This community is interested in understanding and affecting the interaction between computing systems and society through engineering, computer science and public policy research, education, and public engagement.
The Systems CoR is focused on building and investigating large-scale software systems that power modern computers, phones, data centers, and networks, including operating systems, the Internet, wireless networks, databases, and other software infrastructure.
We use visualization as a petri dish to study intelligence augmentation, or how can computational representations and software systems help amplify our cognition and creativity, while respecting our agency?
Alloy is a language for describing structures and a tool for exploring them. It has been used in a wide range of applications from finding holes in security mechanisms to designing telephone switching networks. Hundreds of projects have used Alloy for design analysis, for verification, for simulation, and as a backend for many other kinds of analysis and synthesis tools, and Alloy is currently being taught in courses worldwide.
Automatic speech recognition (ASR) has been a grand challenge machine learning problem for decades. Our ongoing research in this area examines the use of deep learning models for distant and noisy recording conditions, multilingual, and low-resource scenarios.
Knitting is the new 3d printing. It has become popular again with the widespread availability of patterns and templates, together with the maker movements. Lower-cost industrial knitting machines are starting to emerge, but we are still missing the corresponding design tools. Our goal is to fill this gap.
Our goal is to develop collaborative agents (software or robots) that can efficiently communicate with their human teammates. Key threads involve designing algorithms for inferring human behavior and for decision-making under uncertainty.
Almost every object we use is developed with computer-aided design (CAD). While CAD programs are good for creating designs, using them to actually improve existing designs can be difficult and time-consuming.
Predicting the number of clock cycles a processor takes to execute a block of assembly instructions in steady-state (the throughput) is important for both compiler designers and performance engineers.
However, building an analytical model to do so is especially complicated in modern x86-64 Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC) machines with sophisticated processor microarchitectures in that it is tedious, error-prone, and must be performed from scratch for each processor generation.
Ithemal is the first tool that learns to predict the throughput of a set of instructions. It does so more accurately than state-of-the-art hand-written tools currently used in compiler backends and static machine code analyzers. In particular, Ithemal has less than half the error of state-of-the-art analytical models (LLVM's llvm-mca and Intel's IACA).
Neural networks, which learn to perform computational tasks by analyzing huge sets of training data, have been responsible for the most impressive recent advances in artificial intelligence, including speech-recognition and automatic-translation systems.
We live in the age of big data, but most of that data is “sparse.” Imagine, for instance, a massive table that mapped all of Amazon’s customers against all of its products, with a “1” for each product a given customer bought and a “0” otherwise. The table would be mostly zeroes.
Most robots are programmed using one of two methods: learning from demonstration, in which they watch a task being done and then replicate it, or via motion-planning techniques such as optimization or sampling, which require a programmer to explicitly specify a task’s goals and constraints.
The butt of jokes as little as 10 years ago, automatic speech recognition is now on the verge of becoming people’s chief means of interacting with their principal computing devices. In anticipation of the age of voice-controlled electronics, MIT researchers have built a low-power chip specialized for automatic speech recognition. Whereas a cellphone running speech-recognition software might require about 1 watt of power, the new chip requires between 0.2 and 10 milliwatts, depending on the number of words it has to recognize.
Speech recognition systems, such as those that convert speech to text on cellphones, are generally the result of machine learning. A computer pores through thousands or even millions of audio files and their transcriptions, and learns which acoustic features correspond to which typed words.But transcribing recordings is costly, time-consuming work, which has limited speech recognition to a small subset of languages spoken in wealthy nations.
Every language has its own collection of phonemes, or the basic phonetic units from which spoken words are composed. Depending on how you count, English has somewhere between 35 and 45. Knowing a language’s phonemes can make it much easier for automated systems to learn to interpret speech.In the 2015 volume of Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, CSAIL researchers describe a new machine-learning system that, like several systems before it, can learn to distinguish spoken words. But unlike its predecessors, it can also learn to distinguish lower-level phonetic units, such as syllables and phonemes.