"Dr." Brandon M. Lucia [My CV]
Researcher @ Microsoft Research
1 Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
Building 99, rm. 2377
Email: blucia [ at ] gmail [ dot ] com


I am a Researcher at Microsoft Research. I do research on the boundary between computer architecture and computer systems. My research focuses on improving programmability, reliability, and efficiency of computing.

My current research projects address these issues along several different dimensions. I am working to define a reasonable system stack - from the application to the architecture - for low-/no-power computing devices that harvest energy from their environment, experiencing power failures as common case behavior. I am looking at how to reconcile programmability, performance, and generality in heterogeneous computing systems (e.g., CPU + GPU + FPGA), with an emphasis on defining a useful memory model for such systems. I am also looking at ways of making concurrent programs correct and reliable that require minimal involvement from a programmer by taking advantage of statistical inference and symbolic execution. In my prior work, I have worked on defining new concurrent programming models, inventing better architecture support for concurrency debugging, and building systems and architectures that automatically avoid failures in broken concurrent programs.

Broadly, I like working on architectural features and systems that make life easier during development and remain useful throughout a system's lifetime. I prefer to work across the layers of the system stack - hacking the os, language features, tool support, microarchitecture, etc. I think statistical methods and inference, empirical systems, and systems that dynamically adapt their behavior are all really cool and those kinds of things show up in my research projects.

I got my Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington in 2013. I was advised by Luis Ceze. My Ph.D. dissertation is available here.

My publications are available on Google Scholar and in the list below.

I am blucia0a on GitHub

I made the Chango. Check it out.

I gave a talk at the 2014 MSR Faculty Summit on my work with Ben Ransford on programming intermittently powered devices. I spoke in the Impossibly Small Devices Session and my slides are here.

Jie Liu, Desney Tan, Arjmand Samuel, and I co-organized the Microsoft Research Ultra-low-power Computing Workshop. The event was colocated with the MSR Faculty Summit. We had great speakers and attendees and the event was a real success!

Ben Ransford and I wrote a short paper on some really cool design problems that show up in intermittently powered computers. It will appear at MSPC this year, which is colocated with PLDI.

Check out the just-accepted Approx 2014 workshop paper on system support for automatic program specialization that Todd Mytkowicz and I wrote!

Joe Devietti and I are organizing the 2014 Workshop on Determinism and Correctness in Parallel Programs (WoDet 2014), which is co-located with ASPLOS 2014 in Salt Lake City. You should consider submitting a paper! [Update: WoDet was a success! Lots of attendees, great discussions and awesome keynotes by Dean Tullsen (@UCSD) and Brian Lewis (@Intel Labs).]

I am working with a group from MSR on an open session at ICTD 2013 on creating software on mobile and touch-based devices using TouchDevelop.

In June 2013, I finished my Ph.D. and I've got a job at Microsoft Research!

Aviso, our latest paper about making systems cooperate to avoid concurrency-related failures, will appear at ASPLOS 2013!


Refereed Conference Papers

Cooperative Empirical Failure Avoidance for Multithreaded Programs
Brandon Lucia, Luis Ceze
ASPLOS 2013[paper]

IFRit: Interference-Free Regions for Dynamic Data-Race Detection
Laura Effinger-Dean, Brandon Lucia, Luis Ceze, Dan Grossman, Hans-J. Boehm
OOPSLA 2012[paper]

Isolating and Understanding Concurrency Errors Using Reconstructed Execution Fragments
Brandon Lucia, Benjamin P. Wood, Luis Ceze
PLDI 2011[paper][Try Recon!]
Acknowledgements to undergrads Julian Knutsen and Zach Rait for their early contributions to this project.

ColorSafe: Architectural Support for Debugging and Dynamically Avoiding Multi-variable Atomicity Violations
Brandon Lucia, Luis Ceze, Karin Strauss
ISCA 2010[paper]

Conflict Exceptions: Providing Simple Parallel Language Semantics with Precise Hardware Exceptions
Brandon Lucia, Luis Ceze, Karin Strauss, Shaz Qadeer, Hans Boehm
ISCA 2010[paper]

Finding Concurrency Bugs with Context-Aware Communication Graphs
Brandon Lucia, Luis Ceze
MICRO 2009[paper]

DMP: Deterministic shared-memory MultiProcessing
Joseph Devietti, Brandon Lucia, Mark Oskin, Luis Ceze
ASPLOS 2009 [paper]
Selected for IEEE Micro Top Picks '10

Atom-Aid: Surviving and Detecting Atomicity Violations
Brandon Lucia, Joseph Devietti, Karin Strauss, Luis Ceze
ISCA 2008 [paper][slides(.key),(.ppt)]
Selected for IEEE Micro Top Picks '09

Slide decks for talks I've given about these papers are available on SpeakerDeck.

