SIGARCH FY'04 Annual Report
July 2003 - June 2004
Submitted by: Norm Jouppi, SIGARCH Chair
The primary mission of SIGARCH continues to be the forum where researchers and practitioners of computer architecture can exchange ideas. SIGARCH sponsors or cosponsors the premier conferences in the field as well as a number of workshops. It publishes a quarterly newsletter and the proceedings of several conferences. It is financially strong with a fund balance of over one million dollars.
Officers and Directors
Like most SIGs, SIGARCH holds its elections every two years, and the most recent election was held in the spring of 2003. Norm Jouppi of HP currently serves as SIGARCH Chair, with Margaret Martonosi of Princeton as Vice Chair and Matt Farrens of UC Davis as Secretary/Treasurer. SIGARCH has a four member Board of Directors, which currently consist of Alan Berenbaum, Joel Emer, Bill Dally, and Mark Hill. In addition to these elected positions, Doug DeGroot serves as the Editor of the SIGARCH newsletter Computer Architecture News and Doug Burger serves as Information Director, providing SIGARCH information online.
The Eckert-Mauchly Award, cosponsored by the IEEE Computer Society, is the most prestigious award in computer architecture. SIGARCH endows its half of the award, which is presented annually at the Awards Banquet of ISCA. Frederick P. Brooks Jr. received the award in 2004 "for the definition of computer architecture and contributions to the concept of computer families and to the principles of instruction set design; for seminal contributions in instruction sequencing, including interrupt systems and execute instructions; and for contributions to the IBM 360 instruction set architecture." Coincidentally this year was also the 40th anniversary of the introduction of the IBM 360 product family.
SIGARCH endows the Maurice Wilkes Award, an award established to recognize computer architects early in their careers, named after one of the pioneers of computer architecture who began making significant contributions early in his career. The award is selected by a vote of the Executive Committee and Board of SIGARCH, from a list of nominees supplied by a three person nominating committee. The 2004 award went to Kourosh Gharachorloo, now of Google, "for outstanding contributions in the area of memory consistency models in shared-memory multiprocessors."
SIGARCH also cosponsors, along with the IEEE-CS TCCA, the Influential ISCA Paper Award which is presented annually at the ISCA conference. This award recognizes the paper, presented at the ISCA conference 15 years previously, which has had the most impact on computer architecture. The second Influential ISCA Paper Award was presented to Steven Przybylski, John Hennessy, and Mark Horowitz for their "Characteristics of Performance-Optimal Multi-Level Cache Hierarchies" which appeared in the proceedings of the 16th ISCA (1989).
All three awards, the Eckert-Mauchly Award, the Maurice Wilkes Award, and the Influential ISCA Paper Award were presented at ISCA 2004 in Munchen, Germany.
SIGARCH is a 50% cosponsor of ISCA, the International Symposium on Computer Architecture, which is the premier conference in the field of computer architecture. The 31st Annual ISCA, ISCA 2004, was held in Munchen Germany. Michel Dubois and Arndt Bode were General Co-Chairs, and Per Stenstrom was the Program Chair. ISCA 2005 is planned to be an all-Wisconsin affair, to be held in Madison, Wisconsin, with Guri Sohi as General Chair and Mark Hill as Program Chair. ISCA 2006 will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with Mateo Valero serving as Program Chair and David Kaeli as General Chair. ISCA 2007 is currently planned to be part of ACM FCRC 2007 in San Diego, California.
The SC'XY Conference is jointly sponsored by SIGARCH and the IEEE Computer Society. Formerly known as the Supercomputing Conference, the conference has successfully evolved away from its focus on supercomputers and is now the High Performance Networking and Computing Conference. In addition to its technical success, SC'XY is large enough that it must be scheduled many years in advance. SC 2003 was held in Phoenix, Arizona, in November 2003. Future planned sites include Pittsburgh (2004) and Seattle.
SIGARCH is a 50% cosponsor of the Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, commonly known as ASPLOS, along with SIGPLAN and SIGOPS. The conference has been held biannually since 1982, alternating its location between San Jose and Boston. The next ASPLOS, to be held in Boston in 2004, will have Shubu Mukherjee of Intel as the General Chair and Kathryn McKinley of University of Texas as the Program Chair.
