2023-06365 - PhD Position F/M Energy-Efficient and Secure Blockchain-Based Architecture for Large-Scale Digital Twins
Contract type : Fixed-term contract
Level of qualifications required : Graduate degree or equivalent
Fonction : PhD PositionContext
The objective of this thesis is to design an efficient, energy-saving, and secure architecture for data transfer and storage between users, the physical structures, and the digital twins of these structures. Some primary targets are smart cities, and also other large-scale virtualizations, such as those known as the metaverse. The aim is to design an architecture inspired by blockchain but specifically adapted to digital twins, which require a very high volume of data exchanged with the lowest possible energy footprint. One potential starting point for the architecture is the “green mining” proposed by Jacquet, P., & Mans, B. (2020). Blockchain is moderated by empty blocks to reduce the energetic impact of cryptocurrencies. Computer Communications, 152, 126-136. We aim to deploy a high-frequency blockchain system capable of handling large volumes of transactions occurring in smart cities. The candidate will focus on consensus mechanisms and green mining to propose new paradigms able to handle these situations.
Our world is becoming increasingly digitalized, with services ranging from e-commerce to smart mobility, inching us closer to smart cities populated with interconnected IoT devices. These devices communicate peer-to-peer, offering responsive services to their environment and the wider world. However, this shift presents challenges to ensure these services function properly while avoiding large-scale disruptions that could cripple an economy. Such disruptions could be malicious, necessitating preventive countermeasures before large-scale deployment. Deployed services must be reliable, resilient, and traceable in case of misuse, particularly as they will likely be decentralized and controlled by multiple entities at the city scale.
Blockchain-based architectures were originally created to offer a distributed ledger system for transaction notarization. Although initially financial, blockchain can record any peer-to-peer exchange. These architectures offer benefits like immutability, decentralization, traceability, and transparency, but limitations exist, particularly with energy-intensive Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanisms. PoW may not be feasible for large-scale transaction management in large scale , where we anticipate constant, high- volume exchanges between IoT devices. The validation process for these transactions must be swift and efficient. Despite the Proof of Stake consensus protocol's potential for high transaction volume, managing transactions on a large smart twin scale remains a challenge. Also the large discrepancy in computation power between the different agents calls for an adaptation of the consensus on such a diverse population.Assignment
The candidate will start by investigating existing technologies, consensus mechanisms, green mining techniques, and digital twin technologies, drawing from peer-reviewed articles, conference papers, technical reports, and books related to blockchain technologies, smart cities, and IoT. This state-of-the- art will provide a comprehensive understanding of the current landscape of blockchain technologies and their applications within smart cities. It will identify gaps in the existing technology and highlight areas for innovation.
Based on insights from the state-of-the-art report, the candidate should propose new approaches to blockchain architecture design, tailored to the unique requirements of large scale digital twins and smart cities. After formulating hypotheses, an experimental design could be developed to test them. This would involve designing and implementing the proposed blockchain architecture, setting up a simulated environment to represent a large scale blockchain, and conducting a series of tests to evaluate the performance, security, and energy efficiency of the system.
The candidate will also develop analytic models to assess the performance of the proposed blockchain architecture. These models will take into consideration various factors such as transaction speed, latency, and energy consumption, as well as the scalability of the system in a large scale digital twin or smart city environment. In addition to empirical testing, simultations, and the candidate will create logical proofs to validate the system.Skills
The candidate must hold a master's degree or equivalent in Computer Science.
The candidate is expected to have a good understanding and experience in several of the following areas:
- Blockchain architectures and frameworks - Knowledge of networking and IoT routing protocols - Knowledge of algorithm performance analysis under stochastic models - Familiarity with Linux - Strong programming skills in C/C++, Python - Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English - Knowledge of optimization and/or machine learning techniques is a plus - Knowledge of cybersecurity is appreciated.Benefits package
Theme/Domain : Architecture, Languages and Compilation IT Infrastructure (BAP E)
Town/city : Palaiseau
Inria is the French national research institute dedicated to digital science and technology. It employs 2,600 people. Its 200 agile project teams, generally run jointly with academic partners, include more than 3,500 scientists and engineers working to meet the challenges of digital technology, often at the interface with other disciplines. The Institute also employs numerous talents in over forty different professions. 900 research support staff contribute to the preparation and development of scientific and entrepreneurial projects that have a worldwide impact.Instruction to apply
Defence Security : This position is likely to be situated in a restricted area (ZRR), as defined in Decree No. 2011-1425 relating to the protection of national scientific and technical potential (PPST).Authorisation to enter an area is granted by the director of the unit, following a favourable Ministerial decision, as defined in the decree of 3 July 2012 relating to the PPST. An unfavourable Ministerial decision in respect of a position situated in a ZRR would result in the cancellation of the appointment.
Recruitment Policy : As part of its diversity policy, all Inria positions are accessible to people with disabilities.
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