Hi! I'm Alan (Zaoxing) Liu, a computer systems enthusiast. I work on networks, systems, and security. More professionally, I'm an Assistant Professor in ECE and CS (affiliated) at Boston University. My research has won interdisciplinary recognition, including USENIX FAST Best Paper Award, USENIX ATC "Best of Rest", and ACM STOC "Best of Rest". Prior to BU, I did a postdoc at Carnegie Mellon University and obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. [Email] [Bio]

-I'm always looking for self-motivated students who are interested in systems and networking research. If you are interested in joining forces with me, feel free to drop me an email with your CV. MTFBWYA! [Useful Links] [CE PhD Program] [How-to-apply]

-Feel free to contact me if you are interested in research internship opportunites in my group. If you are already at BU, let's schedule a chat!


05/2022    Excited to co-chair the Telemetry Working Group via MOC and Red Hat. We are calling for participation and committeed to open telemetry!

05/2022    Zeying will be interning at Microsoft Research this summer.

04/2022    Attending NSDI'22! The first in-person conference since a while ago. Let's meet up!

03/2022    I'm co-organizing the 3rd FFSPIN workshop at SIGCOMM'22. Submit your work!

12/2021    Thanks Red Hat and Hariri Institute for the 2022 Red Hat Collaboratory Research Incubation Award!

11/2021    Excited to receive research grant from Microsoft to work on data-driven optimization for 5G at BU. Thanks, Microsoft!

08/2021    Excited to lead a NSF CNS medium project on future-proof telemetry with collabrators at BU and CMU. Thanks, NSF!

08/2021    Precise telemetry error estimation paper to appear in IMC'21. Congrats to Peiqing!

08/2021    Excited to receive NSF SaTC and CNS grants to work on optics-enabled defense and data-driven network management, with collabrators at UOregon, UC Riverside, CMU, JHU. Thanks, NSF!

06/2021    HeteroSketch and SketchLib papers to appear in NSDI'22. Congrats to the team!

05/2021    CocoSketch to appear in SIGCOMM'21. Congrats to the team!

03/2021    NitroSketch is integrated into Intel DPDK load balancer product! Check out Yipeng and Chenmin's talk (slides) at DPDK Summit.

02/2021    Jaqen to appear in USENIX Security'21. Valar dohaeris!

01/2021    Started at Boston for a new adventure.

08/2020    Joltik to appear in MobiCom'20. Congrats to the team!

05/2020    TEA to appear in SIGCOMM'20. Congrats to the team. See you online!

10/2019    Lean algorithms to appear in APOCS'20 (held with SODA'20). See you in Salt Lake City!

10/2019    Interval-query work to appear in SIGMETRICS'20. Congrats to the team!

07/2019    Give an invited talk at USENIX ATC'19. See you in Seattle!

05/2019    NitroSketch work to appear in SIGCOMM'19. See you in Beijing!

12/2018    DistCache work to appear in FAST'19. (Update: Best Paper Award)

06/2018    Summer internship at SF bay area, let's meet up!

10/2018    Successfully defended my Ph.D. dissertation.

07/2018    Joining CMU/Harvard as a postdoctoral researcher (with Vyas Sekar and Minlan Yu).

07/2018    ASAP work to appear in OSDI'18.

04/2018    Attend NSDI'18, Renton, WA. Thanks a lot USENIX for the travel grant!

08/2016    Attend and present at SIGCOMM'16, Florianopolis, Brazil.

06/2016    Give an invited talk at NSF Algorithm in the Field Workshop for Software-defined Networking

05/2016    CS@JHU and UMD are hosting 2016 Capital Area Theory Day, please register to attend.

05/2016    UnivMon work to appear in SIGCOMM'16.

04/2016    Attend AT&T Research Academic Summit. Rethinking Network Flow Monitoring. (Update: Best Poster Award)


I'm broadly interested in systems and networking. I design, implement, evaluate systems and algorithmic tools for telemetry, in-network computing, ML/analytics, and network security.

- Network Telemetry and Management
- Programmable Networks / In-Network Computing and Security
- Data Analytics Systems




  • [NSDI] HeteroSketch: Coordinating Network-wide Monitoring in Heterogeneous and Dynamic Networks
    Anup Agarwal, Zaoxing Liu, Srinivasan Seshan
    to appear USENIX NSDI'22.

  • [NSDI] SketchLib: Enabling Efficient Sketch-based Monitoring on Programmable Switches
    Hun Namkung, Zaoxing Liu, Daehyeok Kim, Vyas Sekar, Peter Steenkiste
    to appear in USENIX NSDI'22.


