The Caltech Rigorous Systems Research Group

The Rigorous Systems Research Group (RSRG, pronounced "resurge") studies the design of computer systems, but it's not your ordinary systems group. RSRG is distinguished by its rigorous/analytic approach to design. The group develops new theory, uses theoretical results to provide new design tools and methodologies, puts these new design tools and methodologies into practice, and develops new theory motivated by practice, thus closing the loop.

The research process of RSRG is centered around three principles, the combination of which distinguish RSRG from most other CS systems groups:

  • Theory is the foundation. Everybody in the group develops new theoretical results that inform system design and performance analysis.
  • Get your hands dirty. Everybody in the group builds, or uses measurements from, systems and prototypes.
  • Be truly interdisciplinary. Everybody in the group uses ideas from disciplines outside computer science (such as operations research, economics, and control theory) or develops systems that are used in varied disciplines (such as space exploration or control of power grids).

   This word cloud was generated via wordle using the RSRG web site as an input.

Research in RSRG

Research in RSRG combines development of theory about system design with development of new tools and techniques to apply to system design and implementation. The research areas studied in the group emphasize an integrated approach to practical applications and fundamental theory.

Application Domains

  • The Smart Grid
  • Energy efficient computing
  • Network protocols
  • Network coding
  • Wireless networks
  • Distributed systems
  • Cloud computing
  • CDNs and P2Ps

Analytic Techniques

  • Stochastic modeling
  • Optimization
  • Game theory
  • Machine learning
  • Information theory
  • Control theory
  • Queueing theory
  • Temporal logic
  • Applied probability

RSRG is unique because of the interplay between these two sets of interests. Every member of the group works in at least one area from both columns.

Some current areas where RSRG is focusing are:

To find out about other ongoing projects, please check out Rigor + Relevance (the RSRG Blog), along with the personal pages for the group members.