[riot-devel] open PhD student position - Deterministic Networking for the Industrial IoT - Inria Paris-Rocquencourt

Thomas Watteyne thomas.watteyne at inria.fr
Thu Mar 12 01:21:26 CET 2015

[apologies for cross-posting]


Deterministic Networking for the Industrial Internet of Things

Position type: PhD Student
Where: Inria Paris-Rocquencourt, HIPERCOM2 team
advisor: thomas.watteyne at inria.fr (http://eecs.berkeley.edu/~watteyne/)
HR Contact: cecile.bertrand-kalkofen at inria.fr
Application deadline: 30 April 2015

Research goal

The goal of this research is to participate in creating the Internet of
(Important) Things, the cornerstone technology for tomorrow's Smart
Factory. You will conduct a rigorous study on the capabilities of low-power
wireless mesh "Time Synchronized Channel Hopping" (TSCH) technology, and
identify its performance bounds (latency, throughput, reliability, power
consumption). Through your research, you will contribute to open-source
projects such as OpenWSN, conduct experimental studies, participate in
standardization activities, and drive international collaboration with the
leading research teams in the field.

Research Context

Tomorrow's smart factory will rely heavily on low-power wireless mesh
technology to monitor and automate the manufacturing process. A combination
of centralized control and distributed intelligence will ensure different
data flows coexist in the wireless "umbrella" network spanning the smart
factory. For low-power wireless to be usable in tomorrow's smart factory,
it must offer Determinism, Manageability and Service level agreements. One
major challenge is that wireless is unreliable in nature: in a typical
smart factory environment, multi-path fading and external interference
affect the reliability of the wireless links.

We propose a ground-up redesign of low-power wireless technology, with an
architecture rooted in the "Time Synchronized Channel Hopping" (TSCH)
link-layer technology focused on determinism and manageability. A TSCH
network combines time synchronization to achieve ultra low-power resource
reservation, and channel hopping to increase reliability of the wireless
link by combating external interference and multi-path fading.
Communication in a TSCH network is orchestrated by a schedule which
indicates to each node what to do in each timeslot (transmit, receive or
sleep), and on which channel (frequency).


The goal of your research is to conduct a rigorous study on the
capabilities of TSCH technology and identify its performance bounds
(latency, throughput, reliability, power consumption). The idea is
two-fold: (1) define the "box" of constraints TSCH technology can be used
in, and quickly identify unrealistic assumptions, and (2) determine the
theoretical performance bounds of TSCH networks. You will then compare
these results against solutions developed in the IETF 6TiSCH working group,
and by other members of the HiPERCOM2 research team.

You will take a non-conventional approach by building an empirical model of
TSCH using real-world dense connectivity datasets which you will gather on
a large number of testbeds and environments. These datasets will be dense
in time, in space, and in frequency, and will constitute the largest set of
dense connectivity datasets in the world. The connectivity datasets will
allow you to precisely quantify the benefits of channel hopping by
conducting "what-if" scenarios to compare single-channel solutions to
channel hopping. You goal will be to use these results to develop a
stochastic connectivity model to precisely determine the (soft) real-time
performance bounds attainable on a TSCH network.

You will need to encompass both the link-layer scheduling, and the
multi-hop routing solution used. You will use this model to evaluate the
different mechanisms being developed in the IETF 6TiSCH working group, and
define solutions to introduce determinism in low-power wireless technology.

You will conduct research in an extremely stimulating environment, with the
HiPERCOM2 team, but also in constant collaboration with other international
research teams, through open-source projects, and by interacting with
standardization bodies. Experimentation will play an important role in your
research. You will implement your different proposals in OpenWSN (
http://openwsn.berkeley.edu/), and conduct experimental validation on the
IoT-lab (https://www.iot-lab.info/), a 2728-node open testbed deployed in 6
sites across France. You will also interact closely with the IETF
standardization processes, in particular through the 6TiSCH working group.
This will give you an opportunity to contribute to defining tomorrow's
standards and products. Through the REALMS associate team, you will also
closely work together with the research teams of Prof. Glaser (UC Berkeley)
and Prof. Kerkez (U. Michigan).

