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October 18, 2003

Operating Systems Principles

I have not yet recovered from this weeks HPTS workshop and I am off to the next conference. This is SOSP, the biannual Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, the notoriously selective highlight of system research community.  This year is will take place in the Sagamore in Bolton Landing on Lake George in the Adirondacks.  I want to ride the motorcycle there, but am waiting for the last minute weather update to decide whether there will be too much of a chance of rain.

This conference is where a selection of the research material is presented that the systems community thinks is a reasonable representation of the hot topics of the past two years. These are only 22 papers, and there is always lots of contention about whether these papers actually represent the most relevant research. I have found that over time I have become less and less content with the selection process, even though I have had two papers in this conference myself. Not that I am frustrated about not having been selected again, I have not submitted anything but those 2 papers, but I find that many of the current topics such as peer-to-peer and overlay networks, are too flimsy to fall into the category of 'principles' and the work on them does not always withstand the proper research evaluation. And often do not do justice to the archival quality of the conference. All the papers of this conference can be found online.

Posted by Werner Vogels at October 18, 2003 10:44 AM
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