Two Post-Docs On The Performance And Quality-Of-Service Of Blockchain Infrastructures

JOB DESCRIPTION

Summary

  • 2 postdoc positions on Blockchain infrastructures @ UCLouvain
  • In a top research university in Belgium, just south of Brussels
  • In collaboration with a major telecom and cloud solutions provider
  • Starting date 1stOctober 2019
  • Both positions fully funded for two years
  • Topics: blockchain, performance, fairness, quality-of-service, benchmarking, distributed systems, networks
  • Please forward to potential candidates!

We invite applications for two fully-funded post-doctoral research associate positions at UCLouvain, Belgium. Both positions are for a duration of 2 years. The positions are in the context of a joint research project with a key player in telecom and Blockchain-as-a-Service.

Context

Blockchains allow building trustworthy decentralized applications without the need to trust an individual administrative domain. Blockchains provide a common ground of trust in the form of a distributed, append-only and immutable ledger, shared and accessed by different parties. Selecting and setting up a Blockchain infrastructure is complicated. The Blockchain-as-a-Service model allows providers to offer blockchains as managed environments in the cloud, resulting in higher uptake and shorter deployment times.

This project focuses on two challenges in the context of blockchain-as-a-service offerings:

First, it is difficult for companies building applications to select which blockchain infrastructure will fit their current and future requirements. This includes criteria on features, performance and scaling. There is a need for automated benchmarking and performance modeling tools to help end users make informed choices. We need a better understanding of performance and scaling of both permissionless and permissioned blockchains under a variety of application workloads.

Second, quality of service (QoS) guarantees offered by blockchain infrastructures remain too limited. In particular, there are little guarantees of fairness between users of the same blockchain. One user or one institution may get a significantly better service (lower confirmation delays, less transactions rejected due to consistency conflicts, etc.) due to differences in connectivity, malicious activity of the other users, or faults in the distributed infrastructure. Unfairness can introduce biases in the application using the blockchain. This limits the trust users can put in the application. Unfairness is a significant concern for consortium blockchains deployed over multiple clouds and data centers. There is a strong need for better QoS guarantees for blockchain clients, in particular on fairness.

Objectives

The selected post-doctoral researchers will work towards better performance understanding, fairness and QoS guarantees in blockchain infrastructures, in the context of blockchain-as-a-service offerings in a geographically-distributed infrastructure.

The research will target fundamental advances in the design and implementation of blockchain systems, with a stronger focus on the infrastructure, systems and networking aspects than on applications. The two post-docs will contribute to efficient benchmarking of performance, QoS and fairness of blockchain systems, and propose solutions for the live monitoring and adaptation of parameters for representative systems. They will study sources of unfairness in existing blockchain designs. They will contribute algorithms and systems allowing to reduce this unfairness, improve performance, and mitigate the impact of malevolent parties on QoS.

The research activities will be in close cooperation with a leading telecom and blockchain-as-a-service provider, who will help understanding concrete needs of blockchain application developers and infrastructure providers.

Note:The two post-docs will be assigned a separate research agenda based on their research expertise, experience and interests. Each will be in charge of a specific work package as primary contributor. Collaborations between the post-docs, the industrial partner, and other member of the computer science department are expected, under the technical lead of the post-docs.

Working conditions

UCLouvain (Université catholique de Louvain) is a top-ranked research university in Belgium. The post-doctoral research associates will be integrated to the ICTEAM research institute and its INGI computer science department. INGI features 11 professors and more than 40 researchers active in various domains including cloud computing, networking, distributed systems, or security.

https://uclouvain.be/en/research-institutes/icteam

The working place will be Louvain-la-Neuve, a one-of-its-kind city and university campus located just south of Brussels, and home to more than 20.000 students. The two positions are funded by Innoviris, the Brussels research funding agency in the context of the FairBCaaS research project.

Salaries includes full medical insurance and are highly competitive at the European level. They will take into account past experience of the research associates.

Expected profiles

We are looking for candidates with research interests and expertise in a combination of distributed systems, middleware, performance modeling, and networks.

