Scalable Systems Laboratory at UNM

The Scalable Systems Lab is a research laboratory in the Computer Science Department at the University of New Mexico. The Laboratory enjoys a close affiliation with the UNM Center for High Performance Computing, the Scalable Computing Systems Department at Sandia National Laboratories, the Computer and Computational Sciences Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and research groups at Sun, Intel, and IBM Research.


The goal of the Scalable Systems Laboratory is to develop approaches for the design and implementation of large-scale, high-performance computing systems for resource constrained (Grand Challenge) applications. The approaches considered will be driven by the measurable needs of resource constrained applications.

  • Our goal is to provide an execution environment for resource constrained applications.
  • We define success by our ability to deliver 90% of the available resources to the application (e.g., 90% of the physical memory, 90% of the available communication bandwidth)
  • Our current focus is on building very large computing systems from commodity components.
  • To be able to take advantage of the delivered resources, applications must see easily predictable performance (e.g., message passing latencies) so they can be tuned for the environment.
  • Our approach is to minimize the services that are required and to make as many services optional as possible. That is, whenever a service can be moved to an application level library, without a significant performance or security penalty, we will prefer that approach. An alternative is to consider dynamic services that are migrated into and out of the lower levels as needed (this is tricky, because it may introduce unpredictable behavior into the application).
  • The challenge associated with using commodity components is the conflict between the intended use of the component and our planned use of the component.

Recent SSL Headlines

SC 2008

Kurt Ferreira just had his paper entitled “Characterizing Application Sensitivity to OS Interference Using Kernel-Level Noise Injection accepted for publication at Supercomputing 2008. In addition, the paper has also been nominated for best paper and best student paper awards at the conference. Great job, Kurt!


CCPE 2008

Rolf Riesen, Ron Brightwell, Patrick Bridges, Trammel Hudson, Barney Maccabe, Patrick Widener, and Kurt Ferreira just had their paper entitled “Designing and Implementing Lightweight Kernels for Capability Computing” accepted for publication in Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience.


TPDS 2008

Wenbin, Patrick, and Barney have had their paper entitled “Lightweight Online Monitoring and Tuning with Embedded Gossip” accepted for publication in IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems.

Wenbin Zhu, Ph.D.!

Wenbin Zhu successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation: “Lightweight Online Performance Monitoring and Tuning with Embedded Gossip”.

IPSN 2007

James Horey presented his paper, Kensho: A Dynamic Tasking Architecture for Sensor Networks, in April at the Workshop for Wireless Sensor Network Architectures at IPSN 2007 (Boston).

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