the morning paper

an interesting/influential/important paper from the world of CS every weekday morning, as selected by Adrian Colyer

Latest articles

The case for a learned sorting algorithm

The case for a learned sorting algorithm, Kristo, Vaidya, et al., SIGMOD’20 We’ve watched machine learning thoroughly pervade the web giants, make serious headway in large consumer companies, and begin its push into the traditional enterprise. ML, then, is rapidly becoming an integral part of how we build applications of all shapes and sizes. But what...

Orbital edge computing: nano satellite constellations as a new class of computer system

Orbital edge computing: nanosatellite constellations as a new class of computer system, Denby & Lucia, ASPLOS’20. Last time out we looked at the real-world deployment of 5G networks and noted the affinity between 5G and edge computing. In true Crocodile Dundee style, Denby and Lucia are entitled to say “that’s not the edge, this is the edge!”....

Understanding operational 5G: a first measurement study on its coverage, performance and energy consumption

Understanding operational 5G: a first measurement study on its coverage, performance and energy consumption, Xu et al., SIGCOMM’20 We are standing on the eve of the 5G era… 5G, as a monumental shift in cellular communication technology, holds tremendous potential for spurring innovations across many vertical industries, with its promised multi-Gbps...

Toward an API for the real numbers

Towards an API for the real numbers, Boehm, PLDI’20 Last time out we saw that even in scientific computing applications built by experts, problems with floating point numbers are commonplace. The idiosyncrasies of floating point representations also show up in more everyday applications such as calculators and spreadsheets. Here the user-base is less...

Spying on the floating point behavior of existing, unmodified scientific applications

Spying on the floating point behavior of existing, unmodified scientific applications Dinda et al., HPDC’20 It’s common knowledge that the IEEE standard floating point number representations used in modern computers have their quirks, for example not being able to accurately represent numbers such as 1/3, or 0.1. The wikipedia page on floating point...

Static Analysis of Java Enterprise Applications: Frameworks and Caches, the Elephants in the Room

Static analysis of Java enterprise applications: frameworks and caches, the elephants in the room, Antoniadis et al., PLDI’20 Static analysis is a key component of many quality and security analysis tools. Being static, it has the advantage that analysis results can be produced solely from source code without the need to execute the program. This means...

Watchman: monitoring dependency conflicts for Python library ecosystem

Watchman: monitoring dependency conflicts for Python library ecosystem Wang et al., ICSE ‘20 There are more than 1.4M Python libraries in the PyPI repository. Figuring out which combinations of those work well together is not always easy. In fact, we have a phrase for navigating the maze of dependencies modern projects seem to accumulate: “dependency...

Aligning superhuman AI with human behaviour: chess as a model system

Aligning superhuman AI with human behavior: chess as a model system, McIlroy-Young et al., KDD’20 It’s been a while, but it’s time to start reading CS papers again! We’ll ease back into it with one or two papers a week for a few weeks, building back up to something like 3 papers a week at steady state. How human-like is superhuman AI? AI models can...

What’s happening with The Morning Paper?

I hope things have been going well for you during the various stages of covid-19 lockdowns. In the UK where I am things are just starting to ease, although it looks like I’ll still be working remotely for a considerable time to come. Lockdown so far has been bittersweet for me. Two deaths in my extended family, neither covid related, but both with...

An early end of term

The last few weeks have been anything but normal for many of us. I do hope that you and your loved ones are managing to stay safe. My routines have been disrupted too, and with the closure of schools last week it’s essentially the Easter holidays one week earlier than expected for my children. At the moment my priority is to help any family, friends,...

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