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Timothy Pinkston

Timothy Pinkston, Ph.D. - Professor and Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs
Research Interests:

The SMART Interconnects Group, headed by Timothy Mark Pinkston, is engaged in research on technologies and techniques for achieving high-performance communication in parallel computer systems---symmetric multiprocessor systems as well as distributed network-based processing systems. Our efforts mainly focus on the interconnection network. We are developing efficient network interface and routing architectures/techniques that support high availability, reliability and quality of service. Deadlock-free adaptive routing techniques are being pursued that allow for maximum exploitation of routing freedom within the network. Network self-healing techniques are also being investigated that allow the network to dynamically self-check, reconfigure, and manage itself in the presence of expansion, hot-swapping, faults, and other anomalous conditions. We also have interest in designing, modeling and implementing high-bandwidth optical/optoelectronic-based interconnect! ion networks, network processors, and switch/router architectures. Below are some of the major contributions made thus far.

  • In collaboration with others, we have developed a theory and methodology for the design of dynamic network reconfiguration techniques that result in minimal packet loss, are deadlock-free, and are generally applicable to high-performance and highly dependable interconnection networks.
  • We have developed an intuitive model, a theoretical framework, and empirical simulation techniques for characterizing the causal effects of various network attributes on the formation of correlated resource dependencies and deadlock. This work provides the basis for alternative, more efficient deadlock-free routing approaches, such as deadlock recovery- based routing.
  • We have introduced the idea of progressive deadlock recovery routing and have developed several fully-adaptive routing techniques for regular and irregular networks based on this approach. We have also proposed and implemented various router architecture optimizations applicable to deadlock-recovery routers.
  • We have proposed and implemented portions of a hybrid cache coherence/network interconnect architecture designed to support low-latency interprocessor communication over point-to-point and broadcast optical channels.
  • We have also designed, modeled and implemented several other optical/optoelectronic architectures with the collaboration of others. The theme and contribution of this work is in advancing basic research that addresses architectural issues related to the co-integration of promising optoelectronic components with highly functional logic circuitry typical of potential applications envisioned for this emerging technology, notably network routers.
Three Important References:

Part I: A Theory for Deadlock-free Dynamic Reconfiguration of Interconnection Networks, Jose Duato, Olav Lysne, Ruoming Pang, and Timothy Mark Pinkston, in IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, Vol. 16, No. 5, pp. 412-427, May 2005.

A General Theory for Deadlock-free Adaptive Routing Using a Mixed Set of Resources, Jose Duato and Timothy Mark Pinkston, in IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, Vol. 12, No. 12, December, 2001.

Flexible and Efficient Routing Based on Progressive Deadlock Recovery, Timothy Mark Pinkston, in IEEE Transactions on Computers, Vol. 48, No. 7, pp. 649-669, July, 1999.

Biographical Information:

Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, 1993, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.

Timothy M. Pinkston is a Professor in the Computer Engineering Division of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering and Senior Associate Dean of Engineering in USC's Viterbi School of Engineering (read more here <http://viterbi.usc.edu/news/news/2009/timothy-pinkston-named.htm> ). His research interests are in the area of communication architectures for parallel computing systems, which include multicore and multiprocessor systems. He is known for his contributions to the design and analysis of interconnection networks and routing algorithms, having published over 100 technical articles and book chapters on related topics, including a 114-page book chapter co-authored with Professor Jose Duato entitled "Interconnection Networks," which appears in the 4th edition of Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, by John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson.

Recently, he served three years as a Program Director in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) of the National Science Foundation where he managed an award portfolio of approximately $10 million (FY'07) for CISE's Computer Systems Architecture Program and $40 million (FY'08) for CISE's flagship Expeditions in Computing Program in its inaugural year. Prior to going to the NSF, Dr. Pinkston served as the Director of the Computer Engineering Division at USC. His professional service includes serving on the editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (TPDS) and on the IEEE TPDS Editor-in-Chief search and re-appointment committees. He has taken on leadership roles and membership in many conferences and workshops in the field, including ISCA, HPCA, ICPP, IPDPS, NOCS and HiPC. He recently served as the Program Chair for ICPADS'06, the General Chair for IPDPS'07, and the Program Chair for HPCA'09.

Dr. Pinkston received his Ph.D. and Master's degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and his B.S.E.E. degree from The Ohio State University (OSU) where he is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the College of Engineering and the Minority Engineering Program of OSU. He is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Research Areas:
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