Rachid Guerraoui

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Rachid Guerraoui (born January 5, 1967) is a Moroccan-Swiss computer scientist and a professor at the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), known for his contributions in the fields of concurrent and distributed computing.[1][2] He is an ACM Fellow[3] and the Chair in Informatics and Computational Science for the year 2018–2019 at Collège de France for distributed computing.[4]

Education and career[edit]

Guerraoui received his PhD from University of Orsay (1992) and has been affiliated with Ecole des Mines of Paris, the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique of Saclay, Hewlett Packard Laboratories and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[5] He is an associate (area) editor of the Journal of the ACM[6] and is the co-author of several books, including "Algorithms of Concurrent Systems",[7] "Introduction to Reliable and Secure Distributed Programming"[8] and "Principles of Transactional Memory".[9] He won an ERC Advanced Grant Award (2013)[10] and the Google Focused Award (2014).[11]

With his co-workers, Guerraoui received Best Paper Awards at the following scientific conferences: ACM Middleware (2016, 2014, 2012), ICDCN (2011), Eurosys (2010), DISC (2010) and OPODIS (2006).[2] He also received the 10-Year Best Paper Award at Middleware 2014,[12]

Beyond his scientific and academic work, Guerraoui works on popularization of computer science. He co-initiated the Wandida teaching project on YouTube,[13] a library of 300++ videos on computer science and mathematics with 2.5 million views and over 25 thousand subscribers, as well as the Zettabytes education project, a library of videos related to introducing major computer science discoveries and open problems to the general public.[14]

Focal research areas and main publications[edit]

Guerraoui worked on establishing theoretical foundations of Transactional Memory (TM). He co-defined a concept he called opacity,[15] used for establishing correctness of TMs. On the practical side, he co-devised elastic transactions[16] and co-designed SwissTM,[17] a throughput-efficient software transactional memory (STM) as well as a benchmark for TM systems, STMBench7.[18]

Earlier, Guerraoui studied scalable information dissemination methods. His paper on lightweight epidemic broadcast[19] was the first to consider the partial and/or out-of-sync views of different processes in a gossip-based distributed system. This paper, together with Guerraoui's paper on the underlying membership service,[20] gained over 1250 citations combined as of 2018, among which a number of theory papers on the analysis of gossip protocols in realistic settings.[21]

Rachid Guerraoui has a proven record of investigating the foundations of asynchronous distributed computations. For instance, Guerraoui co-established lower bounds for asynchronous gossiping and renaming.[22][23] He further proved fundamental results on the relationships between classical distributed computing problems, such as atomic commitment[24] and consensus, for which he helped close the then open problem of the weakest failure detector for consensus with any number of faults and co-established a new classification of distributed computing problems.[25] Guerraoui further co-defined a general methodology to build highly concurrent asynchronous data structures[26][27] and has shown how asynchrony can help build pseudo-random numbers.[28]

Guerraoui invented the mathematical abstraction of indulgence[29] to precisely capture the essence of asynchronous algorithms of which safety does not depend on timing assumptions, such as Lamport's Paxos or Castro-Liskov's PBFT. Guerraoui used that concept to co-define a general framework for secure and reliable distributed protocols.[30]


