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2003 USENIX Annual Technical Conference, June 9-14, 2003, Marriott Rivercenter, San Antonio, Texas
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Register Now! Technical Sessions: Thurs., June 12 | Fri., June 13 | Sat., June 14 | All in one file | FREENIX only

Thursday, June 12, 2003
8:45 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Opening Remarks, Awards, Keynote
Cryptonomicon Snow Crash Diamond Age

Keynote Address
Neal Stephenson, author of Cryptonomicon, Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, and the upcoming Quicksilver

10:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.   Break
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Administration Magic

Awarded Best Paper!
Undo for Operators: Building an Undoable E-mail Store

Aaron B. Brown and David A. Patterson, University of California, Berkeley

Role Classification of Hosts Within Enterprise Networks
Godfrey Tan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Massimiliano Poletto, Mazu Networks; John Guttag and Frans Kaashoek, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

A Cooperative Internet Backup Scheme
Mark Lillibridge, Hewlett-Packard Labs; Sameh Elnikety, Rice University; Andrew Birrell, Mike Burrows, and Michael Isard, Microsoft Research


Engineering Reusable Software Libraries
Kiem-Phong Vo, AT&T Labs—Research

Libraries are integral to software development. Successful libraries arguably achieve the right balance among these software engineering dimensions:

  1. requirement, i.e., fulfilling the correct anticipated needs;
  2. architecture, i.e., being easily composable with others and evolvable as new requirements surface; and
  3. scalability, i.e., using efficient algorithms and providing further means to customize and compose them for performance. This talk relates software engineering lessons learned by the speaker while writing a number of widely used libraries.


Network Services
Session Chair: Robert Watson, Network Associates Laboratories & The FreeBSD Project

Implementation of a Modern Web Search Engine Cluster
Maxim Lifantsev and Tzi-cker Chiueh, Stony Brook University

CSE: A C++ Servlet Environment for High-Performance Web Applications
Thomas Gschwind and Benjamin A. Schmit, Technische Universität Wien

U-P2P: A Peer-to-Peer Framework for Universal Resource Sharing and Discovery
Neal Arthorne, Babak Esfandiari, and Aloke Mukherjee, Carleton University


SAMBA - Ins and Outs, LDAP
Gerald (Jerry) Carter, SAMBA Team

Gerald Carter has been a member of the SAMBA Team since 1998. He is employed by Hewlett-Packard as a Software Engineer, where he works on Samba-based print appliances and acts as the release coordinator for the SAMBA project. He is currently working on a guide to LDAP for system administrators with O'Reilly Publishing and is the author of "Teach Yourself Samba in 24 Hours" for Sams Publishing. Gerald holds a master's degree in computer science from Auburn University, where he was also previously employed as a network and systems administrator.

12:30 p.m.–2:00 p.m.   Lunch on your own
2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.


Currentcy: A Unifying Abstraction for Expressing Energy
Heng Zeng, Carla S. Ellis, Alvin R. Lebeck, and Amin Vahdat, Duke University

Design and Implementation of Power-Aware Virtual Memory
Hai Huang, Padmanabhan Pillai, and Kang G. Shin, University of Michigan


The Convergence of Ubiquity: The Future of Wireless Network Security
William A. Arbaugh, University of Maryland, College Park

Computing devices are shrinking while becoming more powerful. At the same time, several forms of wireless networking are experiencing exponential growth. What happens when these two trends converge, and what does it mean for security? This talk will provide a short (and pitiful) history of wireless network security, followed by the speaker's view of the future of wireless network security and what security challenges must be solved before true ubiquitous computing can emerge.


Session Chair: Carl Worth, University of Southern California, Information Sciences Institute

GNU Mailman, Internationalized
Barry Warsaw, Pythonlabs at Zope Corporation

ASK: Active Spam Killer
Marco Paganini

Learning Spam: Simple Techniques for Freely Available Software
Bart Massey, Mick Thomure, Raya Budrevich, and Scott Long, Portland State University


Legacy Systems/Big Data/FREENIX Clusters
Andrew Hume, AT&T Labs—Research

Andrew Hume is a Technology Consultant in AT&T Labs' software systems research department. He has worked in the areas of software tools, pattern matching and string searching, processing massive datasets, and, most recently, cajoling high availability and performance from clusters of UNIX PCs.

3:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.   Break
4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.

Get Virtual

Operating System Support for Virtual Machines
Samuel T. King, George W. Dunlap, and Peter M. Chen, University of Michigan

A Multi-User Virtual Machine
Grzegorz Czajkowski and Laurent Daynès, Sun Microsystems; Ben Titzer, Purdue University


Intellectual Property in an Age of Commerce; Core Issues in the SCO / Linux IP Suit
Chris DiBona, Damage Studios

Chris DiBona will discuss the SCO vs. Linux case and the Intellectual Property issues at the heart of the lawsuit. Chris was recently nominated by Linus Torvalds to represent the Open Source community on a proposed committee that would examine the Linux kernel for proprietary code.


Network Protocols
Session Chair: Chuck Cranor, AT&T Labs–Research

Network Programming for the Rest of Us
Glyph Lefkowitz, Twisted Matrix Labs; Itamar Shtull-Trauring, Zoteca

In-Place Rsync: File Synchronization for Mobile and Wireless Devices
David Rasch and Randal Burns, Johns Hopkins University

NFS Tricks and Benchmarking Traps
Daniel Ellard and Margo Seltzer, Harvard University


Bdale Garbee, HP Linux and Open Source Lab/Debian Project Leader

Bdale is the Debian Project Leader and currently works at HP helping to make sure Linux will work well on future HP systems. His background includes many years of both UNIX internals and embedded systems work. He helped jumpstart ports of Debian GNU/Linux to 5 architectures other than i386.

Friday, June 13, 2003   Back to top
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

Needles and Haystacks

A Logic File System
Yoann Padioleau and Olivier Ridoux, IRISA / University of Rennes

Application-Specific Delta-Encoding via Resemblance Detection
Fred Douglis and Arun Iyengar, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

Opportunistic Use of Content Addressable Storage for Distributed File Systems
Niraj Tolia, Carnegie Mellon University and Intel Research Pittsburgh; Michael Kozuch, Intel Research Pittsburgh; Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Carnegie Mellon University and Intel Research Pittsburgh; Brad Karp, Intel Research Pittsburgh; Thomas Bressoud, Denison University and Intel Research Pittsburgh; Adrian Perrig, Carnegie Mellon University


How to Build an Insecure System out of Perfectly Good Cryptography
Radia Perlman, Sun Microsystems Laboratories

Problems in network security systems tend not to be subtle mathematical flaws in the cryptography, but instead broader system issues. This talk discusses deployed systems or standards with such flaws. It includes a public-keyxbased system with no advantages over a secret-keyxbased system, one in which encryption was used where what was really needed was integrity protection, one in which adding security decreased the reliability and did nothing to enhance the security of the system, unmanageable or unscalable PKI models, and an email standard that allowed forging signatures.


BIOS and Virtual Devices
Session Chair: Guido van Rooij, Madison Gurkha

Awarded Best Student Paper!
Flexibility in ROM: A Stackable Open Source BIOS
Adam Agnew and Adam Sulmicki, University of Maryland at College Park; Ronald Minnich, Los Alamos National Labs; William Arbaugh, University of Maryland at College Park

Console over Ethernet
Mike Kistler, Eric van Hensbergen, and Freeman Rawson, IBM Austin Research Laboratory

Implementing Clonable Network Stacks in the FreeBSD Kernel
Marko Zec, University of Zagreb


Release Engineering in a Large Distributed Project
Scott Long, FreeBSD Project

Scott's experience with FreeBSD dates back to the fall of 1992, when he discovered 386BSD-0.1. Since obtaining his src commit privileges in 2000, he has contributed to and maintained RAIDframe, the UDF filesystem, and several hardware drivers. In November 2002 he joined the FreeBSD Release Engineering team and quickly assumed the lead for the 5.0 release. He is currently working with the FreeBSD community to define the path for the 5.x series. His day job is as a software engineer for Adaptec, Inc., writing Linux and FreeBSD drivers and doing Open Source evangelism.

10:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.   Break
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Change Is Constant

System Support for Online Reconfiguration
Craig A. N. Soules, Carnegie Mellon University; Jonathan Appavoo and Kevin Hui, University of Toronto; Robert W. Wisniewski and Dilma Da Silva, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center; Gregory R. Ganger, Carnegie Mellon University; Orran Krieger, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center; Michael Stumm, University of Toronto; Marc Auslander, Michal Ostrowski, Bryan Rosenburg, and Jimi Xenidis, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

Checkpoints of GUI-based Applications
Victor C. Zandy and Barton P. Miller, University of Wisconsin

CUP: Controlled Update Propagation in Peer-to-Peer Networks
Mema Roussopoulos and Mary Baker, Stanford University


The NPACI Rocks Cluster Toolkit: Breaking the Myth of Homogeneous Clusters
Philip Papadopoulos, San Diego Supercomputer Center

The Rocks toolkit allows users to stand up small, medium, and large-scale x86 and IA64 clusters in a short period of time. It starts with the assumption that clusters are heterogeneous in both hardware and functionality. Rocks decomposes the configuration of nodes (termed appliances) into small, reusable building blocks that include both software package and configuration information. Using a graph construction, shared configuration information across appliance types can be easily expressed. Utilizing the extensive hardware probing of modern OS installers, heterogeneous nodes become no harder to support than assumed homogeneous nodes. Installation and reinstallation performance figures will be given.


File Systems
Session Chair: Chuck Lever, Network Appliance

Awarded Best Paper!
StarFish: Highly Available Block Storage
Eran Gabber, Jeff Fellin, Michael Flaster, Fengrui Gu, Bruce Hillyer, Wee Teck Ng, Banu Özden, and Elizabeth Shriver, Lucent Technologies, Bell Labs

Secure and Flexible Global File Sharing
Stefan Miltchev, University of Pennsylvania; Vassilis Prevelakis, Drexel University; Sotiris Ioannidis, University of Pennsylvania; John Ioannidis, AT&T Labs—Research; Angelos D. Keromytis, Columbia University; Jonathan M. Smith, University of Pennsylvania

The CryptoGraphic Disk Driver
Roland C. Dowdeswell, The NetBSD Project; John Ioannidis, AT&T Labs—Research


X, Fonts, 2D Graphics
Keith Packard, HP Cambridge Research Labs

Keith Packard has been a member of the XFree86 core team for the last few years, building a new rendering system for X applications. Before joining Hewlett-Packard, he worked at the MIT X Consortium. He has worked with the X window system since 1986.

12:30 p.m.–2:00 p.m.   Lunch on your own
2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Security Mechanisms

The Design of the OpenBSD Cryptographic Framework
Angelos D. Keromytis, Columbia University; Jason L. Wright and Theo de Raadt, OpenBSD Project

NCryptfs: A Secure and Convenient Cryptographic File System
Charles P. Wright, Michael C. Martino, and Erez Zadok, Stony Brook University

A Binary Rewriting Defense Against Stack-based Buffer Overflow Attacks
Manish Prasad and Tzi-cker Chiueh, Stony Brook University


Alternative Top-Level Domains (a.k.a. The Game of the Name)
Steve Hotz,

Naming is a fundamental concept for systems architects, a critical decision for marketers, and a requirement for operating networked computers. Quite simply, we care about names. Consequently, it is no surprise that control of the DNS, the primary Internet namespace, is a morass of highly charged technical, financial, legal, and political issues. This talk discusses issues surrounding alternative top-level domains, and the somewhat controversial approach has taken to expanding the operational DNS namespace.


