Rapid advances in technology have enabled a new generation of tiny, inexpensive, networked sensors and actuators. These massively distributed networks of smart objects cooperate to support an application as unobtrusively as possible (transparency), making efficient use of scarce resources independent of growth (scalability), and in such a way that the system adapts to a dynamically changing environment (evolvability). Mainly due to resource constraints, devices and connections are inherently unreliable, yet the system should be able to provide reliable services (quality).
The research of the Pervasive Systems group incorporates both system software and networked embedded systems, and evaluates this in a suitable application context. The overall aim is to design and develop the foundations of pervasive distributed systems that support at their core the evolutionary features in the world we inhabit today. To do so, we address the following stages:
The common theme in these areas is the development of large-scale, heterogeneous, autonomous, wireless, and distributed systems. Research covers a wide design space including architectures, protocols, programming paradigms, algorithms, deployment, and applications.
We approach our vision with a programme of research in which fundamental innovation activities that address the need for new principles, models, methods, and tools are interwoven with experiments that study contexts of use in different settings. The particular scientific methods to be used will range from mathematical modelling (e.g. for resource optimization problems), simulation (e.g. of network protocols), hardware/software prototyping (e.g. of smart devices), and system measurements to scenario design, contextual analysis, and system evaluation in situ.