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SIERA team

Service IntEgration and netwoRk Administration (Administration de réseaux et intégration de services)
Head : Abdelmalek Benzekri


Our works aim at controlling not only last generation communication infrastructures and services, but also dynamically aggregated, distributed and trans-organizational complex applications and systems. Thus, our researches define and evaluate new management paradigms and bring architectures, platforms, tools or normalization contributions to the community. The target application domains are networks and services, together with e-learning.

Virtual organizations settlement and deployment of on-demand infrastructures represent applications that require services of integrated and more specially cooperative management.

Our model driven architecture allowed us to elaborate a mechanism for designing management applications that reveal a double independence: the first one is related to specific domains to be managed, whereas the other deals with management applications. Our current concerns focus on three related orientations :

  • reinforcement of management applications’ life cycle (with a more specific contribution to behavior specification
  • dynamic aspect of management models), deployment and federation of distributed management applications, and
  • a specific management domain represented by distributed applications for which we bring out end-to-end quality of service achievement and control.

We are also concerned by a long term approach that consists in evaluating the capacity of multi agent systems to bring solutions to self-management requirements. Informational, organizational, interactive and protocol aspects are studied in a both micro and macroscopic ways. We want to reach a specialization of the Multi-Agent System paradigm towards networks and systems management while keeping a high generic level that would support deployment of intelligent and autonomous management solutions.

Policy driven management brought a contribution to the centralized management applications renewal according to flexibility and dynamicity criteria required to deploy an on-demand information technologies infrastructure. But policies are limited by administrative domains, and a virtual organization often bypasses these limits requiring an inter-domain solution. Thus we investigate the security management of a virtual organization’s information flows, and suggest two complementary approaches.

  • The first one is pragmatic and deals with the problem of policy refinement in order to design and deploy inter-domain policies.
  • The second approach is more formal. If the management infrastructure aims at providing intra and inter-domains policies consistency, an a priori verification of the deployed policy’s validity is not ensured. Then we define a management environment that allows to control security policies, while formally validating executable rules related to the appropriated security protocols and mechanisms.

Today e-learning environments represent scalable systems to distribute and exploit learning objects. Due to heterogeneity and centralization of proprietary content management systems, and to aggregation of these objects, management of such systems is complex specially when it comes to share and reuse learning objects. We focus on the following research interests :

  • the proposal of a generic architecture to allow distribution and virtualization of learning objects.
  • standardization works in order to increase interoperability between various indexation and search tools, together with the elaboration of learning scenarios.
  • deployment and adaptation of systems based on this architecture that has been suggested and adopted within eMath and International E-Mi@ge French Education Ministry Numerical Campuse.

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