Seminar on classic systems papers [MIT, 96]

Jim Whitehead (
Wed, 21 Jan 1998 15:44:46 -0800

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Seminar on classic systems papers

Like in previous terms, there will be another seminar on cool systems
papers. This term we will depart from our common focus, cool recent papers,
and instead look at classic (often very old) papers. Many of the papers will
be widely accepted as classics, while others will be less well-known (yet
very insightful). Our hope is that, in addition to improving our foundations
in previous lessons learned, we can gain new insights into system
design/implementation by re-examining these classic works.

The seminar is completely informal and does not earn one any credits. The
structure of the seminar is simple. We will meet once per week for an hour
and discuss one (or more, if closely related) paper. One of you will prepare
a 20 minute presentation on one of the papers; after that we will debate the
merits of the paper. You can choose which paper you would like to present.

The new time and place for the meeting is Mondays at 4pm in 516.

Obviously, it will not be possible to cover all papers/topics that merit
inclusion. Also, it will often be difficult to select just one paper about a
given system/topic. In such cases, we will identify several, rank them
(roughly) and ask that everyone read at least the first in the list. We will
not have on-line copies of most of these papers. Copies will be made
available in advance of the seminar.

The schedule as of 3/22/96 is:

* 2/7 Microkernels

P.B. Hansen, "The Nucleus of a Multiprogramming System",
Communications of the ACM, 13 (4), April 1970, pp. 238-250.

B. Wichman, "A Modular Operating System", IFIP Congress,
1968, pp. 548-556.

* 2/14 Extensible Systems

B. Lampson, originally entitled "On Reliable and Extendible
Operating Systems", Sept. 5, 1969 (Computer Center, UC

* 2/21 Access Control (X)

B. Lampson, "Protection", Fifth Princeton Symposium on
Information Sciences and Systems, Princeton University, March
1971, pp. 437-443, reprinted in Operating Systems Review,
Jan. 1974, pp. 18-24.

* 3/4 Multics

F. Corbato, J. Saltzer, C. Clingen, "Multics - The First
Seven Years", Spring Joint Computer Conference, 1972, pp.

J. Saltzer, "Protection and the Control of Information
Sharing in Multics", Communications of the ACM, 17 (7), July
1974, pp. 388-402.

J. Saltzer, "The Instrumentation of Multics", Communications
of the ACM, 13 (8), August 1970, pp. 495-500.

F. Corbato, V. Vyssotsky, "Introduction and Overview of the
Multics System", AFIPS Conference 27, 1965, pp. 185-196.

F. Corbato, C. Clingen, "A Managerial View of the Multics
System Development", Conference on Research Directions in
Software Technology, October 1977, pp. 139-158.

* 3/25 Advice and lessons learned (No meeting: SPRING BREAK)

R. Levin, D. Redell, "An Evaluation of the Ninth SOSP
Submissions or How (and How Not) to Write a Good Systems
Paper", Operating Systems Review, July 1983, pp. 35-40.

B. Lampson, H. Sturgis, "Reflections on an Operating System
Design", Communications of the ACM, 19 (5), May 1976, pp.

B. Lampson, "Hints for Computer System Design", 9th ACM SOSP,
Oct. 1983, pp. 33-48.

J. Saltzer, D. Reed, D. Clark, "End-to-End Arguments in
System Design", ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, 2 (4),
Nov. 1984, pp. 277-288.

B. Forscher, "Rules for referees", Science 150, October 15,
1995, pp. 319-321.

* 4/1 Personal Computers

C. Thacker, et alia, "Alto: A Personal Computer", XEROX PARC
report CSL-79-11, August 7, 1979.

B. Lampson, R. Sproull, "An Open Operating System for a
Single-User Machine", 7th ACM SOSP, Dec. 1979, pp. 98-105.

* 4/8 Hydra

W. Wulf, et alia, "HYDRA: The Kernel of a Multiprocessor
Operating System", Communications of the ACM, 17 (6), June
1974, pp. 337-345.

W. Wulf, at alia, "Overview of the Hydra Operating System
Development", 5th ACM SOSP, Nov. 1975, pp. 122-131.

R. Levin, et alia, "Policy/Mechanism Separation in HYDRA",
5th ACM SOSP, Nov. 1975, pp. 132-140.

E. Cohen, D. Jacobson, "Protection in the Hydra Operating
System", 5th ACM SOSP, Nov. 1975, pp. 141-160.

* 4/15 Database Systems

D. Chamberlin, et alia, "A History and Evaluation of System
R", Communications of the ACM, 24 (10), Oct. 1981, pp.

M. Astrahan, et alia, "System R: Relational Approach to
Database Management", ACM Transactions on Database Systems, 1
(2), 1976, pp. 97-137.

* 4/22 Network Protocols

D. Clark, D. Tennenhouse, "Architectural Considerations for a
New Generation of Protocols", ACM SIGCOMM 1990, pp. 200-208.

V. Jacobson, "Congestion Avoidance and Control", ACM SIGCOMM,
August 1988, pp. 314-329.

D. Clark, "The Design Philosophy of the DARPA Internet
Protocols", ACM SIGCOMM, August 1988, pp. 106-114.

D. Clark, et alia, "An Analysis of TCP Processing Overhead",
IEEE Communications Magazine, 27 (6), June 1989, pp. 23-29.

* 4/29 Cancelled due to conflicts.
* 5/6 User Interfaces

I. Sutherland, "SketchPad A Man-Machine Graphical
Communication System", Spring Joint Computer Conference,
1963, pp. 329-346.

In Memoriam: J.C.R. Licklider 1915-1990, Digital:61, August
7, 1990, two reprinted papers.

* 5/13 Distributed Programming

B. Liskov, "Distributed Programming in Argus", Communications
of the ACM, 31 (3), March 1988, pp. 300-312.

A. Black, "Supporting Distributed Applications: Experience
with Eden", 10th ACM SOSP, 1985, pp. 181-193.