Section: Research Program

Research Program

To tackle the challenge introduced above, we identify three main lines of research:

  • (Axis 1) Personal cloud server architectures. Based on the intuition that user control, security and privacy are key properties in the definition of trusted personal cloud solutions, our objective is to propose new architectures (encompassing both software and hardware aspects) for secure personal cloud data management and formally prove important bricks of the architecture. We also focus in this axis on administration models and their enforcement in relation to the architecture of the system, so that the exclusive control of a non expert individual can be ensured.

  • (Axis 2) Global query evaluation. The goal of this line of research is to provide capabilities for crossing data belonging to multiple individuals (e.g., performing statistical queries over personal data, computing queries on social graphs or organizing participatory data collection) in a fully decentralized setting while providing strong and personalized privacy guarantees. This means proposing new secure distributed database indexing models and query processing strategies. In addition, we concentrate on locally ensuring to each participant the good behaviour of the processing, such that no collective results can be produced if privacy conditions are not respected by other participants.

  • (Axis 3) Economic, legal and societal issues. This research axis is more transverse and entails multidisciplinary research, addressing the links between economic, legal, societal and technological aspects. We will follow here a multi-disciplinary approach based on a 3-step methodology: i) identifying important common issues related to privacy and to the exploitation of personal data; ii) characterizing their dimensions in all relevant disciplines and jointly study their entanglement; iii) validating the proposed analysis, models and trade-offs thanks to in vivo experiments.

These contributions will also rely on tools (algorithms, protocols, proofs, etc.) from other communities, namely security (cryptography, secure multiparty computations, formal methods, differential privacy, etc.) and distributed systems (distributed hash tables, gossip protocols, etc.). Beyond the research actions, we structure our software activity around a single common platform (rather than isolated demonstrators), integrating our main research contributions, called PlugDB. This platform is the cornerstone to help validating our research results through accurate performance measurements on a real platform, a common practice in the DB community, and target the best conferences. It is also a strong vector to federate the team, simplify the bootstrapping of new PhD or master students, conduct multi-disciplinary research and open the way to industrial collaborations and technological transfers.