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Computer Scientist Puts NSF Funding to Work for More Reliable Computing

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University of California, San Diego professor Yuanyuan Zhou

The so-called Variability Expedition "represents not only a way to deal with hardware reliability, but a chance to rethink software architecture," says University of California, San Diego professor Yuanyuan Zhou.

Credit: Calit2

University of California, San Diego professor Yuanyuan Zhou recently received several grants for research projects aimed at making computer systems more reliable by detecting software bugs, creating automated logs to diagnose software issues, and using software components to adapt to system variability. "Fundamentally, my research is about making computer systems less vulnerable to attacks so they crash less," Zhou says.

Zhou is studying ways that software and hardware can be used to detect bugs, especially those in parallel and distributed programs. "Right now, cell phones, laptops, and desktops have multicore processors, but to take advantage of this kind of processing, programs need to be concurrent," Zhou says. She wants to use data-flow invariance to detect various types of software bugs and make software more secure.

To deal with computer crashes, Zhou proposes diagnosing the problem at the source using automatic log inference and informative logging. Zhou also is part of a multi-university research effort that is studying the role that software can play in new, energy-efficient computers.

From California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology
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