I am a Professor at ESPOL University in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where I lead the Distributed Systems at ESPOL Lab (DiSEL) and co-direct the Big Data Research Group. In May 2014, I obtained my PhD in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Previously, I received my Master of Science degree from UIUC, funded through a Fulbright Fellowship.

My main research interests lie in the area of distributed systems, in particular systems used to support Big Data and Cloud Computing applications. At UIUC, I was a member of the Systems Research Group, under the guidance of Prof. Roy H. Campbell. During my PhD studies, I was a member of the Hadoop Core Team at Yahoo, Inc. (UIUC Research Park) and also worked on several projects with Prof. Yi Lu.

At ESPOL, I am working on several projects related to using in-memory distributed key-value stores as caches in cloud computing environments. I am mostly interested in studying and improving their performance under varying workloads. I also work in the areas of storage workload modeling and scheduling in cloud computing platforms (Hadoop, container-based microservices and serverless FaaS). My work has been funded via industry grants (Google 2016, Microsoft 2017, Google 2018, AT&T Labs 2019).

I also like to code; in particular, I like to build distributed systems. While at Yahoo, I contributed to the Apache Hadoop codebaseIn my free time, I sometimes answer questions on stackoverflow.

You can follow me on twitter.

  • [02/2019] Our paper "Beyond Load Balancing: Package-Aware Scheduling for Serverless Platforms" has been accepted for publication at IEEE/ACM CCGRID 2019.
  • [12/2018] I am co-chairing the Second Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing Performance (HotCloudPerf 2019), to be held in conjunction with IEEE ICAC 2019.
  • [11/2018] I gave at TEDx talk on the value of research for forming human capital, at TEDx Peñas.
  • [05/2018] I presented the results of our study on Cloud adoption in Ecuador, in events in Quito (05/30) and Guayaquil (05/31). Final report available here (ISBN: 978-9942-30-687-6). Presentation with result highlights available here. Press: El Comercio (Jun 3, 2018).
  • [04/2018] Congrats to Javier Ron for being selected to work on a project for UCSC's Center for Research in Open Source Software (Google Summer of Code 2018).
  • [03/2018] I have been selected for another Google Faculty Research Award (see List of award recipients).
  • [02/2018] I have been invited to attend NetApp's University Day in Sunnyvale (02/12).
  • [11/2017] ESPOL has established a collaboration agreement with AT&T Labs Research; the Distributed Systems Lab will be leading this activity.
  • [10/2017] I have been invited to join the Program Committee of the First Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing Performance (HotCloudPerf-2018), to be held with ACM/SPEC ICPE 2018.
  • [06/2017] I have been invited to serve on the Technical Program Committee of the IEEE International Conference on Cloud Engineering (IC2E 2018).
  • [06/2017] ESPOL joined the SPEC RG and I started collaborating with the Cloud Computing research group.
  • [03/2017] I have been awarded a grant by Microsoft to do a study on Cloud adoption in Ecuador.
  • [09/2016] I received an Amazon Web Services Grant (Cloud Credits for Research program) to work on benchmarking key-value stores.
  • [06/2016] I have two open positions in my research team for graduate students and one for an undergraduate student. More information on our PhD program here.
  • [04/2016] I am being featured as "Girl of the Month" by Girls In Tech.
  • [03/2016] A news article about my work appeared at Diario Expreso
  • [02/2016] I have been selected for the prestigious Google Faculty Research Award (see List of award recipients).
  • [12/2015] An article about my research appeared in ESPOL's Focus magazine.
  • [05/2015] I obtained an Amazon Web Services in Education grant for my Advanced Operating Systems class.
  • [06/2014] My work was featured on a recent PC World (and IT World) article. 
Selected Publications
(For full list of publications, see my Google Scholar page)

Beyond Load Balancing: Package-Aware Scheduling for Serverless Platforms
Gabriel Aumala, Edwin F. Boza, Luis Ortiz-Aviles, Gustavo Totoy and Cristina L. Abad
(to appear in) IEEE/ACM International Symposium in Cluster, Cloud, and Grid Computing (CCGrid), 2019

Characterization of a Big Data Storage Workload in the Cloud
Sacheendra Talluri, Alicja Łuszczak, Cristina L. Abad, and Alexandru Iosup
(to appear in) ACM/SPEC International Conference on Performance Engineering (ICPE), 2019.

