Paper Reviews

Ricky Takkar
Created on September 7, 2022 (updated every now and then)

A (CS) Advanced Systems course I took required single page reviews on a mixture of assigned seminal papers and contemporary papers on systems research. The reports are formatted as follows: 3-5 lines summary, 1-3 major strengths of the paper (i.e., what's cool about this), a weakness (including whether it is fixable), and future work opportunities. I thought it'd be beneficial to share these reports on my website for future reference and to get into the habit of writing these reports to deepen my understanding of papers that are of particular interest to me. Over time, I hope to include reports on papers other than just those assigned in this class. I try to adhere to the three-pass approach when reading papers through a research lens.

Computer Systems

  • Epidemic Algorithms for Replicated Database Maintenance by Alan Demers et al. (1987)
    Review #1

  • Simple Approach to Specifying Concurrent Systems by Leslie Lamport (1989)
    Review #2

  • Use of Formal Methods at Amazon Web Services by Chris Newcombe et al. (2014)
    Review #3

  • Hints and Principles for Computer System Design by Butler Lampson (2020)
    Review #4 for sections up to and including \(\S\)3.4
    Review #5 for \(\S\)3.5 and beyond

  • Chain Replication for Supporting High Throughput and Availability by Robbert van Renesse and Fred B. Schneider (2004)
    Review #6

  • End-to-end Arguments in System Design by J.H. Saltzer et al. (1984)
    Review #7

  • Distributed Snapshots: Determining Global States of Distributed Systems by K. Mani Chandy and Leslie Lamport (1985)
    Review #8

  • On the Duality of Operating System Structures by Hugh C. Lauer and Roger M. Needham (1979)
    Review #9

  • ghOSt: Fast & Flexible User-Space Delegation of Linux Scheduling by Jack Tigar Humphries et al. (2021)
    Review #10

  • Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System by Leslie Lamport (1978)
    Review #11
    Presented these slides in class

  • The Design and Implementation of a Log-Structured File System by Mendel Rosenblum and John K. Ousterhout (1992)
    Review #12

  • The Google File System by Sanjay Ghemawat, Howard Gobioff, and Shun-Tak Leung (2003)
    Review #13

  • Apache Spark: A Unified Engine for Big Data Processing by Matei Zaharia et al. (2016)
    Review #14

  • Serverless Computation with OpenLambda by Scott Hendrickson et al. (2016)
    Review #15

  • Pregel: A System for Large-Scale Graph Processing by Grzegorz Malewicz et al. (2010)
    Review #16

  • Check-N-Run: a Checkpointing System for Training Deep Learning Recommendation Models by Assaf Eisenman et al. (2022)
    Review #17

  • P4: Programming Protocol-Independent Packet Processors by Pat Bosshart et al. (2014)
    Review #19

  • OpenVPN is open to VPN Fingerprinting by Diwen Xue et al. (2022)
    Review #20


  • A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform (aka Ethereum white paper) by Vitalik Buterin (2013)
    Review #18