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Published: 2022-02-08

Extensive recruitment for leading cloud research at Umeå University

NEWS Smartphones, IoT, self-driving cars and modern healthcare – everything relies on the cloud to work. Now 15 new staff members are being recruited to the Autonomous Distributed Systems Lab research group at the Department of Computer Science, Umeå University, strengthening its international position in distributed systems.

Text: Victoria Skeidsvoll

“This is a massive investment that will take our research in distributed systems to the next level. We are further strengthening our position, both nationally and internationally," says Erik Elmroth, Professor at the Department of Computing Science, Umeå University, and one of five research leaders in the ADS Lab.

The foundation of modern systems

Distributed systems is a classic computer science discipline that has gone from being a niche within computer science to forming the basis of virtually all IT systems; on the web, in the cloud, and in smartphones, production processes, self-driving vehicles and healthcare.

The ADS Lab, consisting of 20 staff members and led by five research leaders, is now recruiting for several projects with funding from the Kempe Foundations, Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Distributed Systems and Software Program, (WASP), and the eSSENCE strategic research programme.

“We are looking for assistant professors to broaden the expertise of the group in the long term, but also a large number of postdocs and doctoral students to contribute to specific projects," says Professor Elmroth.

Energy-efficient clouds

Modern systems are growing rapidly in scale and complexity, while demands for performance, availability and reliability are increasing.

“Energy efficiency for large software systems has become increasingly central in recent years and is also one of the areas we are focusing on”, says Paul Townend, Senior Lecturer at The Department of Computing Science and one of the research leaders.

Developments in technology, such as smart cities and self-driving cars, guided by automated traffic management systems, require the development of software that can run directly in the cloud with high performance and reliability.

“For our research, this creates new needs for automatic and intelligent solutions for resource management, not only of the infrastructure but also of the applications that use it,' says Johan Tordsson, Research leader and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computing Science, Umeå University.

The research group is now developing the basis for this accelerating growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the form of the Mobile Edge Cloud, where data processing is done closer to the end-user and data is collected. “It is an emerging paradigm where we combine computing, communication, and storage capacity at the edge of networks,” says Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computing Science, P-O Östberg.

In collaboration with Tech Industry

The interdisciplinary research is conducted in collaboration with companies such as Ericsson, Intel, IBM, Google, Red Hat, and Tieto Evry, as well as academic partners at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Leeds University, Princeton University, Carnegie Mellon University, Lund University, KTH, Chalmers and Uppsala University, with the aim of developing the autonomous systems of the future to manage resources and applications in distributed computing clouds.

One aspect of autonomous systems management is to identify when things go wrong. ADS Lab is therefore also successfully working on tracking and diagnosing system problems.

“This is another very important area in large-scale systems as outages affect both end-users and brand reputation," concludes Monowar Bhuyan, Associate Professor at the Department of Computing Science and research leader.

ADS Lab

Paul Townend
Associate professor
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Per-Olov Östberg
Associate professor
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Johan Tordsson
Associate professor
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Monowar Bhuyan
Assistant professor
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