherd. The shepherd will review the paper and give the author additional comments. All authors, shepherded or not, will upload their final file to the submissions system by the camera ready date for the conference Proceedings.

All papers will be available online to registered attendees before the conference. If your accepted paper should not be published prior to the event, please notify production@usenix.org. The papers will be available online to everyone beginning on the first day of the conference.

Best Paper Awards

Awards will be given for the best paper(s) at the conference.

Community Award

To encourage broader code and data sharing within the NSDI community, the conference will also present a “Community Award” for the best paper whose code and/or data set is made publicly available by the final papers deadline, February 23, 2017. Authors who would like their paper to be considered for this award will have the opportunity to tag their paper during the submission process.