X Window System
Session Chair: Bart Massey, Portland State University

Xstroke: Full-Screen Gesture Recognition for X
Carl D. Worth, University of Southern California

Matchbox: Window Management Not for the Desktop
Matthew Allum, OpenedHand Ltd.

X Window System Network Performance
Keith Packard and James Gettys, Cambridge Research Laboratory, HP Labs


Keith Bostic, Sleepycat Software

Keith Bostic was a member of the Berkeley Computer Systems Research Group, where he was the architect of the 2.10BSD release and a principal developer of the 4.4BSD and related releases. He co-designed and implemented the 4.4BSD log-structured filesystem and the Berkeley DB database library. He is currently vice-president of engineering at Sleepycat Software.

3:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.   Break
4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Work-in-Progress Reports

Short, pithy, and fun, Work-in-Progress reports introduce interesting new or ongoing work. If you have work you would like to share or a cool idea that's not quite ready for publication, send a one- or two-paragraph summary to We are particularly interested in presenting students' work. A schedule of presentations will be posted at the conference, and the speakers will be notified in advance. Work-in-Progress reports are five-minute presentations; the time limit will be strictly enforced.

Saturday, June 14, 2003   Back to top
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

Fast Servers

Kernel Support for Faster Web Proxies
Marcel-Catalin Rosu and Daniela Rosu, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

Multiprocessor Support for Event-Driven Programs
Nickolai Zeldovich, Stanford University; Alexander Yip, Frank Dabek, and Robert T. Morris, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; David Mazières, New York University; Frans Kaashoek, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Modeling the Internet
Harry DeLano and Peter H. Salus, Matrix NetSystems

It's a bird! It's a plane! Look! Up in the sky . . .

If no one could agree on Superman, no wonder we aren't quite certain what the Internet looks like when it goes home to Smallville and takes off its Clark Kent suit. Thirty years ago, when the ARPAnet had well under 50 hosts, the diagram was easy; 20 years ago, when the number was 400, it could still be mastered. But today there are well over 200 million hosts.

Several different approaches are currently being pursued to represent the stucture and population of the Internet, and much of the data is muddled and inconsistent. Thus, part of the challenge is to gather it into a coherent representation of what's out there.


Session Chair: Keith Packard, HP Cambridge Research Labs

Building a Wireless Community Network in the Netherlands
Rudi van Drunen, Dirk-Willem van Gulik, Jasper Koolhaas, Huub Schuurmans, and Marten Vijn, Wireless Leiden Foundation

OpenCM: Early Experiences and Lessons Learned
Jonathan S. Shapiro, John Vanderburgh, and Jack Lloyd, Johns Hopkins University

Free Software and High-Power Rocketry: The Portland State Aerospace Society
James Perkins, Andrew Greenberg, Jamey Sharp, David Cassard, and Bart Massey, Portland State University


Web Hosting
Jan Saell,

Jan Saell is a UNIX consultant operating both in Sweden and internationally. His company, Irial, provides advanced UNIX and network consultancy. He is currently the chairman of EurOpen.SE. He has been working in the UNIX environment since 1983.

10:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.   Break
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Big Data

Seneca: Remote Mirroring Done Write
Minwen Ji, Alistair Veitch, and John Wilkes, Hewlett-Packard Labs

Eviction-based Cache Placement for Storage Caches
Zhifeng Chen and Yuanyuan Zhou, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Kai Li, Princeton University

Fast, Scalable Disk Imaging with Frisbee
Mike Hibler, Leigh Stoller, Jay Lepreau, Robert Ricci, and Chad Barb, University of Utah


Nanotechnology: As Hardware Becomes Software
J. Storrs Hall, Institute for Molecular Manufacturing

Designing a microprocessor has more in common with programming than it does with designing a steam engine. Similar tools—specification languages, simulators, rule checkers, profilers—and a similar level of complexity dominate over the distinction between matter and bits as the output. As nanotechnology advances to the point where we can specify and construct large, atomically precise systems, the same will become true of nanomachine design. This talk will describe such systems and the process of designing them.


