Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Results

Results on Heterogeneous and dynamic software architectures

We have selected three main contributions for DIVERSE's research axis #4: one is in the field of runtime management, while the two others one are in the field of Privacy and Security.

Verifying the configuration of Virtualized Network Functions in Software Defined Networks

In Kevoree, one of the goal is to work on the shipping pases in which we aim at making deployment, and the reconfiguration simple and accessible to the whole team. This year we work to include the capacity to manage network configuration when reconfiguring application stack. In this context, the deployment of modular virtual network functions (VNFs) in software defined infrastructures (SDI) enables cloud and network providers to deploy integrated network services across different resource domains. It leads to a large interleaving between network configuration through software defined network controllers and VNF deployment within this network. Most of the configuration management tools and network orchestrator used to deploy VNF lack of an abstraction to express Assume-Guarantee contracts between the VNF and the SDN configuration. Consequently, VNF deployment can be inconsistent with network configurations.


To tackle this challenge, in this work [41], we develop an approach to check the consistency between the VNF description described from a set of structural models and flow-chart models and a proposed deployment on a real SDN infrastructure with its own configuration manager. We illustrate our approach on virtualized Evolved Packet Core function.


The originality of this work is to propose a model to capture VNF.


Beyond the scientific originality of this work, the main impacts of this novel approach to check SDN configuration has been to (i) reinforce DIVERSE's visibility in the academic and industrial communities on software components and (ii) to create several research tracks that are currently explored in different projects of the team (B-com PhD thesis and Nokia common labs). This work is being integrated within the Kevoree platform.

Identity Negotiation at Runtime

Authentication delegation is a major function of the modern web. Identity Providers (IdP) acquired a central role by providing this function to other web services. By knowing which web services or web applications access its service, an IdP can violate the end-user privacy by discovering information that the user did not want to share with its IdP. For instance, WebRTC introduces a new field of usage as authentication delegation happens during the call session establishment, between two users. As a result, an IdP can easily discover that Bob has a meeting with Alice. A second issue that increases the privacy violation is the lack of choice for the end-user to select its own IdP. Indeed, on many web-applications, the end-user can only select between a subset of IdPs, in most cases Facebook or Google.


This year, we analyze this phenomena [23], in particular why the end-user cannot easily select its preferred IdP, though there exists standards in this field such as OpenID Connect and OAuth 2? To lead this analysis, we conduct three investigations. The first one is a field survey on OAuth 2 and OpenID Connect scope usage by web sites to understand if scopes requested by web-sites could allow for user defined IdPs. The second one tries to understand whether the problem comes from the OAuth 2 protocol or its implementations by IdP. The last one tries to understand if trust relations between websites and IdP could prevent the end user to select its own IdP. Finally, we sketch possible architecture for web browser based identity management, and report on the implementation of a prototype. We also describe our implementation of the WebRTC identity architecture [24]. We adapt OpenID Connect servers to support WebRTC peer to peer authentication and detail the issues and solutions found in the process.


We observe that although WebRTC allows for the exchange of identity assertion between peers, users lack feedback and control over the other party authentication. To allow identity negotiation during a WebRTC communication setup, we propose an extension to the Session Description Protocol. Our implementation demonstrates current limitations with respect to the current WebRTC specification.


This work is done with Orange.

Raising Time Awareness in Model-Driven Engineering

The conviction that big data analytics is a key for the success of modern businesses is growing deeper, and the mobilisation of companies into adopting it becomes increasingly important. Big data integration projects enable companies to capture their relevant data, to efficiently store it, turn it into domain knowledge, and finally monetize it. In this context, historical data, also called temporal data, is becoming increasingly available and delivers means to analyse the history of applications, discover temporal patterns, and predict future trends. Despite the fact that most data that today’s applications are dealing with is inherently temporal current approaches, methodologies, and environments for developing these applications don’t provide sufficient support for handling time. We envision that Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) would be an appropriate ecosystem for a seamless and orthogonal integration of time into domain modeling and processing.


This year, we investigate the state-of-the-art in MDE techniques and tools in order to identify the missing bricks for raising time-awareness in MDE and outline research directions in this emerging domain [30].


We propose an extended context representation for self-adaptive software that integrates the history of planned actions as well as their expected effects over time into the context representations. We demonstrate on a cloud elasticity manager case study that such temporal action-aware context leads to improved reasoners while still be highly scalable. This work is original with respect to the state of the art since it provides a way to represent and take into account the impact of reconfiguration actions on a system.


This work is done through a collaboration with the SnT in Luxembourg and a startup called DataThings, working on domain model representation for various industrial domains.


This year, we had a close and fruitful collaboration with the industrial partners that are involved in the HEADS and Occiware projects, in particular an active interaction with the Tellu company in Norway in the Heads context. Tellu relies on Kevoree and KevoreeJS to build their health management systems. They will be also an active member the new Stamp project led by DIVERSE. We can cite also an active collaboration with Orange Labs through Kevin Corre's joint PhD thesis. Another joint industrial (CIFRE) PhD started in September 2016, and we are also partner in a new starting FUI project. Finally, DIVERSE collaborates with the B-COM IRT (, as one permanent member has a researcher position of one day per week at B-COM and a new joint PhD started in September.

At the academic level we collaborate actively with the Spiral team at Inria Lille (several joint projects), the Tacoma team (with two co-advised PhD students), the Myriad team (1 co-advised PhD student) and we have started two collaborations with the ASAP team.