Master d’informatique 2008 2009
proposition de thèse (INRIA+Chine)

Available Ph.D. position

High-level abstraction for network programming

Contacts : Prof. S. Ubéda ( Prof. S. Grumbach (

Located in the CITI laboratory (Lyon, France) and the LIAMA Institute (Beijing, China)

Research areas : networking protocols and database technology Keywords : networking protocols, declarative languages, P2P, adaptive behavior


The trend towards ubiquitous wireless communication is accelerated with wireless technologies interconnecting an increasing number of heterogeneous devices such as sensors, PDA’s, wearable computers, etc. This leads to an increase of the complexity and dynamics of communication networks. More and more facilities will be interconnected temporarily in dynamic networks, and cooperate to carry on common tasks. The constraints of the participating nodes, such as their limited energy, their communication capabilities, their mobility, as well as the distribution of the resources, make data and network management very challenging.


The objective of this thesis is to develop a framework, which allows to program both networking protocols (eg routing) as well as distributed applications (eg P2P content distribution) in a simple and declarative manner. Programming in a declarative manner means specifying the desired results and not the algorithms to compute them. The system is thus in charge of generating, as much as possible optimized, distributed algorithms.

The objective is to extend to networks the approach that has made the success of databases, relying on a clear separation between a logical and a physical model, which allows users and applications to access data through declarative queries (eg SQL), leaving the system compute optimized execution plans. The languages which will be used originate from the database field. They allow an application oriented vs system oriented programming. Finally, the network is hidden in databases and a control packet of routing protocols is viewed as a recursive request which is recursively propagated to the neighbourhood of the source node.

Having essentially query languages at our disposal, the system will rely on embedded databases in each node of the network, to perform the local computation, whether related to networking or to applications. This facilitates the development of the code, which will make use of functionalities of the embedded DBMS (Data Base Management System), but moreover it allows the language to operate on heterogeneous architectures and networks.

The thesis will contribute to the development of the methodology, in particular the distributed query processing techniques, the declarative networking approach, the development of new routing mechanisms relying on queries, as well as the proof of concept with the participation to the development of a system prototype.


* Stéphane Grumbach, Jialiang Lu, Wenwu Qu : Self-organization of Wireless Networks Through Declarative Local Communication. OTM Workshops (1) 2007 : 497-506

* S. Abiteboul, I. Manolescu, O. Benjelloun, T. Milo, B. Cautis, N. Preda. Lazy Query Evaluation for Active XML. In Proc. of the 2004 ACMSIGMOD Intl. Conf. on Management of Data, 2004.

* Xiuzhen Cheng and Min Ding and David Hongwei Du and Xiaohua Jia. Virtual backbone construction in multihop ad hoc wireless networks. Wireless Communications and Mobile, Computing, March, Number 2, Volume 6, p 183-190, 2006

* D. B. Johnson, D. A. Maltz. Dynamic Source Routing in Ad Hoc Wireless Networks. In Mobile Computing, edited by Tomasz Imielinski and Hank Korth, Chap. 5, pp 153-181. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996.

* Deshpande, Z. Ives, V. Raman, Adaptive Query Processing, Foundations and Trends in Databases : Vol. 1 : No 1, pp 1-140, 2007.

* Fei Dai and Jie, Virtual Backbone Construction in MANETs using Adjustable Transmission Ranges. to appear IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing.

* B. Loo, J. Hellerstein, I. Stoica. Declarative networking : Language, Execution and Optimization, in “Proceedings of ACM SIGMOD”, June 2006.

* S. Xiang, H. B. Lim, K.L. Tan, Multiple Query Optimization for Wireless Sensor Networks, In IEEE 23rd Int. Conf. on Data Engineering (ICDE), 2007.

* J.-L. Lu, F. Valois, D. Barthel, M. Dohler A Fully Integrated Scheme of self-Configuration and self-Organization for WSN, IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC’07), Hong-Kong, March 2007.


* Database management systems and query languages * Networking protocols * Good programming skills (java, C++)

The Ph.D. student should work during 18 months in China and the rest of the time in France. The schedule should be discussed between the Ph.D. student and the two research teams.