Nikos Vasilakis

Ph.D. Candidate, The University of Pennsylvania

My vision is distributed systems that pose fewer constraints (e.g., usability, generality) than centralized systems. After all, centralized systems are just special cases of distributed systems where the number of nodes equals 1. My current thrust is Andromeda, a general-purpose distributed environment; one example application is BreakApp, a security-oriented compartmentalization framework for legacy systems.

In the past, I worked on distributed software infrastructure for (i) μ-service frameworks (as an intern-at-residence at VMware), (ii) RNA sequence analysis (as an intern at Jefferson), (iii) educational video services (as an engineer/lead at CTI), and (iv) interactive installations (as an undergrad at UPatras).

Email: nikos@vasilak.is | GitHub: @nvasilakis

Latest Publications

Below is a partial list of publications.

BreakApp: Automated, Flexible Application Compartmentalization

Nikos Vasilakis, Ben Karel, Nick Roessler, Nathan Dautenhahn, André DeHon, and Jonathan M. Smith
IEEE Networked and Distributed Systems Security Symposium (NDSS18)
html | pdf | bibtex | code

Query-efficient Partitions for Dynamic Data

Nikos Vasilakis, Yash Palkhiwala, Jonathan M. Smith
8th ACM Asia-Pacific Conference on Systems (APSys17)
html | pdf | bibtex | code

Towards Automated, Fine-grained Application Compartmentalization

Nikos Vasilakis, Ben Karel, Nick Roessler, Nathan Dautenhahn, André DeHon, and Jonathan M. Smith
9th Workshop on Programming Languages and Operating Systems (PLOS17) in conjunction with SOSP17
html | pdf | bibtex | code

Architectural Support for Software-Defined Metadata Processing

Udit Dhawan, Cătălin Hriţcu, Raphael Rubin, Nikos Vasilakis, Silviu Chiricescu, Jonathan M. Smith, Thomas F. Knight Jr., Benjamin C. Pierce, and André DeHon
12th ACM Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS2015)
pdf | bibtex

From Lone Dwarfs to Giant Superclusters: Rethinking Operating System Abstractions for the Cloud

Nikos Vasilakis, Ben Karel, and Jonathan M. Smith
15th Usenix Workshop on Hot Topics in Operating Systems (HotOSXV)
html | pdf | bibtex | code

PUMP: a Programmable Unit for Metadata Processing

Udit Dhawan, Nikos Vasilakis, Raphael Rubin, Silviu Chiricescu, Jonathan M. Smith, Thomas F. Knight Jr., Benjamin C. Pierce, and André DeHon
3rd ACM Workshop on Hardware and Architectural Support for Security and Privacy (HASP14)
pdf | bibtex

HandsFree: Next Generation Sequence Processing, Mapping and Analysis Made Easy

Phillipe Loher, Nikos Vasilakis, John Malamon, Huang-Wen Chen, and Isidore Rigoutsos
9th International Conference on Data Integration in the Life Sciences (DILS13)
pdf | bibtex

Developing Multiplayer Pervasive Games and Networked Interactive Installations using Ad Hoc Mobile Sensor Networks

Orestis Akribopoulos, Marios Logaras, Nikos Vasilakis, Panagiotis Kokkinos, Georgios Mylonas, Ioannis Chatzigiannakis, and Paul Spirakis
6th ACM Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (ACE09)
pdf | bibtex

Using Wireless Sensor Networks to Develop Pervasive Multi-player Games

Orestis Akribopoulos, Marios Logaras, Nikos Vasilakis, Panagiotis Kokkinos, Georgios Mylonas, and Ioannis Chatzigiannakis
6th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SENSYS08)
pdf | bibtex

(Full list of publications and bibtex entries.)

Teaching

I have assisted in the teaching of various courses, most notably:

CIS 551 – Computer and Network Security
CIS 555 – Internet and Web Systems
CIS 700 – Programming and Problem Solving

I have also (co-)organized several seminars, reading groups, and coding bootcamps such as the Distributed Systems Seminar and the Operating Systems Reading Group. If you have interesting research that might fit into our systems seminar , feel free to get in touch!

Honors and Awards

Here is a partial list of one-off awards related to research and entrepreneurship.

2017 — Penn Research iTalks, Audience Award (BreakApp)
2015 — UD HenHatch Entrepreneurship, 3rd place (GoHappy)
2014 — NYC Media Lab Summit, 3rd place (Gistly)
2014 — CCNY Zahn Entrepreneurship, Runner-up (Gistly)
2010 — PC & T3 Magazine, Tech Excellence Award (FinN)
2009 — ACM/SIGCHI ACE, Golden Creative Showcase Award (FinN)
2008 — IEEE SenSys, Best Demo Award (FinN)

Travel grants: ACM/SIGOPS APSys (Unispace) and ACM/SIGARCH ASPLOS (PUMP).

Misc

I am deeply interested in all forms of creative expression, and particularly any visual, auditory, and interactive art. My main contribution in this space was as a founding member of a music duo, Ailo. We released {downtempo, chillout, ambient, lounge} music under several record labels mostly across Europe — most notably Germany, Italy, UK, Israel, Netherlands, and Hungary. A decade later, you can find it on Breatport, Spotify, iTunes, Last.fm, Amazon, Google Music, and your favorite vinyl shop.

Releasing music under record labels is surprisingly similar to peer-reviewed publishing in academia.