Karla Saur

I am a Principal Research SDE in Gray Systems Lab (GSL) at Microsoft, an applied research lab within Azure Data.


  • My main research focus is optimizing cloud infrastructure for database and machine learning workloads. Recently, I've been looking at optimizing containerized user defined functions (UDFs).
  • I'm the maintainer and co-creator of Hummingbird, a library for compiling trained traditional ML models into tensor computations. You can read all about Hummingbird in our blog post or our paper.
  • I use Kubernetes a lot in my current work in Azure Data, and am a former member of the Azure Kubernetes Service team. At Intel Labs, I worked on a Kubernetes-based enablement and optimization of our containerized NFV-based cellular core infrastructure research prototype. [video]
  • My PhD thesis was about Dynamic Upgrades for High Availability Systems.
  • Before my PhD, I worked in the security industry in the Maryland/DC area.


  • Containerized Execution of UDFs: An Experimental Evaluation
    Karla Saur, Tara Mirmira, Konstantinos Karanasos, Jesús Camacho Rodríguez. Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment 15 (11), 3158-3171, 2022. [pdf]
  • Query Processing on Tensor Computation Runtimes
    Dong He, Supun C Nakandala, Dalitso Banda, Rathijit Sen, Karla Saur, Kwanghyun Park, Carlo Curino, Jesús Camacho Rodríguez, Konstantinos Karanasos, Matteo Interlandi. Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment 15 (11), 2022. [pdf]
  • End-to-end Optimization of Machine Learning Prediction Queries
    Kwanghyun Park, Karla Saur, Dalitso Banda, Rathijit Sen, Matteo Interlandi, Konstantinos Karanasos. In Proceedings of the 2022 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data. [pdf]
  • Tensors: An abstraction for general data processing
    Dimitrios Koutsoukos, Supun Nakandala, Konstantinos Karanasos, Karla Saur, Gustavo Alonso, Matteo Interlandi. Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment 14 (10), 1797-1804, 2021. [pdf]
  • A Tensor Compiler for Unified Machine Learning Prediction Serving
    Supun Nakandala, Karla Saur, Gyeong-In Yu, Konstantinos Karanasos, Carlo Curino, Markus Weimer, Matteo Interlandi. 14th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI), November 4–6, 2020. [pdf]
  • Cloudy with high chance of DBMS: A 10-year prediction for Enterprise-Grade ML
    Ashvin Agrawal, Rony Chatterjee, Carlo Curino, Avrilia Floratou, Neha Gowdal, Matteo Interlandi, Alekh Jindal, Kostantinos Karanasos, Subru Krishnan, Brian Kroth, Jyoti Leeka, Kwanghyun Park, Hiren Patel, Olga Poppe, Fotis Psallidas, Raghu Ramakrishnan, Abhishek Roy, Karla Saur, Rathijit Sen, Markus Weimer, Travis Wright, Yiwen Zhu. 10th Annual Conference on Innovative Data Systems Research (CIDR), January 12-15, 2020. [pdf]
  • Evolving NoSQL Databases Without Downtime
    Karla Saur, Tudor Dumitraș, and Michael Hicks. International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution (ICSME), October 2016. [pdf]
  • Safe and Flexible Controller Upgrades for SDNs
    Karla Saur, Joseph Collard, Nate Foster, Arjun Guha, Laurent Vanbever, and Michael Hicks. Symposium on SDN Research (SOSR), March 2016. [pdf]
  • C-strider: Type-Aware Heap Traversal for C
    Karla Saur, Michael Hicks, and Jeffrey S. Foster. Software: Practice and Experience, 2015. DOI: 10.1002/spe.2332 [pdf]
  • Kitsune: Efficient, General-purpose Dynamic Software Updating for C
    Christopher M. Hayden, Karla Saur, Edward K. Smith, Michael Hicks, and Jeffrey S. Foster. ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems (TOPLAS), Vol. 36, No. 4, Article 13, Publication date: October 2014. [pdf]
  • A Study of Dynamic Software Update Quiescence for Multithreaded Programs
    Christopher M. Hayden, Karla Saur, Michael Hicks, and Jeffrey S. Foster, In Proceedings of the Workshop on Hot Topics in Software Upgrades (HotSWUp), June 2012. [pdf] [slides]
  • Locating x86 Paging Structures in Memory Images
    Karla Saur, Julian B. Grizzard, Journal of Digital Investigation, Vol. 7, pp. 28-37, 2010. [pdf] [slides]

Patents (Granted)

  • Technologies for providing guidance for autonomous vehicles in areas of low network connectivity
    N Dabby, J Swan, A Foong, K Saur, H Moustafa, RH Wouhaybi, L Hurd, R Baskaran. 2023/1/10, US Patent 11,551,551 [pdf]
  • Methods and apparatus to collect and analyze rating information
    C Baron, A Foong, S Chang, H Saadeldeen, K Saur. 2022/4/19, US Patent 11,308,510 [pdf]
  • Scaling mobile gateways in a 3rd generation partnership project (3GPP) network.
    JA Cooper, KJ Saur, S Edupuganti, C Maciocco. 2020/3/24, US Patent 10,602,349 [pdf]
  • Technology for secure partitioning and updating of a distributed digital ledger.
    K Saur, M Bowman, A Miele, JP Held. 2020/1/21, US Patent 10,540,652 [pdf]