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Software Seminar Series (S3)

Miguel Ambrona & Ignacio Fábregas

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

10:45am Lecture hall 1, level B

Miguel Ambrona & Ignacio Fábregas, Post-doctoral Researcher, IMDEA Software Institute

Quantum computers: invest wisely, invest in the future!

Abstract:

Everyone has heard about quantum computers and that they will compromise the current Internet security. Quantum computers use q-bits instead of the classical bits and, therefore, can represent an exponential number of states at once (this is called quantum superposition). But, what does that mean? Why some algorithms are dramatically speeded up in this paradigm? Are these computers really as powerful as the media makes us think? In the first talk driven by two speakers (to the best of our knowledge) in the history of the IMDEA S4 (Spring Software Seminar Series), we will give an overview on the model of quantum computation and its principles, focusing on Shor's algorithm for integer factorization. It is guaranteed that the audience will understand nothing and something at the same time.


Time and place:
10:45am Lecture hall 1, level B
IMDEA Software Institute, Campus de Montegancedo
28223-Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, Spain


Pepe Vila

Thursday, May 16, 2019

11:00am Lecture hall 1, level B

Pepe Vila, PhD Student, IMDEA Software Institute

Theory and Practice of Finding Eviction Sets

Abstract:

Many micro-architectural attacks rely on the capability of an attacker to efficiently find small eviction sets: groups of virtual addresses that map to the same cache set. This capability has become a decisive primitive for cache sidechannel, rowhammer, and speculative execution attacks. Despite their importance, algorithms for finding small eviction sets have not been systematically studied in the literature. In this paper, we perform such a systematic study. We begin by formalizing the problem and analyzing the probability that a set of random virtual addresses is an eviction set. We then present novel algorithms, based on ideas from threshold group testing, that reduce random eviction sets to their minimal core in linear time, improving over the quadratic state-of-the-art. We complement the theoretical analysis of our algorithms with a rigorous empirical evaluation in which we identify and isolate factors that affect their reliability in practice, such as adaptive cache replacement strategies and TLB thrashing. Our results indicate that our algorithms enable finding small eviction sets much faster than before, and under conditions where this was previously deemed impractical.


Time and place:
11:00am Lecture hall 1, level B
IMDEA Software Institute, Campus de Montegancedo
28223-Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, Spain


Zsolt István

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

10:45am Meeting room 302 (Mountain View), level 3

Zsolt István, Assistant Research Professor, IMDEA Software Institute

A Glass Half Full: Using Programmable Hardware Accelerators in Analytical Databases

Abstract:

Even though there have been a large number of proposals to accelerate databases using specialized hardware, often the opinion of the community is pessimistic: the performance and energy efficiency benefits of specialization are seen to be outweighed by the limitations of the proposed solutions and the additional complexity of including specialized hardware, such as field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), in servers. Recently, however, as an effect of stagnating CPU performance, server architectures started to incorporate various programmable hardware and the availability of such components brings opportunities to databases. In the light of a shifting hardware landscape and emerging analytics workloads, it is time to revisit our stance on hardware acceleration. In this talk we highlight several challenges that have traditionally hindered the deployment of hardware acceleration in databases and explain how they have been alleviated or removed altogether by recent research results and the changing hardware landscape. We also highlight a new set of questions that emerge around deep integration of heterogeneous programmable hardware in tomorrow’s databases.


Time and place:
10:45am Meeting room 302 (Mountain View), level 3
IMDEA Software Institute, Campus de Montegancedo
28223-Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, Spain


Software Seminar Series (S3) - Winter 2019