We are recruiting !

We are looking for a 18-month Postdoctoral Fellow and a number highly motivated PhD students for the following two funded PhDs over the period 2017-2020 or 2018-2021. More detail is available below and in the attached documents.

  • PhD1: Robust and light-weight overlay management for decentralized learning

    A growing number of companies are extracting value from the digital data produced by our modern society using Machine learning (ML) techniques. Most of these companies rely today on centralized or tightly coupled ML systems hosted in data centers or in the cloud. This is problematic as this concentration poses strong risks to the privacy of users, and limits the scope of ML applications to tightly integrated datasets under unified learning models.

    To address these limitations, this PhD proposes to explore an alternative approach inspired by peer-to-peer networks in which users control their own system, and only exchange a limited amount of information to construct local machine learning models. This strategy is more amenable to preserving user privacy, and respecting the constraints possibly imposed on sensitive data-sets (such as health records, or personal financial data), and holds the potential for highly scalable and robust learning systems. This project aims to study the challenges raised by this strategy in terms of distribution and overlay management.

    Contact: François Taïani. More details available here. Send us your application (CV, grade transcripts, references) by email.

  • PhD2: BBDA – Browser Based Data Analytics

    Big data has become the new buzzword not only in computer science but in most scientific fields. The ability to store and analyze huge quantities of data has given birth to numerous new applications, jobs, advances in science, and will probably lead to further disruptive changes as data analytics techniques spread to more and more domains. Yet, the ongoing big-data revolution represents a significant challenge on at least two fronts: scalability and privacy. In terms of scalability, the ever-increasing amount of available data requires systems and protocols that can process and extract information quickly, and at a reasonable cost. In terms of privacy, we see a clear conflict between the need to protect personal data and the potential that this data offers for data analysis applications. If today, we have data analytics protocols that crunch our shopping behavior on sites like Amazon.com or at local supermarkets, it is reasonable to expect that these same protocols could operate on more and more sensitive data coming from smart appliances in our homes, or on health monitoring platforms.

    This PhD thesis will explore how solutions to both these important big-data challenges can come from a shift from traditional cloud architectures to decentralized or semi-decentralized alternatives based on the edge/fog computing model. In particular, the candidate will explore how end-user devices like web browsers can gather, exchange, and process data in a collaborative manner without the need of central control. This will lead to new protocols for coordination, communication, and data exchange between web browser based on the WebRTC API. The candidate will then explore how these protocols can serve as a basis for novel decentralized solutions for data analytics. Finally, he or she will develop solutions that make it possible to combine this new fog-oriented model with traditional cloud architectures. Throughout the thesis, the candidate will also engineer the proposed protocol into reusable software components. This will lead to a highly scalable data management system that can operate on highly sensitive data without violating the privacy of users.

    Contact: Davide Frey. Send us your application (CV, grade transcripts, references) by email.

  • PostDoc (18 months): Web-Of-Browsers: Towards a fully decentralized web

    The ASAP team is recruiting a post-doctoral researcher for a duration of 18 months, with an immediate starting date.

    The project Web of Browser aims at exploring the construction of a decentralized and browser-based web. This objective stems from the observation that browsers have become the most widely deployed execution environments in the world. Initially only designed to display HTML pages, they have evolved into comprehensive runtime platforms able to execute complex local code, interact with humans, and with remote web services. The recent introduction of WebRTC has further extended the capability of browsers by introducing support for browser-to-browser communication. This turns browsers into a decentralized execution environment where interactions between human and web services are enabled without third party.

    The objective of this post-doctoral project is to explore the programmability of browsers as the building block of a decentralized web. We would in particular like to develop a framework for emergent localities on the basis of our existing work, i.e. allow practionners to easily construct advanced decentralized services by assembling simpler and composable distributed bricks. The postdoc offers scope for both algorithmic and experimental developmental work, notably in the domains of information discovery, routing, and coordination.

    The project holds potential for strong synergies with related on-going projects running in the ASAP group, notably on private decentralized aggregation, privacy-preserving decentralized learning, and browser-fingerprinting anonymisation.

    Candidate profile and eligibility

    The recruited post-doctoral researcher should hold a PhD in Computer Science, with ideally a focus on large distributed computer systems and web technologies. The candidate should be a driven and creative individual, with an interest in innovative and paradigm changing technologies.

    Due to funding conditions, the offer is limited to candidates who have spent at least 12 months outside of France over the last 3 years.

  • More details available here. Send us your application by email.

For Internships, contact Francois.Taiani@irisa.fr

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  1. […] We are looking for a number highly motivated PhD students for the following two funded PhDs over the period 2017-2020. More detail here. […]