Research Project Description

CIS 700 - Special Topic: Multiprocessor Computer Architecture & Server Workloads
Spring 2004


The course research project is intended to allow you to develop some hands-on experience working with commercial workloads and the various hardware techniques we've been talking about. The project should be done in groups of two, but groups of one or three are acceptable if you talk to me first.

The end results should be a project report that reads like a "mini-paper". It should have the same basic structure as the papers we've been reading (e.g., introduction, project description, methods, evaluation, related work, future work, conclusions, references), but it should be approximately half the length of a conference paper (it should be perhaps around 4000-5000 words, if you want a number; do not exceed 10,000 words).

As only 5 weeks of the semester remain, you'll obvious not be able tackle as ambitious a project as the research papers we've been reading (which often are a year or more work by one or more experienced researchers). Keep this limitation in mind when you pick a topic; don't be too aggressive. Alternatively, ideally you would pick a topic with possibilities for expansion and/or future work that you can discuss in your project report. My personal philosophy on selecting topics for a group project such as this: propose a project with both a "sure-thing" results and a more risky result. This way you have at least something to write about, even if the more risky idea does not pan out. You need to have at least something working to satisfactory complete the project.

A list of project ideas is given below.


The "idea" part of the project (basic project plan, motivation as to why you selected this project), the "research" part of the project (methods, evaluation, results), and the "presentation" of these ideas (both in the report and in-class presentation) will all be weighted approximately equally when assigning grades. Excelling on one of these aspects of the project can offset a weakness in one of the other aspects, but all three of the aspects must be satisfactory to receive an overall satisfactory grade.

Tools Available

I will make available the tools, simulators, and workloads described in "Simulating a $2M server on a $2k PC". These will allows you simulate, characterize, and/or evaluate new ideas and workloads. We also have a number of dual-processor machines in the department. Unfortunately, we don't have a larger multiprocessor on which to run experiments.


Project Ideas/Possibilities