Akshitha Sriraman

Akshitha Sriraman

PhD Candidate

University of Michigan

About Me

I am a computer systems researcher. My research interests are in the areas of computer architecture and systems software, focusing on designing efficient hyperscale web systems. My work bridges computer architecture and software systems, demonstrating the importance of that bridge in realizing efficient web services via solutions that span the system stack.

Modern web systems introduce trade-offs between performance and numerous features essential for cost- and energy-efficient operation of data centers (e.g., high server utilization, continuous power management, and use of commodity hardware and software). This efficiency trade-off is particularly exacerbated at hyperscale, across hundreds of thousands of servers in a data center. My work identifies that the main challenge in narrowing the efficiency gap at hyperscale is a large and complex software and hardware design space that makes it intractable to identify optimal software/hardware designs manually. Specifically, my work provides a systematic understanding of hardware and software design space implications that has helped me develop practical, scalable, and real full-stack solutions that intelligently self-navigate the design space at run time to improve web service efficiency at hyperscale. Some of my solutions have been deployed at hyperscale and are currently serving billions of users.

I am a recipient of the Facebook Fellowship (Distributed Systems), a Rising Stars in EECS Workshop participant, and a recipient of the Rackham Graduate Fellowship. My work has resulted in multiple research papers at top-tier computer architecture and systems venues like OSDI, ISCA, and ASPLOS.

My Ph.D. thesis is advised by Prof. Thomas F. Wenisch. Due to some interesting circumstances this past year, I had the incredible opportunity of working with Prof. David Brooks, Prof. Margo Seltzer, Prof. Peter M. Chen, and Prof. Baris Kasikci.

I am currently applying for tenure-track faculty positions. I expect to graduate in Spring 2021. I am interested in positions both in the US and abroad. Please reach out to me if you are hiring!

Education

  • PhD in Computer Science, 2021 (expected)

    University of Michigan

  • M.S. in Embedded Systems, 2015

    University of Pennsylvania

Application Materials

Research Statement

Coming soon!

Teaching Statement

Coming soon!

Diversity Statement

Coming soon!

Publications & Posters

I-SPY: Context-Driven Conditional Instruction Prefetching with Coalescing

In MICRO 2020 (Acceptance rate: 15.6%)

Tanvir Ahmed Khan, Akshitha Sriraman, Joseph Devietti, Gilles Pokam, Heiner Litz, Baris Kasikci

Introduces a novel profile-driven instruction prefetching technique that conditionally prefetches instructions only when the program context is known to lead to misses

Accelerometer: Understanding Acceleration Opportunities for Data Center Overheads at Hyperscale

In ASPLOS 2020 (Acceptance rate: 18.1%)

Akshitha Sriraman, Abhishek Dhanotia

Comprehensively identifies software and hardware acceleration opportunities in hyperscale microservices and analytically models realistic performance benefits from hardware acceleration

Best Presentation Award
ACM Badges: Artifacts Available and Artifacts Evaluated & Functional
Featured by TechXplore, Debuglies News, Michigan News, and Facebook Engineering

Analytically Modeling NVM Design Trade-Offs

In the Non-Volatile Memories Workshop (NVMW), 2020

Lillian Pentecost, Marco Donato, Akshitha Sriraman, Gu-Yeon Wei, David Brooks

Introduces an analytical model to analyze the large design space available with of emerging memory technologies

SoftSKU: Optimizing Server Architectures for Microservice Diversity @Scale

In ISCA 2019 (Acceptance rate: 16.9%)

Akshitha Sriraman, Abhishek Dhanotia, Thomas F. Wenisch

First comprehensive architectural and system-level characterization of real-world On-Line Data Intensive (OLDI) microservices, which aided in building an automated tool that improves microservice performance- and cost-efficiency by customizing hardware and OS knobs for each microservice

Deployed across Facebook's global data center fleet
Triggered modifications in Intel's Ice Lake server processors
Featured by Facebook Engineering and Real World Technologies

Enhancing Server Efficiency in the Face of Killer Microseconds

In HPCA 2019 (Acceptance rate: 19.7%)

Amirhossein Mirhosseini, Akshitha Sriraman, Thomas F. Wenisch

A novel heterogeneous server architecture that employs aggressive multithreading to solve the infamous "killer microsecond" problem, without sacrificing the Quality-of-Service of OLDI microservices

Unfair Data Centers for Fun and Profit

In Wild & Crazy Ideas (WACI), 2019

Akshitha Sriraman

Investigates user traits and their correlation with acceptable wait times to design user-specific microservice Service Level Agreements