  • [Security] Jaqen: A High-Performance Switch-Native Approach for Detecting and Mitigating Volumetric DDoS Attacks with Programmable Switches
    Zaoxing Liu, Hun Namkung, Georgios Nikolaidis, Jeongkeun Lee, Changhoon Kim, Xin Jin, Vladimir Braverman, Minlan Yu, Vyas Sekar
    in USENIX Security'21.
    [PDF] [Slides]

  • [IMC] Precise Error Estimation for Sketch-based Flow Measurement
    Peiqing Chen, Yuhan Wu, Tong Yang, Junchen Jiang, Zaoxing Liu
    in ACM/SIGCOMM IMC'21.

  • [SIGCOMM] CocoSketch: High-Performance Sketch-based Measurement over Arbitrary Partial Key Query
    Yinda Zhang, Zaoxing Liu, Ruixin Wang, Tong Yang, Jizhou Li, Ruijie Miao, Peng Liu, Ruwen Zhang, Junchen Jiang
    in ACM SIGCOMM'21.

  • [SOSR] Telemetry Retrieval Inaccuracy in Programmable Switches: Analysis and Recommendations
    Hun Namkung, Daehyeok Kim, Zaoxing Liu, Vyas Sekar, Peter Steenkiste
    to appear in ACM SOSR 2021.

  • [TaPoPF] Sketchy With a Chance of Adoption: Can Sketch-Based Telemetry Be Ready for Prime Time?
    Zaoxing Liu, Hun Namkung, Anup Agarwal, Antonis Manousis, Peter Steenkiste, Srinivasan Seshan, Vyas Sekar
    in 1st IEEE TaPoPF Workshop (NetSoft). [This is an open-problem paper]

  • [IoTDI] SecDeep: Secure and Performant On-device Deep Learning Inference Framework for Mobile and IoT Devices
    Renju Liu, Luis Garcia, Zaoxing Liu, Botong Ou, Mani Srivastava
    in ACM/IEEE IoTDI 2021.


  • [SIGCOMM] TEA: Enabling State-Intensive Network Functions on Programmable Switches
    Daehyeok Kim, Zaoxing Liu, Yibo Zhu, Changhoon Kim, Jeongkeun Lee, Vyas Sekar, Srinivasan Seshan
    in ACM SIGCOMM 2020.

  • [MobiCom] Joltik: Enabling Energy-Efficient "Future-Proof" Analytics on Low-Power Wide-Area Networks
    Mingran Yang, Junbo Zhang, Akshay Gadre, Zaoxing Liu, Swarun Kumar, Vyas Sekar
    in ACM MobiCom 2020.

  • [APoCS] Memory-Efficient Performance Monitoring on Programmable Switches with Lean Algorithms
    Zaoxing Liu, Samson Zhou, Ori Rottenstreich, Vladimir Braverman, Jennifer Rexford
    in SIAM ACM APoCS 2020 (Co-held with SODA 2020).
    [PDF] [Slides]

  • [SIGMETRICS] I Know What You Did Last Summer: Network Monitoring using Interval Queries
    Nikita Ivkin, Ran Ben Basat, Zaoxing Liu, Gil Einziger, Roy Friedman, Vladimir Braverman
    in ACM SIGMETRICS 2020.

  • [CoRR] Unleashing In-network Computing on Scientific Workloads
    Daehyeok Kim, Ankush Jain, Zaoxing Liu, George Amvrosiadis, Damian Hazen, Bradley Settlemyer, Vyas Sekar


  • [SIGCOMM] NitroSketch: Robust and General Sketch-based Monitoring in Software Switches
    Zaoxing Liu, Ran Ben-Basat, Gil Einziger, Yaron Kassner, Vladimir Braverman, Roy Friedman, Vyas Sekar
    in ACM SIGCOMM 2019.
    [PDF] [Slides] [Talk]

  • [FAST] DistCache: Provable Load Balancing for Large-Scale Storage Systems with Distributed Caching
    Zaoxing Liu, Zhihao Bai, Zhenming Liu, Xiaozhou Li, Changhoon Kim, Vladimir Braverman, Xin Jin, Ion Stoica
    in USENIX FAST 2019.
    [PDF] [Extended Version] [Slides] [Talk] [Invited Talk]
    Best Paper Award

  • [CoRR] Enhancing the Privacy of Federated Learning with Sketching
    Zaoxing Liu, Tian Li, Virginia Smith, Vyas Sekar


  • [OSDI] ASAP: Fast, Approximate Pattern Mining at Scale
    Anand Iyer*, Zaoxing Liu*, Xin Jin, Shivaram Venkataraman, Vladimir Braverman, Ion Stoica
    in USENIX OSDI 2018.
    (*Co-leading author)
    [PDF][Blog:the morning paper]

  • [HotCloud] Towards Fast and Scalable Graph Pattern Mining
    Anand Iyer*, Zaoxing Liu*, Xin Jin, Shivaram Venkataraman, Vladimir Braverman, Ion Stoica
    in USENIX HotCloud 2018.
    (*Co-leading author)

  • [Astro. & Comp.] Scalable Streaming Tools for Analyzing N-body Simulations: Finding Halos and Investigating Excursion Sets in One Pass
    Nikita Ivkin, Zaoxing Liu, Lin F. Yang, Srinivas Suresh Kumara, Gerard Lemsona, Mark Neyrinckc, Alexander S. Szalay, Vladimir Bravermana, Tamas Budavari
    in Astronomy and Computing 2018.


