New Uses of Simulation in Distributed System Engineering
Alexander L. Wolf, Imperial College London, UK
Simulation has been used by software engineers for many years to study the functionality and performance of complex distributed system designs. For example, they are used to understand network protocols, tune distributed systems, and improve distributed algorithms. They are appealing to engineers because of their inherent efficiency and scalability. Unlike many other development artifacts, simulations seem to be used, and therefore well maintained, throughout the development process, both as early design tools and as late evaluation tools. Given the effort invested in the construction and maintenance of simulations, and the degree to which developers trust in them, we wonder whether there are other purposes to which they can be put. In this talk we present two such uses, one to increase the power of large-scale distributed experimentation and the other to develop a rigorous testing method for distributed systems.
Alexander L. Wolf is a professor in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London (UK). He also holds affiliated appointments in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder (US), and the Faculty of Informatics at the University of Lugano (CH).
Prof. Wolf received the B.A. degree from Queens College of the City University of New York, majoring in both Geology and Computer Science. He received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Prof. Wolf was a Member of the Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories (now AT&T Labs Research and Bell Laboratories) in Murray Hill, New Jersey, before joining the University of Colorado faculty. During his years at the University of Colorado, Prof. Wolf held the ranks of assistant, associate, and full professor. He also held the Charles Victor Schelke Chair in the College of Engineering. At the University of Lugano he helped found the Faculty of Informatics, the first computer science faculty in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland.
Prof. Wolf's research interests are directed toward the discovery of principles and development of technologies to support the engineering of large, complex software systems. He has published in the areas of software engineering, distributed systems, networking, security, and database management.
Prof. Wolf is currently a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Council, the governing authority of the 65,000-member professional association. He serves on the editorial board of the IEEE Computer Society journal Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE). Prof. Wolf previously served as Vice Chair and then Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group in Software Engineering (SIGSOFT), on the editorial boards of the ACM journal Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM) and the Wiley journal Software Process - Improvement and Practice (SPIP), and has chaired a number of international program committees. He is currently a participant in the ACM Distinguished Speakers Program.
Prof. Wolf is a Fellow of the ACM and holder of a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award.