Joseph Devietti
my email address: my last name at cis dot upenn dot edu
(215) 746-4223
Levine Hall 572
3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3409

I work on making multiprocessors easier to program by leveraging changes in both computer architectures and parallel programming models.

I am looking for new PhD students interested in systems and computer architecture. If you are interested in these topics please apply to our PhD program and drop me an email as well.


I'm teaching CIS 501: Computer Architecture in Spring 2019.

This iteration of CIS 501 will have the content from CIS 371: Computer Organization & Design, notably the Verilog processor labs. The course content will be the same for graduate and undergraduate students. CIS 240 is the pre-requisite, just like for CIS 371.

We have chosen the 501 course number, however, to allow master's and PhD students to more easily take the class for credit. Undergraduates who need CIS 371 for their CSCI or CMPE degrees can fill out the CIS course substitution form to use this Spring 2019 offering of CIS 501 instead. A petition is not needed, nor will other offerings of CIS 501 be eligible for this substitution.


I'm lucky to be working with the following great students:

Former students

  • Yuanfeng Peng (PhD 2019). First employment: Google
  • Nicholas Renner (Master's 2019, now a PhD student at NYU)
  • Nimit Singhania (PhD 2018, co-advised with Rajeev Alur). First employment: Google
  • Christian DeLozier (PhD 2018). First employment: Assistant Professor at United States Naval Academy
  • Kavya Lakshminarayanan (Master's 2018) First employment: Microsoft
  • Richard Zang (Master's 2018) First employment: Microsoft
  • Sana Kamboj (Master's 2017) First employment: Qualcomm
  • Ariel Eizenberg (Master's 2016) First employment: Government of Israel
  • Brooke Fugate (Master's 2015, co-advised with André DeHon)
  • Liang Luo (Master's 2015, now a PhD student at the University of Washington)
  • Akshitha Sriraman (Master's 2015, now a PhD student at the University of Michigan)

Recent Publications full list

Many of the paper links below use the ACM's Author-izer service, which tracks download statistics and provides a small kickback to various ACM Special Interest Groups for each download.

  • Reproducible ContainersReproducible Containers
    International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages & Operating Systems (ASPLOS '20), March 2020
    In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of DetTrace, a reproducible container abstraction for Linux implemented in user space. All computation that occurs inside a DetTrace container is a pure function of the initial filesystem state of the container. Reproducible containers can be used for a variety of purposes, including replication for fault-tolerance, reproducible software builds and reproducible data analytics. We use DetTrace to achieve, in an automatic fashion, reproducibility for 12,130 Debian package builds, containing over 800 million lines of code, as well as bioinformatics and machine learning workflows. We show that, while software in each of these domains is initially irreproducible, DetTrace brings reproducibility without requiring any hardware, OS or application changes. DetTrace’s performance is dictated by the frequency of system calls: IO-intensive software builds have an average overhead of 3.49x, while a compute-bound bioinformatics workflow is under 2%.
  • Hurdle: Securing Jump Instructions Against Code Reuse AttacksHurdle: Securing Jump Instructions Against Code Reuse Attacks
    International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages & Operating Systems (ASPLOS '20), March 2020

    Code-reuse attacks represent the state-of-the-art in exploiting memory safety vulnerabilities. Control-flow integrity techniques offer a promising direction for preventing code-reuse attacks, but these attacks are resilient against imprecise and heuristic-based detection and prevention mechanisms.

    In this work, we propose a new context-sensitive controlflow integrity system (HURDLE) that guarantees pairwise gadgets cannot be chained in a code-reuse attack. HURDLE improves upon prior techniques by using SMT constraint solving to ensure that indirect control flow transfers cannot be maliciously redirected to execute gadget chains. At the same time, HURDLE’s security policy is flexible enough that benign executions are only rarely mischaracterized as malicious. When such mischaracterizations occur, HURDLE can generalize its constraint solving to avoid these mischaracterizations at low marginal cost.

    We propose architecture extensions for HURDLE which consist of an extended branch history register and new instructions. Thanks to its hardware support, HURDLE enforces a context-sensitive control-flow integrity policy with <1% average runtime overhead.

  • Lazy Determinism for Faster Deterministic MultithreadingLazy Determinism for Faster Deterministic Multithreading
    International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages & Operating Systems (ASPLOS '19), April 2019