Mor Harchol-Balter
Professor of Computer Science

Department of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Office: Gates Hall 7207
Phone: (412) 268-7893
Fax: (412) 268-5576
harchol@cs.cmu.edu

Exec. Assistant: Nancy Conway

      Finally Here!

      


SHORT BIO

CV (in postscript)

CV (in pdf)

RESEARCH PAPERS ONLINE


General Chair ACM SIGMETRICS 2013, CMU, June 2013

RESEARCH

I am interested in the performance analysis and design of computer systems, particularly distributed systems. I work on finding analytical models which capture the important characteristics of a computer system and allow me to redesign the system to improve its performance (response time).

I believe that many conventional wisdoms on which we base system designs are not well understood and sometimes false, leading to inferior designs. Many of our existing beliefs stem from queueing research in the 60's and 70's -- the great era for system performance modeling. Unfortunately, back then we did not have all the analytical and computational tools available today. Consequently, some questions were answered only under the approximation of Markovian workloads (exponentially distributed job sizes) which we now know to be non-representative of many real-world workloads (which show much greater variability and often heavy tails). Also, many multi-server system models and scheduling/routing schemes were not analytically tractable at that time.

My research revisits these very classic questions in system design, armed with today's new queueing and computational techniques, as well as a new perspective on real-world workloads, performance metrics, and implementation experience. I work on deriving new fundamental theorems in system design, many of which seem counterintuitive in light of age-old beliefs. I then incorporate these theorems into implementations of Web servers, database servers, and distributed server systems.

Here are a few examples of commonly-held beliefs that my research challenges:

My TENURE RESEARCH STATEMENT from May 2007:


SOME TALKS


Current PhD STUDENTS

Sherwin Doroudi

Kristy Gardner

Yoongu Kim (mostly advised by Onur Mutlu)

Timothy Zhu

Graduated PhD STUDENTS

Anshul Gandhi Assistant Professor at SUNY Stony Brook, Computer Science Department. Link to Anshul's thesis .

Varun Gupta Assistant Professor at University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. Link to Varun's thesis .

Takayuki Osogami Researcher at IBM-TRL. Link to Taka's thesis .

David McWherter Researcher at Google, Seattle.

Bianca Schroeder Associate Professor at University of Toronto, Computer Science. Link to Bianca's thesis .

Adam Wierman Full Professor at Caltech, Computer Science. Link to Adam's thesis . Winner of 2007 SCS Distinguished Dissertation Award.


PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

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    ANNUAL TALK on Applying to Ph.D. Programs in Computer Science (pdf) .


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