Marco Canini

Marco Canini

Associate Professor
Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences & Engineering
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), KSA

Phone: +966 12 808 0489
Al-Khawarizmi Building 1
Office 1-4418
SA-23955-6900 Thuwal


Marco is an associate professor of Computer Science at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Marco obtained his Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from the University of Genoa in 2009 after spending the last year as a visiting student at the University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory. He holds a laurea degree with honors in computer science and engineering from the University of Genoa. He was a postdoctoral researcher at EPFL from 2009 to 2012 and after that a senior research scientist for one year at Deutsche Telekom Innovation Labs & TU Berlin. Before joining KAUST, he was an assistant professor in the ICTEAM Institute at the Université catholique de Louvain. He also held positions at Intel Research and Google. Marco's work has been featured in the media, attributing Marco the title of "SDN rock star".

During the course of his Ph.D., he worked on methods for accurate Internet traffic classification in real time based on application identification and the design of scalable network monitoring applications. At EPFL, his work addressed the challenges for reducing the Internet's power consumption and for improving the reliability of distributed systems and software-defined networks.


Previous teaching at UCLouvain:


New positions: We invite applications for a post-doctoral researcher and a research software engineer interested in working on optimizing distributed machine learning (ML) systems. See details here.

We invite applications for a research scientist position within the Extreme Computing Research Center. The successful candidate has a PhD degree and is interested in working at the intersection of big data, AI and systems. See the DAIET project for an example project in this area. We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with a willingness to experiment and explore and with an excellent track-record of international publications at top conferences and journals. The successful candidate is expected to work collaboratively with myself, Prof. Kalnis and Prof. Richtarik. The position comes with excellent conditions. Get in touch if interested!

I'm always looking for bright and enthusiastic people to join my group. If you are looking to do a PhD with me, thank you for your interest, but please read this first. If you don't I will know, and I'm afraid I will have to ignore your message.


Research Overview

Below is a succinct overview of my research. For a more complete account, please read this recent article on building SANDS at KAUST.

My research interests are in distributed systems, large-scale computing and computer networking with emphasis on cloud computing and programmable networks.
My current work focuses on improving networked systems design, implementation and operation along several vital properties such as reliability, performance and energy efficiency.

To improve the reliability of networked systems, my work develops approaches to proactively detect potential faults. The current focus for this research topic is in discovering software faults in software-defined networks. Previously, my research addressed the challenges of designing and implementing a system that checks for potential faults in deployed distributed system implementations running in federated and heterogeneous settings. A prime example for these kind of systems is the Internet's inter-domain routing system.
To improve performance of cloud applications, my work devises mechanisms to achieve more predictable performance for highly distributed applications that critically depend on consistent low latency, such as interactive web services and data analytics. In project Absinthe, we study how different load adaptation mechanisms of different real systems such as Cassandra and Hadoop may interfere with each other "in the wild" and degrade performance.
To increase the Internet's energy efficiency, my work seeks to maximize opportunities to avoid energy wastage by placing underutilized network elements into a low-power state with the overall goal of achieving high energy savings without compromising end-user performance.


Here is a representative subset of projects I am working on:

In my past, I have been active in SDN and programmable networks. Major projects included:

Research Group

I am privileged to be working with these very talented individuals:

Ph.D. students:

MS students: Postdocs:


Ph.D. students:

Research MS students (while at KAUST): Postdocs:


Systems Support for Machine Learning

Education in Reproducible Research

Security in clouds and big data systems

Performance predictability in clouds, key-value stores and big data systems

Software-defined networking and network architecture

Reliable networked systems

Energy-efficient networks

Network monitoring and application identification

Extended abstracts

Book chapters

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Recent Service

Program Co-Chair: Program Committee: Reviewer:


Last updated: Monday, 30-Dec-2019 8:50:48 | © 2012-2019 Marco Canini, all rights reserved