Best of WACI, Chair's Choice Award

Hiding the Microsecond-Scale Latency of Storage-Class Memories with Duplexity

In the Non-Volatile Memories Workshop (NVMW), 2019

Amirhossein Mirhosseini, Akshitha Sriraman, Thomas F. Wenisch

First server architecture to improve server utilization in the presence of µs-scale stalls, without sacrificing QoS and tail latency of microservices

Optimizing Server Architectures for Microservice Diversity @Scale

In the Career Workshop for Women and Minorities in Computer Architecture (CWWMCA), 2019

Akshitha Sriraman, Abhishek Dhanotia, Thomas F. Wenisch

Introduces a tool that automatically improves microservice performance- and cost-efficiency by customizing hardware and OS configurations in commodity servers.

μTune: Auto-Tuned Threading for OLDI Microservices

In OSDI 2018 (Acceptance rate: 17.8%)

Akshitha Sriraman, Thomas F. Wenisch

Makes the important observation that the latency-optimal microservice threading model or concurrency design choice depends on the offered load, paving the way for an automatic run-time load adaptation system that tunes threading models & scales thread pool sizes to minimize microservice tail latency

µSuite: A Benchmark Suite for Microservices

In IISWC 2018 (Acceptance rate: 36.1%)

Akshitha Sriraman, Thomas F. Wenisch

Presents the first benchmark suite of end-to-end OLDI services composed of microservices and characterizes their OS and network overheads

A Benchmark Suite for Microservices

In the Workshop on Architectures and Systems for Big Data (ASBD), 2018

Akshitha Sriraman, Thomas F. Wenisch

Suggests how µSuite can be used by researchers to facilitate future research

Auto-Tuned Threading for OLDI Microservices

In the Career Workshop for Women and Minorities in Computer Architecture (CWWMCA), 2018

Akshitha Sriraman, Thomas F. Wenisch

Makes the important observation that inherent latency trade-offs between threading models can be exploited at system run-time to minimize microservice tail latency

Performance Characterization of a Taxonomy of Threading Models for Mid-tier Servers

In the Career Workshop for Women and Minorities in Computer Architecture (CWWMCA), 2017

Akshitha Sriraman, Thomas F. Wenisch

Makes the important observation that inherent latency trade-offs between threading models can be exploited at system run-time to minimize microservice tail latency

LASER: Light, Accurate Sharing dEtection and Repair

In HPCA 2016 (Acceptance rate: 22%)

Liang Luo, Akshitha Sriraman, Brooke Fugate, Shiliang Hu, Gilles Pokam, Chris J. Newburn, and Joseph Devietti

A novel low-overhead run-time tool that detects cache contention-induced performance bugs and mitigates them using dynamic binary re-writing

Deconstructing the Tail at Scale Effect Across Network Protocols

In the Workshop on Duplicating, Deconstructing and Debunking (WDDD), 2016

Akshitha Sriraman, Sihang Liu, Sinan Gunbay, Shan Su, Thomas F. Wenisch

Establishes that widely-used network protocol software stacks can significantly degrade OLDI microservice tail latency

Accomplish­ments

Facebook Fellowship (Distributed Systems)

$224,000 towards tuition, stipend, and travel

Selected to attend the Heidelberg Laureate Forum

ASPLOS Best Presentation Award

Best presentation out of 86 presentations

Facebook Fellowship Finalist (Distributed Systems)

Recognized as the first runner-up

Best of WACI

Chair’s Choice Award

Anita Borg Grace Hopper Student Scholarship

Rackham Merit Ph.D. Fellowship

$140,000 towards tuition, stipend, and travel

CIS Full Tuition Scholarship

$55,000 towards tuition, stipend, and travel

Award for Academic Excellence

Ranked 5th (out of 10,000 students) in the state

Experience

 
 
 
 
 

Visiting Research Fellow

University of British Columbia

Apr 2020 – Sep 2020 Vancouver, Canada

Advisor: Prof. Margo Seltzer

Developing a generic hardware-software interface for diverse hardware accelerators

 
 
 
 
 

Visiting Research Fellow

Harvard University

Oct 2019 – Apr 2020 Cambridge, MA

Advisor: Prof. David Brooks

Designing future hardware systems for data centers

 
 
 
 
 

Research Scientist

Facebook

Oct 2019 – Apr 2020 Cambridge, MA

Supervisor: Vijay Balakrishnan

Designing custom hardware for diverse microservice functionalities

 
 
 
 
 

