Section: New Results

Security of Communicating and Distributed Systems

Routing Protocol for Tactical Mobile Ad Hoc Networks

In the context of the PhD thesis of Florian Grandhomme, we propose new secure and efficient algorithms and protocols to provide inter-domain routing in the context of tactical mobile ad hoc network. The proposed protocol has to handle context modification due to the mobility of Mobile Ad hoc NETwork (MANET), that is to say split of a MANET, merge of two or more MANET, and also handle heterogeneity of technology and infrastructure. The solution has to be independent from the underlying intra-domain routing protocol and from the infrastructure: wired or wireless, fixed or mobile. This work is done in cooperation with DGA-MI.

New generation military equipment, soldiers and vehicles, use wireless technology to communicate on the battlefield. During missions, they form a MANET. Since the battlefield includes coalition, each group may communicate with another group, and inter-MANET communication may be established. Inter-MANET (or inter-domain MANET) communication should allow communication, but maintain a control on the exchanged information. Several protocols have been proposed in order to handle inter-domain routing for tactical MANETs. During the thesis we have shown that simulator (NS3) or emulator (CORE) do not handle correctly ad hoc network behavior and then that solution in the state of the art are more complex than needed. Based on this analysis, we propose some preconizations to design Inter-domain protocols for MANET and we propose the ITMAN (Inter Tactical Mobile Ad hoc Network) protocol that allows also to handle simple routing policy (merge, link and deny). We evaluate this new protocol through experimentation and we show that our proposition is quite efficient. On going work on this protocol is the definition and implementation of more subtle routing policy that allow announce filtering of giving prefix for example.

Decentralized Cryptocurrency Systems

Distributed Ledgers (e.g. Bitcoin) occupy currently the first lines of the economical and political media and many speculations are done with respect to their level of coherence and their computability power. Interestingly, there is no consensus on the properties and abstractions that fully capture the behaviour of distributed ledgers. The interest in formalising the behaviour of distributed ledgers is twofold. Firstly, it helps to prove the correctness of the algorithms that implement existing distributed ledgers and explore their limits with respect to an unfriendly environment and target applications. Secondly, it facilitates the identification of the minimal building blocks necessary to implement the distributed ledger in a specific environment. Even though the behaviour of distributed ledgers is similar to abstractions that have been deeply studied for decades in distributed systems no abstraction is sufficiently powerful to capture the distributed ledger behaviour. We have defined the Distributed Ledger Register, a register that mimics the behaviour of one of the most popular distributed ledger, i.e. the Bitcoin ledger. The aim of our work is to provide formal guarantees on the coherent evolution of Bitcoin. We furthermore showed that the Bitcoin blockchain maintenance algorithm verifies the distributed ledger register properties under strict conditions. Moreover, we proved that the Distributed Ledger Register verifies the regularity register specification. It follows that the strongest coherency implemented by Bitcoin is regularity under strong assumptions (i.e. partial synchronous systems and sparse reads). In  [7] we proposed a study that contradicts the common belief that Bitcoin implements strong coherency criteria in a totally asynchronous system. To the best of our knowledge, our work is the first one that makes the connection between the distributed ledgers and the classical theory of distributed shared registers.

Double spending and blockchain forks are two main issues that the Bitcoin crypto-system is confronted with. The former refers to an adversary's ability to use the very same coin more than once while the latter reflects the occurrence of transient inconsistencies in the history of the blockchain distributed data structure. We present a new approach to tackle these issues: it consists in adding some local synchronization constraints on Bitcoin's validation operations, and in making these constraints independent from the native blockchain protocol. Synchronization constraints are handled by nodes which are randomly and dynamically chosen in the Bitcoin system. In [13] we show that with such an approach, content of the blockchain is consistent with all validated transactions and blocks which guarantees the absence of both double-spending attacks and blockchain forks.

Large Scale Systems

Population Protocol: the computational model of population protocols is a formalism that allows the analysis of properties emerging from simple and pairwise interactions among a very large number of anonymous finite-state agents. Significant work has been done so far to determine which problems are solvable in this model and at which cost in terms of states used by the protocols and time needed to converge. The problem tackled in is the population proportion problem: each agent starts independently from each other in one of two states, say A or B, and the objective is for each agent to determine the proportion of agents that initially started in state A, assuming that each agent only uses a finite set of state, and does not know the number n of agents. In [18], we show that for any δ(0,1), the number of interactions needed per node to converge is O(ln(n/δ)) with probability at least 1-δ. We also prove that each node can determine, with any high probability, the proportion of nodes that initially started in a given state without knowing the number of nodes in the system. This work provides a precise analysis of the convergence bounds, and shows that using the 4-norm is very effective to derive useful bounds.

Distributed Stream Processing Systems: shuffle grouping is a technique used by stream processing frameworks to share input load among parallel instances of stateless operators. With shuffle grouping each tuple of a stream can be assigned to any available operator instance, independently from any previous assignment. A common approach to implement shuffle grouping is to adopt a Round-Robin policy, a simple solution that fares well as long as the tuple execution time is almost the same for all the tuples. However, such an assumption rarely holds in real cases where execution time strongly depends on tuple content. As a consequence, parallel stateless operators within stream processing applications may experience unpredictable unbalance that, in the end, causes undesirable increase in tuple completion times. In [25] we propose Online Shuffle Grouping (OSG), a novel approach to shuffle grouping aimed at reducing the overall tuple completion time. OSG estimates the execution time of each tuple, enabling a proactive and online scheduling of input load to the target operator instances. Sketches are used to efficiently store the otherwise large amount of information required to schedule incoming load. We provide a probabilistic analysis and illustrate, through both simulations and a running prototype, its impact on stream processing applications.

The real time analysis of massive data streams is of utmost importance in data intensive applications that need to detect as fast as possible and as efficiently as possible (in terms of computation and memory space) any correlation between its inputs or any deviance from some expected nominal behavior. The IoT infrastructure can be used for monitoring any events or changes in structural conditions that can compromise safety and increase risk. It is thus a recurrent and crucial issue to determine whether huge data streams, received at monitored devices, are correlated or not as it may reveal the presence of attacks. We propose a metric, called codeviation, that allows to evaluate the correlation between distributed massive streams. This metric is inspired from classical metric in statistics and probability theory, and as such enables to understand how observed quantities change together, and in which proportion. In [6], we propose to estimate the codeviation in the data stream model. In this model, functions are estimated on a huge sequence of data items, in an online fashion, and with a very small amount of memory with respect to both the size of the input stream and the values domain from which data items are drawn. We then generalize our approach by presenting a new metric, the Sketch-metric, which allows us to define a distance between updatable summaries of large data streams. An important feature of the Sketch-metric is that, given a measure on the entire initial data streams, the Sketch-metric preserves the axioms of the latter measure on the sketch. We finally conducted extensive experiments on both synthetic traces and real data sets allowing us to validate the robustness and accuracy of our metrics.