PhD Position on Data-Plane Programmability Towards a Transparent, Reliable and Controllable Internet

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: today

The advent of programmable network switch ASICs and recent developments on other programmable data planes (NPUs, FPGAs) drive the renewed interest in network data plane programmability. The P4 language has emerged as a strong candidate to describe a protocol independent datapath pipeline. With its supported architectures, the P4 language provides an efficient way to define the packet processing and forwarding behaviour. Exploiting the recent advances in programmable switching hardware, in-band network telemetry (INT) provides a more viable approach to network monitoring and telemetry analysis.

The objective of the PhD project is to understand how data-plane programmability can facilitate the design of the 'Responsible Interne', addressed within the scope of the project CATRIN (Controllable, Accountable, Transparent: The Responsible Internet). The goal of CATRIN is to propose and prototype a novel security-by-design concept and extension to the Internet that enhances Digital sovereignty; that is the ability for end users to have control over their own digital destiny – the data, hardware, and software that they rely upon. Specifically, the candidate will investigate how programmable data-plane solutions can address related problems (e.g., communication transparency) in a multi-operator environment, including but not restricted to telemetry and route optimization and control, adhering to transparency, reliability and controllability requirements imposed by CATRIN.

This position is one of the seven PhD vacancies available in the CATRIN project at TU/Twente, TU/Delft, TU/Eindhoven and University of Amsterdam (UvA). The goal of CATRIN is to startup the Responsible Internet, a novel security-by-design concept and extension to the Internet that enables higher levels of trust and sovereignty. CATRIN integrates technology, economics, and policy research to deliver a first operational multi-operator Responsible Internet. All the PhDs hired in the project contribute to this effort from different expertise angles.

You will be employed by the Informatics Institute (IvI) and embedded in the MNS group. The group focuses its research on the fundamental architectural problems that arise from the interconnection of systems and of data flows. We look at the emerging architectures that can support the operations of the future Internet.

What are you going to do

You will:

  • Focus on the development and evaluation of a scalable system including an effective data-plane telemetry system to allow for user-driven programmable path control considering accountability aspects.
  • Design and perform controlled experiments in a simulation environment or develop appropriate proof of concept(s) to benchmark the performance or validate the applicability of proposed approaches.
  • Implement your solution and experiment with it on the national P4-programmable network operated by the 2STiC consortium.
  • Become active in the research community and collaborate with other institutes and/or companies that are part of the project.
  • Publish and present work regularly at international conferences, workshops, and journals.
  • Assist in teaching activities (labs) and in supervising Bachelor and Master students.

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