Research

The infrastructure of the global Internet has already turned  distributed computing into a ubiquitous technology. This phenomenon will grow: unlimited computing, communication and data storage resources will soon be available to every citizen, and vast amounts of information and data will be generated by sensors, personal devices, machines and information-enhanced products, creating a pervasive application platform that will guarantee seamless access to information and services. By making action at a distance a commonplace, and enabling instant access to emergent information to up-to-date services, this new technology will have enormous impact on our lives, create unprecedented opportunity for social innovaton, and contribute to key business and societal processes such as consumer behaviour, community formation, environment monitoring, public governance. Ths role of pervasive technologies and information systems as key drivers for innovation is well recognized at the European Level. The EC Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, to be launched on 2014, foresees that “over the next decade, the transformative impact of digital technologies, ICT components, infrastructures and services will be increasingly visible in all areas of life”, and, based on that, it states that (within the Horizon 2020 programme) “the specific objective of ICT research and innovation is to enable Europe to develop and exploit the opportunities brought by ICT progress for the benefits of its citizens, businesses and scientific communities.”

Yet, implementing these visions represents a hard problem and a highly ambitious goal for the science and the engineering of the underlying infrastructure. To be reliable, pervasive systems must guarantee seamless service, in time and space, meet optimal performance incides to ensure prompt response time, be resilient to faults, self-adatable to change, and resistant to security attacks. To be effective, these systems must collect and process huge amounts of data on their users’ behaviour and their environment, and extract the high-quality information content required to drive decision making and planning. To be socially acceptable, and adopted whole-hartedly by its users, the infrastructure must ensure that sensitive data is not disclosed and that user privacy and anonimity are preserved as needed.

The goal of ACADIA is to contribute effective answers to these scientific and technological issues underlying these challenges, focussing on the following, specific goals:

  • enhance our understanding of the scientific principles, as well as the engineering techniques that software developers, architects, and practitioners can use to design dependable systems and build security into their structure in every phase of its development;
  • advance the state of the art on analytical methods to evaluate the systems’ response in terms of several indices such as the response time, throughput and energy consumption to support the engineering of sustainable pervasive distributed systems;
  • provide verifiable measures to protect the systems’ and networks’ resources and information from misuse, and shield its end-users from threats and attacks to the privacy of their sensible data;
  • devise effective statistical methods and models to extract information and trends from huge data collections in support of decision making and planning. Such methods and models are required because we are in the presence of noisy / incomplete data samples and measurement errors;
  • contribute to the development of citizen-centric services, environmental monitoring systems, e-government processes for health and participatory democracy working in close collaboration with the private enterprises and public bodies at all levels;
  • ACADIA brings together a selection of researchers with solid theoretical background and highest, complementary expertise in the relevant fields, of performance engineering, formal verification, system and software security and statistical data analysis.