Prof. Dror Feitelson

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Research Interests

I am the head of the Experimental Systems Lab here at Hebrew University, formerly the parallel systems lab, but we hardly work on parallel systems any more.

My own research centers on performance evaluation and software engineering. In performance evaluation the focus is mainly on workload characterization and modeling. This is part of a wider interest in experimental computer science in general. In software engineering the focus is on program comprehension, i.e. what makes it hard to understand code, and on software evolution.

Here are some details.

Workload characterization and modeling
I am interested in analyzing and characterizing the actual usage of parallel and other systems, with the long-term goal of placing research on a more solid foundation (i.e. use measurements rather than assumptions as a basis). This sometimes leads to pretty pictures. The modeling part emphasizes generative user-based models, including the use of resampling and feedback effects. As part of this effort I maintain the Parallel Workloads Archive, which contains workload logs from various production installations, workload models proposed in the literature, and a bibliographical listing. I also wrote a book on this subject.

Software engineering
I'm interested in how software evolves and why it is difficult to understand. The main vehicle for research on evolution is the repository of all past releases of the Linux kernel. As for understanding, we're looking into complexity metrics and in particular how code regularity may affect perceived complexity. One day this may lead to work on additional human aspects of software development.

Parallel job scheduling
This refers to scheduling parallel jobs for execution by an operating system, as opposed to off-line task scheduling. I have worked on gang scheduling and backfilling. I am also the founding co-organizer of a series of workshops on this topic, which are held annually since 1995 in conjunction with other major conferences. Their proceedings are available from Springer-Verlag as part of the LNCS series.
Other things I've worked on in the past include
Operating systems and scheduling
My students have developed interesting ideas regarding scheduling for multimedia and removing ticks from operating systems. See the web pages of Yoav Etsion and Dan Tsafrir. In addition we worked on fair share allocation, mainly in the context of virtualization.

Parallel systems
I've worked on a couple of experimental parallel system: the Makbilan multiprocessor and the ParPar cluster here at Hebrew University, and also on early versions of the IBM SP in my postdoc. More details in the Parallel Systems Lab.

Parallel I/O
This is what I did in my postdoc at IBM Research, which culminated with the implementation of the Vesta parallel file system (the basis for IBM's PIOFS) (work with Peter Corbett). I was also involved in the inception of the MPI-IO standard proposal, which was later incorporated into MPI-2.

Digital libraries
I did some work on digital libraries, and implemented a neat system called BoW for “bibliography on the web”; this is a bibliographical repository on the topic of parallel systems.

Optical Computing
In the more distant past I wrote an extensive survey on optical computing, and did some work on using optical networks.


1982-1985 BSc in Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science, at the Hebrew University.
1985-1987 MSc in Computer Science at Hebrew University.
Thesis subject: a survey of optical computing.
Advisors: Prof. Danny Dolev and Prof. Larry Rudolph.
1987-1991 PhD in Computer Science at Hebrew University.
Thesis subject: gang scheduling with distributed hierarchical control.
Advisor: Prof. Larry Rudolph.
1992-1995 Postdoc at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown heights, NY.
Worked mainly on the Vesta parallel file system, which was the basis for the Parallel I/O File System on the IBM SP2.
Host: Prof. Marc Snir.
since fall 1995 Lecturer of Computer Science at Hebrew University.
May 2002 Promoted to Senior Lecturer with tenure.
2004-2005 Sabattical at Vanderbilt University.
Host: Prof. Steve Schach.
Nov 2006 Promoted to Associate Professor.
Sep 2014 Promoted to Full Professor.

Contact Information

Dror Feitelson
The Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering
Edmond J. Safra Campus 
The Hebrew University
91904 Jerusalem, ISRAEL


Phone (+fax): +972-2-549-4555

Office: Rothberg A311

Background: The background color of this page is supposed to be reminiscent of the red granite rocks in the Santa Katarina area in the Sinai peninsula. This is my favorite type of rock.

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Last modified: 7 Sep 2014 /