Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Research Program


In order to progress in the four fields described above, the WIDE team is developing a research program which aims to help developers control and master the inherent uncertainties and performance challenges brought by scale and distribution.

More specifically, our program revolves around four key challenges.

These four challenges have in common the inherent tension between coordination and scalability in large-scale distributed systems: strong coordination mechanisms can deliver strong guarantees (in terms of consistency, agreement, fault-tolerance, and privacy protection), but are generally extremely costly and inherently non-scalable if applied indiscriminately. By contrast, highly scalable coordination approaches (such as epidemic protocols, eventual consistency, or self-organizing overlays) perform much better when the size of a system increases, but do not, in most cases, provide any strong guarantees in terms of consistency or agreement.

The above four challenges explore these tensions from four complementary angles: from an architectural perspective (Challenge 1), from the point of view of a fundamental system-wide guarantee (privacy protection, Challenge 2), looking at one universal scalable mechanism (network diffusion, Challenge 3), and considering the interplay between modularity and computability in large-scale systems (Challenge 4). These four challenges range from practical concerns (Challenges 1 and 2) to more theoretical questions (Challenrges 3 and 4), yet present strong synergies and fertile interaction points. E.g. better understanding network diffusion (Challenge 3) is a key enabler to develop more private decentralized systems (Challenge 2), while the development of a theoretically sound modular computability hierarchy (Challenge 4) has a direct impact on our work on hybrid architectures (Challenge 1).