Upcoming events

Fake News During the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections: Prevalence, Agenda, and Stickiness.

Ceren Budak
University of Michigan
SWS Colloquium
10 Jun 2019, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Saarbrücken building E1 5, room 005
simultaneous videocast to Kaiserslautern building G26, room 111 / Meeting ID: 6312
The spread of fake news was one of the most discussed characteristics of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. The concerns regarding fake news have garnered significant attention in both media and policy circles, with some journalists even going as far as claiming that results of the 2016 election were a consequence of the spread of fake news. Yet, little is known about the prevalence and focus of such content, how its prevalence changed over time, and how this prevalence related to important election dynamics. In this talk, I will address these questions by examining social media, news media, and interview data. These datasets allow examining the interplay between news media production and consumption, social media behavior, and the information the electorate retained about the presidential candidates leading up to the election.

The Bright and Dark Sides of Computer Vision: Challenges and Opportunities for Privacy and Security

Mario Fritz
Joint Lecture Series
03 Jul 2019, 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Saarbrücken building E1 5, room 002

Automated Program Repair

Abhik Roychoudhury
National University of Singapore
SWS Distinguished Lecture Series
08 Jul 2019, 10:30 am - 11:30 am
Saarbrücken building G26, room 111
simultaneous videocast to Kaiserslautern building E1 5, room 029 / Meeting ID: 6312
Automated program repair is an emerging and exciting field of research, which allows for automated rectification of errors and vulnerabilities. The use of automated program repair can be myriad, such as (a) improving programmer productivity (b) automated fixing of security vulnerabilities as they are detected, (c) self-healing software for autonomous devices such as drones, as well as (d) use of repair in introductory programming education by grading and providing hints for programming assignments. One of the key technical challenges in achieving automated program repair, is the lack of formal specifications of intended program behavior. In this talk, we will conceptualize the use of symbolic execution approaches and tools for extracting such specifications. This is done by analyzing a buggy program against selected tests, or against reference implementations. Such specification inference capability can be combined with program synthesis techniques to automatically repair programs. The capability of specification inference also serves a novel use of symbolic execution beyond verification and navigation of large search spaces. Automated program repair via symbolic execution goes beyond search-based approaches which attempt to lift patches from elsewhere in the program. Such an approach can construct "imaginative" patches, serves as a test-bed for the grand- challenge of automated programming, and contributes to the vision of trustworthy self-healing software. Towards the end of the talk, we can put the research on automated repair in light of the overall practice of software security, by sharing some experiences gained at the Singapore Cyber-security Consortium.

Recent events

Bridging the Performance Gap in Digital Geometry Processing

Rhaleb Zayer
Joint Lecture Series
05 Jun 2019, 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Saarbrücken building E1 5, room 002
As the computing landscape is being reshaped by the dramatic shift towards ubiquitous parallelism, and by the sheer scale of data, extracting performance from existing applications gives rise to formidable challenges. In digital geometry processing, the problem gets amplified by data irregularity (e.g. meshes) and the predominately serial nature of traditional algorithmic solutions.  As a results the gap between the high performance promise of modern hardware and the actual performance seems to grow wider.

In this talk, I will discuss the impact of data structures and problem abstraction on performance. In particular, I will outline how high performance can be gained through a lean data representation which allows channeling parallelism through linear algebra kernels regardless of the underlying granularity. I will illustrate the impact of problem abstraction on challenging and far reaching scenarios including Voronoi diagrams (VD)/centroidal Voronoi tessellations (CVT) on surface meshes, subdivision surfaces, as well as matrix assembly in finite element analysis.

Automated Test Generation: A Journey from Symbolic Execution to Smart Fuzzing and Beyond

Koushik Sen
UC Berkeley
SWS Distinguished Lecture Series
04 Jun 2019, 10:30 am - 11:45 am
Saarbrücken building G26, room 111
simultaneous videocast to Saarbrücken building E1 5, room 029 / Meeting ID: 6312
In the last two decades, automation has had a significant impact on software testing and analysis. Automated testing techniques, such as symbolic execution, concolic testing, and feedback-directed fuzzing, have found numerous critical faults, security vulnerabilities, and performance bottlenecks in mature and well-tested software systems. The key strength of automated techniques is their ability to quickly search state spaces by performing repetitive and expensive computational tasks at a rate far beyond the human attention span and computation speed. In this talk, I will give a brief overview of our past and recent research contributions in automated test generation using symbolic execution, program analysis, constraint solving, and fuzzing. I will also describe a new technique, called constraint-directed fuzzing, where given a pre-condition on a program as a logical formula, we can efficiently generate millions of test inputs satisfying the pre-condition.

High Performance Operating Systems in the Data Center

Tom Anderson
University of Washington
SWS Colloquium
31 May 2019, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Saarbrücken building E1 5, room 029
simultaneous videocast to Kaiserslautern building G26, room 111 / Meeting ID: 6312
The ongoing shift of enterprise computing to the cloud provides an opportunity to rethink operating systems for this new setting. I will discuss two specific technologies, kernel bypass for high performance networking and low latency non-volatile storage, and their implications for operating system design. In each case, delivering the performance of the underlying hardware requires novel approaches to the division of labor between hardware, the operating system kernel, and the application library.