Alex Aiken : 2011 Plenary Session


Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Location: Fisher Conference Center, Arrillaga Alumni Center

"Using Influence to Understand Complex Systems"
11:45am - 12:15pm


Complex systems are pervasive: data centers drive our economy, supercomputers do an increasing share of our science, and embedded systems fly our airplanes, steer our ships, and may soon drive our cars. While we have useful tools for modeling and debugging individual parts of such systems (such as single programs and individual hardware components), our ability to understand the interactions among a large assembly of parts is much more limited. There is a pressing need to gain insight into the behavior of complex systems so we can diagnose misbehavior, fix bugs, optimize performance, and build better systems. This talk will describe our experience with a method, called influence, for understanding complex systems, especially in the normal case where instrumentation data is always noisy and incomplete.


Alex Aiken is a Professor of Computer Science at Stanford. Alex was a Research Staff Member at the IBM Almaden Research Center and a Professor in the EECS department at UC Berkeley before joining the Stanford faculty in 2003. He is an ACM Fellow, a recipient of Phi Beta Kappa's Teaching Award, and a former National Young Investigator.