Dr. Cui, Heming

PhD Columbia
Associate Professor

Tel: (+852) 2859 2173
Fax: (+852) 2559 8447
Email: heming [AT] cs [DOT] hku [DOT] hk
Web:  https://www.cs.hku.hk/~heming

Dr. Cui received his bachelor and master degrees from Tsinghua University; he joined HKU in January 2015 right after he received his PhD degree from Columbia University. Dr. Cui is interested in building software infrastructures and tools to greatly improve the reliability, security and performance of real-world software. His PhD students' recent research has led to a series of open source projects and publications in international top conferences and journals of broad areas, including SOSP, NSDI, ASPLOS, ATC, ICSE, EuroSys, TPDS, and TDSC. In recent three years, Dr. Cui serves on the program committees of international top systems/networking conferences, including OSDI, NSDI, ATC, EuroSys, DSN, SOCC, and ICDCS. Dr. Cui also serves as constant reviewers for international top systems/networking/software/security journals, including TPDS, TOCS, TSE, TON, TMC, and TDSC. Dr. Cui has won several worldwide competitive research awards, including a Croucher Innovation Award in 2016, a best paper award from ACSAC '17, two Huawei flagship research grant awards in 2018 (blockchain and security) and 2021 (AI), and the Best Collaborating Scientist Medal from the Huawei Theory Lab in 2021.

Dr. Cui's recent research papers have led to commercial software releases with global leading IT industries. For instance, Dr. Cui's secure system papers (e.g., [Uranus AsiaCCS 2020] and [DAENet TDSC 2021]) on Trusted Execution Environments have become a core component of Huawei's Trusted and Intelligent Cloud Services (see the UTEE component in TICS). Due to this industrial impact case, Dr. Cui received the HKU Faculty Knowledge Exchange (KE) Award in 2022. In addition, Dr. Cui is actively collaborating with industries to jointly publish research papers and to transfer the resultant systems from these papers into commercial software of broad areas, including distributed AI training systems, permissioned blockchain systems, security and privacy preserving systems, and geo distributed transaction systems.

Outstanding students who are interested in becoming Dr. Cui's PhD students can browse his academic talks here.

Research Interests

Operating systems and distributed systems, including distributed big-data and parallel computing systems, distributed AI training/serving systems, blockchains, cloud computing systems, and distributed robotic learning/operating systems.

Selected Publications ("*" means corresponding author)