Quantifying Cloud Performance and Dependability: Taxonomy, Metric Design, and Emerging Challenges 
Nikolas Herbst, André Bauer, Samuel Kounev, Giorgos Oikonomou, Erwin van Eyk, George Kousiouris, Athanasia Evangelinou, Rouven Krebs, Tim Brecht, Cristina L. Abad, Alexandru Iosup
ACM Transactions on Modeling and Performance Evaluation of Computing Systems (ToMPECS), 2018. DOI: 10.1145/3236332

Cristina L. Abad, Edwin F. Boza, Erwin van Eyk
First Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing Performance (HotCloudPerf), co-located with ACM/SPEC International Conference on Performance Engineering (ICPE), 2018. Additional experimental results found here.

Erwin van Eyk, Alexandru Iosup, Cristina L. Abad, Johannes Grohmann, Simon Eismann
ACM/SPEC International Conference on Performance Engineering (ICPE), 2018.
Jorge R. Murillo, Gustavo Totoy, Cristina L. Abad
16th Workshop on Adaptive and Reflective Middleware (ARM), co-located with ACM/IFIP/USENIX Middleware, 2017.

Edwin F. Boza, Cristina L. Abad, Mónica Villavicencio, Stephany Quimba, Juan Antonio Plaza
IEEE Ecuadorian Technical Chapters Meeting (ETCM), 2017.

Cristina L. Abad, Andrés G. Abad, Luis E. Lucio
ACM/SPEC International Conference on Performance Engineering (ICPE), 2017.

Edwin F. Boza, César San-Lucas, Cristina L. Abad, José A. Viteri
IEEE International Conference on Cloud Engineering (IC2E), 2017.

Qiaomin Xie, Mayank Pundir, Yi Lu, Cristina L. Abad, Roy H. Campbell
IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, Volume: 25, Issue: 2, 2017.
Cristina L. Abad, Yi Lu, Roy H. Campbell, Nathan Roberts
11th International Conference on Autonomic Computing (ICAC), 2014.
CODE: MimesisBench available on github.

Cristina L. Abad
PhD Thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2014.

Cristina L. Abad, Mindi Yuan, Chris X. Cai, Yi Lu, Nathan Roberts, Roy H. Campbell
Performance Evaluation, Special Issue: IFIP Performance 2013, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.peva.2013.08.006.

Brian Cho, Muntasir Rahman, Tej Chajed, Indranil Gupta, Cristina L. Abad, Nathan Roberts, Philbert Lin
ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing (SOCC), 2013.

Cristina L. Abad, Nathan Roberts, Yi Lu, Roy H. Campbell
IEEE International Symposium on Workload Characterization (IISWC), 2012.

Cristina L. Abad, Huong Luu, Nathan Roberts, Kihwal Lee, Yi Lu, Roy H. Campbell
IEEE/ACM International Conference on Utility and Cloud Computing (UCC), 2012.
Technical report with more details on surveyed papers is available in the UIUC repository.
CODE: Namespace Generation Module available on github.

Cristina L. Abad, Yi Lu, Roy H. Campbell
IEEE International Conference on Cluster Computing (CLUSTER), 2011.

Andre Ortega, Xavier Marcos, Luis Chiang, Cristina L. Abad
IEEE Latin American Network Operations and Management Symposium (LANOMS), 2009.

Learning through creating learning objects: Experiences with a class project in a distributed systems course (ACM Authorizer download link)
Cristina L. Abad
ACM SIGCSE Bulletin - ITiCSE '08, Volume 40 Issue 3, 2008.

An analysis of the schemes for detecting and preventing ARP cache poisoning attacks
Cristina L. Abad, Rafael I. Bonilla
IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems Workshops (ICDCSW), 2007.

Cristina L. Abad, Indranil Gupta, William Yurcik
IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems Workshops (ICDCSW), 2005.

