You have received an ANR Young Researchers award. Can you tell us about the programme?
Funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR), the Young Researchers Programme provides funding to junior researchers through a competitive peer review process. Roughly 12% of the proposals were funded.
Which research project did you present?
The goal of my research project is to increase the confidence we have in replicated data structures. Data structures organise and store data so that they can be efficiently accessed by programs. Given that program applications become more and more demanding, one cannot allow data to be lost or become temporarily unavailable. To achieve this, special algorithms have been designed that replicate data over different servers, such that an application can interact with any of these servers without perceiving inconsistencies among them. These are very subtle algorithms, that lie at the core of many distributed systems. In my project I propose using formal methods techniques to increase the confidence we have in replicated data structures. These techniques rely on mathematical models to proof the software’s correctness and have been successfully applied to sequential programs. The challenge of the project consists in developing compositional verification techniques for distributed systems that can be automated using satisfiability modulo theories and abstract interpretation.
How will you benefit from the award?
Having a Young Researchers award is an important step in developing my research project. Currently, there is a lot of competition in science, both from an academic perspective and from an industrial one (many companies have strong research and development teams). Therefore, the grant allows me to finance international collaborations and to recruit PhD students or post-docs both being crucial steps towards successful scientific production.