Section: Research Program

Infrastructure-level support for autonomic computing

The above general kernel of model-based control techniques can be used in a range of different computing infrastructures, representing complementary targets and abstraction levels, exploring the two axes :

  • from hardware, to operating system/virtual machine, to middleware, to applications/service level;

  • across different criteria for adaptation: resources and energy, quality of service, dependability.

Software and adaptive systems

Autonomic administration loops at operating systems or middleware level are already very widespread. An open problem remains in design techniques for controllers with predictability and safety, e.g. w.r.t. the reachable states. We want to contribute to the topic of discrete control techniques for these systems, and tackle e.g. problems of coordination of multiple autonomic loops in data-centers, as in the ANR project CtrlGreen. Another target application is the control of clusters in map-reduce applications. The objective is to use continuous time control in order to tune finely the number of required clusters for an application running on a map-reduce server. This will use results of the ANR project MyCloud that enables to simulate clients on a real map-reduce server. On a longer term, we are interested in control problems in administration loops of event-based virtual machines, or in the deployment of massively parallel computation of the Cloud.

Hardware and reconfigurable architectures

Reconfigurable architectures based on Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) are an active research area, where infrastructures are more and more supportive of reconfiguration, but its correct control remains an important issue. Work has begun in the ANR Famous project on identifying domain-specific control criteria and objectives, monitors and management APIs, and on integrating control techniques in the high-level RecoMARTE environment. On a longer term, we want to work on methods and tools for the programming of multicore architectures, exploiting the reconfigurability potentials and issues (because of variability, loss of cores), e.g. in our cooperation with ST Microelectronics, using a Fractal-based programming framework in the P2012 project, and in cooperation with Inria Lille (Adam), or with the CEA and TIMA on integrating control loops in the architecture for a fine control of the energy and of the required nodes for running a given application task.

Applications and autonomic systems

In autonomic systems, control systems remain a lively source of inspiration, partly because the notion of control loop implementation is known and practiced naturally. On a wider scale, we started a cooperation with Orange Labs on "intelligent" building automation and control for the Smart Grid, through modeling and control of appliances w.r.t. their power consumption modes, at home, building, and city levels. Other partners on these topics are CEA LETI/DACLE and Schneider Electric.

We could explore more systems and applications e.g., Human-Machine Interfaces, or the orchestration of services. They can help design more general solutions, and result in a more complete methodology.