Publications

Correia A, Pereira JO, Rodrigues L, Oliveira R, Carvalho N.  2010.  Practical Database Replication. Replication: Theory and Practice. Abstract

This chapter illustrates how the concepts and algorithms described earlier in this book can be used to build practical database replication systems. This is achieved first by addressing architectural challenges on how required functionality is provided by generally available software componentes and then how different components can be efficiently integrated. A second set of practical challenges arises from experience on how performance assumptions map to actual environments and real workloads. The result is a generic architecture for replicated database management systems, focusing on the interfaces between key components, and then on how different algorithmic and practical optimization options map to real world gains. This shows how consistent database replication is achievable in the current state of the art.

Leitão J, Carvalho N, Pereira JO, Oliveira R, Rodrigues L.  2010.  On Adding Structure to Unstructured Overlay Networks. Handbook of Peer-to-Peer Networking. Abstract

Unstructured peer-to-peer overlay networks are very resilient to churn and topology changes, while requiring little maintenance cost. Therefore, they are an infrastructure to build highly scalable large-scale services in dynamic networks. Typically, the overlay topology is defined by a peer sampling service that aims at maintaining, in each process, a random partial view of peers in the system. The resulting random unstructured topology is suboptimal when a specific performance metric is considered. On the other hand, structured approaches (for instance, a spanning tree) may optimize a given target performance metric but are highly fragile. In fact, the cost for maintaining structures with strong constraints may easily become prohibitive in highly dynamic networks. This chapter discusses different techniques that aim at combining the advantages of unstructured and structured networks. Namely we focus on two distinct approaches, one based on optimizing the overlay and another based on optimizing the gossip mechanism itself.

Pereira JO, Rodrigues L, Oliveira R.  2002.  Semantically Reliable Broadcast: Sustaining High Throughput in Reliable Distributed Systems. Concurrency in Dependable Computing. Abstract

Replicated services are often required to sustain high loads of multiple concurrent requests. This requirement is hard to balance with strong consistency. Typically, to ensure inter-replica consistency, all replicas should receive all updates. Unfortunately, in this case, a single slow replica may degrade the performance of the whole system. This paper proposes a novel reliable broadcast primitive that uses semantic knowledge to weaken reliable delivery guarantees while, at the same time, ensuring strong consistency at the semantic level. By allowing some obsolete messages to be dropped, the protocol that implements this primitive is able to sustain a higher throughput than a fully reliable broadcast protocol. The usefulness of the primitive and the performance of the protocol are illustrated through a concrete example.

Coelho F, Paulo J, Vilaça R, Pereira JO, Oliveira R.  2017.  HTAPBench: Hybrid Transactional and Analytical Processing Benchmark. Proceedings of the 8th ACM/SPEC on International Conference on Performance Engineering. :293–304. Abstract
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Coelho F, Matos M, Pereira JO, Oliveira R.  2017.  Similarity Aware Shuffling for the Distributed Execution of SQL Window Functions : BPA. Distributed Applications and Interoperable Systems - 17th IFIP WG 6.1 International Conference, DAIS 2017, Held as Part of the 12th International Federated Conference on Distributed Computing Techniques, DisCoTec 2017, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, June 1. :3–18. Abstract

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Maia F, Paulo J, Coelho F, Neves F, Pereira JO, Oliveira R.  2017.  DDFlasks: Deduplicated Very Large Scale Data Store. Distributed Applications and Interoperable Systems - 17th IFIP WG 6.1 International Conference, DAIS 2017, Held as Part of the 12th International Federated Conference on Distributed Computing Techniques, DisCoTec 2017, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, June 1. :51–66. Abstract

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Pontes R, Pinto M, Barbosa M, Vilaça R, Matos M, Oliveira R.  2017.  Performance trade-offs on a secure multi-party relational database. Proceedings of the Symposium on Applied Computing, {SAC} 2017, Marrakech, Morocco, April 3-7, 2017. :456–461. Abstract
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Pontes R, Burihabwa D, Maia F, Paulo J, Schiavoni V, Felber P, Mercier H, Oliveira R.  2017.  SafeFS: a modular architecture for secure user-space file systems: one {FUSE} to rule them all. Proceedings of the 10th {ACM} International Systems and Storage Conference, {SYSTOR} 2017, Haifa, Israel, May 22-24, 2017. :9:1–9:12. Abstract
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Macedo R, Paulo J, Pontes R, Portela B, Oliveira T, Matos M, Oliveira R.  2017.  A Practical Framework for Privacy-Preserving NoSQL Databases. 36th IEEE International Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems (SRDS 2017).
Coelho F, Pereira JO, Vilaça R, Oliveira R.  2016.  Holistic Shuffler for the Parallel Processing of SQL Window Functions. Distributed Applications and Interoperable Systems - 16th {IFIP} {WG} 6.1 International Conference, {DAIS} 2016, Held as Part of the 11th International Federated Conference on Distributed Computing Techniques, DisCoTec 2016, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, June. :75–81. Abstractholistic-proceedings.pdf

