Michael J. Freedman

Digital Library

ACM Fellows

USA - 2019


For contributions to robust distributed systems for the modern cloud

Press Release

ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award

USA - 2018


For the design and deployment of self-organizing geo-distributed systems.

Historically, distributed systems were designed for homogenous environments: local clusters, flat peer-to-peer deployments, or abstract models for theoretical analysis. Michael showed how to build scalable, performant, and autonomous distributed systems for modern heterogeneous deployments and realistic workloads.

Unique among systems colleagues, Michael challenged accepted tradeoffs through new algorithms and protocols with formal guarantees, and builds and deploys widely-used systems. His work on CoralCDN reexamines the design of peer-to-peer applications. Traditional distributed hash tables proved woefully unable to handle flash-crowd workloads. By changing the DHT semantics and introducing algorithms to self-organize into a locality-optimized hierarchy of peers, CoralCDN is uniquely designed to find nearby content and handle overload conditions.

Practically, CoralCDN provides free delivery and scalability of p2p systems on one hand, and the ability to support unmodified web clients and servers on the other hand. CoralCDN was perhaps the only academic peer-to-peer system to see real and sustained use, deployed 2004-2015 at roughly 500 PlanetLab sites worldwide, with millions of daily users. Its use varied from solving the "Slashdot" effect, distributing amateur videos of the 2004 Asian Tsunami, and caching websites post-Fukushima in 2011.

Press Release