ACM names Khuzaima Daudjee Distinguished Member

Thursday, December 15, 2022

The Association for Computing Machinery has named Cheriton School of Computer Science Professor Khuzaima Daudjee a Distinguished Member for his outstanding scientific contributions to computing.

“On behalf of ACM and the Distinguished Member Committee, I am delighted that you are among the inductees honored with this designation and congratulate you on this well-deserved recognition,” wrote Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Chair of the ACM Distinguished Member Committee, in her letter to Professor Daudjee.

photo of Professor Khuzaima Daudjee

Professor Daudjee conducts systems-oriented research and is a member of two research groups at the Cheriton School of Computer Science: Data Systems and Systems and Networking.

Under the ACM category of outstanding scientific contributions to computing, to which Professor Daudjee’s recognition belongs, 56 distinguished scientists were elected in 2022.

“Congratulations to Khuzaima on receiving this significant and well-deserved honour from ACM,” said Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science. “He is among an esteemed group of researchers at the School of Computer Science, as well as nationally and internationally, who not only conduct transformative research but also train, mentor and inspire students to do the same.”

Professor Daudjee designs and develops systems that store and manage data. His research thrusts are in three main areas: large-scale and adaptive data management, storage, and provision of systems-level support for applications such as stream and graph processing. His work on large-scale and adaptive systems ranges from building systems such as ConfluxDB that scale through data replication and partitioning to those such as MorphoSys and Dendrite that generate on-the-fly, autonomous, physical designs and impart adaptivity to improve system performance by understanding workload data access patterns.

Professor Daudjee’s work on storage systems has resulted in designs that pave the way for self-driving data systems such as Proteus that can adapt their distributed design to different workloads, and ChronoCache that can predictively cache results for future queries. The EC-Store system shows how cloud-scale erasure-coded storage has the potential to outperform replicated storage. In streaming systems, understanding the progress and distribution of data streams has led to the design of an efficient scheduler called Klink built into the open-source Apache Flink streaming engine.

Professor Daudjee performed a first comprehensive study of graph processing systems. The Barrierless Asynchronous Parallel model that followed, built into the open-source Giraph system, splits graph computation into smaller logical steps allowing computation to progress while minimizing delays from stragglers. His work on the design of Hermes, a distributed graph system on top of the centralized Neo4j open-source system, looks at incoming workload requests and selects a data layout over multiple machines to minimize graph traversals. He also contributed to the HDRF graph partitioning technique that generates efficient graph data layouts and has become influential in the design and evaluation of graph partitioners.

A key focus of Professor Daudjee’s work is on building scalable and elastic systems, leading to evaluation and benchmarking on large clusters of machines. For example, his work on graph processing systems was deployed and benchmarked on more than 100 machines.

Professor Daudjee and his graduate and undergraduate students received the ACM SIGMOD Best Demonstration Award in 2020 and again in 2021, as well as a Best Paper Award at the ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing in 2015. He is most proud of the achievements of his students, one of whom has received a Governor General’s Gold Medal — the top university-wide award — and another who received a Facebook Emerging Scholar Award.

“I am grateful to all my wonderful students, collaborators and mentors,” says Professor Daudjee. “They have provided an environment driven by intellectual curiosity and insight that is conducive to developing novel system solutions to meet research challenges.”

He is the eleventh faculty member at the Cheriton School of Computer Science to be recognized as a Distinguished Member by ACM, following Professors Florian Kerschbaum (2019), Ian Goldberg (2017), Kenneth Salem (2017), Jo Atlee (2016), Charles Clarke (2015), Ihab Ilyas (2014), Mark Giesbrecht (2013), Don Cowan (2010), Anna Lubiw (2009), and Jeffrey Shallit (2008).

The Association for Computing Machinery is the world’s largest and most well-known scientific and educational computing society. To be recognized as an ACM Distinguished Member, awardees must have achieved a significant research accomplishment or made a substantial impact in computing, computer science, or information technology.

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