Privilege Management
Session Chair: Angelos D. Keromytis, Columbia University

POSIX Access Control Lists on Linux
Andreas Gruenbacher, SuSE Linux AG

Privman: A Library for Partitioning Applications
Douglas Kilpatrick, Network Associates Laboratories

The TrustedBSD MAC Framework: Extensible Kernel Access Control for FreeBSD 5.0
Robert Watson, Wayne Morrison, and Chris Vance, Network Associates Laboratories; Brian Feldman, The FreeBSD Project


Sysadmin Management/General
David Parter, University of Wisconsin, Madison

David has been a system administrator at the University of Wisconsin Computer Science Department since 1991, serving as Associate Director of the Computer Systems Lab since 1995, guiding a staff of 8 fulltime sysdamins and supervising up to 12 student sysadmins at a time. His experiences in this capacity include working with other groups on campus; providing technical leadership to the group; managing the budget; dealing with vendors; dealing with faculty; and training students. As a consultant, he has dealt with a variety of technical and management challenges.

12:30 p.m.–2:00 p.m.   Lunch on your own
2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

I/O Guessing Games

Robust, Portable I/O Scheduling with the Disk Mimic
Florentina I. Popovici, Andrea C. Arpaci-Dusseau, and Remzi H. Arpaci-Dusseau, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Controlling Your PLACE in the File System with Gray-box Techniques
James A. Nugent, Andrea C. Arpaci-Dusseau, and Remzi H. Arpaci-Dusseau, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Awarded Best Paper!
Operating System I/O Speculation: How Two Invocations Are Faster Than One

Keir Fraser, University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory; Fay Chang, Google Inc.


Infrastructure for Feature Film Visual Effects, or, Herding Cats in a Thunderstorm
Wook, Consultant

Contemporary feature film visual effects generally require a large digital (CGI—Computer Generated Imagery) component. The peculiar economics of this sector and how to scale to provide near-real-time response in addition to generating and integrating complex image sets will be discussed. The major infrastructure issues in this talk have to do with networking, multi-terabyte storage, the futility of backup, distributed processing, and asset management. A brief tangent on software for film restoration will be included.


Session Chair: Ray Bryant, SGI

Using Read-Copy-Update Techniques for System V IPC in the Linux 2.5 Kernel
Andrea Arcangeli, SuSE; Mingming Cao, Paul McKenney, and Dipankar Sarma, IBM

An Implementation of User-level Restartable Atomic Sequences on the NetBSD Operating System
Gregory McGarry

Providing a Linux API on the Scalable K42 Kernel
Jonathan Appavoo, University of Toronto; Marc Auslander, Dilma Da Silva, David Edelsohn, Orran Krieger, Michal Ostrowski, Bryan Rosenburg, Robert W. Wisniewski, and Jimi Xenidis, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center


Garry Zacheiss, MIT, and Derrick Brashear, Carnegie Mellon University

Garry Zacheiss has spent four years working for MIT Information Systems doing both development and system administration. As a member of the Athena Server Operations team, he works on maintaining and expanding the AFS cells used by Athena, MIT's Academic Computing Environment.

Derrick Brashear is a systems programmer with the Computing Services division of Carnegie Mellon University and is on the OpenAFS Council of Elders, the guiding body for OpenAFS development. He claims to have his fingers in too many pies.

3:30 p.m.–3:45 p.m.   Break
3:45 p.m.–9:30 p.m.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas

When the technical program ends on Saturday afternoon, get ready to play for the rest of the day! Board a shuttle bus with your friends to fun-filled Six Flags Fiesta Texas, a 200-acre family theme park with over 60 rides and attractions. This event will be fun for the entire family.

Your registration fee covers one admission ticket and a voucher good at six casual restaurants in the park. Additional tickets may be purchased onsite at a special discounted price.

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Last changed: 2 July 2003 jel