The candidates will be expected to have significant experience in developing distributed software and running large-scale evaluations. They should master state-of-the-art tools for software development and collaboration. Evidence of significant contribution to (open source) software is a clear plus.

Applicants must have a PhD in Computer Science at the time they start the position, be fluent in English, have good abilities to work in an international setting. French is not a requirement for the positions, but support will be given should a candidate would want to learn the language.

Selected candidates should commit to be available to travel to conferences worldwide to present research results, and participate to collective activities of the lab, which may include moderate teaching assistantship.

Application details

Both positions start on October 1st, 2019.

The call is open from May 10, 2019. Candidates screening and interviews (on Skype) will start from June 1st, 2019. The positions will remain open until the appropriate candidates are selected. The availability of the positions will be announced at:

https://cloudlargescale-uclouvain.github.io/vacancies

Interested and potential candidates are warmly encouraged to contact Prof Riviere and Prof Sadre prior to sending a full application to discuss the details and objectives of the positions, and identify common research interests.

Applications should be submitted by e-mail to both Prof Etienne Riviere and Prof Ramin Sadre (etienne.riviere@uclouvain.be, ramin.sadre@uclouvain.be), including:

  • Curriculum vitae;
  • List of 2-3 reference persons and their e-mail addresses (we ask for recommendation letters ourselves: letters sent by the candidates will be disregarded);
  • Transcripts of graduate studies and PhD reports;
  • Links to Masters and PhD thesis;
  • List of publications and links to PDF (not behind a paywall). Please send both a comprehensive list of publications as well as the list of up to three ones that you consider the most important. For each of these important publications, give the detail of your personal contribution and involvement.
  • Links to examples of personal software contributions.

All documents must be sent in pdf format.

Advisors

Prof Etienne Riviere and Prof Ramin Sadre

UCLouvain/ICTEAM

Louvain-la-Neuve

Belgium

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Selection process

Both positions start on October 1st, 2019.

The call is open from May 10, 2019. Candidates screening and interviews (on Skype) will start from June 1st, 2019. The positions will remain open until the appropriate candidates are selected. The availability of the positions will be announced at:

https://cloudlargescale-uclouvain.github.io/vacancies

Interested and potential candidates are warmly encouraged to contact Prof Riviere and Prof Sadre prior to sending a full application to discuss the details and objectives of the positions, and identify common research interests. Applications should be submitted by e-mail to both Prof Etienne Riviere and Prof Ramin Sadre (etienne.riviere@uclouvain.be, ramin.sadre@uclouvain.be),

including:

  • Curriculum vitae;
  • List of 2-3 reference persons and their e-mail addresses (we ask for recommendation letters ourselves: letters sent by the candidates will be disregarded);
  • Transcripts of graduate studies and PhD reports;
  • Links to Masters and PhD thesis;
  • List of publications and links to PDF (not behind a paywall). Please send both a comprehensive list of publications as well as the list of up to three ones that you consider the most important. For each of these important publications, give the detail of your personal contribution and
  • involvement.
  • Links to examples of personal software contributions.

All documents must be sent in pdf format.

Advisors

Prof Etienne Riviere and Prof Ramin Sadre

UCLouvain/ICTEAM

Louvain-la-Neuve

Belgium

REQUIREMENTS
Offer Requirements

REQUIRED EDUCATION LEVEL
Computer science: PhD or equivalent

REQUIRED LANGUAGES
ENGLISH: Excellent

Skills/Qualifications
Expected profiles

We are looking for candidates with research interests and expertise in a combination of distributed systems, middleware, performance modeling, and networks. The candidates will be expected to have significant experience in developing distributed software and running large-scale evaluations. They should master state-of-the-art tools for software development and collaboration. Evidence of significant contribution to (open source) software is a clear plus. Applicants must have a PhD in Computer Science at the time they start the position, be fluent in English, have good abilities to work in an international setting. French is not a requirement for the positions, but support will be given should a candidate would want to learn the language.

Specific Requirements
Selected candidates should commit to be available to travel to conferences worldwide to present research results, and participate to collective activities of the lab, which may include moderate teaching assistantship.


More about employer

Company

Université catholique de Louvain

Locations

Categories

Deadline for application

2019-06-12


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