Audio of gibberish produced by Mumbley based on a phoneme model of my papers.

Workshop Papers

Systems Should Automatically Specialize Code and Data
Brandon Lucia and Todd Mytkowicz
Workshop on Probabilistic and Approximate Computing 2014 (co-located with PLDI) [paper]

Playing Cupid: The IDE as a Matchmaker for Plug-Ins
Todd Schiller and Brandon Lucia
Workshop on Developing Tools as Plug-ins 2012 (co-located with ICSE) [paper]

Automatic Empirical Failure Avoidance Support for Concurrent Software
Brandon Lucia Luis Ceze
Workshop on Determinism and Correctness in Parallel Programming (WoDET) 2012 (co-located with ASPLOS) [paper]

Greedy Coherence
Emily Fortuna, Brandon Lucia, Adrian Sampson, Benjamin P. Wood, Luis Ceze
Workshop on Hardware Support for Parallel Performance and Correctness 2011 (co-located with MICRO)[paper]

Hardware Watchmachines
Nicholas Hunt, Brandon Lucia, Luis Ceze
PLDI FIT 2011[paper]

Lock Prediction
Brandon Lucia, Joseph Devietti, Tom Bergan, Luis Ceze, Dan Grossman
Usenix HotPar 2010[paper]

The Case for System Support for Concurrency Exceptions
Luis Ceze, Joseph Devietti, Brandon Lucia, Shaz Qadeer
USENIX HotPar 2009[paper]

Explicitly Parallel Programming with Shared-Memory is Insane: At Least Make it Deterministic!
Joe Devietti, Brandon Lucia, Luis Ceze and Mark Oskin
Workshop on Software and Hardware Challenges of Manycore Platforms '08 [paper ]

PoCSci (Potentially Computer Science...)

The Barnyard of Pig Data Research: A View from UW CSA
Benjamin P. Wood, Brandon Lucia, Tom Bergan, Jacob Nelson, Adrian Sampson
UW PoCSci 2013 [paper]

Teaching Stuff
Here (PDF) are some slides that I use in an advanced undergrad architecture course to teach the concept of memory consistency. Feel free to use them. If you think there is any way I could improve them, let me know!
Things I Have Built

Useful for Doing Computer Science Research

Recon: A Tool for Finding and Understanding Concurrency Errors.

Legerdemain (LDM): A program instrumentation and debugging tool for Linux.

DRProbe: A library for accessing the debug/watchpoint/breakpoint registers on x86/x86-64.Written with Nick HuntDRProbe is part of the Looking Within Project

MultiCacheSim: A really simple multiprocessor cache simulator based on the SESC cache model.

Concurrency Bug Benchmarks: A set of kernel microbenchmarks and full application benchmarks that I (and others) have used for doing concurrency bug research.

Miscellaneous Computer Science Related

Tips for building mspdebug with the tilib FET430 driver on OSX

Tips for building LLVM passes that work on old broken software. I want Google to index this so others can find it.

A plot characterizing the performance of the GCC-4.7 TM implementation(benchmark)

CList: A pure C implementation of a templated list class

Mon: A curses based POSIX Memory Anomaly Monitor

Music Related

Mahalo: A hardware abstract layer for mac to make it easy to make creative audio programming projects

PlayData - Chromatically and rhythmically interpret any file on your file system (try for i in $(HOME); do ./PlayData $i; done).

AndroChango - An Android app version of the PhotoChango.

PhotoChango - A computer vision based tool to audiolyze video in realtime.

Mumbley: A stupid program that generates semi-convincing gibberish using a Markov model of syllables based on wikipedia text.   Also: Mumbley-made gibberish derived from a phoneme model built from the contents of all my research papers.

Chango: A musical instrument.

Audiolyzer: A tool I wrote that generates music from concurrent programs, and a composition (program) intended to be played that way.

StreamThru: A script I wrote to listen to records in a different room. Streams audio-in over the network.

Carillon: An MP3 player for Windows.

ServeMp3: A cross-platform playlist based streaming MP3 server written in Perl.


Tupac your Stocks(Tony Fader made this, not me)

Acronymizer: A tool to make your paper shorter

ParticleSystem: A physics-ish based particle system

CheezePad: A Lightweight Formattable Text Editor