Dr Leandro Navarro
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Department of Computer Architecture
Jordi Girona, 1-3, D6
ES - 08034 Barcelona
Email: Applicants are not required to contact the coordinator but just prepare and submit an application following the instructions in this web site.

Main partners

The consortium members have a long experience and well established procedures in doctorate programs management with international students. In each member institution of the consortium, selected students will be oriented by dedicated administrative staff and international office services concerning the integration issues such as university registration and social insurance. The local administrative staff brings support for housing reservation, university life and laboratory integration, missions and travel issues. Researchers and professors are involved in co-supervision, committees participation, and work packages management.

All partner universities (UPC, KTH, IST, UCL) are collaborating in many Erasmus Mundus programs, and all belong to the Cluster (Consortium Linking Universities of Science and Technology for Education and Research) network, founded in 1990, that is actively encouraging and supporting joint doctoral studies at the administrative and academic levels as part of his vision, mission and work. Cluster may be considered as a multi-location European University for Science and Technology, representing about 3.000 professors, 11.000 academic staff, 14.000 PhD students , with a total of more than 140,000 students from 12 leading European universities and beyond (e.g. USA, China, Brasil, Canada, Russia).

UPC: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – BarcelonaTECH (UPC) is a public university that specializes in the fields of architecture, engineering, merchant seamanship, economics, health sciences and applied mathematics. The UPC was founded in 1971 and was originally known as the Universitat Politècnica de Barcelona. Given its wide regional presence with campuses and degree programs throughout the region, the Universitat Politècnica de Barcelona changed its name in 1984 to Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). UPC continued to grow in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In 1990, the School of Nautical Studies was incorporated and its name was changed to the Faculty of Nautical Studies of Barcelona. The following years saw the establishment of the Technical College of the Baix Llobregat (1992); the Faculty of Mathematics and Statistics; four reserach centers: two Technology Centers, located on the campuses of Vilanova i la Geltrú and Manresa, the Mediterrenean Technology Park, located on Baix Llobregat Campus and the Barcelona Technology Park, located on Barcelona South Campus (2000-2001). In 2005 the Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) became one of the most significant additions to UPC’s research infrastructure. The research center, jointly managed by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology, the Department of Higher Education, Research and Information Society of the Catalonian government and UPC, provides infrastructure for multidisciplinary research serving public and private institutions in all of Spain. UPC continues its commitment to economic development and strengthening its continuing education programs through the UPC Foundation. UPC’s Technology Transfer Center is a substantial R&D contributor to Catalonia’s industrial sector. UPC is currently working in over 250 research areas, and has a growing number of specific research centers and regional technology centers focusing on current research needs.

UPC participates in the EMJD-DC through the Department of Computer Architecture (Departament d’Arquitectura de Computadors, DAC). The DAC is specialized in the knowledge area Computer Architecture and Technology. The DAC is responsible for educating and carrying out research in topics related to this knowledge area, for instance Computer Architecture, Computer Networks and Operating Systems. The DAC offers a doctoral program, two master degrees (Computer Architecture Networks and Systems – CANS) participates in the Erasmus Mundus Master in Distributed Computing (EMDC), and collaborates with master degrees offered by engineering schools (MTI by FIB, MINT by ETSETB and MAST by EPSC). The research carried out by DAC is organized in several research groups involved in national and international competitive research projects. DAC’s scientific production is published in top conferences and journals. DAC members have been involved in the creation of several research centers (BSC-CNS, Compaq-Lab, Intel Labs Barcelona, CEPBA, CCABA, CIRI).

DAC-UPC participates in the EMJD-DC through members of the Computer Networks and Distributed Systems (CNDS) research group represented by their member Leandro Navarro and High Performance Computing (HPC) research group represented by their member Jordi Torres, who is also coordinator of the Autonomic Systems and e-business Platforms Group at the BSC-CNS. The CNDS group performs basic and applied research, education and dissemination in topics on computer networks and distributed systems, including mobile computer networks, performance evaluation, Internet protocols, decentralized and large scale systems, collaborative applications.

Contact person: Leandro Navarro.

