Fields of expertise
MissionKarl Aberer works on foundations, algorithms and infrastructures for distributed information management, including peer-to-peer overlay networks, semantic interoperability, trust management and applications to scientific and sensor data management. His particular interest is on decentralized system architectures, self-organization mechanisms and emergent structures in decentralized information systems.
BiographyKarl Aberer received his PhD in mathematics in 1991 from the ETH Zürich. From 1991 to 1992 he was postdoctoral fellow at the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1992, he joined the Integrated Publication and Information Systems institute (IPSI) of GMD in Germany, where he was leading the research division Open Adaptive Information Management Systems. In 2000 he joined EPFL as full professor. Since 2005 he is the director of the Swiss National Research Center for Mobile Information and Communication Systems (NCCR-MICS, www.mics.ch). He is member of the editorial boards of VLDB Journal, ACM Transaction on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems and World Wide Web Journal. He has been consulting for the Swiss government in research and science policy as a member of the Swiss Research and Technology Council (SWTR) from 2003 - 2011.
CURRENT WORKenvironmental monitoring and participatory sensing:
Linking the virtual world to our physical environment through wireless sensing is one of the most fundamental developments that information technology has been undergoing. We are exploring techniques of managing data captured by sensors in a sustainable way, involving communities into the sensing tasks, and providing support for properly interpreting the captured data. More information
semantic interoperability in decentralized systems:
Probably one of the most persistent problems in information management is semantic interoperability. This is true for classical business computing as well as for community platforms. We believe that this problem is grounded in the question of how to establish communication among autonomous entities in a self-organizing way. More information
trust management and social networks :
A fundamental and pressing problem in our information infrastructure us the establishment of trusted relationships. Web advertising, social networking and community platforms are examples where trust and the related question of privacy are questions of primordial importance. We are investigating a wide range of statistical, machine learning and game-theoretic techniques for enabling trusted interaction in today's Web. More information
fair resource sharing in self-organizing systems :
Optimizing resource usage in a distributed system with autonomous participants comes down to the problem of assuring fairness of resource availability. We study distributed algorithms and mechanisms to enable fair resource sharing in a variety of environments, such as peer-to-peer systems, cloud computing platforms and community sensing. . More information
Karl Aberer's research is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the European Commission, and industrial partners.
Teaching & PhD