UK Systems Research
Collating news and events for the UK Systems Research Community
This is the website for the UK research community, academic and
industrial, interested in problems relating generally to computer
systems. That includes both the more traditional topics such as
operating systems, distributed systems and networking, as well as
more current challenges and approaches at scales from edge and mobile
computing to datacenter and the cloud. If your work has bearing on how
we should go about building practical computer systems, it's of
We organise an annual community workshop, held in beautiful County Durham, to share recent results,
work-in-progress, challenges, and other matters of interest.
Click here for details of past workshops.
Sixth Annual UK System Research Challenges Workshop, November 30– December 2, 2021
Call for Presentations & Participation
We invite you to submit 500 word / 0.5 page abstracts (PDF or plain text) of work for presentation at the next UK Systems Research Challenges workshop. In most cases the main points to include in the abstract are the problem being solved, the new idea or hypothesis being explored in your work, and the current state of the project (e.g., whether you are looking for feedback on an early idea or presenting finished results that others might want to use).
This is the sixth iteration of a workshop bringing together systems researchers from across the UK and beyond, to discuss pressing topics affecting the design and implementation of large-scale systems in a friendly and inclusive setting. We’re interested in presentations that speak to:
- innovative mechanisms
- lessons learned: experience with large or unusual systems
- a viewpoint on a controversial systems topic
- a big problem coming over the horizon
- and really, anything that would be of interest to the builders of computer systems
Past topics have included everything from system security and architecture, to consensus and engineering, to data visualisation, data centres and the Internet of Things. We aim to be broad and inclusive– if it’s a matter that has bearing on how we design, build, operate and use large-scale computing systems, it’s in scope.
This is an informal workshop without published proceedings. Work is not subject to detailed peer review; we are requesting abstracts only to help us put together the programme and confirm that work is on-topic. In the event of an excess of submissions, preference for presentation slots will be given to Ph.D. students and early career researchers.
Redworth Hall Hotel, Surtees Rd, Newton Aycliffe DL5 6NL
Coach transport will be provided between the venue and Newcastle city centre (Urban Sciences Building, 1 Science Square, Science Central, NE4 5TG)
Abstract submission deadline: October 13th, 2021
Acceptance notification and presentation programme: November 1st, 2021
Workshop dates: arrival evening Tuesday November 30th, closing with lunch Thursday December 2nd, 2021
Tuesday 30th November
16:45 Please report to the ground floor reception of the Urban Sciences
17:00 Coach leaves the Urban Sciences Building, Newcastle
18:00 Check-in at Redworth Hall
18:30 for 19:00 Dinner
Wednesday 1st December
09:00-09:10 Welcome & Intro (Matt Forshaw)
09:10-10:30 Session 1: Hardware
- “Hardware Accelerated Cross-architecture Execution Tracing”, Tom Spink (University of Edinburgh) [Slides]
- “Adaptable Multicore Scheduling in a Research Operating System”, Kim Stonehouse (University of Edinburgh) [Slides]
- “MOCHA: Modelling and Optimising Complex Heterogeneous Architectures”, Xiaotian Dai, Shuai Zhao, Alan Burns, and Iain Bate (University of York) [Slides]
- “A direct I/O framework for SoC-based accelerators”, Shinichi Awamoto, Antonio Barbalace, and Michio Honda (University of Edinburgh) [Slides]
11:15-12:00 Session 2: Networking
- “Packets as Persistent In-Memory Data Structures”, Michio Honda (University of Edinburgh)