KTH: Royal Institute of Technology

The Royal Institute of Technology (Swedish: Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, KTH), Stockholm, is the largest technical university in Sweden. Education and research at KTH cover a broad spectrum within natural sciences and engineering, as well as architecture, industrial engineering and management, urban planning, work science and environmental engineering. There are about 12,000 full-year undergraduate students, 1,400 postgraduate students and 3,100 employees. With its extensive experience in running numerous international projects in research and education, KTH is actively executing major EU cooperation programmes such as Lifelong Learning, Tempus, Erasmus Mundus, Asia-Link and Leonardo da Vinci and other national programmes such as Linnaeus-Palme supported by SIDA (Swedish International Development Authority). Several national and international competence centres and networks of excellence are located at KTH. KTH collaborates with almost all the EU countries as well as the U.S., Japan, India, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Brazil and Chile, to name but a few. KTH is participating in 60 FP7 research projects and coordinating 10 among them.

KTH will participate in the EMJD-DC mostly through the Unit of Software and Computer Systems (SCS) and the Unit of Communication Systems (COS) at the School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Faculty and research staff of SCS and COS Units has key competencies and expertises in areas, which are relevant and required for the EMJD-DC. The EMJD-DC will benefit from complementarily of competencies of SCS and COS. Most of professors and associate professors, who will participate in EMJD-DC, have significant experience in supervising PhD students. For example, Prof.Seif Haridi (SCS) has supervised 16 PhD students up to PhD; Prof. Calr-Gustaf Jansson (COS) has supervised 30 PhD students up to PhD.

The School of ICT conducts internationally competitive research and education in the areas of Information Technology (including Distributed Computing), Electronics and Material Physics. It offers a broad spectrum of education programs at both Bachelor and Master level. The latter attract some 350 students from all over the world each year. In particular, KTH throuhg the School of ICT coordinates the Erasmus Mundus Master in Distributed Computing (EMDC) Programme launched in 2009. Research activities of the School of ICT span the entire field of information technology in its widest sense. We work with both the technical solutions and systems. The research programs cover a broad range of ICT areas from basic research projects to applied research in close co-operation with internationally leading universities and industry. ICT faculty is strong with 38 professors and 27 associate professors and senior lecturers. We undertake research on an internationally advanced level – predominantly in the fields of electronics and computer systems, software technology, communication systems and services, nanoelectronics, and photonics. Our teaching staff has long experience and useful industrial and academic networks.

The teaching and research activities of the SCS (Software and Computer Systems) Unit of the ICT School concern the design of software and computer systems. The SCS Unit of ICT is the coordinator and major contributor to the International Master program “Software Engineering of Distributed Systems” (about 60 students each year); and the Erasmus Mundus Master in Distributed Computing (EMDC) Programme launched in 2009. The SCS Unit brings to the EMJD-DC its research and teaching competences and expertises in many areas of distributed computing including distributed algorithms and programming models, P2P systems and Grids; overlay networks, DHTs and pub/sub; programming systems and middleware; autonomic computing (self-management for distributed systems), distributed AI and multi-agent systems, semantic web-services, service composition. Currently, the SCS Unit includes 6 professors, 5 associate professors, a number of assistant professors, and more than 20 PhD students.

The COS (Communication Systems) Unit of the ICT School focuses on education and research in the communication systems area in its widest sense. This includes, but is not limited to: technical and economic aspects of wireless & wired communication systems, fixed & mobile communication systems, and communication related services, applications, and usage. The technology focus lies on communication at the Media Access and Control (MAC) layer and above – as well as on implementation aspects of all layers. Currently, the COS Unit includes 4 professors, 1 associate professor, 1 assistant professors, a number of researchers, and 24 PhD students.

The joint research and education group, which will participate in implementing the EMJD-DC, has conducted and continues to perform foundational and systems research in different areas of computer, software and communication systems, and in particular, in the fields related to distributed computing, e.g. large scale distributed systems, including Peer-2-Peer systems, overlay networks, pub/sub and DHTs, software architecture for Grids and Clouds; programming systems and middleware, self-management for distributed systems (methodology, programming environments, middleware, policy-based management, self-managing applications and services), semantic web-service, service composition, distributed AI and multi-agent systems, The EMJD-DC also will benefit from research experience and expertise obtained by the members of the joint research group from the work within several past and current European projects in the field of Distributed Computing such as PEPITO (FP5,, EVERGROW (FP6,; CoreGRID (FP6,, Grid4All (FP6,, SELFMAN (FP6,, ROBOSWARM (FP6,, SMARTMUSEUM (FP7,, and numerous research projects, funded by Swedish funding agencies.

Contact person: Vladimir Vlassov.

