About me

NOTE: I have moved to Boston University as a visiting scientist. I'll revamp this page soon!
I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University. I work with the XIA team and am advised by Professor Peter Steenkiste. My research focuses on inter-domain networking and future Internet architectures. In the Fall of 2013, I developed and taught CMU's graduate class on cloud computing (15-719).

I completed my Ph.D. in the Electrical & Computer Engineering department at CMU in May 2013. I worked in the Parallel Data Lab (PDL) and was advised by Professor Greg Ganger. My dissertation focused on problem diagnosis tools for cloud environments.

For my future research, I plan to combine elements from the two fields I have worked in (cloud computing and inter-domain networking) to address important upcoming challenges both within cloud data centers and in the communication that arises among them.

In 2007, I appeared in a PhDComics strip encouraging CS grad students to wear lab coats to work. In my spare time, I enjoy playing tennis, running, and photography.


  • (Aug. 2016) Our paper, "Workflow-centric tracing of distributed systems," will appear in SoCC'16!
  • (June 2016) I recently blogged out my experiences participating in a NSF panel.
  • (June 2016) We just published a tech report checkpointing our latest work on inter-domain routing evolvability.
  • (April 2016) I will be giving a talk at NYU poly later this month!
  • (Nov. 2015) I will be presenting our work on evolvability for inter-domain routing at HotNets'15!


  • Problem diagnosis in complex environments
  • End-to-end tracing
  • Internet evolvability
  • Applying concepts from inter-domain networking within clouds
  • Cloud computing
  • Distributed systems & networking
  • Applied machine learning and statistics

Featured publications

  • Principled workflow-centric tracing of distributed systems. Raja R. Sambasivan, Ilari Shafer, Jonathan Mace, Benjamin H. Sigelman, Rodrigo Fonseca, Gregory R. Ganger. SoCC'16.
    [Paper][Slides coming soon]

  • Bootstrapping evolvability for inter-domain routing. Raja R. Sambasivan, David Tran-Lam, Aditya Akella, Peter Steenkiste. HotNets'15.
    [Paper] [Slides]

  • Visualizing request-flow comparison to aid performance diagnosis in distributed systems. Raja R. Sambasivan, Ilari Shafer, Michelle L. Mazurek, Gregory R. Ganger. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (Proc. Information Visualization 2013), Vol. 19, no. 12, Dec. 2013.
    [Abstract] [Paper] [Slides] [Website/demo] [Video figure] [Code]

  • Diagnosing performance changes by comparing request flows. Raja R. Sambasivan, Alice X. Zheng, Michael De Rosa, Elie Krevat, Spencer Whitman, Michael Stroucken, William Wang, Lianghong Xu, Gregory R. Ganger. NSDI'11.
    [Abstract] [Paper] [Slides] [Talk video] [Code]

  • Ursa Minor: Versatile cluster-based storage. Michael Abd-El-Malek, William V. Courtright II, Chuck Cranor, Gregory R. Ganger, James Hendricks, Andrew J. Klosterman, Michael Mesnier, Manish Prasad, Brandon Salmon, Raja R. Sambasivan, Shafeeq Sinnamohideen, John D. Strunk, Eno Thereska, Matthew Wachs, Jay J. Wylie. FAST'05. Awarded best paper.
    [Abstract] [Paper]

Working papers

  • Bootstrapping evolvability for inter-domain routing with D-BGP. Raja R. Sambasivan, David Tran-Lam, Aditya Akella, Peter Steenkiste. CMU-CS-16-117. June 2016. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1132.7607.
    [Abstract] [Paper]


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