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  1. Our extensive real measurements over Amazon EC2 show that the virtual instances often have different computing speeds even if they share the same configurations. This motivates us to study heterogeneous Coded Storage Elastic Computing (CSEC) systems where machines, with different computing speeds, join and leave the network arbitrarily over different computing steps. In CSEC systems, a Maximum Distance Separable (MDS) code is used for coded storage such that the file placement does not have to be re-defined with each elastic event. Computation assignment algorithms are used to minimize the computation time given computation speeds of different machines. While previous studies of heterogeneous CSEC do not include stragglers - the slow machines during the computation, we develop a new framework in heterogeneous CSEC that introduces straggler tolerance. Based on this framework, we design a novel algorithm using our previously proposed approach for heterogeneous CSEC such that the system can handle any subset of stragglers of a specified size while minimizing the computation time. Furthermore, we establish a trade-off in computation time and straggler tolerance. Another major limitation of existing CSEC designs is the lack of practical evaluations using real applications. In this paper, we evaluate the performance of our designs on Amazon EC2 for applications of the power iteration and linear regression. Evaluation results show that the proposed heterogeneous CSEC algorithms outperform the state-of-the-art designs by more than 30%. 
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    We propose a flexible low complexity design (FLCD) of coded distributed computing (CDC) with empirical evaluation on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). CDC can expedite MapReduce like computation by trading increased map computations to reduce communication load and shuffle time. A main novelty of FLCD is to utilize the design freedom in defining map and reduce functions to develop asymptotic homogeneous systems to support varying intermediate values (IV) sizes under a general MapReduce framework. Compared to existing designs with constant IV sizes, FLCD offers greater flexibility in adapting to network parameters and significantly reduces the implementation complexity by requiring fewer input files and shuffle groups. The FLCD scheme is the first proposed low-complexity CDC design that can operate on a network with an arbitrary number of nodes and computation load. We perform empirical evaluations of the FLCD by executing the TeraSort algorithm on an Amazon EC2 cluster. This is the first time that theoretical predictions of the CDC shuffle time are validated by empirical evaluations. The evaluations demonstrate a 2.0 to 4.24 speedup compared to conventional uncoded MapReduce, a 12% to 52% reduction in total time, and a wider range of operating network parameters compared to existing CDC schemes. 
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  6. We study the optimal design of a heterogeneous coded elastic computing (CEC) network where machines have varying relative computation speeds. CEC introduced by Yang et al. is a framework which mitigates the impact of elastic events, where machines join and leave the network. A set of data is distributed among storage constrained machines using a Maximum Distance Separable (MDS) code such that any subset of machines of a specific size can perform the desired computations. This design eliminates the need to re-distribute the data after each elastic event. In this work, we develop a process for an arbitrary heterogeneous computing network to minimize the overall computation time by defining an optimal computation load, or number of computations assigned to each machine. We then present an algorithm to define a specific computation assignment among the machines that makes use of the MDS code and meets the optimal computation load. 
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  7. We propose capacity-achieving schemes for private information retrieval (PIR) from uncoded databases (DBs) with both homogeneous and heterogeneous storage constraints. In the PIR setting, a user queries a set of DBs to privately download a message, where privacy implies that no one DB can infer which message the user desires. In general, a PIR scheme is comprised of storage placement and delivery designs. Previous works have derived the capacity, or infimum download cost, of PIR with uncoded storage placement and sufficient conditions of storage placement to meet capacity. However, the currently proposed storage placement designs require splitting each message into an exponential number of sub-messages with respect to the number of DBs. In this work, when DBs have the same storage constraint, we propose two simple storage placement designs that satisfy the capacity conditions. Then, for more general heterogeneous storage constraints, we translate the storage placement design process into a “filling problem”. We design an iterative algorithm to solve the filling problem where, in each iteration, messages are partitioned into sub-messages and stored at subsets of DBs. All of our proposed storage placement designs require a number of sub-messages per message at most equal to the number of DBs. 
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  8. We propose a capacity-achieving scheme for private information retrieval (PIR) from databases (DBs) with heterogeneous storage constraints. In the PIR setting, a user queries a set of DBs to privately download a message, where privacy implies that no one DB can infer which message the user desires. Our PIR scheme uses an uncoded storage placement and we derive sufficient conditions to meet capacity in this design architecture. We translate the storage placement design to a "filling problem" where messages are partitioned into sub- messages and stored at subsets of DBs. We prove a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of the filling problem solution and design an iterative algorithm to find a filling problem solution. Our proposed algorithm requires at most a number of iterations equal to the number of DBs. Furthermore, we significantly reduce the number of sub-messages compared to the state-of- the-art PIR scheme, as our proposed PIR scheme requires that each message is split into a polynomial number of sub-messages with respect to the number of DBs. 
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