IST: Instituto Superior Técnico

Instituto Superior Técnico is the largest and most reputed higher-education schools of engineering and research institutions in Portugal, with 8 degrees in Computer Science and Engineering and Communication Technology (BSc, MSc and PhD degrees). The MSc degrees have over 250 students enrolled (from a total of 8500 undergraduates) with about 100% employment rate on graduation. The PhD degrees in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) have more than 100 students enrolled (from a total of 1500), supervised by national and foreign Professors graduated from top European, US, and National schools. IST CSE faculty publishes research in, and serves in committees/editorial boards (including chairing) of, conferences and journals of the IEEE, ACM, Springer, Elsevier, etc. IST is a member of the CLUSTER (18 joint-degrees ongoing, 7 with KTH, UPC, UCL), engaged in Erasmus Mundus (4 degrees), and cooperation with MIT, UT-Austin, CMU. IST fosters a stimulating atmosphere for study and research.

INESC-ID, “Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores: Investigação e Desenvolvimento em Lisboa” is a private not for-profit institution dedicated to research and development, certified as of public interest. Created in 2000, it was awarded the status of Associated Laboratory (Laboratório Associado) in 2004. It is owned by Instituto Superior Técnico and INESC – Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores. INESC-ID currently integrates more than 90 PhDs and 200 post-graduation students working in one of the five main action lines: Information and decision support systems, Communication networks and mobility, Virtual interactive environments, Embedded electronic systems, Spoken language systems.

INESC-ID is one of the most dynamic research institutes in Portugal in the areas of electronics, information systems and telecommunications and has emerged as an institution of reference, intensely involved in a number of high visibility projects that define the state of the art in these areas, both at national and international levels. The intense activity developed by INESC-ID since its inception in 2000 resulted, up to now, in more than 1700 scientific papers, dozens of industrial prototypes as well as a number of patents and awards.

INESC-ID is represented in this proposal project by the Distributed Systems Group (GSD). GSD performs research in the area of algorithmic, middleware and communications support to build complex and dynamic distributed applications. The ultimate motivation for its research is to make programmers’ lives easier by providing the right abstractions, mechanisms and techniques for improving the programmability and performance of distributed applications. Most of GSD members are either faculty or students at IST but we also have a number of external collaborators from other Portuguese academic institutions, and foreign researchers. GSD members are very active faculty in graduate and post-graduate supervision. GSD has more than 15 students completing their MSc every year and currently has more than 10 students pursuing a PhD.

Current Research Areas of GSD include:

  • Adaptive systems – this line of research investigates middleware solutions to build adaptive and dependable distributed applications. We are interested in researching middleware and virtualization solutions that can be applied both to fixed (wired) networks and to (mobile) ad hoc networks.
  • Ad hoc and wireless computing – this line of research addresses communication support (group communication, agreement), middleware (service discovery, publish-subscribe) for ad hoc and wireless networks such as sensor networks, wireless meshes, and MANETs.
  • Data management – algorithms for distributed and fault-tolerant data access both in wired and wireless networks. This topic addresses research issues such as transactional support for distributed applications, database replication, software transactional memory, distributed garbage collection.
  • Grid computing – grid platforms provide highly available computing, storage and networking resources. Institutions aggregate on virtual organizations, registering their resources to the grid and in return access a virtually limitless warehouse. This allows the emergence of innovative application and business models, delivering the solution to several large-scale problems leading to the economy grid in which resources are provided against some retribution. Supporting such scenarios requires complex distributed policies for resource access control to prevent their malicious utilization. However, current grid platforms provide only simple primitives in their authorization modules, thus preventing the grid economy to become a reality.
  • Overlay construction and maintenance – distributed hash tables and overlays to support gossip based interactions. This work researches algorithms and protocols to provide communication and coordination support for very dynamic systems, i.e., system where the membership and topology is subject to change, including large-scale peer-to-peer networks, ad hoc networks, among others. Of particular relevance are approaches that combine structured and unstructured approaches and that promote the security of these overlays.
  • Security – architecture and implementation of secure distributed systems. This work focuses on system mechanisms and policies for the implementation of secure distributed systems, such as authentication, communication streams and file systems.

The group members are participating in numerous research projects with funding from national science bodies, projects with companies and European research efforts in these areas (FASTFIX, Cloud-TM, and Cost Action Euro-TM coordinated by GSD).

Contact person: Luís E. T. Rodrigues.

