Reading Group

Welcome to the DistSys Reading Group! Every week we present and discuss one distributed systems paper. We try to focus on relatively new papers, although we occasionally break this rule for some important older publications. The main objective of this group is to share knowledge through discussion. Our participants come from academia and industry and often carry a unique perspective and expertise on the subject matter.


We start each meeting with a short presentation of the paper by one of the group members. We record the presentation and later upload it to YouTube for the general audience. After the presentation, we move into a group discussion of the paper. This part is not on the record to make sure we can speak freely about the topic and the paper. However, I write a moderated discussion summary for each meeting and post it here. All the summaries are available via the “Summary” link next to the paper title. To see the archive of past meetings, scroll down to the “Past Meetings” section below.

Meeting Info

Current Schedule (Papers ##131-140)

Below is a list of papers for the fall term of the distributed systems reading group.

  • Transactions Make Debugging Easy [CIDR’23]
    • Authors: Qian Li, Peter Kraft, Michael Cafarella, Çağatay Demiralp, Goetz Graefe, Christos Kozyrakis, Michael Stonebraker, Lalith Suresh, and Matei Zaharia
    • What: Everything is a database transaction, including debugging
    • When: April 12th
  • Perseus: A Fail-Slow Detection Framework for Cloud Storage Systems [FAST’23]
    • Authors: Ruiming Lu, Erci Xu, Yiming Zhang, Xiamen University; Fengyi Zhu, Zhaosheng Zhu, Mengtian Wang, Zongpeng Zhu, Guangtao Xue, Jiwu Shu, Minglu Li, Jiesheng Wu
    • What: Detecting fail-slow failures (i.e., machine/node slowdowns) in storage systems
    • When: April 19th
  • SelfTune: Tuning Cluster Managers [NSDI’23]
    • Authors: Ajaykrishna Karthikeyan, Nagarajan Natarajan, Gagan Somashekar, Lei Zhao, Ranjita Bhagwan, Rodrigo Fonseca, Tatiana Racheva, Yogesh Bansal
    • What: Automatically tuning cluster manager parameters/setting for ever-changing cluster state.
    • When: May 3rd

Past Meetings

Past Special Sessions

  1. Building Distributed Systems With StaterightMarch 30th @ 1pm EST – Jon Nadal.
  2. Distributed Transactions in YugabyteDBMay 11th @12pm EST – Karthik Ranganathan.
  3. Fast General Purpose Transactions in Apache Cassandra – February 9thth @ 2 pm EST – Benedict Elliott Smith
  4. Scalability and Fault Tolerance in YDBAugust 10th @ 2pm EST – Andrey Fomichev