Chandra Narayanaswami


Chandra Narayanaswami


Distinguished Research Scientist, Manager - Observability, Insights, & Actions for ITOps


IBM Research - Yorktown Heights Yorktown Heights, NY USA


I currently focus on resource optimization for cloud.

I like to innovate and try to deeply influence both the industry and the academic communities, and transitively our society, with my efforts. Several ideas from my projects and patents manifest themselves in supply chain, e-commerce, mobile, graphics, and other products created by multiple companies and used all over the world daily by hundreds of millions of people. I have been very fortunate to work on several exciting projects with great colleagues and clients and to have my work covered by the world’s leading newspapers and appear on the covers of several technical publications and in industry analyst reports. I was elected a Fellow of the ACM in 2020 and Fellow of the IEEE in 2008 for my contributions to mobile, wearable, and pervasive computing.  I was also named Distinguished Alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 2022. I gave one of the keynotes at ACM MobiSys 2020 describing the Linux Watch project on its 20th anniversary.

From 2019-2022 I led the Supply Chain research theme at IBM Research with a focus on combining AI, Blockchain, and IoT to build intelligent self-correcting and sustainable supply chains. This work led to an AI-based Demand Forecasting Toolkit, an AI-based Inventory Position Optimization Toolkit, tools for computing carbon metrics for supply chain operations such as fulfillment, and contributions towards the use of Blockchain Technologies for sustainability.

From 2016-2018 I worked on applications of Blockchain technologies for provenance and traceability for Supply Chains in multiple industries. Interesting challenges arose in forming and operating Blockchain networks, namely business value and financial incentives, organizational dynamics and behaviors, operating infrastructure and efficiency,  data standards and interoperability, in situ blockchain applications, and in enabling data to be 'born' on the blockchain and Blockchain anchored supply chain automation.  Some examples are captured in the Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics Defense (SHIELD) section of the 2018 Electronics Resurgence Initiative Summit.

From 2012-2016,  as a Manager and then as the Chief Scientist and Senior Manager for IBM Commerce Research I was responsible for creating innovative and scalable analytics driven solutions for omnichannel commerce. These include Contextual Customer Engagement, Real Time Personalization, Local Events Marketing Kit, and Demand Forecasting. I conceived and championed the IBM Commerce Advanced Solutions HUB (CASH) that is leveraged for big data commerce solutions such as Local Event Marketing Kit and IBM Sterling Order Optimizer. Early prototypes of my work, CLAsSIC (Contextual Location Analytics for Smarter Commerce), led the vision for IBM's Metropulse offering (related announcement).

Impacts of my work from 2009-2012 to IBM products (now sold to HCL Technologies, India) include location services, coupon wallets, and REST enablement of IBM WebSphere Commerce (which allows new shopping models such as exposing products directly in an ad or commerce in a chat system such as WeChat), XC10 data caching appliances, and enterprise mashups and visual analytics. These IBM (now HCL Technologies, India) products have been deployed at many of the world's leading retailers. 

From 1999-2005 I pioneered several important first of a kind works in mobile computing that have shaped the current landscape of smart phones and watches, and associated applications (details can be found in specific project pages and from my patent citations statistics).  These include -  the Linux Watch (aka WatchPad) which received the 2021 ACM SIGMOBILE Test of Time Award, SoulPad, and Personal Mobile Hub with focus on wearable health monitoring, and Device Symbiosis. This was followed by Inverted Browsers (essentially modern mobile smartphone app model where the browser is included in the app), and Mobile Loyalty in 2008 for on the spot in-store offers based on users checking in. In 1997 I built a navigation system that was the first to provide photographs along with route information (precursor to Google Street View and other similar products).   We later geotagged  calendar events (2005) and electronic receipts (2008). Calendar integration with maps is now a feature provided in products from Apple, Microsoft and Google. Several credit cards, such as the Apple Card, now include the ability to view expenses by location. 

From 2004-2008, I helped launch and define the agenda for the IBM Korea Ubiquitous Computing Laboratory that is now part of a growing IBM Korea Software Solutions Lab.  We explored, advanced, and demonstrated several aspects of device symbiosis as part of this agenda.  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are examples of device symbiosis between mobile phones and automobiles where the natural strengths of each form factor are leveraged to advantage.

As the chief software and system architects for the OpenGL® programming interface on the IBM RS/6000 workstations, I led and delivered one of the earliest implementations in the industry in September 1993. OpenGL ES (a subset of OpenGL) is now the dominant graphics API in smartphones.  I was a member of the team that defined the graphics instructions for a high performance IBM Graphics Floating Point Engine (GFPE) based on the PowerPC™ architecture. I then was part of a cross-company team that developed the VMX/Altivec SIMD instructions for the PowerPC™ processors.  Leading gaming consoles such as the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Gamecube, and the Wii were powered by the PowerPC™ at one point in time. The VMX/Altivec SIMD instruction set is also included in POWER 6, 7, 8, and 9 processors from IBM. Such instructions are now also leveraged for accelerating machine learning algorithms.

I was thrice named an IBM Master Inventor (less than 0.06% of IBMers are named each year) and hold 118 US Patents and 193 patents worldwide. The impact of some of my patents can be found here. I am named on several IBM Research Accomplishments, pieces of work that are deemed as technologically innovative and have demonstrated a real impact on our world. I am also an elected member of the IBM Academy of Technology, which includes IBM's leading thinkers and problem solvers, and the IBM Industry Academy, which includes IBM's most eminent and innovative industry visionaries.  I am also part the IBM Academy of Technology Leadership Team (ALT). I also serve on the Advisory Council for the Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

I served as the Associate Editor in Chief for IEEE Pervasive Computing and guest-edited issues on Pervasive Retail, Healthcare, Energy Harvesting, User Generated Content and Virtual Machines and served on the Editorial Board for IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing.  I have published more than 50 scientific papers and served on 25+ Program Committees for several ACM and IEEE technical conferences (Google Scholar).

I obtained my PhD in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and my BTech in Electrical Engineering from IIT, Bombay. I have also completed a year long Micro-MBA program at IBM Research.



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Saurabh Jha

Saurabh Jha

Staff Research Scientist/ Product Focal for Instana / AI & Observability