UCL: Université catholique de Louvain

The Catholic University of Louvain, founded in 1425, was bifurcated in 1971, giving birth to two independent entities, UCL and its sister university KUL (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven). While the KUL remained in Louvain, UCL established itself in the new town of Louvain-la-Neuve. UCL currently has more than 20000 students (including 4000 foreign students), 3000 teaching and research personnel, and 1800 technical and administrative personnel. UCL hosts more than 1000 external research contracts with an annual turnover of 70 million Euros and is the nucleus of an industrial park containing almost 100 companies. UCL is an active participant in the ERASMUS (now SOCRATES) and TEMPUS programs, and is a founding member of MED-CAMPUS, the Coimbra Group, CLUSTER, FIUC, NATURA, CEMS, etc.

UCL will be represented in this proposal by the ICTEAM Institute (Information and Communication Technologies, Electronics and Applied Mathematics), which is part of the Louvain Engineering School (EPL – École Polytechnique de Louvain) in the Science and Technology Sector of UCL. EPL has more than 300 doctoral students of which almost 40% are foreign students (non-Belgian citizens). ICTEAM consists of four poles: Applied Mathematics, Electronic Engineering, Computing Science, and Information Systems. The Computing Science pole has around 50 teaching and research personnel, with a twofold mission: education (offering engineering and doctoral degrees) and research. Computing Science has significant local infrastructure: it is part of the worldwide PlanetLab infrastructure and it hosts a cluster node in the European EverLab infrastructure. ICTEAM is recognized worldwide for its contributions to dependable distributed computing, networking, constraint and logic programming, programming languages, and software engineering. Major releases by ICTEAM include the KAOS methodology and its tools for requirements engineering, and the Mozart Programming System for distributed application development and constraint programming ( ICTEAM collaborates closely with research groups in many areas of the world including the USA, France, Germany, Sweden, and the third world including Vietnam, Colombia, and Benin. ICTEAM personnel are major contributors and catalyzers of computer technology and applications in Belgium. For example, ICTEAM is a key player in the creation and continuing development of the CEDITI s.a., a software consulting and services company specializing in multimedia and Web development and software engineering, in the WIN, the Wallonia High-performance Intranet, and in the CETIC (, a technology transfer laboratory (associated partner in this proposal) which has connections to most of the important industries in Wallonia. Recent ICTEAM projects in the Computing Science pole include PEPITO (FP5), EVERGROW (European IP), SELFMAN (FP6), CoreGrid and E-Next (European NoE), TRILOGY (Future Internet, FP7), ECODE (FP7), MANCOOSI (FP7), CHANGE (FP7), and many smaller projects funded by the Belgian and Walloon governments and industry.

ICTEAM collaborates closely with the Institut of Intensive Computation and Mass Storage (CISM) ( in the Science and Technology Sector of UCL, which is a technology platform intended to support all computation-intensive activities of UCL. The current infrastructure consists of 8 SMP machines and 2 cluster machines with around 1100 CPU cores representing a peak performance of 10 TFLOPS and 88 TB of secure mass storage. CISM collaborates with FYNU/CP3 and BeGrid (Belgian Grid Initiative), which gives us access to the shared machines in the BeGrid infrastructure. Courses are organized to aid researchers in the optimal use of these machines. They include MPI, OpenMP and BeGrid tutorials. Around 100 researchers use the CISM infrastructure and publish from 40 to 60 papers per year with the aid of the CISM infrastructure.

This proposal will be represented by the Distributed Computing and Machine Learning groups of ICTEAM, as represented by their members Peter Van Roy, Olivier Bonaventure, Marc Lobelle, Michel Verleysen, Pierre Dupont, and Marco Saerens. In Distributed Computing, we have ongoing research projects in Internet architecture development, Internet traffic engineering, routing protocols, Internet measurement and analysis, highly available collaborative Internet applications, network transparent distributed programming platforms, structured overlay networks (peer-to-peer) and key-value stores, self-managing and self-organizing distributed systems, and distributed software management for open-source software. We coordinated the recent SELFMAN project ( which built the Scalaris and Beernet high-performance transactional key-value stores (with strong consistency and ACID properties) based on a structured overlay network augmented with a Paxos uniform consensus protocol to implement atomic commit. Scalaris won first prize in the 2008 IEEE Scalable Computing Challenge. In Machine Learning we have projects in pattern recognition and computational biology, feature selection and dimensionality reduction, microarray data analysis, statistical modeling of sequential processes, graph mining, and network analysis. Inside ICTEAM we collaborate with the Belgian Constraint Group on constraint programming for efficient solving of large-scale combinatorial problems with complex specifications.

Contact person: Peter Van Roy.