We invite applications for fully funded PhD research positions in Computer Science at the University of Bordeaux, France. The positions are funded for 3 years and will address research challenges in the fields of large scale networks, IoT and security. Applicants must have a MSc degree in Computer Science (or equivalent), be fluent in English, and demonstrate strong team-working abilities. Candidates with proven programming skills who are knowledgeable in network programming, IoT, middleware and security are particularly encouraged to apply.
An increasingly number of applications and services are based on the interconnection of a large number of potentially heterogeneous Internet of Things (IoT). Developing and deploying such an application is, however, a challenging task requiring not only knowledge of the IoT protocols involved, but also a substantial understanding of low-level network and system programming. Furthermore, these applications and services are typically implemented as an embedded system, for which careful coding is required to maximize performance and minimize resource usage. These issues complicate development and imply that both efficiency and correctness are critical.
The aim of this thesis is to define methods and tools to simplify the construction of IoT applications and services by decoupling the control and data planes. To do this, we propose to investigate how Network Function Virtualization (NFV), Software Defined Networking (SDN), BlockChain technologies, and Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) can be beneficial to IoT networks and services.
Toward this objective and in order to provide flexible, customized, and energy-efficient IoT network, we propose to study the way to decouple IoT data plane from control plane to provide intelligent and programmable control capabilities. We extend this approach, by studying the way to decouple network functions from underlying IoT devices. These functions can be implemented as software modules on virtualized environments. Thus, an IoT device can potentially host virtual functions, instantiated on-demand and linked with each other to build an end-to-end service chain. Many scenarios can be considered : IoT-to-Cloud, IoT-Cloud-IoT and IoT-to-IoT services.
Furthermore, our proposed approach will include solutions based on blockchain technologies to reward the participation of users to the infrastructure cost: Internet bandwidth, computing, memory and storage. This concept will be extended to establish a machine-to-machine reward system as a global incentive mechanism to share communication and devices resources in a IoT network. In addition, we also plan to exploit trusted execution environments to securely store and process data within the system thus providing strong privacy guaranties. Virtual functions manipulating sensitive data can thus be safely instantiated on a IoT device with the guarantee that data content is never revealed, even to the operators having administrator access on the machine.
The objective of this research is to analyse the mathematical foundations of IoT service creation and reward system. It aims also to design and implement a proof a concept to demonstrate the main features (SDN, NFV, Blockchain, TEE).
The working languages at the University of Bordeaux are French and English. The candidate is expected to use state-of-the-art tools for software development and collaboration, such as git, Docker, and such.
The University of Bordeaux welcomes 56,000 students and is ranked among the top French universities. The city of Bordeaux is located at the very heart of Southern Europe, only one hour from the Atlantic Ocean and two hours from Paris by TGV, thus enjoying a mild oceanic climate and rich natural surroundings.
All documents must be sent as a single pdf. The expected starting date is September 2018. Applications will be screened as they arrive and until appropriate candidates are selected.