The 2004 International Conference on Supercomputing took place in Saint-Malo France, in June. Paul Feautrier was the General Chair and James Goodman and Andr Seznec were Program Co-Chairs.
The sixteenth Symposium on Parallel Algorithms and Architectures (SPAA 2004), jointly sponsored by SIGARCH and SIGACT, was held in Barcelona, Spain, in June. Micah Adler of the University of Massachusetts was Program Chair and Phil Gibbons of Intel Research was General Chair. The seventeenth SPAA will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, in July 2005.
SIGARCH is one-third cosponsor of the Conference on Parallel Architectures and Compiler Techniques (PACT), along with the IEEE Computer Society and IFIP, and annually held in the fall. PACT 2004 will take place in Antibes Juan-les-Pins, France, in September and October. Mateo Valero and Josep-L. Larriba-Pey, both of UPC will be Program Co-Chairs, and Michel Cosnard, of INRIA & UNSA and Ulrich Finger of EURECOM is General Co-Chairs.
In addition to the above conferences, SIGARCH has taken a small sponsorship position, or in-cooperation status, with several other conferences. For the last several years SIGARCH has been a minor sponsor of the International Conference on High Performance Computing (HiPC), held annually in December and alternating between Bangalore and Hyderabad, India. SIGARCH also has a small sponsorship position in CCGrid, a conference on grid computing held annually in Japan. SIGARCH is also taking a small sponsorship position with SenSys, a conference on Sensor Systems. In addition, SIGARCH has also been in in-cooperation status with MASCOTS and IPDPS.
SIGARCH annually gives travel grants to students who attend ISCA or ASPLOS. The grants are restricted to student members of SIGARCH, following several votes of the SIGARCH membership. The precise amount of the grants depends on the number of students who apply, but we have made an attempt to give at least a little to every student coauthor who applied.
SIGARCH has also funded significant education programs at SC'03 and SC'04.
CAN (Computer Architecture News), SIGARCH's newsletter, is published 4 times a year. In addition, the ISCA Proceedings form a special fifth issue, and, every other year, the ASPLOS Proceedings is likewise distributed as a special issue. The newsletter consists of technical contributions, reports of panels, Internet nuggets (the most interesting or controversial articles from the comp.arch newsgroup), book reviews, and call for papers. There are occasional single topic special issues. Proceedings of SC, SPAA and ICS are available through the Member Plus program.
In 2003 SIGARCH, thanks to the efforts of SIGARCH Past Chair Alan Berenbaum, issued a DVD-ROM containing all the ISCA proceedings from 1973 through 2003. This was sent to all members of SIGARCH as a free benefit.
SIGARCH enjoys a very healthy fund balance, currently over one million dollars. SIGARCH actually loses money on each member, but makes money from conference surpluses. The SC conference often has a large surplus due to its exhibition component. SIGARCH and the SC Steering Committee have agreed that future profits from SC'XY will be in large part returned to the SC community, in the form of a series of large project-oriented grants (to be matched by the other sponsor of SC'XY, the IEEE Computer Society). In 2004 the grants provided funds for mentoring and education programs for the community.
Like many SIGs, SIGARCH membership is slowly decreasing. There is some consolation in that the membership retention rate is among the highest rates of the long-established SIGs, and membership was essentially flat in the past year.
SIGARCH remains a financially healthy institution with an enthusiastic membership. The interest of its members can be gauged by the health of all of its major conferences in the past year. The challenges remain as they have in previous years: how to retain the members we do have, and to encourage others to join, as well has how to use the large fund balance most effectively.
ACM Queue’s “Research for Practice” serves up expert-curated guides to the best of computing research, and relates these breakthroughs to the challenges that software engineers face every day. This installment, “The DevOps Phenomenon” by Anna Wiedemann, Nicole Forsgren, Manuel Wiesche, Heiko Gewald and Helmut Krcmar, gives an overview of stories from across the industry about software organizations overcoming early hurdles of adopting DevOps practices, and coming out on the other side with tighter integration between software and operations teams, faster delivery times for new software features, and achieving higher levels of stability.
Written by leading domain experts for software engineers, ACM Case Studies provide an in-depth look at how software teams overcome specific challenges by implementing new technologies, adopting new practices, or a combination of both. Often through first-hand accounts, these pieces explore what the challenges were, the tools and techniques that were used to combat them, and the solution that was achieved.