Cristina L. Abad, Jed Taylor, Cigdem Sengul, William Yurcik, Yuanyuan Zhou, Ken Rowe
IEEE Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC), 2003

Released Code
Mimesis Namespace Generator
Development team: Cristina Abad and Shadi Noghabi
Can create large and realistic hierarchical namespaces. This tool preserves the following distributions (as given by the configuration file used): directories at each depth, subdirectories per directory, files at each depth, files per directory, file sizes, file creation stamps. Details on IEEE/ACM UCC 2012 publication. Repository on Github

Development team: Cristina Abad
Metadata-intensive benchmark for the HDFS name node. Access model described on my IFIP Performance 2013 paper. Details of the benchmark on my ICAC 2014 publication. Repository on Github.

Development team: Edwin Boza and Cristina Abad
Tool based on YCSB that can replay real traces under varying models. Details in the IC2E 2017 paper. Repository on Github.

Multi-tier storage system simulator
Development team: César San-Lucas and Cristina Abad
Python program that simulates several multi-tiered storage system policies and supports synthetic as well as trace-based workloads. Details in the ETCM 2016 paper. Repository on Github.

CLOUDCAL: Cloud budget estimation tool
Development team: Edwin Boza and Cristina Abad
Python program that simulates several cloud service configurations and calculates cost as well as average and tail latencies. Details in the ETCM 2017 paper. Repository on Github.

Open-source implementation of SHARDS
Development team: Jorge Murillo
Open-source implementation of the SHARDS miss rate estimation data structure, to be used in the work outlined in the ICPE 2017 paper. Repository on Github.

Development team: Gustavo Totoy and Jorge Murillo
Instrumented version of Memcached so that it calculates full miss rate curves using SHARDS. Repository on Github.

  • Fall 2017:                         Distributed Systems (undergraduate) and Advanced Distributed Systems (graduate)
  • Spring 2017:                     Distributed Systems (undergraduate)
  • Fall 2016:                         Advanced Operating Systems (graduate), Distributed Systems (undergraduate)
  • Spring 2016:                     Distributed Systems, Operating Systems
  • Fall 2015:                         Operating Systems, Computer Science Capstone Course
  • Spring 2015:                     Operating Systems (undergraduate), Advanced Operating Systems (graduate)
  • Spring/Fall 2014 (ESPOL):  Operating Systems
  • Summer 2010 (UIUC):        Distributed Systems (TA)
  • 2005-2010 (ESPOL):           Distributed Systems, Data Intensive Scalable Computing, Operating Systems, Computer Networks

Current Students
  • Edwin F. Boza, graduate student, currently working on performance-driven autonomic distributed systems
  • Gustavo Totoy, undergraduate student, working on self-managing cloud caches and function scheduling for serverless computing platforms
  • Javier Ron, undergraduate student, currently working on a project for UCSC's CROSS Center (Google Summer of Code 2018)
  • Johnny Torres, graduate student, working on Social Network data mining
  • Sixto Castro, undergraduate student, working on undergraduate thesis (Methods for making caches resistant to one-timers)
  • José Viteri, undergraduate student, research assistant funded by ESPOL, working on KV-replay
  • Jorge Cedeño, undergraduate student, collaborator
  • Jorge Murillo, collaborator, working on miss rate curve (MRC) profiling for cloud caches
Former Students
    • Jordy Vásquez, now a data scientist at Maven Road.
    • César San Lucas, undergraduate student; thesis: Towards a fast multi-tier storage system simulator, presented at the 2016 IEEE Ecuadorian Technical Chapters Meeting (ETCM).
    • Andre Ortega, worked with me as an undergraduate student, currently a PhD student at the University of Southampton.
    • Luis Chiang, worked with me as an undergraduate student, then got his MS in CS at Stony Brook University and interned at Deutsche Telekom Labs, where he worked on software defined networking and middleboxes.

    I have an Erdos number of 3: Cristina L. Abad  William Yurcik → Ruth Silverman → Paul Erdő
    E.W. Dijkstra is my academic great-great-grandfather: Dijkstra 
     A. Habermann  Hugh Lauer  Roy H. Campbell  Cristina L. Abad