- “Does TCP’s New Congestion Window Validation Improve HTTP Adaptive Streaming Performance?”, Mihail Yanev and Colin Perkins (University of Glasgow)
- “Characterizing SmartNIC Architectures”, Tong Xing, Michio Honda, and Antonio Barbalace (University of Edinburgh)
14:00-15:00 Session 3: Short Talks
- “Java in a Container world: what we’ve done and where we’re going”, Jonathan Dowland (Red Hat & Newcastle University) [Slides]
- “A Call for Novel Datasets for Deep Learning”, Stephen McGough (Newcastle University) [Slides]
- “Investigating the effect of downsampling and interpolating time series data using similarity metrics.”, Tolu Awosanya, Matthew Forshaw, and Joe Matthews (Newcastle University) [Slides]
- “Spatial transcriptomics in the web browser: Creating a three-dimensional atlas of the whole human embryo”, Dave Horsfall (Newcastle University) [Slides]
- “Analysis pipeline for hydrological simulation in the PYRAMID project”, Robin Wardle and Mark Turner (Newcastle University, UK) [Slides]
- “Preservation of Patient Confidentiality using Edge Computing and Distributed Machine Learning: An early Proof of Concept Study”, Hugo Hiden (Newcastle University); Paul Watson, Jamie McQuire, and Nick Wright (Newcastle University); Michael Catt (Independent) [Slides]
15:30-17:00 Session 4
- “Quiver: Scaling Graph Learning with Automatic Hybrid Processor and Memory Management”, Zeyuan Tan (University of Edinburgh); Xiulong Yuan (Tsinghua University); Guo Li (Imperial College London); Luo Mai (University of Edinburgh); Peter Pietzuch (Imperial College London); Kai Zeng (unaffiliated) [Slides]
- “Unit (and other) testing of stochastic code”, Simon Dobson (University of St Andrews) [Slides]
- “Elephants and relevance in systems research”, Stephen Kell (King’s College London)
- “An In-memory Graph System for Scalable and Consistent Legacy System Integration”, Bilal Arshad (University of Derby) [Slides]
21:00-22:00 Lightning Talks
Short (5 minute) talks on any relevant topic.
Thursday 2nd December
09:00-10:20 Session 5
- “Turbocharging Serverless Research with vHive”, Dmitrii Ustiugov and Boris Grot (University of Edinburgh) [Slides]
- “FaaS with Disaggregated Shared Memory”, Adarsh Patil (University of Edinburgh) [Slides]
- “Bringing FaaS Closer to Cloud Storage”, Jakub Krzysztof Szewczyk, Tom Spink, and Antonio Barbalace (University of Edinburgh) [Slides]
- “Picking a winner: cost models for evaluating alternative stream-processing programs”, Jonathan Dowland (Red Hat & Newcastle University) [Slides]
11:00-12:00 Session 6
- “Wait-Hit: A high-performance concurrency control protocol for any scale”, Jack Waudby and Paul Ezhilchelvan (Newcastle University); Jim Webber (Neo4j) [Slides]
- “A Brief Retrospective on Tornado VM”, James Clarkson (Neo4j) [Slides]
- “WePS: Enabling Low-latency Giant Model Replication in Geo-distributed Parameter Servers”, Chijun Sima (Tencent); Yao Fu and Man-Kit Sit (University of Edinburgh); Feng Lin (Tencent); Pierre Louis Aublin (IIJ Innovation Institute); Luo Mai (University of Edinburgh) [Slides]
14:00 Coach departs for the Urban Sciences Building, Newcastle
Submissions via this link.
Registration and Costs
To register, please contact Jennifer Wood directly.
Including accommodation and meals:
Current students: £60
We are committed to widen participation and historically underrepresented groups within the Systems community. We recognise the need for individualised support to address barriers to participation. To discuss how we can support you (e.g. through bursaries or reimbursement of reasonable expenses) please contact Jennifer Wood.
- Matthew Forshaw, email@example.com, Newcastle University and The Alan Turing Institute
Richard Mortier, firstname.lastname@example.org, Cambridge University
Derek McAuley, email@example.com, Nottingham University
Paul Watson, firstname.lastname@example.org, Newcastle University
For any other questions or queries, please contact Dr Matthew Forshaw.
Many thanks to our generous sponsor for their support of this event!