Seminar: In-Network Computing

This seminar focuses on in-network computing, a current topic at the intersection of computer networks and distributed systems. With the slowdown of the Moore’s law and the exponential growth of data, designing high-performance networked systems to support emerging applications has become increasingly challenging. The main idea of in-network computing is to offload computations to network devices, processing data on the fly when we move them across servers. This has proven to bring significant performance benefits to a variety of distributed services in data centers. In this seminar, we are going to dive into the different aspects of in-network computing, aiming to understand the driving technologies and applications. We focus on three different areas: hardware architecture, programming support, and applications (machine learning and security). 

Learn­ing Goals

This seminar aims to train on academic soft skills. After taking this seminar, students will be able to 

  • Read scientific papers and perform some basic literature study
  • Write a scientific report based on the findings in the literature study
  • Present your scientific report to a wide audience
  • Provide feedback to the reports of others in a constructive manner


The seminar is organized in three phases:

Phase 1: Literature Study

  • You will be introduced to the topic (in the first appointment) and will be given a list of papers to start. Each of you should go through these papers briefly and must select one paper from the given list as your target paper to review.
  • Read the paper you have selected in depth and find out at least two more extra papers that are closely related to your selected paper to include in your literature study process. Read the extra papers in depth as well. 
  • Draft a report based on the selected and extra papers. A latex template will be provided. Once completed, submit your report on PANDA.

Phase 2: Peer Review

  • Each of you will be assigned 2 submitted reports from your peer students. You should read these reports carefully and understand the contents of them.
  • Write a detailed review for the reports assigned to you. At the end of your review, provide some concrete, constructive feedback so the authors can improve their reports based on your feedback.
  • You will also receive some feedback on your report from the course instructor.

Phase 3: Presentation and Final Submission

  • Each of you will prepare an in-person presentation of 20 mins for the report you have written. The presentation should target a wide audience, targeting both experts and non-experts. Each presentation will be followed by a Q&A of around 5 mins.
  • Finalize your report based on all the feedback you have received. Submit the final version of the report on PANDA.


The seminar will be assessed based on three components:

  • Report quality (60%): Your final version of the report will be assessed based on criteria including understanding, structure, logic, and writing quality. Some basic requirements will be given during the lecture.
  • Presentation quality (30%): The final presentation will be assessed based on the storyline, flow, slides quality, and question answering. Some basic requirements will be given during the lecture.
  • Review feedback (10%): The review feedback will be assessed based on understanding, precision of the comments, and constructiveness of the feedback. Some basic requirements will be given during the lecture.

You pass the course if you receive no less than 50% overall. Partitipation in each and every component is strictly required; getting a zero for any component means failing the course.