Ennan Zhai (翟恩南)

Staff Engineer / Researcher
Network Research Team at Alibaba Group@Seattle

Email: ennan.zhai (at) alibaba-inc.com

I am a staff engineer/researcher at Alibaba Group@Seattle. My research focuses on building secure and reliable systems, by utilizing techniques in areas including distributed systems, programming languages, and verification.

Prior to joining Alibaba, I was a research scientist in the Computer Science Department at Yale University until Jun 2018. During that time, I worked with Ruzica Piskac, Mahesh Balakrishnan, and Avi Silberschatz, on building cloud failure auditing systems; and, also worked with Joan Feigenbaum on tracking-resistant anonymous systems. I was also an instructor for Building Distributed Systems course.

I received my Ph.D. degree in 2015 from Yale University, under the guidance of Bryan Ford. My dissertation work focused on building the first cloud-reliability auditing system (named Independence-as-a-Service or INDaaS) that proactively detects deep, unexpected dependencies potentially causing cloud-scale correlated failures, which was published in OSDI'14.

Selected Publications  (My full publication list)

MobiCom'19 Mobile Gaming on Personal Computers with Direct Android Emulation.
Qifan Yang, Zhenhua Li, Yunhao Liu, Hai Long, Yuanchao Huang, Jiaming He, Tianyin Xu, and Ennan Zhai.
25th International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking (MobiCom'19).
[PDF]. [System with 50M users].
FAST'18 Towards Web-based Delta Synchronization for Cloud Storage Services.
He Xiao, Zhenhua Li, Ennan Zhai, Tianyin Xu, Yang Li, Yunhao Liu, Quanlu Zhang, and Yao Liu.
16th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST'18), Feb, 2018.
[PDF]. [Source Code].
OOPSLA'17 An Auditing Language for Preventing Correlated Failures in the Cloud.
Ennan Zhai, Ruzica Piskac, Ronghui Gu, Xun Lao, and Xi Wang.
32th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA'17), Oct, 2017.
OOPSLA'17 Synthesizing Configuration File Specifications with Association Rule Learning.
Mark Santolucito, Ennan Zhai, Rahul Dhodapkar, Aaron Shim, and Ruzica Piskac.
32th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA'17), Oct, 2017.
VLDB'17 Resisting Tag Spam by Leveraging Implicit User Behaviors.
Ennan Zhai, Zhenhua Li, Zhenyu Li, Fan Wu and Guihai Chen.
Proceedings of the VLDB, Vol. 10, No. 3.
43rd International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB'17), Aug, 2017
FMCAD'17 Automated Repair By Example for Firewalls.
William Hallahan, Ennan Zhai, and Ruzica Piskac.
17th Formal Methods in Computer-Aided Design (FMCAD'17), Oct, 2017.
[PDF]. [Source Code].
NSDI'16 AnonRep: Towards Tracking-Resistant Anonymous Reputation.
Ennan Zhai, David Isaac Wolinsky, Ruichuan Chen, Ewa Syta, Chao Teng, and Bryan Ford.
13th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI'16), Mar, 2016.
[PDF]. [Talk Slides]. [Source Code].
CAV'16 Probabilistic Automated Language Learning for Configuration Files.
Mark Santolucito, Ennan Zhai, and Ruzica Piskac.
28th International Conference on Computer Aided Verification (CAV'16), Jul, 2016
OSDI'14 Heading Off Correlated Failures through Independence-as-a-Service.
Ennan Zhai, Ruichuan Chen, David Isaac Wolinsky, and Bryan Ford.
11th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI'14), Oct, 2014.
[PDF]. [Technical Report]. [Talk Slides]. [Talk Video]. [The Register News].

Teaching Experience

Professional Service

Last Update: Jan. 2019