Current Projects

CROSS is organized around incubator and research projects.

Software related to CROSS projects can be found in the CROSS Software Portal.


    Incubator Projects

  • Skyhook: Programmable Storage for Databases

    Fellow: Jeff LeFevre

    Abstract: The cloud business model requires flexible resource usage but traditional relational databases strongly couple data to physical resources making it difficult to add and remove database nodes. While skyhook is not a database itself, it is an enabling technology that takes some of the metadata management and data processing tasks normally handled by the DBMS and delegates them to the storage system.  This approach is immediately useful to enable smaller/single node databases growing to much larger sizes, and the project team identified this as a point of interest within the Postgres community, which is currently limited to storing database table files on local disk.  Their current options are to replace local disk with perhaps RAID arrays or migrate entirely to the cloud where they can rent Postgres instances.  However, both of these approaches still require the single node Postgres instance to do all of the actual DMBS work.  By pushing some of these capabilities from the DBMS into the storage, skyhook enables a single node Postgres instance to scale (in-part) with the amount of storage added.  These storage capabilities are the new focus of skyhook (see also skyhookdm.com).

  • Tracery2 and Chancery (Starting in Early 2019)

    Fellow: Kate Compton

    Abstract: Tracery is a generative-text library and language implemented in Javascript. Its goal was to enable casual users (novice coders, but also those who do not ‘code’) to write simple JSON files that encodes grammar rules which produce complex recursively-expanded text. It was initially created as a class project at UCSC, then open-sourced. Tracery has been one of the biggest success stories in using open source software to support artists and poets. After the initial version was released in 2014, a British artist made a website, CheapBotsDoneQuick, to host bots written in the language. CheapBotsDoneQuick in turn created an artbot boom, with more than ten thousand bots currently hosted (see also tracery.io).
  • Black Swan: The Popper Reproducibility Platform (Starting in Early 2019)

    Fellow: Ivo Jimenez

    Abstract: Reproducibility is the cornerstone of the scientific method. Yet, in computational and data science domains, a gap exists between current practices and the ideal of having every new scientific discovery be easily reproducible. Advances in computer science (CS) and software engineering slowly and painfully make their way into these domains, even in (paradoxically) CS research. Popper is an experimentation protocol and CLI tool for implementing scientific exploration pipelines following a DevOps approach. The goal of Popper is to bring the same methods and tools used for the agile delivery of software to scientists and industry researchers.


  • Research Projects

  • LGraph: Open Source Multi-Language Synthesis and Simulation Infrastructure

    Fellow: Sheng Hong Wang (advisor: Jose Renau)

    Abstract: There is a resurgence in hardware accelerators due to power and performance constraints. At the same time, there is a resurgence in new Hardware Description Languages (HDLs). Many researchers see Verilog as the equivalent to assembly in-ha rdware specification, and they are creating new Hardware Description Languages to increase the abstraction.The goal of this proposal is to build a Multi-Language Synthesis and Simulation Infrastructure (MLSSI). MLSSI is the equivalent of a compiler infrastructure but for synthesizable languages like CHISEL, synthesizableVerilog, and Pyrope.

  • CAvSAT: A System for Query Answering over Inconsistent Databases

    Fellow: Akhil Dixit (advisor: Phokion Kolaitis)

    Abstract: Managing inconsistencies in databases is an old, but recurring, problem. An inconsistent database is a database that violates one or more integrity constraints, such as key constraints or inclusion dependencies. Inconsistent databases arise in several different contexts, including information integration, where dealing with inconsistency is regarded as a key challenge

  • Eusocial Storage Devices

    Fellow: Jianshen Liu (advisor: Carlos Maltzahn)

    Abstract: As storage devices get faster, data management tasks rob the host of CPU cycles and main memory bandwidth. In this article, we examine a new interface to storage devices that can leverage existing and new CPU and main memory resources to take over data management tasks like availability, recovery, and migrations. This new interface provides a roadmap for device-to-device interactions and more powerful storage devices capable of providing in-store compute services that can dramatically improve performance. We call such storage devices “eusocial” because we are inspired by eusocial insects like ants, termites, and bees, which as individuals are primitive but collectively accomplish amazing things.


CROSS issues call for proposals twice a year (usually in January and in July).