  • Ji Qi, Xusheng Chen, Yunpeng Jiang, Jianyu Jiang, Tianxiang Shen, Shixiong Zhao, Sen Wang, Gong Zhang, Li Chen, Man Ho Au, and Heming Cui*, BIDL: A High-throughput, Low-latency Permissioned Blockchain Framework for Datacenter Networks, Proceedings of the 28th ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP '21). ACM results reproduced badge.
  • Tianxiang Shen, Ji Qi, Jianyu Jiang*, Xian Wang, Siyuan Wen, Xusheng Chen, Shixiong Zhao, Sen Wang, Li Chen, Xiapu Luo, Fengwei Zhang, and Heming Cui, SOTER: Guarding Black-box Inference for General Neural Networks at the Edge, Proceedings of the 2022 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (ATC '22). USENIX results reproduced badge.
  • Shixiong Zhao, Fanxin Li, Xusheng Chen, Tianxiang Shen, Li Chen, Sen Wang, Gong Zhang, Cheng Li, and Heming Cui*, NASPipe: High Performance and Reproducible Pipeline Parallel Supernet Training via Causal Synchronous Parallel, the 2022 Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS '22). ACM results reproduced badge.
  • Shixiong Zhao, Fanxin Li, Xusheng Chen, Xiuxian Guan, Jianyu Jiang, Dong Huang, Yuhao Qing, Sen Wang, Peng Wang, Gong Zhang, Cheng Li, Ping Luo, and Heming Cui*, vPipe: A Virtualized Acceleration System for Achieving Efficient and Scalable Pipeline Parallel DNN Training, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems 2021 (TPDS '21).
  • Shengliang Deng, Xiuxian Guan, Zekai Sun, Shixiong Zhao, Tianxiang Shen, Xusheng Chen, Tianyang Duan, Yuexuan Wang, Jia Pan, Yanjun Wu, Libo Zhang, and Heming Cui*, COORP: Satisfying Low-Latency and High-Throughput Requirements of Wireless Network for Coordinated Robotic Learning, IEEE Internet of Things Journal 2022 (IoT-J '22).
  • Mingyuan Wu, Jing Liang, Jiahong Xiang, Yuqun Zhang, Guowei Yang, Huixin Ma, Sen Nie, Shi Wu, Heming Cui, and Lingming Zhang, Evaluating and Improving Neural Program-Smoothing-based Fuzzing, Proceedings of the 44th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE '22).
  • Mingyuan Wu, Ling Jiang, Jiahong Xiang, Yanwei Huang, Heming Cui, Lingming Zhang, and Yuqun Zhang, One Fuzzing Strategy to Rule Them All, Proceedings of the 44th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE '22).
  • Xusheng Chen, Haoze Song, Jianyu Jiang, Chaoyi Ruan, Cheng Li, Sen Wang, Gong Zhang, Reynold Cheng, and Heming Cui*, Achieving Low Tail-latency and High Scalability for Serializable Transactions in Edge Computing, Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer Systems 2021 (EuroSys '21). ACM results reproduced badge.
  • Xusheng Chen, Shixiong Zhao, Ji Qi, Jianyu Jiang, Haoze Song, Cheng Wang, Tsz On Li, Hubert Chan, Fengwei Zhang, Xiapu Luo, Sen Wang, Gong Zhang, and Heming Cui*, Efficient and DoS-resistant Consensus for Permissioned Blockchains, Proceedings of the 39th International Symposium on Computer Performance, Modeling, Measurements and Evaluation 2021 (Performance '21).
  • Saeid Mofrad, Ishtiaq Ahmed, Fengwei Zhang, Shiyong Lu, Ping Yang, and Heming Cui, Securing Big Data Scientific Workflows via Trusted Heterogeneous Environments, IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing 2022 (TDSC '22).
  • Tianxiang Shen, Jianyu Jiang, Yunpeng Jiang, Xusheng Chen, Ji Qi, Shixiong Zhao, Fengwei Zhang*, Xiapu Luo, and Heming Cui*, DAENet: Making Strong Anonymity Scale in a Fully Decentralized Network, IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing 2021 (TDSC '21).
  • Weiwei Jia, Jianchen Shan, Tsz On Li, Xiaowei Shang, Heming Cui, and Xiaoning Ding, vSMT-IO: Improving I/O Performance and Efficiency on SMT Processors in Virtualized Clouds, Proceedings of the 2020 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (ATC '20).
  • Shixiong Zhao, Xusheng Chen, Cheng Wang, Fanxin Li, Ji Qi, Heming Cui*, Cheng Li, and Sen Wang, HAMS: High Availability for Distributed Machine Learning Service Graphs, Proceedings of the 50th IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN '20).
  • Tsz On Li, Jianyu Jiang, Ji Qi, Chi Chiu So, Jiacheng Ma, Xusheng Chen, Tianxiang Shen, Heming Cui*, Yuexuan Wang, and Peng Wang, UPA: An Automated, Accurate and Efficient Differentially Private Big-data Mining System, Proceedings of the 50th IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN '20).
  • Jianyu Jiang, Xusheng Chen, Tzs On Li, Cheng Wang, Tianxiang Shen, Shixiong Zhao, Heming Cui*, Cho-Li Wang, and Fengwei Zhang, Uranus: Simple, Efficient SGX Programming and Its Applications, Proceedings of the 15th ACM ASIA Conference on Computer and Communications Security (ASIACCS '20).
  • Jiewen Hai, Cheng Wang, Xusheng Chen, Tsz On LI, Heming Cui*, Sen Wang, Fulva: Efficient Live Migration for In-memory Key-Value Stores with Zero Downtime, Proceedings of the 38th IEEE International Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems 2019 (SRDS '19).
  • Saeid Mofrad, Ishtiaq Ahmed, Shiyong Lu, Ping Yang, Heming Cui, Fengwei Zhang, SecDATAVIEW: A Secure Big Data Workflow Management System for Heterogeneous Computing Environments, Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Computer Security Applications Conference 2019 (ACSAC '19).
  • Jingpu Duan, Xiaodong Yi, Shixiong Zhao, Chuan Wu, Heming Cui, Franck Le, NFVactor: A Resilient NFV System using the Distributed Actor Model, IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications 2019 (JSAC '19).
  • Cheng Wang, Xusheng Chen, Weiwei Jia, Boxuan Li, Haoran Qiu, Shixiong Zhao, Heming Cui*, PLOVER: Fast, Multi-core Scalable Virtual Machine Fault-tolerance, Proceedings of the 15th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation 2018 (NSDI '18).
  • Weiwei Jia, Cheng Wang, Xusheng Chen, Jianchen Shan, Xiaowei Shang, Heming Cui*, Xiaoning Ding, Luwei Cheng, F.C.M. Lau, Yuexuan Wang, Yuangang Wang, Effectively Mitigating I/O Inactivity in vCPU Scheduling, Proceedings of the 2018 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (ATC '18).
  • Feng Liang, F.C.M. Lau, Heming Cui, C.L. Wang, Confluence: Speeding Up Iterative Distributed Operations by Key-dependency-aware Partitioning, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems 2018 (TPDS '18).
  • Shixiong Zhao, Rui Gu, Haoran Qiu, Tsz On Li, Yuexuan Wang, Heming Cui*, Junfeng Yang, OWL: Understanding and Detecting Concurrency Attacks, Proceedings of the 48th IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks 2018 (DSN '18).
  • Yongqin Fu, Yuexuan Wang, Zhaoquan Gu, Xiaolin Zheng, Tianhao Wei, Zhen Cao, Heming Cui, F.C.M. Lau, How Local Information Improves Rendezvous in Cognitive Radio Networks, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Sensing, Communication and Networking 2018 (SECON '18).
  • Jianyu Jiang, Shixiong Zhao, Danish Alsayed, Yuexuan Wang, Heming Cui*, Feng Liang, Zhaoquan Gu, Kakute: A Precise, Unified Information Flow Analysis System for Big-data Security, Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Computer Security Applications Conference 2017 (ACSAC '17). Best paper award.
  • Cheng Wang, Jianyu Jiang, Xusheng Chen, Ning Yi, Heming Cui*, APUS: Fast and Scalable PAXOS on RDMA, Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing 2017 (SOCC '17).
  • Heming Cui, Rui Gu, Cheng Liu, Tianyu Chen, Junfeng Yang, Paxos Made Transparent, Proceedings of the 25th ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles 2015 (SOSP '15).
  • Junfeng Yang, Heming Cui, Jingyue Wu, Yang Tang, Gang Hu, Determinism Is Not Enough: Making Parallel Programs Reliable with Stable Multithreading, Communications of the ACM 2014 (CACM '14).
  • Heming Cui, Jiri Simsa, Yi-Hong Lin, Hao Li, Ben Blum, Xinan Xu, Junfeng Yang, Garth Gibson, Randal E. Bryant, Parrot: a Practical Runtime for Deterministic, Stable, and Reliable Threads, Proceedings of the 24th ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles 2013 (SOSP '13).
  • Heming Cui, Gang Hu, Jingyue Wu, Junfeng Yang, Verifying Systems Rules Using Rule-Directed Symbolic Execution, Eighteenth International Conference on Architecture Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems 2013 (ASPLOS '13).
  • Jingyue Wu, Yang Tang, Gang Hu, Heming Cui, Junfeng Yang, Sound and Precise Analysis of Parallel Programs through Schedule Specialization, Proceedings of the 33rd ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation 2012 (PLDI '12).
  • Heming Cui, Jingyue Wu, John Gallagher, Huayang Guo, Junfeng Yang, Efficient Deterministic Multithreading through Schedule Relaxation, Proceedings of 23rd ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles 2011 (SOSP '11).
  • Heming Cui, Jingyue Wu, Chia-che Tsai, Junfeng Yang, Stable Deterministic Multithreading through Schedule Memoization, Proceedings of the Ninth Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation 2010 (OSDI '10).
  • Jingyue Wu, Heming Cui, Junfeng Yang, Bypassing Races in Live Applications with Execution Filters, Proceedings of the Ninth Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation 2010 (OSDI '10).

