Coding for distributed computing
Prof. Alexandre Graell i Amat
Department of Electrical Engineering
Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
Distributed computing systems have emerged as one of the most effective ways of solving increasingly complex computational problems in a wide range of domains, e.g., in large-scale machine learning and data analytics. For example, Google routinely performs computations over several thousands of servers. Furthermore, applications such as the Internet of Things (IoT), intelligent transportation systems, and robotics may benefit from offloading computationally-intensive tasks to the cloud.
Distributed computing faces significant challenges, among them the problems of straggling servers and data shuffling between servers, which severely penalize the computational latency, and the unreliability of nodes and communication links in cloud and fog computing, which not only impact the latency, but also impair the accuracy of the computation. Furthermore, performing computations over possibly untrustable (and even potentially byzantine) remote servers, pose serious concerns about security and privacy.
This seminar is a very condensed version of the tutorial I gave on the topic with two of my colleagues at GLOBECOM 2019. We will show how channel coding is a powerful tool to overcome these challenges above, bringing significant improvements in terms of latency and accuracy, as well as providing security and privacy.
Alexandre Graell i Amat is a Professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. He is also an Adjunct Research Scientist with Simula UiB, Bergen, Norway.
He received the MSc degree in Telecommunications Engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, in 2001, and the MSc and the PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy, in 2000 and 2004, respectively. Prior to joining Chalmers, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Magnetic Recording Research, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA during 2001-2002. He also held a visiting appointment at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and at the Telecommunications Technological Center of Catalonia, both in Barcelona, during 2002-2003. During 2001-2004, he also held a part-time appointment at STMicroelectronics Data Storage Division, Milan, Italy, as consultant on coding for magnetic recording channels.
He held faculty appointments at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (2004-2005), and ENST Bretagne (2006-2010), Brest France. He joined Chalmers in 2011.
Alexandre is currently serving as Area Editor (Coding and Information Theory) for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMMUNICATIONS. He also served as Editor at Large for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMMUNICATIONS (2016-2019) and as Associate Editor for the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMMUNICATIONS (2011-2016), and the IEEE COMMUNICATIONS LETTERS (2011-2013). He is the TPC Co-Chair of the IEEE International Symposium on Topics in Coding, Montreal, Canada, September 2020. He was the General Co-Chair of the IEEE International Symposium on Turbo Codes & Iterative Information Processing, Gothenburg, Sweden, August 2012. He received the post-doctoral Juan de la Cierva Fellowship of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, and the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Intra-European Fellowship of the European Commission. He was awarded the IEEE Communications Society "2010 Europe, Middle East & Africa Region Outstanding Young Researcher Award".
His research interests are in the field of coding theory and its application to areas including distributed computing, privacy, optical communications, and DNA storage.