Category: Research (page 1 of 3)

Towards smarter continuum application designs

In the context of our «Smart Cities and Regions Services Enablement» efforts, space (and to some extent time) are important dimensions. First, the digital transformation has an inherent spatial component. While the research application field is pragmatically scoped to cities and regions, indeed it spans a wider spectrum from households, quarters, districts to countries and even supranational entities. The recent wave of «surface digitalisation» has primarily affected mobile citizens (pandemic apps) and workers (video conferencing in home offices) around the world. This increased the surface over the previous one that for most citizens encompassed e-banking, e-ticketing and e-tax declarations, with various degrees of voluntariness.

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Financial Analytics with Cloud Functions

As we have recently been granted Google Cloud Research Credits for the investigation of Serverless Data Integration, we continue our exploration of open and public data. This HOWTO-style blog post presents the application domain of financial analytics and explains how to run a cloud function to achieve elastically scalable analytics. Although there are no research results to report yet, it raises a couple of interesting challenges that we or other computer scientists should work on in the future.

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Investigation of Self-Management for Flask-based Services

Self-management is an important property of software services to increase the degree of exploiting benefitial characteristics of underlying runtime systems. Whether such services run in a managed cloud environment, on a device or somewhere else in the computing continuum, there may always be limitations in the managing runtime platform that a complementary or overarching application-level management can help to overcome. Using a Python Flask-based web service as example, this research blog post informs about our ongoing investigations into two specific self-management aspects: runtime resilience and feistiness.

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Deploying Singer.io to the Cloud

As presented in a prior post, Singer.io is a modern, open-source ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) framework for integrating data from various sources, including online datasets and services, with a focus on being simple and light-weight. The basics of the framework were explored in our last post on the topic, so we will refer you to that if you are unfamiliar.

This post is about our process for deploying Singer to the cloud, more specifically, to the Cloud Foundry open source cloud application platform. This was done in the context of researching the maturity of data transformation tools in a cloud-native environment. We will explore the options for deploying Singer taps and targets to a cloud provider and discuss our implementation and deployment process in detail.

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Experimenting with WebAssembly in a Serverless context

Note

This post was first published on Medium by Leonardas (Badrie) Persaud – one of the students who was involved in this project. The post is republished here as the project was run within the context of the Software Maintenance and Evolution course run by Sebastiano and the project itself was supervised by Seán. The students involved in the project were UZH CS Master’s students: Badrie L. Persaud, Bill Bosshard, and, William Martini and all project related content is in the project’s github repo.

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Log files: Semantic compression and learned attribute-based notifications

Many providers of hosted services, including cloud applications, are subject to a contradiction in handling log data. On the one hand, storing logs consumes resources and should be minimised or avoided altogether to save resource cost. On the other hand, regulatory constraints such as keeping the data for the purpose of future audits exist. A smart solution to encode the data appropriately needs to be found. The coding encompasses both compression, to keep resource use low, and encryption, to prevent leaking information to unauthorised parties, for instance when logging for the purpose of intrusion detection. On an algorithmic level, the encoded data should still be usable for computation, in particular comparison and search. In this blog post, based on the didactic log example shown in the figure below, we present algorithms and architectures to handle cloud log files in a smart way.

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On Using OpenData.Swiss

In Switzerland, opendata.swiss is the go-to location for any open dataset resulting from federal, cantonal or municipal sources. From a societal and economics perspective, the portal is an important asset following the “protect private data, make use of public data” mantra, and has already led to digital innovation through the availability of many third-party applications. In this research blog post, we look at some numbers associated with the portal.

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Building a Singer.io tap for an open data source

Singer.io is an open-source JSON-based data shifting (ETL: extract, transform, load) framework, designed to bring simplicity when moving data between a source and a destination service on the Internet. In this post, we present the framework as entry point into the world of SaaS-level data exchange and some associated research questions.

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Lambada update: Transforming Python code into cloud functions for multiple FaaS providers

For rapid development, deployment and testing of applications based on many cloud functions, code transformation tools are on the rise. With a process called “FaaSification”, they turn code into cloud functions by following annotations or decorators specified for developers. Termite for Java, Node2FaaS for JavaScript, and Lambada for Python are representative examples of this new class of tools, related also to other overlay tools such as PyWren. This blog post summarises the recently added software features for Lambada.

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Docker image checks: Quality, security, up-to-dateness, layers and inheritance

Docker images have become the valuta franca in the cloud and container platform world. Although on the path to vendor-neutral standardisation (e.g. with OCI also being in Docker Hub for a year now), developers for now have settled on plain Docker as de-facto standard due to the vast ecosystem of base images and dependency images which speed up the rapid prototyping of complex scalable applications. From a production-grade DevOps perspective, a key concern is then to be assured that the containers used are of high quality, not infected by security vulnerabilities, and still containing the latest features available. In this blog post, a novel approach to visualise the situation around a particular container image is presented.

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