Vision and Goals
The goal of the DFG SPP 2378 Resilient Worlds is to disrupt fundamental limits of connected worlds by adding resilience as a core building block. Resilience is the ability of a system to provide and maintain an acceptable level of secure and safe service delivery, even in case of failure or compromise of some of its components, and also under completely unexpected situations. Machine Learning (ML)-based solutions help making our complex network infrastructures more resilient but at the cost of reduced controllability – and with reduced abilities of experts to help in critical situations. Thus, we are faced with even more challenges in terms of resilience in critical network infrastructures.
Resilience, as an emerging research field, is strongly required as a core property of the network infrastructure, from the global internet to the internet of things (IoT), from connected cars to complex cyber-physical systems (CPS); and resilience will be a primary research objective for the coming years. Resilient Worlds will provide resilience throughout the complete protocol stack, from the hardware layer to wireless communications and to applications. We expect that in modern communication networks unknown and unforeseen events could be handled both from the network as well as utilising external capabilities to prevent a collapse of this critical infrastructure. This requires a holistic approach to resilience, leading to appropriate, understandable, and easily applicable solutions.
In Resilient Worlds, the focus will be on the investigation of a resilience-by-design approach, which is already very challenging; however, adding resilience to (legacy) systems that were not designed for it can be even more demanding. It is therefore the goal of the Priority Programme to address resilience from a new, multi-disciplinary perspective including, but not limited to, communications and networking, semiconductor electronic hardware systems, information security, and machine learning.
The Resilient Worlds approach foresees projects following a “Resilience meets ...” concept. In particular, we see resilience at the core of next generation networked systems, thus requiring an integrative domain-oriented research approach. In addition, we solicit research on fundamental properties of resilience such as metrics, anticipation, understanding own state properties, etc. In the following, we outline a number of such meeting points, where current state of the art solutions have to be revisited and extended to focus on resilience as a core property.
Resilience meets Silicon
- tunable chip design; self-aware hardware – anticipating and monitoring of changes/attacks
- AI-driven reconfigurability for optimised resilience, energy, and performance trade-offs
- synergetic and holistic methods for addressing reliability and security of hardware systems
Resilience meets Communications
- resilient coded communication and computation
- novel information theory approaches like “Post Shannon” / “identification channels” / “guess work”
- adaptivitiy / support for heterogeneity / scalability in case of dynamic unexpected changes
Resilience meets Machine Learning
- federated / distributed learning strategies for connected systems
- explainable and controllable AI for connected systems
- AI-driven software and hardware testing for networked systems
Resilience meets Security
- novel protocol designs, including post-quantum secure protocols
- scalable and sustainable security concepts for virtualisation
- distributed threat detection and response, decentralised security for networks
All accepted projects follow an interdisciplinary “Resilience meets ...” approach and must clearly demonstrate the necessary capabilities and novelties that will enable the Resilient Worlds programme strategies and visions described above. Projects pursuing research for the sake of understanding networking only, without connection to one or multiple of the above-mentioned research fields or seeking only incremental improvement to their existing state-of-the-art are not in the focus of this Priority Programme.