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Welcome to Cheng Li’s Website

I am pre-tenured research professor at the Department of Computer Science at University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and a member of the Advanced Data Systems Lab (ADSL). My research interests lie in various topics related to computer systems such as operating systems, distributed systems, databases and etc, particularly in improving performance, consistency, fault tolerance, and availability of the above mentioned systems.

Prior to joining USTC, I was an associated researcher with my PhD supervisor Rodrigo Rodrigues at INESC-ID, Portugal, and a senior member of technical staff at Oracle Labs Swiss.

In 2016, I obtained my PhD degree from the Dependable Systems Group at the Max Planck Institute for Software Sytems (MPI-SWS) and Saarland University in Germany. Before studying at MPI-SWS, I obtained my bachelor degree from Nankai University in 2009.


It is my great honor to work with the following brilliant computer scientists (sorted by last name in an alphabetical order): Yungang Bao, Allen Clement, Miguel Castro, Pedro Fonseca, Johannes Gehrke, Zhenyu Guo, Flavio Junqueira, João Leitão, Daniel Porto, Nuno Preguiça, Viktor Vafeiadis, and Lidong Zhou.


  • [Apr-19-2018] Our paper “Fine-grained Consistency for Geo-Replicated Systems” has been accepted by USENIX ATC 2018.
  • [Apr-19-2018] Our paper “ElasticBF: Fine-grained and Elastic Bloom Filter Towards Efficient Read for LSM-tree-based KV Stores” has been accepted by HotStorage 2018.
  • [Sep-05-2017] Congrats to Youxu on his research abstract accepted by the Student Research Competition at SOSP 2017. In this project, we explore data correlations between files to seek opportunities for prefetching metadata of correlated files, in order to scale distributed file systems.


  • Fine-grained Consistency for Geo-Replicated Systems [pdf]. Cheng Li, Nuno Preguiça and Rodrigo Rodrigues, To appear in Proceedings of the 2018 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC 2018), Boston, MA, USA
  • ElasticBF: Fine-grained and Elastic Bloom Filter Towards Efficient Read for LSM-tree-based KV Stores [pdf]. Yueming Zhang, Yongkun Li, Fan Guo, Cheng Li and Yinlong Xu, To appear in Proceedings of the 10th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Storage and File Systems (HotStorage 2018), Boston, MA, USA
  • Building Fast and Consistent (Geo)Replicated Systems: from Principles to Practice [pdf]. Cheng Li. PhD Thesis. MPI-SWS. Defended in May 2016
  • Geo-Replication: Fast If Possible, Consistent If Necessary [pdf]. Cheng Li, Valter Balegas, Mahsa Najafzadeh, Daniel Porto, Allen Clement, Sergio Duarte, Carla Ferreira, Johannes Gehrke, João Leitão, Nuno Preguiça, Rodrigo Rodrigues Marc Shapiro and Viktor Vafeiadis, IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin, Volume 39, Page 81-92. IEEE Computer Society. March 2016.
  • Visigoth Fault Tolerance [pdf][technical report]. Daniel Porto, João Leitão, Cheng Li, Aniket Kate, Allen Clement, Flavio Junqueira and Rodrigo Rodrigues, In Proceedings of of the European Conference on Computer Systems (EuroSys’15), Bordeaux, France
  • Minimizing Coordination in Replicated Systems [pdf]. Cheng Li, João Leitão, Allen Clement, Nuno Preguiça and Rodrigo Rodrigues, In Proceedings of the Workshop on on Principles and Practice of Consistency for Distributed Data (PaPoC’15), Bordeaux, France
  • Automating the Choice of Consistency Levels in Replicated Systems [pdf]. Cheng Li, João Leitão, Allen Clement, Nuno Preguiça, Rodrigo Rodrigues and Viktor Vafeiadis, In Proceedings of the 2014 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC 2014), Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • Making Geo-Replicated Systems Fast as Possible, Consistent when Necessary [pdf][technical report][poster]. Cheng Li, Daniel Porto, Allen Clement, Johannes Gehrke, Nuno Preguica, and Rodrigo Rodrigues, In Proceedings of the 10th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI 2012), Hollywood, CA, USA
  • Finding Complex Concurrency Bugs in Large Multi-Threaded Applications [pdf]. Pedro Fonseca, Cheng Li, and Rodrigo Rodrigues, In Proceedings of the 6th European Professional Society on Computer Systems (EuroSys 2011), Salzburg, Austria
  • A study of the Internal and External Effects of Concurrency Bugs [pdf]. Pedro Fonseca, Cheng Li, Vishal Singhal and Rodrigo Rodrigues, In Proceedings of the DSN 2010 - 40th IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, Chicago, USA

For project information in details, please check the project page.

Open positions for prospective students

I am looking forward to working with talent students who are interested in overcoming challenges in systems research, and want to pursue graduate degrees. In addition, I am happy to supervise bachelor thesis projects. Feel free to send messages to or, if you want to contact me or you can stop by my office (Room 503, National High Performance Computing Center, East Campus, USTC).

Current students

  • Youxu Chen (co-advised PhD candidate)
  • Youhui Bai (co-advised Master)
  • Xinyang Shao (co-advised Master)
  • Jingbo Su (co-advised Master)
  • Guanbin Xu (Master)
  • Dongbo Yu (Master)
  • Ruohui Wang (Bachelor)
  • Xiaoniu Song (Bachelor)
  • Zewen Jin (Bachelor)
  • Chaoyi Ruan (Bachelor)
  • Haoming Luo (Bachelor)

Previous students

  • David Lopes (co-advised Master)

Professional activities (recent)

  • APSys 2018 PC member
  • 2nd ACM TURC SIGOPS/14th ChinaSys workshop Co-Program Chair (with Rong Chen)
  • ACM SOSP Poster Session Co-Chair 2017 (with Gernot Heiser)
  • ACM Transactions on Storage reviewer
  • IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking reviewer
  • APSys 2017 PC member
  • ICAC 2017 reviewer
  • DSN 2017 reviewer