Past Meetup

PwL Conf Recap/Networking

This Meetup is past

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George Mason University - Founders Hall #479

3351 Fairfax Drive · Fairfax, VA

How to find us

NOTE: THE ROOM HAS CHANGED. For instructions on how to get to Founders Hall:

Location image of event venue


Welcome to the DC/NoVA Papers We Love meetup! We're finally back to autumn, and we'll celebrate the cooling temperatures with some research papers.

NOTE: Due to some recent schedule changes, we're going to try something different for this month. The first ever PwL Conf took place a couple weeks ago, so the first half of our meeting will be focused on a recap. For the second half of the meeting, we'll move to Northside Social and get to know each other better. For more details, check the schedule below.

// Tentative Schedule

• 7:30-7:35–Introduction and announcements

• 7:35-7:45–Lightning Talk: In Search of an Understandable Consensus Algorithm (

• 7:45-8:00–PwL Conf Recap by Howard Miller

• 8:00-9:00–Randomized Gossip Methods ( (video + discussion) by Dahlia Malkhi (

• > 9:00–Join us at Northside Social ( for food and more discussion. "Community" was one of the top priorities in the interest survey, so let's go build it!

// Directions (NOTE: new room number)

Founders Hall, Room #[masked] North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA[masked] (map (,+3351+Fairfax+Dr,+Arlington,+VA+22201/@38.8850248,-77.1033028,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89b7b682f352c1c9:0x3d2c0ecf1f67e06f!8m2!3d38.8850248!4d-77.1011141))

Check here ( for directions to the GMU Arlington campus from various directions.

By Metro: Take the Orange Line to the Virginia Square/GMU station–the Arlington Campus is approximately 2 blocks away. Take the escalator to the street level, and turn to face Fairfax Drive. Across the street and to the right, you will see the FDIC building. Cross the street and continue past the FDIC building. The Arlington Campus is on the left.

Parking: Street parking in most areas is free after 6pm. You can also find free parking in the residential areas surrounding the college if you don't mind a short walk.

If you're late, we totally understand–please still come! Just be sure to slip in quietly if a speaker is presenting.

// Papers

Randomized Gossip Methods by Dahlia Malkhi (

homepage ( | video ( | slides (

For this segment, we're going to watch a video of one of the presentations from PwL Conf and then discuss it. The descriptions below are from the homepage.

Summary: A family of network protocols are built around the following "random phone call" framework:

In a round, each player selects a communication partner among its network neighbors uniformly at random and "calls" it; the two players now connect in a protocol-specific exchange.

The talk will touch on three protocols from this family and relate them to each other.

This talk references several papers.

- Epidemic algorithms for replicated database maintenance
- Resource Discovery in Distributed Networks
- Randomized Rumor Spreading (
- SWIM: Scalable Weakly-consistent Infection-style Process Group Membership Protocol

About Dahlia Malkhi:

Dahlia Malkhi is an applied and foundational researcher since the early nineties in broad aspects of reliability and security in distributed systems, working on large-scale systems infrastructure. She co-founded VMWare Research and Corfu (, a cloud scale consistency platform project.

• In Search of an Understandable Consensus Algorithm by Diego Ongaro ( and John Ousterhout (
Presented by Lee Sharma

homepage | pdf (

Summary: Also known as "the Raft paper", this paper describes the Raft consensus algorithm. While this paper does address an important topic, it was selected because it really is an excellent paper. In fact, a slightly shorter version of this paper received a Best Paper Award at the 2014 USENIX Annual Technical Conference.

For more resources including further papers, visualizations, and, full-length presentations, visit the homepage (