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Two post-doctoral research associate positions on the performance and

quality-of-service of Blockchain infrastructures



Summary

- 2 postdoc positions on Blockchain infrastructures @ UCLouvain

- In a top research university in Belgium, just south of Brussels

- In collaboration with a major telecom and cloud solutions provider

- Starting date 1st October 2019

- Both positions fully funded for two years

- Topics: blockchain, performance, fairness, quality-of-service, 

- benchmarking, distributed systems, networks

- Please forward to potential candidates!



We invite applications for two fully-funded post-doctoral research associate

positions at UCLouvain, Belgium. Both positions are for a duration of 2 years.

The positions are in the context of a joint research project with a key player

in telecom and Blockchain-as-a-Service.



Context

=======



Blockchains allow building trustworthy decentralized applications without the

need to trust an individual administrative domain. Blockchains provide a common

ground of trust in the form of a distributed, append-only and immutable ledger,

shared and accessed by different parties. Selecting and setting up a Blockchain

infrastructure is complicated. The Blockchain-as-a-Service model allows

providers to offer blockchains as managed environments in the cloud, resulting

in higher uptake and shorter deployment times.



This project focuses on two challenges in the context of

blockchain-as-a-service offerings:



- First, it is difficult for companies building applications to select which

 blockchain infrastructure will fit their current and future requirements.

 This includes criteria on features, performance and scaling. There is a need

 for automated benchmarking and performance modeling tools to help end users

 make informed choices. We need a better understanding of performance and

 scaling of both permissionless and permissioned blockchains under a variety

 of application workloads.



- Second, quality of service (QoS) guarantees offered by blockchain

 infrastructures remain too limited. In particular, there are little

 guarantees of fairness between users of the same blockchain. One user or one

 institution may get a significantly better service (lower confirmation

 delays, less transactions rejected due to consistency conflicts, etc.) due to

 differences in connectivity, malicious activity of the other users, or faults

 in the distributed infrastructure. Unfairness can introduce biases in the

 application using the blockchain. This limits the trust users can put in the

 application. Unfairness is a significant concern for consortium blockchains

 deployed over multiple clouds and data centers. There is a strong need for

 better QoS guarantees for blockchain clients, in particular on fairness.



Objectives

==========



The selected post-doctoral researchers will work towards better performance

understanding, fairness and QoS guarantees in blockchain infrastructures, in

the context of blockchain-as-a-service offerings in a

geographically-distributed infrastructure.



The research will target fundamental advances in the design and implementation

of blockchain systems, with a stronger focus on the infrastructure, systems and

networking aspects than on applications. The two post-docs will contribute to

efficient benchmarking of performance, QoS and fairness of blockchain systems,

and propose solutions for the live monitoring and adaptation of parameters for

representative systems. They will study sources of unfairness in existing

blockchain designs. They will contribute algorithms and systems allowing to

reduce this unfairness, improve performance, and mitigate the impact of

malevolent parties on QoS.



The research activities will be in close cooperation with a leading telecom and

blockchain-as-a-service provider, who will help understanding concrete needs of

blockchain application developers and infrastructure providers.



Note: The two post-docs will be assigned a separate research agenda based on

their research expertise, experience and interests. Each will be in charge of a

specific work package as primary contributor. Collaborations between the

post-docs, the industrial partner, and other member of the computer science

department are expected, under the technical lead of the post-docs.



Working conditions

==================



UCLouvain (Université catholique de Louvain) is a top-ranked research

university in Belgium. The post-doctoral research associates will be integrated

to the ICTEAM research institute and its INGI computer science department. INGI

features 11 professors and more than 40 researchers active in various domains

including cloud computing, networking, distributed systems, or security.



https://uclouvain.be/en/research-institutes/icteam 



The working place will be Louvain-la-Neuve, a one-of-its-kind city and

university campus located just south of Brussels, and home to more than 20.000

students. The two positions are funded by Innoviris, the Brussels research

funding agency in the context of the FairBCaaS research project.



Salaries includes full medical insurance and are highly competitive at the

European level. They will take into account past experience of the research

associates.



Expected profiles

=================



We are looking for candidates with research interests and expertise in a

combination of distributed systems, middleware, performance modeling, and

networks.



The candidates will be expected to have significant experience in developing

distributed software and running large-scale evaluations. They should master

state-of-the-art tools for software development and collaboration. Evidence of

significant contribution to (open source) software is a clear plus.



Applicants must have a PhD in Computer Science at the time they start the

position, be fluent in English, have good abilities to work in an international

setting. French is not a requirement for the positions, but support will be

given should a candidate would want to learn the language.



Selected candidates should commit to be available to travel to conferences

worldwide to present research results, and participate to collective activities

of the lab, which may include moderate teaching assistantship.



Application details

===================



Both positions start on October 1st, 2019.



The call is open from May 10, 2019. Candidates screening and interviews (on

Skype) will start from June 1st, 2019. The positions will remain open until the

appropriate candidates are selected. The availability of the positions will be

announced at:



https://cloudlargescale-uclouvain.github.io/vacancies 



Interested and potential candidates are warmly encouraged to contact Prof

Riviere and Prof Sadre prior to sending a full application to discuss the

details and objectives of the positions, and identify common research interests.



Applications should be submitted by e-mail to both Prof Etienne Riviere and

Prof Ramin Sadre ([log in to unmask], [log in to unmask]),

including:



(a)	Curriculum vitae;

(b)	List of 2-3 reference persons and their e-mail addresses (we ask for 

   recommendation letters ourselves: letters sent by the candidates will be 

   disregarded);

(c)	Transcripts of graduate studies and PhD reports;

(d)	Links to Masters and PhD thesis;

(e)	List of publications and links to PDF (not behind a paywall). 

   Please send both a comprehensive list of publications as well as the list 

   of up to three ones that you consider the most important. For each of these 

   important publications, give the detail of your personal contribution and

   involvement.

(f)	Links to examples of personal software contributions.



All documents must be sent in pdf format.



Advisors



Prof Etienne Riviere and Prof Ramin Sadre

UCLouvain/ICTEAM

Louvain-la-Neuve

Belgium




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