Skills and expertise

We are looking for outstanding candidates ready to make a significant
contribution to the field of low-power wireless mesh networking. This grand
challenge includes working with real-world hands-on experimentation,
contributing to standardization bodies, and frequently interacting with
companies and research teams around the world. We are hence looking for a
candidate with excellent academic credentials as well as strong "soft" and
"hard" skills.

* Speaking French is not a requirement. Professional proficiency in English
is, however, important.
* By the time you start with this position, you must hold a Master's degree
(MsC) in computer science, control engineering, mathematics, scientific
computation or an equivalent diploma in a related field.
* You must demonstrate very good programming skills and experience
(C/Python/Java, etc.), ideally including web development (server-side,
JavaScript, PHP, html, etc.)
* Embedded programming experience is a plus, ideally involving low-power
wireless devices and experience with IoT-related open-source projects
(OpenWSN, RIOT, Contiki, TinyOS, etc.)
* A strong interest in scientific problems and motivation for independent
and goal-oriented research.
* We are looking for the "tinkerer" kind. If you have built an
Arduino-based fan which tracks you as you move about, a plant which tweets
when you need to water it, tell us about it!


Located at the heart of Europe, Paris is a unique place to work and live
in. Inria offers a unique balance between working in a leading research
center and living in one of the most beautiful and bustling cities in the
world. A real communication hub, Paris is a gateway to France and Western
Europe, and working in the Inria Paris-Rocquencourt research center is real
asset to your career.

* Monthly gross salary: 1958 € first and second years, 2059 € third year
* approx. 45 days of annual vacation
* ultra-convenient daily dedicated Inria shuttle bus to/from central Paris
* Inria covers part of your commute expenses (metro, bus, etc.)
* When needed, Inria will help you apply for Scientific Resident card and a
* on-site restaurant (Inria pays for part of you expenses)
* on-site gym, tennis courts, soccer field, etc.

Working at Inria

Established in 1967, Inria is the only public research body fully dedicated
to computational sciences. Combining computer sciences with mathematics,
Inria's 3,500 researchers strive to invent the digital technologies of the
future. Educated at leading international universities, they creatively
integrate basic research with applied research and dedicate themselves to
solving real problems, collaborating with the main players in public and
private research in France and abroad and transferring the fruits of their
work to innovative companies. Inria researchers have published over 4,500
articles in 2013 and are behind over 270 active patents and 110 start-ups.
In 2013, Inria's budget was 235 million euros, 25% of which represented its
own resources. The 180 project teams are distributed in eight research
centers located throughout France.

The Inria Paris-Rocquencourt research center is located next to the famous
Chateau de Versailles gardens, right outside of Paris. Thanks to its
top-quality researchers and numerous international guests, the
Paris-Rocquencourt research center plays a leading role in international
research, in particular around networking and communication systems. The 41
research teams of the center are continuously pushing the boundaries in
developing new concepts and techniques.

HiPERCOM2 is a leading research team in High PERformance COMmunications.
The research team, lead by 3 faculty members (Pascale Minet, Paul
Muhlethaler, Thomas Watteyne), is designing Tomorrow's Internet of
(Important) Things. The team pushes the limits of low-power wireless mesh
networking by applying them to critical applications such as industrial
control loops, with harsh reliability, scalability, security and energy
constraints. Grounded in real-world use cases and experimentation,
HiPERCOM2 co-chairs the IETF 6TiSCH standardization working group and
co-leads Berkeley's OpenWSN project. The team is associated with Prof.
Glaser's (UC Berkeley) and Prof. Kerkez (U. Michigan) through the REALMS
associate research team.

Additional information

If you have questions about the scientific contents of the position, we
encourage you to browse http://eecs.berkeley.edu/~watteyne/ and contact
thomas.watteyne at inria.fr before applying. For administrative/practical
questions, e-mail cecile.bertrand-kalkofen at inria.fr.

You will find the official offer at
. You must apply online through the Inria Web site. Evaluation of
applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is
filled. Candidates are encouraged to apply early.

Security and defense procedure: In the interests of protecting its
scientific and technological assets, Inria is a restricted-access
establishment. Consequently, it follows special regulations for welcoming
any person who wishes to work with the institute. The final acceptance of
each candidate thus depends on applying this security and defense procedure.
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