  1. ^ "dblp: Rachid Guerraoui". dblp.uni-trier.de. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  2. ^ a b "EPFL - DCL - Rachid GUERRAOUI". lpdwww.epfl.ch. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  3. ^ Walther, Alexandra (2012-12-14). "Prof. Guerraoui and Prof. Sifakis elected as ACM Fellows". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Sayed, Inka (2018-06-15). "Rachid Guerraoui appointed Digital Chair by Collège de France". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Rachid Guerraoui : Biography and current work". people.epfl.ch (in French). Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  6. ^ "ACM JACM". Journal of the ACM. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  7. ^ "Algorithms for Concurrent Systems". www.ppur.org (in French). Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  8. ^ Introduction to Reliable and Secure Distributed Programming | Christian Cachin | Springer. Springer. 2011. ISBN 9783642152597.
  9. ^ Guerraoui, Rachid; Kapałka, Michał (2010). "Principles of Transactional Memory". Synthesis Lectures on Distributed Computing Theory. 1 (1): 1–193. doi:10.2200/s00253ed1v01y201009dct004. ISSN 2155-1626.
  10. ^ "Guerraoui Wins an ERC Grant". EcoCloud. 2013-09-17. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  11. ^ Madry, Kamila (2013-11-04). "Prof. Rachid Guerraoui received a Google Focused Award". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ Walther, Alexandra (2014-12-17). "Middleware 2014 and 10-Years Best Paper Award for Rachid Guerraoui". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. ^ "Wandida, EPFL". YouTube. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  14. ^ "ZettaBytes, EPFL". YouTube. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  15. ^ Guerraoui, Rachid; Kapalka, Michal (2008). "On the correctness of transactional memory". Proceedings of the 13th ACM SIGPLAN Symposium on Principles and practice of parallel programming - PPoPP '08. p. 175. CiteSeerX doi:10.1145/1345206.1345233. ISBN 9781595937957.
  16. ^ Felber, Pascal; Gramoli, Vincent; Guerraoui, Rachid (2017). "Elastic transactions". Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing. 100: 103–127. doi:10.1016/j.jpdc.2016.10.010.
  17. ^ Dragojevik, Aleksandar; Felber, Pascal; Gramoli, Vincent; Guerraoui, Rachid (2011). "Why STM can be more than a research toy". Communications of the ACM. 54 (4): 70. CiteSeerX doi:10.1145/1924421.1924440.
  18. ^ Guerraoui, Rachid; Kapalka, Michal; Vitek, Jan (2007). "STMBench7". ACM Sigops Operating Systems Review. 41 (3): 315. doi:10.1145/1272998.1273029.
  19. ^ Eugster, P. Th.; Guerraoui, R.; Handurukande, S. B.; Kouznetsov, P.; Kermarrec, A.-M. (2003). "Lightweight probabilistic broadcast". ACM Transactions on Computer Systems. 21 (4): 341–374. CiteSeerX doi:10.1145/945506.945507.
  20. ^ Jelasity, Márk; Voulgaris, Spyros; Guerraoui, Rachid; Kermarrec, Anne-Marie; Van Steen, Maarten (2007). "Gossip-based peer sampling". ACM Transactions on Computer Systems. 25 (3): 8–es. CiteSeerX doi:10.1145/1275517.1275520.
  21. ^ "rachid guerraoui - Google Scholar Citations". scholar.google.com. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  22. ^ Georgiou, Chryssis; Gilbert, Seth; Guerraoui, Rachid; Kowalski, Dariusz R. (2013). "Asynchronous gossip". Journal of the ACM. 60 (2): 1–42. doi:10.1145/2450142.2450147.
  23. ^ Alistarh, Dan; Aspnes, James; Censor-Hillel, Keren; Gilbert, Seth; Guerraoui, Rachid (2014). "Tight Bounds for Asynchronous Renaming". Journal of the ACM. 61 (3): 1–51. CiteSeerX doi:10.1145/2597630.
  24. ^ Guerraoui, Rachid (2002). "Non-blocking atomic commit in asynchronous distributed systems with failure detectors". Distributed Computing. 15: 17–25. CiteSeerX doi:10.1007/s446-002-8027-4.
  25. ^ Fauconnier, Carole Delporte-Gallet Hugues; Guerraoui, Rachid (2010). "Tight failure detection bounds on atomic object implementations". Journal of the ACM. 57 (4): 1–32. CiteSeerX doi:10.1145/1734213.1734216.
  26. ^ David, Tudor; Guerraoui, Rachid; Trigonakis, Vasileios (2013). "Everything you always wanted to know about synchronization but were afraid to ask". Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles - SOSP '13. pp. 33–48. CiteSeerX doi:10.1145/2517349.2522714. ISBN 9781450323888.
  27. ^ David, Tudor; Guerraoui, Rachid; Trigonakis, Vasileios (2015). "Asynchronized Concurrency". ACM SIGPLAN Notices. 50 (4): 631–644. doi:10.1145/2775054.2694359.
  28. ^ Antoniadis, Karolos; Blanchard, Peva; Guerraoui, Rachid; Stainer, Julien (2018). "The entropy of a distributed computation random number generation from memory interleaving". Distributed Computing. 31 (5): 389–417. doi:10.1007/s00446-017-0311-5.
  29. ^ Guerraoui, Rachid (2000). "Indulgent algorithms (preliminary version)". Proceedings of the nineteenth annual ACM symposium on Principles of distributed computing - PODC '00. pp. 289–297. CiteSeerX doi:10.1145/343477.343630. ISBN 978-1581131833.
  30. ^ Aublin, Pierre-Louis; Guerraoui, Rachid; Knežević, Nikola; Quéma, Vivien; Vukolić, Marko (2015). "The Next 700 BFT Protocols". ACM Transactions on Computer Systems. 32 (4): 1–45. doi:10.1145/2658994.