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  1. The Kernel Extensions without Run-Time Checking 
    In this paper we address the problem of how an operating-system kernel or a server can determine with absolute certainty that it is safe to execute code supplied by an application or other untrusted source. We propose a mechanism that allows a kernel or server--from now on referred to as the code consumer--to define a safety policy and then verify that the policy is respected by native-code binaries supplied to it by an untrusted code producer.  In contrast to some previous approaches, we do not rely on the usual authentication or code-editing mechanisms. Instead, we require that the code producer creates its binaries in a special form, which we call proof-carrying code, or simply . A binary contains an encoding of a formal proof that the enclosed native code respects the safety policy. The proof is structured in such a way that makes it easy and foolproof for any agent to verify its validity without using cryptographic techniques or consulting with external trusted entities; there is also no need for any program analysis, code editing, compilation, or interpretation.
  2. The I/O Prefetching for Out-of-Core Applications
    Many of the important computational challenges facing scientists and engineers today involve solving problems with very large data sets. For example, global climate modeling, computational physics and chemistry, and many engineering problems (e.g., aircraft simulation) can easily involve data sets that are too large to fit in main memory [7, 9, 23]. For such applications main memory simply constitutes an intermediate stage in the memory hierarchy, and the bulk of the data must reside on disk or other secondary storage. Ideally one could efficiently solve an out-of-core problem by simply taking the original in-core program and increasing the problem size. In theory, a paged virtual memory system could provide this functionality by transparently migrating data between main memory and disk whenever page faults occur. While this approach does yield a logically correct answer, the resulting performance is typically so poor that it is not considered a viable technique for solving out-of-core problems.
  3. The Building Innovative Collaborative Applications in Tcl and Tk 
    The context of this story is a larger, interdisciplinary project to extend database management system (DBMS) technology to support, in an integrated fashion, large volumes of neuroscience data from structural, functional, and behavioral studies using rodents. We intend to integrate neuroscience at the data level and thereby both enable cross-disciplinary neuroscience research and drive applied computer science research. While our initial focus was dealing with structural data (primarily images obtained from several different modalities, e.g., confocal, laser microscope and digital camera), it quickly became apparent that we had an opportunity to build novel user interfaces.
  4. The Vassal Support for Multi-policy scheduling
    A primary function of operating systems is to multiplex physical resources such as CPU, memory, and I/O devices among application programs. The CPU is one of the primary resources, and hence, it is important to schedule it effectively. The answer, of course, strongly depends upon the mix of tasks to be run, the demands that they place on the different resources in the system, and the relative values of the various outcomes that will result from different scheduling decisions. In the limit, for an operating system to perform optimal scheduling of its CPUs, it would need perfect knowledge of the future behavior and requirements of all its applications.



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Posted on: April 18, 2011

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