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Efficient State Retention in Transiently-Powered Large-Scale Internet of Things (IoT) Networks


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Project start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Competition funded
Source of funding
University of Leeds
Professor Arshad Jhumka
Additional supervisors
Professor Karim Djemame
School of Computing
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Traditionally, Internet of Things (IoT) devices have been powered by batteries with finite energy storage. To circumvent the limitations of this finite energy supply, IoT devices are harvesting energy, giving rise to transiently-powered IoT devices. Transiently-powered (or intermittent) IoT networks are networks of resource-constrained devices that are capable of providing correct and timely operation, i.e. operation which meets the required functionality, despite devices experiencing loss of power and crashing. The ensuing crash due to loss of power results in the state of the devices being lost. To persist state, current transient systems save their state on non-volatile memory (NVM) such as flash memory, to enable the transient network to survive the crashes gracefully. The state recording process is called checkpointing. When a crashed device has enough energy, it restarts and reloads the latest saved checkpoint. Due to resource limitations, different rules are devised for checkpointing, e.g., only saving variables that have been changed since the last checkpoint, or periodic checkpointing among others.<br /> <br /> Towards this drive to make checkpointing more efficient, recent works have shown that there are programs for which checkpointing adversely affects their performance. Further, for programs that require checkpointing, it appears that there are variables that are more critical than others for correct and timely operation of the network, suggesting that only those critical variables that have been changed since the last checkpoint that need saving. However, little work has been done to identify those critical variables. Additionally, there are relationships across various network layers, making it difficult to decide when and what to checkpoint. <br /> <br /> This project will develop the theoretical underpinnings to solve two problems: (i) what variables to checkpoint and (ii) when to checkpoint. The project will involve large scale simulations and running actual testbed experiments to test and validate the theory that will be developed. The candidate needs to have strong programming skills in C/C++, Java and Python. The candidate should also be comfortable with mathematical modelling.<br />

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:11px">Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for <strong><em>PHD Computing FT,&nbsp;</em></strong>in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is&nbsp;<em><strong>Efficient State Retention in Transiently-Powered Large-Scale Internet of Things (IoT) Networks</strong></em> as well as <strong>Professor Arshad Jhumka</strong>&nbsp;as your proposed supervisor and in the finance section, please state clearly&nbsp;<em><strong>the funding that you are applying for, if you are self-funding or externally sponsored</strong></em>.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p>Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents in support of your application by the closing date of 3 April 2024 for Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship or&nbsp;8 April 2024 for Leeds Doctoral Scholarship:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to this research degree programme should have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) and a Masters' degree in an appropriate discipline. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 6.5 in writing and at least 6.0 in reading, listening and speaking or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p><strong>Self-Funded or externally sponsored students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK</strong>&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Doctoral Scholarships</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship</a>&nbsp;(open from October 2023)&nbsp;are available to UK applicants.&nbsp;<a href="">Alumni Bursary</a>&nbsp;is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Non-UK</strong>&nbsp;&ndash; The&nbsp;<a href="">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China (now closed for 2024/25 entry). The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support US citizens.&nbsp;<a href="">Alumni Bursary</a>&nbsp;is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Important:</strong>&nbsp; Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are not covered under this studentship.</p> <p>Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:11px">For further information about this project, please contact Professor Arshad Jhumka by email to&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by email to <a href=""></a></p>