Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

National Initiatives

ANR project SocioPlug

Participants : Davide Frey, Anne-Marie Kermarrec, Pierre-Louis Roman, Francois Taiani.

SocioPlug is a collaborative ANR project involving Inria (ASAP team), the Univ. Nantes, and LIRIS (INSA Lyon and Univ. Claude Bernard Lyon). The project emerges from the observation that the features offered by the Web 2.0 or by social media do not come for free. Rather they bring the implicit cost of privacy. Users are more of less consciously selling personal data for services. SocioPlug aims to provide an alternative for this model by proposing a novel architecture for large-scale, user centric applications. Instead of concentrating information of cloud platforms owned by a few economic players, we envision services made possible by cheap low-end plug computers available in every home or workplace. This will make it possible to provide a high amount of transparency to users, who will be able to decide their own optimal balance between data sharing and privacy.

DeSceNt CominLabs

Participants : Resmi Ariyattu Chandrasekharannair, Davide Frey, Michel Raynal, Francois Taiani.

The DeSceNt project aims to ease the writing of distributed programs on a federation of plug computers. Plug computers are a new generation of low-cost computers, such as Raspberry pi (25$), VIA- APC (49$), and ZERO Devices Z802 (75$), which offer a cheap and readily available infrastructure to deploy domestic on-line software. Plug computers open the opportunity for everyone to create cheap nano-clusters of domestic servers, host data and services and federate these resources with their friends, colleagues, and families based on social links. More particularly we will seek in this project to develop novel decentralized protocols than can encapsulate the notion of privacy-preserving federation in plug-based infrastructures. The vision is to use these protocols to provide a programming toolkit that can support the convergent data types being developed by our partner GDD (Gestion de Données Distribuées) at Univ. Nantes.

ANR Blanc project Displexity

Participants : George Giakkoupis, Anne-Marie Kermarrec, Michel Raynal.

The Displexity project started in 2011. The aim of this ANR project that also involves researchers from Paris and Bordeaux is to establish the scientific foundations for building up a consistent theory of computability and complexity for distributed computing. One difficulty to be faced by DISPLEXITY is to reconcile two non necessarily disjoint sub-communities, one focusing on the impact of temporal issues, while the other focusing on the impact of spatial issues on distributed algorithms.

ANR project PAMELA

Participants : Davide Frey, George Giakkoupis, Francois Taiani.

PAMELA is a collaborative ANR project involving ASAP, Inria Lille, UMPC, Mediego and Snips. The project aims at developing machine learning theories and algorithms in order to learn local and personalized models from data distributed over networked infrastructures. This project seeks to provide first answers to modern information systems built by interconnecting many personal devices holding private user data in the search of personalized suggestions and recommendations. More precisely, we will focus on learning in a collaborative way with the help of neighbors in a network. We aim to lay the first blocks of a scientific foundation for these new types of systems, in effect moving from graphs of data to graphs of data and learned models. We argue that this shift is necessary in order to address the new constraints arising from the decentralization of information that is inherent to the emergence of big data. We will in particular focus on the question of learning under communication and privacy constraints. A significant asset of the project is the quality of its industrial partners, SNIPS and MEDIEGO, who bring in their expertise in privacy protection and distributed computing as well as use cases and datasets. They will contribute to translate this fundamental research effort into concrete outcomes by developing personalized and privacy-aware assistants able to provide contextualized recommendations on small devices and smartphones.

ANR project OBrowser

Participants : David Bromberg, Davide Frey, Francois Taiani.

OBrowser is a collaborative ANR project involving Inria (ASAP team), the Univ. Nantes, the Bretagne Sud. University, and Orange. The project emerges from the vision of designing and deploying distributed application on millions of machines using web-enabled technologies without relying on a cloud or a central authority. OBrowser proposes to build collaborative applications through a decentralized execution environment composed of users’ browsers that autonomously manages issues such as communication, naming, heterogeneity, and scalability. The introduction of browser-to-browser communication with WebRTC’s Datachannel has made these scenarios closer, but today only experts can afford to tackle the technical challenges associated with large-scale browser-based deployments such as decentralized instant-messaging (Firechat) and Infrastructure-less Mission Critical Push To Talk. O’Browser aims to solve these challenges by means of a novel programming framework.


Participants : George Giakkoupis, Michel Raynal, Francois Taiani.

DESCARTES is a collaborative ANR project involving ASAP, Labri (U. Bordeaux), Lafia (U. Paris Diderot), Vérimag (Grenoble), LIF (Marseilles), and LINA (Nantes). Despite the practical interests of reusable frameworks for implementing specific distributed services, many of these frameworks still lack solid theoretical bases, and only provide partial solutions for a narrow range of services. In this project, we argue that this is mainly due to the lack of a generic framework that is able to unify the large body of fundamental knowledge on distributed computation that has been acquired over the last 40 years. The DESCARTES project aims at bridging this gap, by developing a systematic model of distributed computation that organizes the functionalities of a distributed computing system into reusable modular constructs assembled via well-defined mechanisms that maintain sound theoretical guarantees on the resulting system. DESCARTES arises from the strong belief that distributed computing is now mature enough to resolve the tension between the social needs for distributed computing systems, and the lack of a fundamentally sound and systematic way to realize these systems.

ANR-ERC Tremplin project NDFUSION

Participant : George Giakkoupis.

NDFUSION is an 18-month ANR project awarded to the PI to support his preparation for his upcoming ERC grant application. The idea of intervening in a network diffusion process to enhance or retard its spread has been studied in various contexts, e.g., to increase the spread or speed of diffusion by choosing an appropriate set of seed nodes (a standard goal in viral marketing by word-of-mouth), or achieve the opposite effect either by choosing a small set of nodes to remove (a goal in immunization against diseases), or by seeding a competing diffusion (e.g., to limit the spread of misinformation in a social network). The aim of this project is to consolidate existing work under a single, comprehensive framework, and using this framework to develop new, efficient algorithms for optimizing (maximizing or minimizing) the spread of diffusion processes. Novel aspects of the project involve issues of scalability, multiple concurrent diffusions, and the use of multistage online strategies to optimize diffusions. Results from this project are likely to be relevant to many different disciplines, from network optimization in computing to disease containment in medicine.