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Meeting with Pierre Sens, head of the new Delys team

The Delys team, led by Pierre Sens, is making its entrance at the Paris research centre.

What are your main research subjects?

Delys focuses on the algorithms and experimental aspects of distributed systems. In distributed systems such as clouds, sensor networks or the Internet of Things, distributed protocols enable a massive and diffuse set of machines to share information, pool their computing or storage resources and coordinate together to tolerate faults.

Dynamicity is one of the key properties of the new infrastructures: physical peripherals in the context of new networks - or virtual machines in the cloud context - can arrive and leave at any time, be subject to faults or move around. This poses new challenges for the distributed algorithms that normally consider known and static topologies.

We are studying how to adapt the fundamental bricks such as the allocation of resources, agreement issues or the management of simultaneous accesses to the replicated data. The scientific challenges are scaling up, managing dynamicity taking into consideration dynamic topologies and the dematerialisation of the physical infrastructure within the context of clouds.

What are your lines of research?

Delys is developing three lines of research:

The study of distributed algorithms for large dynamic systems. We are studying the properties of these algorithms by, in particular, basing ourselves on dynamic graph models.

The management of replicated and distributed data. We are aiming to improve the performances of the algorithms that ensure coherence between geographically distant copies.

Resource management in systems software. Within the cloud context, we are particularly focusing on improving memory placement strategies, in order to dynamically balance the load between the different virtual environments (virtual machines or containers)

Do you have any industry or university partnerships?

Delys is a joint team with the CNRS and Sorbonne University (LIP6). We have collaborations with several other French universities including Rennes (IRISA), Grenoble (LIG and Verimag), Nantes (LIMA) and Bordeaux (LABRI). We are also working together with several foreign university teams including Technion (Israel), New-York University Shanghai (China), UNLV (USA), EPFL (Switzerland), U. NOVA, INESC (Portugal), and MPI-SW (Germany).

We also have several partnerships with industry as part of the CIFRE (industrial agreements for training through research) agreements with Scality, Magency and Renault, within the joint laboratory with Orange, IO Lab, and in the form of grants given by Google.

Keywords: Experimental Delys Distributed systems Algorithms Team Research Inria Paris