Research Themes

The "user at the heart of the network" paradigm raises several issues, such as the difficulty in finding relevant or reliable information, the lack of control and the absence of user confidence, the growth in bandwidth demand and insufficient mobile access, the need for an efficient, high performance network and distributed applications as well as the environmental impact.

 

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To meet these challenges the Labex UCN@Sophia works along six scientific and strategic directions and has selected three aplication domains:

 

SIX RESEARCH THEMES

A) Data Centric Networking: “To provide ‘intelligent' content search opportunities on the network”.

Users should be able to easily and efficiently access data, irrespectively of the actual storage location, while still maintaining a high level of trust, privacy and control over this data. Data centric solutions should provide better mobility support. In order to deploy such a data centric architecture, several challenges need to be addressed, such as traffic control and resource management, naming and routing, and caching strategies.

B) Distributed and ubiquitous computing: “To invent novel and accessible models, methods and techniques for the creation of reliable and efficient UCN applications”.

The convergence of widely accessible networks, rich personal digital environments, and vast sources of information creates a new paradigm from which innovative applications are emerging. This shift in paradigm calls for research in new, verified distributed programming models and runtime environments, coping with finely-grained multi-level parallelism, scalable computation, and hardware failures.

C) Security, privacy and network neutrality: “To meet the user’s privacy and security requirements”.

We intend to provide mechanisms that enforce usage control of outsourced data by its owner, as if it were stored locally. This mechanism should make the “right to forget” outsourced data possible. This is a major novelty addressing users’ privacy concerns, as well as the so-called “data pollution” of today’s Internet. We will develop tools for the detection of non-neutral behaviour on the net and study game-theoretical economic models related to network neutrality.

D) Infrastructures Heterogeneity and Efficiency: “To design novel wired/wireless infrastructures, offering high performance and autonomous operation”.

Autonomous systems have the potential to provide the user with new services. These services range from social networking to global sensing (e.g. improving quality of life / providing better medical services). For that purpose, we will develop energy- and spectrum-efficient transmission methods, design autonomous network "clouds" that gravitate at the edges of the core network and study the algorithmic foundations of autonomous computing and communication systems.

E) Energy Efficiency: “To increase network energy efficiency, both for societal and personal reasons (battery-life as a non-limiting example)”.

Saving energy in network infrastructures and battery-powered devices is a rich field of research. Its main motivation is to extend the lifetime of the device (or network in the case of sensor networks). However, our research focuses more on being “Green”. One of the future challenges will be to develop overall strategies to search for the best compromise between computing power/power-transmission quality/network lifetime, which should be adaptable to various application scenarios, energy budgets, network conditions and configurations.

F) Scientific Big Data

The amount of scientific data generated that requires post analysis has become a challenge for all scientific disciplines. Furthermore, data is increasingly distributed over the Internet, causing fragmentation in the data sources available. The labex will address the new data transport, distribution, archiving and management techniques needed to address this challenge. 

 

THREE APPLICATION DOMAINS

The Labex UCN@Sophia has selected three application domains for their ability to federate research within the Labex, to establish partnerships with industry, and also to reinforce its links with other scientific communities.

E-Health: From sensors to homecare services for persons with reduced autonomy

With longer life expectancy and the general aging of the population new needs are arising for autonomy and homecare products and services. The silver economy will act as a lever for R&D dedicated to services and technologies such as robotics, home automation, medical devices, etc. to meet the specific seniors needs. However, this potential for innovation is hampered by various factors linked with implementation of ICT into the field of health especially for elderly people (diversity of needs, resistance to change and reluctance to adopt new technologies, respect of individuals, etc.).

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)

Intelligent transport systems have been identified as a strategic area by an European Directive (10/40/EU). They can help to improve road safety, to optimize the use of infrastructures in order to reduce the congestion and to control energy consumption and environmental and societal impacts resulting from citizen mobility increasing needs. From simple traffic lights management systems to smart car that can assist the driver thanks to real time weather or road condition data analysis, the Labex UCN@Sophia can have valuable input that may by transfered to the industral community through the SCS and PEGASE clusters.

E-Social Sciences

Social sciences are undergoing a deep transformation with the digitalization of wealth of data that were traditionnaly locked in limited access media. The data manipulated is often partial, fragmented and uses very heterogeneous digital formats. Research in Labex UCN@Sophia will help in bridging the gap between scattered and heterogenous data stores, for increasing social data value and power.