Doctoral School for Dependable Electronic-Based Systems

Reproducible testing of large-scale networked systems

PhD project


Supervisors: Prof. Kay Römer and Prof. Carlo Alberto Boano (TU Graz)
Co-Supervisor: Prof. Joachim Schauer (FH JOANNEUM)
Collaborators: Prof. Laurent Vanbever (ETH Zurich) and Prof. Thiemo Voigt (Uppsala University)

Doctoral School for Dependable Electronic-Based Systems.

Electronic-based systems (EBS) make our world “smart” by combining advanced electronics and software, often in networked systems that interact with the physical world through sensors and actuators. Most EBS applications in production or transportation are safety-critical: EBS failures may cost human lives. We thus aim to find fundamental concepts and methods, but also application-oriented tools to make EBS dependable, where dependability summarizes attributes of a system allowing humans to trust EBS.

The PhD project.

This project addresses the reproducibility of large-scale Internet of Things (IoT) systems by accounting for the uncontrollable dynamics of real-world networks as well as the unsteady performance of hardware and software components causing a large discrepancy in the testing conditions. The project will develop models of real-world hardware, software, and network-level uncertainties and dynamics, as well as a methodology grounded on rigorous statistical methods for the planning, execution, and reporting of performance measurements. By embedding the findings into a benchmarking framework, this project complements and exceeds the existing body of work promoting better IoT experimentation practices, allowing a reproducible assessment of IoT performance and its suitability for various application domains such as smart factories or networked drones. This project is carried out at TU Graz in collaboration with FH JOANNEUM, ETH Zurich, and Uppsala University.

Your skills.
  • Completed Master’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering or related studies
  • Knowledge of and hands-on experience with low-power wireless networks (BLE, UWB, ZigBee etc) and networked embedded systems
  • Solid C programming skills and Linux experience, fluency in Python/Matlab is an asset
  • Knowledge of mathematical modelling techniques of networks and systems
  • Very good proficiency in written and spoken English, which is the language of the research group; German is not required and TU Graz offers German courses for employees
  • High motivation, self-initiative, as well as strong passion and commitment to research
  • Ability to work collaboratively in an interdisciplinary and international team
Our research group.

The PhD candidate will join the "Networked Embedded Systems" group at the Institute of Technical Informatics of TU Graz. The group has a long-standing track record in the area of networked embedded systems, and is one of the leading European groups on low-power wireless networking and IoT research with frequent publications and awards at prestigious venues such as SenSys, IPSN, ICDCS, INFOCOM, ICNP, or EWSN. Group members have chaired many of these leading conferences. The group also leads the "Dependable Internet of Things in Adverse Environments" research excellence centre, and is internationally renowned for its benchmarking infrastructure used to organize a dependability competition quantitatively comparing the performance of low-power wireless protocols (, upon which the PhD research will build.

Hard facts.

This position is funded for 4 years and is paid with a gross salary of 41,601 €/year for a full-time employment (40 h/week).