Massive-scale IoT Indexing and Compression for Scalable Data Caching

Applications are invited for one PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Engineering programme. The position is available from 1 November 2018 or later.

Massive-scale IoT Indexing and Compression for Scalable Data Caching

Research area and project description:
Future communication networks and storage systems will face tremendous challenges to answer the increasing data traffic generated by end users, the novel requirements of 5G communications, and by the 50 to 500 billion sensor and actuation devices to be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). Additionally, upcoming services and applications may also impose very low delay constraints on the transferred data. This will naturally prevent us from using current client-server infrastructures or popular cloud services. The main reason is that servers and cloud infrastructure are typically far away from the end-devices themselves, which translates into high delay to reach them. Furthermore, the costs of transferring massive amounts of data all the way through the network to reach a cloud are prohibitive with 50 to 500 billion connected devices due to the economic costs in infrastructure capable of servicing these high loads and the energy costs for transferring to and processing at the cloud. Thus, developing technologies that (i) increase the throughput, (ii) reduce the delay, (iii) operate in a distributed fashion, (iv) are economically viable, and (v) store and process data close to the end devices, is crucial to the design and deployment of future communication networks and cloud computing.

This PhD project is financed by the DFF Sapere Aude Starting Grant initiative and will focus on the development of novel coding theory designs for a more efficient management, edge caching, consistency assurance, and storage of Internet of Things data at a massive scale. In particular, the applicant will consider the integration of (network) coding techniques and data deduplication; two approaches for reducing storage costs that have been typically attacked separately. This work is expected to open a new field at the intersection of traditional coding theory and distributed Cloud technologies and systems and developing a new paradigm for indexing and accessing data in future networks. The underlying goal of the results and designs of this project is to develop new technologies for Cloud, Edge, and Local content storage, transmission, and caching. The applicant is expected to deploy such designs in practical systems to demonstrate the results, including high-end servers, Software Defined Networking Switches, and edge servers. The applicant is also expected to participate in the preparation of research project proposals at a national and international level.

Our group operates at the intersection of theory and implementation of network coding, distributed systems, and Cloud/Edge technologies. For this reason, we encourage applicants with a strong theoretical profile or a strong implementation/programming profile (or ideally both) to apply. Our group also comes with a new and well-funded laboratory to deploy large storage server pods (hundreds of TB each pod), computing servers, ARM micro-servers for energy efficient edge operations, software defined networking switches with built-in computation capabilities, and a number of end-user devices, single-board computers and sensors.

This project will have interactions with companies (e.g., Kamstrup A/S) and local start-ups (e.g., Steinwurf ApS) as well as participation in IETF/EUDAT events with the potential to generate both theory and designs that address real practical challenges, high impact publications in journals and conferences, and patent filings. The student will also have interactions and research stays at MIT, TU Dresden, Nokia Bell Labs, and/or the University of Neuchatel.

Our goal is to design communication and storage technologies for future cloud and networks using novel coding theory constructions at the core of such designs.

Qualifications and specific competences:
We are looking for highly motivated and independent students willing to take the challenge to do a successful 3-year PhD programme at Aarhus University. The ideal candidate will have the following profile (but not all items are required for a successful application):

  • Relevant Master’s degree (e.g., Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering), although exceptional candidates from related disciplines (e.g., Mathematics) will also be considered.
  • Excellent undergraduate and Master’s degree grades are required.
  • Background on communication systems, networking, distributed storage and distributed systems. This is highly desired, but candidates from other disciplines will be considered based on their merits and potential.
  • Background on mathematics, probability, and/or error correcting codes is desired.
  • Background on programming, particularly C++, Java, and/or python, or experience with distributed systems, SDN switches, and/or open source (e.g., OpenStack, OpenCompute) is desired.
  • Knowledge and experience in network coding is desired, but not mandatory.
  • Good English verbal and written skills are a must.

Place of employment and place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is the Department of Engineering, Turing Building (5341), Åbogade 34, DK-8200 Aarhus N.

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

Assoc. Prof. Daniel Enrique Lucani Rötter (email: )

Application procedures

Before you apply

Information and attachments:
Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded to the system in one go.

Documentation of language skills:

The English language requirement at Graduates School of Science and Technology is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” is documented by one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL test, minimum score: 560 (paper-based test) or 83 (internet-based test). The paper-based test must have a “total score”. From August call 2019, GSST no longer accepts the paper-based test.
    Aarhus University does not accept the TOEFL ITP test. Aarhus University’s TOEFL code is 8935. You must request that the test centre send your test results to Aarhus University, in order to enable verification of your test results.
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 6.5 points
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment:
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE)
    Cambridge English: Certificate of Advanced English with grade A,B or C (CAE)
    Cambridge English: First Certificate  with grade A (FCE)

When to take the test and how to upload the documentation:
The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.

The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form.

It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application the test result is to be sent to no later than one month after the application deadline.

The following applicants are exempted from documenting their English qualifications/taking a test:

  • Applicants with citizenship from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, or one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden).
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, or United States. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed at Aarhus University for which the requirement was English B level at the time of admission. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section” Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants able to document that English was the language of instruction during the whole period of their Bachelor’s and/or Master’s programme. This must be documented by uploading an official document from the institution stating this under “language skills documentation”. The onus is on the applicant to provide this information as GSST will not pursue information regarding language of instruction for any programmes or institutions.

The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

How to apply:

1)      Find the application form:
Go to
Choose August 2018 Call with deadline 1 August 2018 at 11.59 PM MET.
You will be directed to the call, and must choose the programme 'Engineering'

2)      Fill in the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Academic background
  • Admission
  • Financing (if any)
  • Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: "Massive-scale IoT Indexing and Compression for Scalable Data Caching"
  • Source (how you found out about the call)

Next to some of the information fields you will find a number. Click on the number to get further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.

3)      Application attachments:
Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.

If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF file and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.

Please note that all information in the application must be in Danish or English.

As a minimum all applications must include (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip):

  • One reference (template for references)
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • Motivation (max. 1 page)
  • Transcripts and diploma(s)
  • Project description (½-4 pages). For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. When - as here - you apply for a specific project, please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like.
  • Documentation of language skills if required.

After submission of the application you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed. The e-mail will also include a link to the application – GSST urges you to check that all mandatory data, marked with an asterisk (*), is registered correctly and all attached files are readable. In case of significant errors, you should reply to the confirmation e-mail with the correct details before the application deadline.

GSST reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts:

  • Request additional information to verify an application.
  • Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made. 
  • For further information on applying, assessment procedures, etc. please see the GSST application guide here  

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • The project will only be initiated if final funding (from GSST/the faculty) is secured.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.