Window functions are a sub-class of analytical operators that allow data to be handled in a derived view of a given relation, while taking into account their neighboring tuples. Currently, systems bypass parallelization opportunities which become especially relevant when considering Big Data as data is naturally partitioned.
We present a shuffling technique to improve the parallel execution of window functions when data is naturally partitioned when the query holds a partitioning clause that does not match the natural partitioning of the relation. We evaluated this technique with a non-cumulative ranking function and we were able to reduce data transfer among parallel workers in 85% when compared to a naive approach.

Coelho F, Pereira JO, Vilaça R, Oliveira R.  2016.  Reducing Data Transfer in Parallel Processing of SQL Window Functions. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Cloud Computing and Services Science. :343-347. Abstractdatadiversityconvergence_2016_1_copy.pdf

Window functions are a sub-class of analytical operators that allow data to be handled in a derived view of a given relation, while taking into account their neighboring tuples. We propose a technique that can be used in the parallel execution of this operator when data is naturally partitioned. The proposed method benefits the cases where the required partitioning is not the natural partitioning employed. Preliminary evaluation shows that we are able to limit data transfer among parallel workers to 14\% of the registered transfer when using a naive approach.

Cruz F, Maia F, Matos M, Oliveira R, Paulo J, Pereira JO, Vilaça R.  2016.  Resource Usage Prediction in Distributed Key-Value Datastores. Distributed Applications and Interoperable Systems: 16th IFIP WG 6.1 International Conference, DAIS 2016, Held as Part of the 11th International Federated Conference on Distributed Computing Techniques, DisCoTec 2016, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, June 6-9, 2. :144–159. Abstract

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Burihabwa D, Pontes R, Felber P, Maia F, Mercier H, Oliveira R, Paulo J, Schiavoni V.  2016.  On the Cost of Safe Storage for Public Clouds: an Experimental Evaluation.. 35th IEEE International Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems 2016.. 12.pdf
Burihabwa D, Pontes R, Felber P, Maia F, Mercier H, Oliveira R, Paulo J, Schiavoni V.  2016.  On the Cost of Safe Storage for Public Clouds: An Experimental Evaluation. 35th {IEEE} Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems, {SRDS} 2016, Budapest, Hungary, September 26-29, 2016. :157–166. Abstract
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Jorge T, Maia F, Matos M, Pereira JO, Oliveira R.  2015.  Practical Evaluation of Large Scale Applications. Proceedings of the 15th IFIP International Conference on Distributed Applications and Interoperable Systems (DAIS). :124–137. Abstractdais15minhajsr.pdf

Designing and implementing distributed systems is a hard endeavor, both at an abstract level when designing the system, and at a concrete level when implementing, debugging and evaluating it. This stems not only from the inherent complexity of writing and reasoning about distributed software, but also from the lack of tools for testing and evaluating it under realistic conditions. Moreover, the gap between the protocols’ specifications found on research papers and their implementations on real code is huge, leading to inconsistencies that often result in the implementation no longer following the specification. As an example, the specification of the popular Chord DHT comprises a few dozens of lines, while its Java implementation, OpenChord, is close to twenty thousand lines, excluding libraries. This makes it hard and error prone to change the implementation to reflect changes in the specification, regardless of programmers’ skill. Besides, critical behavior due to the unpredictable interleaving of operations and network uncertainty, can only be observed on a realistic setting, limiting the usefulness of simulation tools. We believe that being able to write an algorithm implementation very close to its specification, and evaluating it in a real environment is a big step in the direction of building better distributed systems. Our approach leverages the MINHA platform to offer a set of built in primitives that allows one to program very close to pseudo-code. This high level implementation can interact with off-the-shelf existing middleware and can be gradually replaced by a production-ready Java implementation. In this paper, we present the system design and showcase it using a well-known algorithm from the literature.