Recent Research Grants

  • PI, "UTEE: A Secure, Efficient, and Portable Distributed Bigdata Computing System on Heterogeneous Trusted Execution Devices", HKD 3,300,000, ITF ITSP Platform (Ref: GHP/169/20SZ), 2022 - 2024.
  • PI, "New Systems and Algorithms for Realizing Efficient, Scalable, and General Permissioned Blockchains", HKD 450,000, HKU-SCF R&D Funding Scheme, 2021 - 2023.
  • PI, "ParaNAS: High-performance, Scalable, Reliable and High-precision Multi-GPU Pipeline Parallel DNN Training Systems", HKD 2,400,000, Huawei Theory Lab Flagship, 2021 - 2023.
  • PI, "A Blockchain-powered, Trustworthy Internet Layer (System) and its Decentralized and Efficient Applications", HKD 2,189,450, Huawei Innovation Research Program (HIRP) Flagship, 2018 - 2020. Finished, the deliverables received an outstanding (highest) score from Huawei.
  • PI, "New Systems and Algorithms for Preserving Big-data Privacy in Clouds", HKD 490,400, Hong Kong RGC GRF (Ref: HKU 17202318), 2019 - 2022.
  • PI, "Achieving Strong Fault-tolerance for General Storage Applications via Fast, RDMA-powered PAXOS", HKD 544,100, Huawei Innovation Research Program (HIRP) Open, 2017 - 2018. Finished, the deliverables received an outstanding (highest) score from Huawei.
  • PI, "GAIA: Strengthening the Reliability of Datacenter Computing via Fast Distributed Consensus", HKD 500,000, Hong Kong RGC GRF (Ref: HKU 17207117), 2018 - 2021.
  • PI, "FALCON: Modeling, Detecting, and Defending against Concurrency Attacks", HKD 618,470, Hong Kong RGC ECS (Ref: HKU 27200916), 2017 - 2020.
  • PI, "RepBox: Transparent State Machine Replication and its Applications", HKD 5,000,000, Croucher Innovation Award, 2016 - 2021.