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  1. Edge computing has emerged as a popular paradigm for running latency-sensitive applications due to its ability to offer lower network latencies to end-users. In this paper, we argue that despite its lower network latency, the resource-constrained nature of the edge can result in higher end-to-end latency, especially at higher utilizations, when compared to cloud data centers. We study this edge performance inversion problem through an analytic comparison of edge and cloud latencies and analyze conditions under which the edge can yield worse performance than the cloud. To verify our analytic results, we conduct a detailed experimental comparison of the edge and the cloud latencies using a realistic application and real cloud workloads. Both our analytical and experimental results show that even at moderate utilizations, the edge queuing delays can offset the benefits of lower network latencies, and even result in performance inversion where running in the cloud would provide superior latencies. We finally discuss practical implications of our results and provide insights into how application designers and service providers should design edge applications and systems to avoid these pitfalls. 
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  2. Contact tracing is a well-established and effective approach for the containment of the spread of infectious diseases. While Bluetooth-based contact tracing method using phones has become popular recently, these approaches suffer from the need for a critical mass adoption to be effective. In this paper, we present WiFiTrace, a network-centric approach for contact tracing that relies on passive WiFi sensing with no client-side involvement. Our approach exploits WiFi network logs gathered by enterprise networks for performance and security monitoring, and utilizes them for reconstructing device trajectories for contact tracing. Our approach is specifically designed to enhance the efficacy of traditional methods, rather than to supplant them with new technology. We designed an efficient graph algorithm to scale our approach to large networks with tens of thousands of users. The graph-based approach outperforms an indexed PostgresSQL in memory by at least 4.5X without any index update overheads or blocking. We have implemented a full prototype of our system and deployed it on two large university campuses. We validated our approach and demonstrate its efficacy using case studies and detailed experiments using real-world WiFi datasets. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    Serverless computing has emerged as a new paradigm for running short-lived computations in the cloud. Due to its ability to handle IoT workloads, there has been considerable interest in running serverless functions at the edge. However, the constrained nature of the edge and the latency sensitive nature of workloads result in many challenges for serverless platforms. In this paper, we present LaSS, a platform that uses model-driven approaches for running latency-sensitive serverless computations on edge resources. LaSS uses principled queuing-based methods to determine an appropriate allocation for each hosted function and auto-scales the allocated resources in response to workload dynamics. LaSS uses a fair-share allocation approach to guarantee a minimum of allocated resources to each function in the presence of overload. In addition, it utilizes resource reclamation methods based on container deflation and termination to reassign resources from over-provisioned functions to under-provisioned ones. We implement a prototype of our approach on an OpenWhisk serverless edge cluster and conduct a detailed experimental evaluation. Our results show that LaSS can accurately predict the resources needed for serverless functions in the presence of highly dynamic workloads, and reprovision container capacity within hundreds of milliseconds while maintaining fair share allocation guarantees. 
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  4. Transient computing has become popular in public cloud environments for running delay-insensitive batch and data processing applications at low cost. Since transient cloud servers can be revoked at any time by the cloud provider, they are considered unsuitable for running interactive application such as web services. In this paper, we present VM deflation as an alternative mechanism to server preemption for reclaiming resources from transient cloud servers under resource pressure. Using real traces from top-tier cloud providers, we show the feasibility of using VM deflation as a resource reclamation mechanism for interactive applications in public clouds. We show how current hypervisor mechanisms can be used to implement VM deflation and present cluster deflation policies for resource management of transient and on-demand cloud VMs. Experimental evaluation of our deflation system on a Linux cluster shows that microservice-based applications can be deflated by up to 50% with negligible performance overhead. Our cluster-level deflation policies allow overcommitment levels as high as 50%, with less than a 1% decrease in application throughput, and can enable cloud platforms to increase revenue by 30% 
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