UCSC-SOE-16-10: Popper: Making Reproducible Systems Performance Evaluation Practical

Ivo Jimenez, Michael Sevilla, Noah Watkins, Carlos Maltzahn
05/19/2016 09:22 AM
Computer Science
Independent validation of experimental results in the field of parallel and distributed systems research is a chal- lenging task, mainly due to changes and differences in software and hardware in computational environments. Recreating an environment that resembles the original systems research is difficult and time-consuming. In this paper we introduce the Popper Convention, a set of principles for producing scientific publications. Concretely, we make the case for treating an article as an open source software (OSS) project, applying software engineering best-practices to manage its associated artifacts and maintain the reproducibility of its findings. Leveraging existing cloud-computing infrastructure and modern OSS development tools to produce academic articles that are easy to validate. We present our prototype file system, GassyFS, as a use case for illustrating the usefulness of this approach. We show how, by following Popper, re-executing experiments on multiple platforms is more practical, allowing reviewers and students to quickly get to the point of getting results without relying on the author’s intervention.