Alex Conway “Date Structures for Fast Systems”

Thursday, March 9
11:00 am - 12:00 pm


In this talk, I’ll show how algorithms can be used to solve decades-old problems in systems design. I’ll present an algorithmic approach to co-designing TLB hardware and the paging mechanism to increase TLB reach without the fragmentation issues incurred by huge pages. Along the way, I’ll introduce a new hash-table design that overcomes existing tradeoffs, and achieves better performance than state-of-the-art hash tables both in theory and in practice. Key to these results are “tiny pointers,” an algorithmic technique for compressing pointers.

Alex Conway is a senior researcher at VMware. He received his PhD from Rutgers, where he was advised by Martín Farach-Colton. His work has primarily focused on randomized data structures and their use in storage systems, and covers the full research stack, from theory to systems to product. He is the co-creator and research lead of SplinterDB, an enterprise-grade key-value store deployed in VMware products.


  • Date: Thursday, March 9
  • Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Category:
  • Location: 34-401A


  • Frans Kaashoek