  • [Algorithmica] New Bounds for the CLIQUE-GAP Problem using Graph Decomposition Theory
    Vladimir Braverman, Zaoxing Liu*, Tejasvam Singh, N.V. Vinodchandran and Lin Yang (Alphabetical)
    in Algorithmica 2017.


  • [SIGCOMM] One Sketch to Rule Them All: Rethinking Network Flow Monitoring with UnivMon
    Zaoxing Liu, Antonis Manousis, Greg Vorsanger, Vyas Sekar, Vladimir Braverman
    in ACM SIGCOMM 2016.
    [PDF] [Slides] [Talk] [Invited Talk]

    Selected as Plenary Talk ("Best of Theory") at STOC 2018.


  • [HotNets] Enabling a "RISC" Approach for Software-Defined Monitoring using Universal Streaming
    Zaoxing Liu, Greg Vorsanger, Vladimir Braverman, Vyas Sekar
    in ACM HotNets 2015.
    [PDF] [Slides]

    Best Poster Award at AT&T Research Summit 2016.

  • [eScience] Streaming Algorithms for Halo Finders
    Zaoxing Liu, Nikita Ivkin, Lin F. Yang, Mark Neyrinck, Gerard Lemson, Alexander S. Szalay, Vladimir Braverman, Tamas Budavari, Randal Burns, and Xin Wang
    in IEEE eScience 2015.

  • [MFCS] New Bounds for the CLIQUE-GAP Problem using Graph Decomposition Theory
    Vladimir Braverman, Zaoxing Liu*, Tejasvam Singh, N.V. Vinodchandran and Lin Yang (Alphabetical)
    in MFCS 2015.


Ph.D. Students:

Peiqing Chen, Mingji Han, Yajie (Lesley) Zhou, Zeying Zhu

Undergraduate Students:

Yaroslav Diachenko, Julia Hua, Haoming Yi, Nengneng Yu


Anthony Wang (High School Intern --> MIT)

I have also worked closely with:

Anup Agarwal (CMU), Tian Li (CMU), Antonis Manousis (CMU)

Hun Namkung (CMU), Mingran Yang (MIT), Yinda Zhang (PKU/UChicago)


Our research cannot happen without generous sponsorship from government, industry, foundations, and individual donors. To find out more about our research outcomes and current projects in need of financial support, please contact Alan Liu (email).


We are grateful to National Science Foundation, Microsoft, and Red Hat for their generous support. The findings, positions, or opinions of our research projects do not necessarily reflect the official policy of any of these organizations.

Current supporters:

Academic Service

Technical Program Committee

2023: NSDI



2020: P4 Expert Roundtable Series, INFOCOM WNA




Boston University

Instructor, ENG EC 528, Cloud Computing (Fall 2022)

Instructor, ENG EC 700, Advanced Topics in Computer Networking (Fall 2021)

Instructor, ENG EC 441, Introduction to Computer Networking (Spring 2021)

Johns Hopkins University

Guest Lecturer, EN600.463/663, Algorithms I (Spring 2017, 2018)

Teaching Assistant, EN600.463/663, Algorithms I (Spring 2017, 2018)

Teaching Assistant, EN600.363/463, Introduction to Algorithms (Spring 2015)

Teaching Assistant, EN600.464/664, Randomized Algorithms (Fall 2014)

Recent Talks

SIGCOMM'20-Network Telemetry Preview




DIMACS Networking Workshop


Dr. Alan (Zaoxing) Liu is a tenure-track assistant professor at Boston University ECE and CS. His research interests are in systems and networking, and his group at BU is focusing on building next-generation networked systems. Prior to BU, Dr. Liu was a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University and obtained his PhD in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. His research papers have been published in top-tier venues such as ACM SIGCOMM, NSDI, USENIX FAST, and OSDI. He is a recipient of the best paper award at USENIX FAST'19 for his work on large-scale distributed load balancing. His work received multiple recognitions, including ACM STOC "Best-of-Theory" plenary talk and USENIX ATC "Best-of-Rest".


Email: zaoxing AT bu.edu >> GPG key


PHO 335, College of Engineering

Boston University

8 St Marys St

Boston, MA 02215