Dependable Computing and

Fault Tolerance

The IEEE Technical Committee on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance
IFIP Working Group 10.4 on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance

2022 Laprie Award Winner

The IFIP 10.4 working group on Dependable Computing created the award in honor of the late Jean-Claude Laprie in 2011. It recognizes outstanding papers that have significantly influenced the theory and/or practice of Dependable Computing. For 2021, the award committee has selected:

B.P. Miller, L. Fredriksen, & B. So, "An Empirical Study of the Reliability of UNIX Utilities", Communications of the ACM 33, 12 (December 1990), https://doi.org/10.1145/96267.96279

Citation

“An Empirical Study of the Reliability of UNIX Utilities" authored by B.P. Miller, L. Fredriksen, and B. So, and published in Communications of the ACM in 1990, launched the field of fuzz testing, or fuzzing as it is commonly called. Based on the observation that the standard UNIX utilities suffered crashes and hangs due to wrong or nonsensical inputs, it went onto systematically evaluate their reliability and study the root causes of the failures. The paper also released its code and data openly (a novelty at that time), and has been reproduced by many other studies as recently as 2019. The paper has been cited more than 1300 times, and was enormously influential, for example, another work that followed up on this idea are Ballista from CMU, which has gone onto become a standard in its own right. Today, Fuzzing is taught in introductory software testing and security courses, and is a prominent area of research in many conferences such as ICSE, ISSTA, ISSRE, etc., that have multiple sessions dedicated to this topic. More importantly, large companies such as Microsoft, Google, etc. For example, Microsoft recently published a paper on how they integrate fuzzing in the life-cycle of almost all their products. Similarly, Google recently reported that 80% of the bugs they find in production in the Chrome web browser are due to fuzzing. Fuzzing also was the precursor of software-implemented fault injection or SWiFI tools, which have been a research topic at DSN for over two decades. Fuzzing is also heavily used in security research, and is often the first choice of tool for penetration testers. Thus, this paper has important implications for both reliability and security research, and unifies them.

2021 Laprie Award Winner

The IFIP 10.4 working group on Dependable Computing created the award in honor of the late Jean-Claude Laprie in 2011. It recognizes outstanding papers that have significantly influenced the theory and/or practice of Dependable Computing. For 2021, the award committee has selected:

Iyer, Ravishankar K. and Rossetti, David J and Hsueh, Mei-Chen Measurement and Modeling of Computer Reliability as Affected by System Activity. ACM TOCS 1986 https://doi.org/10.1145/6420.6422.

Citation

“Measurement and modeling of computer reliability as affected by system activity" authored by R. K. Iyer, D. J. Rossetti, and M. C. Hsueh and published in ACM Transactions on Computer Systems in 1986 was one of the first papers to perform empirical studies of failures in real systems (IBM Mainframe and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Computing System). The paper showed that there exists a strong correlation between the nature of the workload and its intensity and the failure rate of the system. This was a seminal result in that it showed that one needs to understand the overall system’s composition and behavior, in order to make predictions of its overall reliability. It also established the primary role of empirical measurements of failures of real systems, rather than rely upon (simple) analytical or simulation models of failures, and hence established the scientific foundations of the field of empirical reliability measurement.

The paper has had a tremendous impact in shaping subsequent empirical studies, as well as those in analytical modelling of computer systems. The idea has been incorporated in classical dependability textbooks (e.g., Reliable Computer Systems: Design and Evaluation, Third Edition, By Daniel P. Siewiorek, Robert S. Swarz), dependability tools (e.g., SHARPE) and into many commercial systems for dependability measurement (e.g., by IBM). This paper has been considered as a landmark paper in the field of computer system reliability by the evaluation committee, which resulted in its unanimous selection for the award.”

2020 Laprie Award Winner

The IFIP 10.4 working group on Dependable Computing created the award in honor of the late Jean-Claude Laprie in 2011. It recognizes outstanding papers that have significantly influenced the theory and/or practice of Dependable Computing. For 2020, the award committee has selected:

Ateniese, G., Di Pietro, R., Mancini, L. V., Tsudik, G. Scalable and Efficient Provable Data Possession. In Proc. 4th Intl. Conf. on Security and Privacy in Communication Networks (SecureComm), Istanbul, Turkey (September 2008), Art. No.9, pp.1-10, https://doi.org/10.1145/1460877.1460889.

Citation

“Scalable and Efficient Provable Data Possession" by Giuseppe Ateniese, Roberto Di Pietro, Luigi V. Mancini, and Gene Tsudik established the basis for provable data possession based on highly-efficient symmetric key cryptography. The paper was seminal in allowing the outsourcing of dynamic data, i.e., by efficiently handling operations such as block modification, deletion, and append. This is the first solution to provide these properties and is still unsurpassed. The paper had a considerable impact on the field. In addition to the academic impact (1300+ citations), the proposed PDP method is at the core of the many solutions that remotely check data consistency (e.g., distributed databases, online social networks, remote data backup), and is finding its way in blockchain technologies. More broadly, the paper is instrumental in forming a bridge between the research communities on security and on dependable systems and networks. As Jean-Claude Laprie used to remind us, security is indeed one of the five fundamental attributes of dependability. For these reasons, the selection committee has unanimously selected this ground-breaking publication which is well-deserving of this award.”

DSN 2020 awards announced

Rising Star in Dependability Award: Karthik Pattabiraman, University of British Columbia, CA

Carter award: Bo Fang, University of British Columbia, CA, Dissertation Title: Approaches for Building Error Resilient Applications

Test-of Time awarded papers:

2019 Laprie Award Winners

The IFIP 10.4 working group on Dependable Computing created the award in honor of the late Jean-Claude Laprie in 2011. It recognizes outstanding papers that have significantly influenced the theory and/or practice of Dependable Computing. For 2019, the award committee has selected:

Huang, Y., Kintala, C., Kolettis, N., & Fulton, N.D. Software Rejuvenation: Analysis, Module and Applications. In Proceedings of the 25th International Symposium on Fault-Tolerant Computing (FTCS), Pasadena, CA, USA (June 1995), 381-390.

Citation

Software Rejuvenation: Analysis, Module and Applications by Yennun Huang, Chandra Kintala, Nick Kolettis, and N. Dudley Fulton is a seminal paper that established the idea of proactively restarting software systems to avoid issues related to software aging as a mainstream fault-tolerance technique. While the value of periodic restarts had long been part of the computing folklore, this was the first paper to provide both a sound scientific framework for the approach and compelling evidence of its value as a technique for increasing availability in production systems. The impact of the paper on the field has been profound. On the research side, it created a new area and established what is still an active community investigating various aspects of software rejuvenation. On the practical side, the technology it originated is now applied routinely in areas as diverse as telecommunications systems, web applications, network devices, and spacecraft software. This publication is an excellent example of a ground-breaking paper, and is well-deserving of this award.

Submitting Items for Publication

To submit an item for publication on the FTTC mailing list simply send it to fttc@dependability.org. Submissions will be moderated but, unless it is rejected, your submission will be sent to the list within a day or so.