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INESC TEC researchers awarded “Best Paper Award” in the field of Computing

The paper “ASPAS: As Secure as Possible Available Systems”, co-authored by Houssam Yactine, Ali Shoker, and George Younes, researchers at INESC TEC’s High-Assurance Software Laboratory (HASLab), received the Best Paper Award at the 16th edition of the International Federated Conference on Distributed Computing Techniques (DisCoTec2021).

15th July 2021

The results of this research can be applied, for instance, to social networks (status updates like the number of likes or comments), or to other online services (e.g., managing shopping carts on e-commerce, or collaborative online documents’ edition).

From a scientific point of view, this work proposes the ASPAS system, an innovative solution for systems with geo-replicated servers that require a very low latency of response to clients, acknowledging that some of the servers may behave maliciously.

In particular, the innovation lies on the combination of an optimistic approach in the execution of operations, thus allowing to respond quickly to customer requests, with the use of Conflict-free Replicated Data Types (CRDTs) – which enable delegating this process to a later stage, thus ensuring that the system remains coherent. While existing solutions based on CRDTs do not guarantee the adequate operation concerning the potential malicious behaviour of any server, the ASPAS system helps guaranteeing system coherence and low response latency – namely when the proportion between malicious servers and honest servers is below the defined limit, which makes it more applicable in practice.

The DisCoTec 2021 conference is one of the main events sponsored by the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) and the 2021 edition comprehended three main events: COORDINATION 2021, DAIS 2021 and FORTE 2021.

The INESC TEC researchers mentioned in this news piece are associated with INESC TEC and VORTEX Colab.