Chien Group Receives Best Paper at Workshop on Serverless Computing

Graduate student Hai Duc Nguyen and a team from the research group of William Eckhardt Distinguished Service Professor Andrew Chien received the Best Paper award at the Fifth International Workshop on Serverless Computing.

Nguyen, Chaojie Zhang, Zhujun Xiao, and Chien's paper, “Real-time Serverless: Enabling Application Performance Guarantees,” received the honor from the conference, held in December 2019 in Irvine, California.

The research is part of a broader project funded by the NSF and Intel that seeks to connect serverless cloud computing with edge computing technologies. The “bursty” behavior of edge computing applications such as video analytics for traffic monitoring is a good match for “serverless” cloud computing resources. But under current cloud systems, resources may not be provided immediately when demand unexpectedly surges, as would be expected for sensors and devices looking for rare events. 

Chien’s group is exploring the concept of “guaranteed allocation rate” in serverless cloud computing for real-time platforms. Under this model, cloud providers guarantee the invocation rate of a serverless function — essentially promising to provide increased resources to an application within a certain timespan. The guarantee would permit real-time functions without requiring customers to reserve machines that will sit dormant for long stretches.  

“What we've been able to figure out is, you can solve this quality of performance problem just by adding one little thing to serverless, which is this guaranteed allocation rate, or guaranteed invocation rate,” Chien said. “This one idea actually allows you to prove that you can deliver real-time performance for all these kinds of applications, and so it's the magic element that makes all of this whole new class of applications possible.”

You can view Nguyen's slides from his talk at the Workshop on Serverless Computing here.

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