Keynote title: Mechanisms for Efficient Cloud Markets
Despite the increased adoption of the cloud computing paradigm, we do not possess (yet) a good handle on how to define and verify "cloud trustworthiness" -- how to design mechanisms that deliver SLA attributes along dimensions of performance, reliability, security, privacy, and economic utility, and how to expose tradeoffs along these dimensions to cloud customers in ways that are both practical and usable. In this talk, I will summarize research pursued under the BU CloudCommons project (http://csr.bu.edu/cc) aimed at addressing these issues, focusing on novel approaches seeking to build trust in the economic utility of IaaS marketplaces. I will start by presenting a periodic model for the expressive specification of elastic cloud supply and demand. This model allows SLAs to leverage a granular representation of cloud resources, exposing flexibilities that enable providers to safely transform SLAs from one form to another for efficient workload colocation. Next, I will show that expressive SLAs facilitate the emergence of an efficient, trustworthy marketplace, by presenting three game-theoretic mechanisms for cloud resource management. The first mechanism enables selfish parties to collocate their workloads in an attempt to minimize the individual costs they incur to secure the shared cloud resources necessary to support their application SLAs. The second mechanism enables rational parties to coordinate their use of a shared resource so as to maximize their individual utilities by creating a marketplace for trading usage rights. The third mechanism enables dynamic pricing of IaaS clouds in a way that ensures efficient utilization of providers' resources, while guaranteeing rational fairness to all customers. For all these models and mechanisms, and in addition to various analytical results, I will present experimental evaluations of deployed CloudCommons prototypes and services that confirm their predicted utilities.
Azer Bestavros (PhD 1992, Harvard U) is a Professor in the CS Department at Boston University, which he joined in 1991 and chaired from 2000 to 2007. He is the chair of the IEEE-CS TC on the Internet, and the Founding Director of the BU Hariri Institute for Computing, which was set up in 2010 to "create and sustain a community of scholars who believe in the transformative potential of computational perspectives in research and education." He is the recipient of the 2010 United Methodist Scholar Teacher Award for "outstanding dedication and contributions to the learning arts and to the institution" and of the ACM Sigmetrics Inaugural Test of Time Award for "research whose impact is still felt 10-15 years after its initial publication." His research contributions include pioneering the push web content distribution model adopted years later by CDNs, seminal work on Internet and web characterization, and work on formal verification of networks and systems. Funded by grants totaling over $20M, his research yielded 15 PhD theses, 6 issued patents, 2 startup companies, hundreds of refereed papers, and over 12,000 citations on Google Scholar. His current research is focused on mechanism design for efficient and secure cloud computing.For more information, check: http://www.cs.bu.edu/~best/
Keynote title: Usage Data in Web Search: Benefits and Limitations
Web Search, which takes its root in the mature field of information retrieval, evolved tremendously over the last 20 years. The field encountered its first revolution when it started to deal with huge amounts of Web pages. Then, a major step was accomplished when engines started to consider the structure of the Web graph and link analysis became differentiators in both crawling and ranking. Finally, a more discrete, but not less critical step, was made when search engines started to monitor and mine the numerous (mostly implicit) signals provided by users while interacting with the search engine. We focus here on this third "revolution" of large scale usage data. We detail the different shapes it takes, illustrating its benefits through a review of some winning search features that could not have been possible without it. We also discuss its limitations and how in some cases it even conflicts with some natural users' aspirations such as personalization and privacy. We conclude by discussing how some of these conflicts can be circumvented by using adequate aggregation principles to create "ad hoc" crowds. This is joint work with Yoelle Maarek from Yahoo! Labs Haifa.
Ricardo Baeza-Yates is VP of Yahoo! Research for Europe, Middle East and Latin America, leading the labs at Barcelona, Spain and Santiago, Chile, since 2006, as well as supervising the lab in Haifa, Israel since 2008. He is also part time Professor at the Dept. of Information and Communication Technologies of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, since 2005. Until 2005 he was Professor and Director of the Center for Web Research at the Department of Computer Science of the Engineering School of the University of Chile. He obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo, Canada, in 1989. Before he obtained two masters (M.Sc. CS & M.Eng. EE) and the electrical engineering degree from the University of Chile, Santiago. He is co-author of the best-seller Modern Information Retrieval textbook, published in 1999 by Addison-Wesley with a second enlarged edition in 2011, as well as co-author of the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Algorithms and Data Structures, Addison-Wesley, 1991; and co-editor of Information Retrieval: Algorithms and Data Structures, Prentice-Hall, 1992, among more than 300 other publications. He has received the Organization of American States award for young researchers in exact sciences (1993) and the CLEI Latin American distinction for contributions to CS in the region (2009). In 2003 he was the first computer scientist to be elected to the Chilean Academy of Sciences. During 2007 he was awarded the Graham Medal for innovation in computing, given by the University of Waterloo to distinguished ex-alumni. In 2009 he was named ACM Fellow and in 2011 IEEE Fellow.For more information, check: http://users.dcc.uchile.cl/~rbaeza/