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Resilient and Trustworthy Data Replication at Wire Speed

   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

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  Prof Gregory Chockler  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The aim of this project is to build a pluggable hardware‐enhanced resilience kernel to boost resilience, scalability, security, and trustworthiness of modern data management systems.

Studentship group name

Digital Resilience


School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

Research group(s)

Distributed and networked systems

Project Description

The project will exploit recent advances in networking, processor, and memory hardware, such as trusted execution environments (TEEs), byte-addressable non-volatile memory (NVRAM), and remote direct memory access (RDMA). It will develop novel data replication algorithms using software primitives offered by this hardware and formally verify their correctness. 

To ensure a high degree of trustworthiness, the project outcomes will be extensively evaluated both analytically and empirically. The analytical evaluation will seek to develop new formal models to enable rigorous reasoning about correctness, computability, and costs of the proposed solutions, potentially establishing new lower and upper bounds. It will seek to develop frameworks to automate correctness proofs of its core components using tools such as the Isabelle/HOL theorem prover.

The empirical evaluation will explore integrating software prototypes into real-world applications, such as key-value stores, transactional data stores, and stream processing. The resulting prototypes will be evaluated using standard benchmarks, such as YCSB and TPC-C. The empirical evaluation will be conducted on the state-of-the-art RDMA/NVRAM/SGX testbed hosted by the Department of Computer Science, University of Surrey. The project will benefit from inputs and feedback of our industrial partners, such as NVIDIA, Arm, IBM and Stellar, for identifying case studies and validating its assumptions.

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted via the Computer Science PhD programme page. In place of a research proposal you should upload a document stating the title of the projects (up to 2) that you wish to apply for and the name(s) of the relevant supervisor. You must upload your full CV and any transcripts of previous academic qualifications. You should enter ’Faculty Funded Competition’ under funding type.


The studentship will provide a stipend at UKRI rates (currently £17,668 for 2022/23) and tuition fees for 3.5 years. An additional bursary of £1700 per annum for the duration of the studentship will be offered to exceptional candidates.

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