Principles and Practice of Scalable Systems (PPoSS)

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Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.

Supports interdisciplinary research that spans the entire hardware–software stack and studies the scalability and accuracy of modern applications, systems and toolchains built on heterogeneous architectures.


A key focus of the design of modern computing systems is performance and scalability, particularly in light of the limits of Moore’s Law and Dennard scaling. To this end, systems are increasingly being implemented by composing heterogeneous computing components and continually changing memory systems as novel, performant hardware surfaces. Applications fueled by rapid strides in machine learning, data analysis, and extreme-scale simulation are becoming more domain-specific and highly distributed. In this scenario, traditional boundaries between hardware-oriented and software-oriented disciplines are increasingly blurred.

Achieving scalability of systems and applications will therefore require coordinated progress in multiple disciplines such as computer architecture, high-performance computing (HPC), machine programming, programming languages and compilers, security and privacy, systems, and theory and algorithms. Cross-cutting concerns such as performance, correctness and accuracy, and heterogeneity must be taken into account from the outset in all aspects of systems and application design and implementation.

The aim of the Principles and Practice of Scalable Systems (PPoSS) program is to support a community of researchers who will work symbiotically across the multiple disciplines above to perform basic research on scalability and correctness and accuracy of modern applications, systems, and toolchains built on heterogeneous architectures. The intent is that these efforts will foster the development of principles that lead to rigorous and reproducible artifacts for the design and implementation of large-scale systems and applications spanning the full hardware/software stack. Importantly, as described below, PPoSS specifically seeks to fund projects that span the entire hardware/software stack and that lay the foundations for sustainable approaches for implementing performant, scalable, and correct and accurate computing applications that run on heterogeneous platforms.

Program contacts

Damian Dechev
Program Director, CISE/CCF (703) 292-8910 CISE/CCF
Wei Ding
Program Director (703) 292-8017 CISE/IIS
Funda Ergun
Program Director (703) 292-2216 CISE/CCF
Alexander Jones
Program Director, CISE/CNS (703) 292-8950
Mimi M. McClure
Program Director (703) 292-5197 CISE/CNS
Seung-Jong Park
Program Director, CISE/OAC (703) 292-4383 CISE/OAC
Danella Zhao
Program Director, CISE/CCF (703) 292-4434 CISE/CCF
Melissa Cowan
Program Director, Intel Labs. (503) 264-7469

Awards made through this program

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Map of recent awards made through this program