Research Intern

Facebook

May 2019 – Aug 2019 Menlo Park, CA

Supervisor: Abhishek Dhanotia

Analyzing production microservices’ software stacks to understand acceleration opportunities and model speedup in hyperscale systems

 
 
 
 
 

Research Engineer

Facebook

Oct 2018 – Jan 2019 Ann Arbor, MI

Supervisor: Murray Stokely

Developed “soft” SKU—a strategy to maintain hardware fungibility despite significant diversity in bottlenecks across microservices

 
 
 
 
 

Research Intern

Facebook

May 2018 – Aug 2018 Menlo Park, CA

Supervisor: Abhishek Dhanotia

Comprehensively characterized system-level and architectural bottlenecks across Facebook’s top production microservices

 
 
 
 
 

Research Intern

Microsoft Research

May 2017 – Aug 2017 Redmond, WA

Supervisor: Dr. Ed Nightingale

Developed a bare-metal hypervisor from scratch (including a virtualized MMU) to serve as a defense-in-depth security mechanism for Microsoft Azure Sphere; demonstrated two hypervisor-targeted security attacks and defenses

 
 
 
 
 

Research Intern

Intel Labs

May 2015 – Aug 2015 Santa Clara, CA

Supervisor: Dr. Gilles Pokam

Low-overhead run-time tool to detect and mitigate performance degradation caused by the different kinds of cache misses

 
 
 
 
 

Research Assistant

University of Pennsylvania

Dec 2013 – May 2015 Philadelphia, PA

Advisor: Prof. Joseph Devietti

Run-time detection and mitigation of performance bugs caused by false sharing

 
 
 
 
 

Performance Engineer

Microsoft

Jul 2012 – Jun 2013 Bangalore, India

Manager: Tajdar Salam

Performance analysis of Windows server platforms

 
 
 
 
 

Research Intern

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited

Jan 2012 – Mar 2012 Bangalore, India

Manager: Madan Lal

Real-time “rotation-per-minute”-based flight warning system for military helicopters/airplanes

Professional Service

External Review Committee Member

Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS), 2021

Program Committee Member

ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing (SoCC), 2020

Young Architect Workshop (YArch-ASPLOS), 2020

Artifact Evaluation Committee

Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS), 2020

Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP), 2019

Workshop Co-organizer

JOBS Workshop at MICRO, 2020

Young Architect Workshop (YArch) at ASPLOS, 2020

Career Workshop for Women & Minorities in Computer Architecture at MICRO, 2019

Social Media Chair

Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS), 2020

Young Architect Workshop (YArch-ASPLOS), 2020

International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO), 2019

Ph.D. Admissions Committee

University of Michigan, Computer Science Department

Journal Reviewer

ACM Transactions on Architecture and Code Optimization (TACO), 2018, 2019, 2020

Web Chair

International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design (ISLPED), 2018, 2019, 2020

Conference Shadow Program Committee Member

EuroSys, 2018, 2019

Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS), 2017

Student Organizer

IEEE Micro Top Picks, 2018

University of Michigan Ph.D. prospective student visit day, 2018

Explore Grad Studies in CSE Workshop, University of Michigan, 2016

Diversity Efforts

Women In Computer Architecture (WICARCH) Mentoring Series Co-organizer

Organizing a mentorship program for female students in computer architecture

Women In Computer Architecture (WICARCH) Webinar Series Lead Organizer

Organizing webinars for women studying/working in computer architecture

Ensemble of CSE Ladies Social Chair

Organized activities for a female graduate student support group

Middle School Outreach Co-organizer

Created the middle school outreach program to get middle school female students interested in CS; designed curriculum, trained and hired instructors, secured funding, etc

Middle School Teacher

Taught computer science basics to middle school female students to get them excited about CS early on (as a step towards resolving the pipeline problem)

Female Mentoring

Vidushi Goyal (Ph.D. student at U. Michigan), 2016 - Present

Harini Muthukrishnan (Ph.D. student at U. Michigan), 2016 - Present

Hiwot Tadese Kassa (Ph.D. student at U. Michigan), 2017 - Present

Lillian Pentecost (Ph.D. student at Harvard), 2019 - Present

Katie Lim (Ph.D. student at U. Washington), 2019 - Present

Sara Mahdizadeh Shahri, (Ph.D. student at Penn State), 2019 - Present

Katia Flores (Undergrad at U. Michigan), 2018 - 2019

Linh Le (Undergrad at U. Michigan), 2018 - 2019

CS Kickstart Hackathon Co-organizer

Workshop and hackathon aimed at improving gender diversity in computer science through increased female enrollments

Girls Encoded Co-organizer

Workshop aimed at getting high school female students interested in computer science

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