Learn about our computer systems research.


See our publications, hardware, and software.


See who we are

About the group

abstract is the research group of Asst. Prof. Brandon Lucia in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Our group does research at the intersection of computer architecture, computer systems, and programming languages. Our research focuses on improving the programmability, reliability, and efficiency of computing devices and systems. Our work cuts across the layers of the system stack, from the microarchitecture to the application, often touching on everything in between.


Our group does computer systems research spanning architecture, software systems, and programming languages. We are currently focused on intermittent computing, and efficient parallel computing.
We release our projects via our Github Organization. Here is another full publication list

Defining the Intermittent System Stack

We are working to define the system stack for intermittent computing devices, like ones that harvest energy from their environment. Our goal is to make these devices programmable, reliable, low-power, and robust to common-case power failures. We are rethinking the whole system stack to deal with complexity and reliability, from programming abstractions tolerant of interruptions, down to super-energy-efficient circuits we use to implement microarchitectural features tolerant of byzantine failures. We build real systems for use on Earth and far beyond.


Alpaca: Intermittent Execution without Checkpoints
Kiwan Maeng, Alexei Colin, Brandon Lucia
OOPSLA 2017 [paper]

An Energy-Aware Debugger for Intermittently Powered Systems
Alexei Colin, Graham Harvey, Alanson Sample, Brandon Lucia
IEEE MICRO, 2017 vol. 37 - Top Picks in Computer Architecture [paper]

Intermittent Computing: Challenges and Opportunities
Brandon Lucia, Vignesh Balaji, Alexei Colin, Kiwan Maeng, and Emily Ruppel
SNAPL 2017 [paper] [press:AXIOS]

Chain: Tasks and Channels for Reliable Intermittent Programs
Alexei Colin, Brandon Lucia
OOPSLA 2016 [paper] [ press:UPI, phys.org, Energy Daily, TechDotMatrix, The Green Optimistic ]

An Energy-interference-free Hardware/Software Debugger for Intermittent Energy-harvesting Systems
Alexei Colin, Graham Harvey, Brandon Lucia, Alanson Sample
ASPLOS 2016 [paper][slides][Github release][press: Eurekalert, phys.org, Wireless Design Mag, Weekly Hot News]
Selected as an IEEE Micro Top Picks 2016 Paper

A Simpler, Safer Programming and Execution Model for Intermittent Systems
Brandon Lucia and Benjamin Ransford
PLDI 2015[paper][Try DINO!][video abstract]

Cleancut: Static Task Boundary Placement for Intermittent Programs[paper]Alexei Colin, Preeti Murthy, Brandon Lucia HLPC 2016 (co-located w/ ASPLOS 2016)

Energy-interference-free System and Toolchain Support for Energy-harvesting Devices[paper] Alexei Colin, Alanson Sample, Brandon Lucia CASES 2015 (short paper)

Reliable, Efficient Parallel Computing

We are developing system software and hardware architectures that make concurrent and parallel computer systems correct, reliable, and efficient. We research new parallel computer architectures that make systems safer and make programming easier, hardware-software solutions that automate debugging, and architectures, compilers, and runtimes that avoid failures in broken programs. We are taking advantage of specialization and approximation, to trade off correctness and generality for increased performance, programmability, and energy efficiency. We are investigating all of these topics in emerging large-scale homogeneous and heterogeneous systems. Our work leverages algorithmic and execution-level approximation, statistical inference, symbolic execution, and dynamic analysis in novel ways to make systems behave better.


An Architecture and Programming Model for Accelerating Parallel Commutative Computations via Privatization Vignesh Balaji, Dhruva Tirumala, Brandon Lucia PPoPP 2017 (Short Paper)

Overcoming the Data-flow Limit on Parallelism with Structural Approximation Vignesh Balaji, Brandon Lucia, and Radu Marculescu WAX 2016 (co-located with ASPLOS 2016)

Production-guided Concurrency Debugging Nuno Machado (IST), Brandon Lucia, Luis Rodrigues (IST) PPoPP 2016

Valor: Efficient, Software-Only Region Conflict Exceptions Swarnendu Biswas (OSU), Minjia Zhang (OSU), Michael D. Bond (OSU), Brandon Lucia OOPSLA 2015, OOPSLA'15 Distinguished Paper Award, OOPSLA'15 Distinguished Artifact Award

Concurrency Debugging with Differential Schedule Projections Nuno Machado (IST), Luis Rodrigues (IST), Brandon Lucia PLDI 2015

Systems Should Automatically Specialize Code and Data Brandon Lucia and Todd Mytkowicz (MSR) Approx 2014


Our group thrives because of the cooperation of a really awesome group of collaborators, PhDs, Masters, Undergraduate, and High School Students.

Lab goes to ISCA 2017 in Toronto (via Niagara Falls)


Brandon Lucia

PhD Students

Alexei Colin
Vignesh Balaji

(w/ Radu Marculescu)
Emily Ruppel
Kiwan Maeng

Current and Former Masters and Undergraduate Students

Dhruva Tirumala
Preeti Murthy
Akshay Kulkarni
Akansha Patel
Amanda Marano
Neil Ryan
Devon White
Chris Meredith
Zesheng Li
Ridhi Surana
Naveen Setlur
Junhong Li
Mark McElwaine
Graham Harvey (Now an Imagineer @ Disney) [Spring 2015]

High School Interns

Our lab has an ongoing internship program with City Charter High School in downtown Pittsburgh. We accept high school interns nearing high school graduation to give them experience doing computer systems research

Beth Ann Kushner (Junior at City Charter High School) [Spring 2017]

Jessie Foley (Junior at City Charter High School) [Summer 2016]

Savi Medlang (now a student at Case Western) [Summer 2015]

External Collaborators

Alanson Sample (Disney Research Pittsburgh)
Joe Devietti (University of Pennsylvania)
Mike Bond (The Ohio State University)
Adrian Sampson (Cornell University)
Mike Carbin (MIT)

Funding and Support

The work in our group is possible through extremely generous from industry and government.

National Science Foundation
Disney Research Pittsburgh