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Prof. Dr. M. Jarke
RWTH Aachen
Informatik 5
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WebAssembly for Peer-to-Peer Services on the Edge

Thesis type
  • Master
Status Open
Supervisor(s)
Advisor(s)

WebAssembly is a recent web standard supported by all major browsers that enables running byte code written in multiple languages in the sandbox of the browser environment. Its compact binary format gets processed with near-native performance. The WebAssembly System Interface (WASI) by Mozilla provides a runtime to execute WebAssembly modules outside the browser environment. Together, WebAssembly (WASM) and WASI potentially enable new cross-platform and cross-layer use cases from the same code base, similar but in many aspects beyond the possibilities of Docker containers. It is therefore the perfect candidate for edge- or fog-oriented information system support tasks like data processing in latency sensitive Augmented Reality applications. However, a common platform for the execution of microservices and lightweight serverless functions does not exist yet.

In this master thesis, first an extensive research on peer-to-peer service platforms, their use cases and challenges needs to be performed. Based on the compiled requirements, a concept should be elaborated for a peer-to-peer service framework consisting of WebAssembly modules. This includes support for aspects such as service advertising, discovery, instantiation and message exchange. In particular, we are interested in context-aware adaptivity, in order to dynamically migrate services to service hosts based on performance, bandwidth, latency, local hardware access and other aspects. To test the real-world applicability, the concept needs to be implemented together with a basic service instantiation, e.g. a simple issue tracker service as WebAssembly module. Finally, the implementation and its runtime performance should be evaluted within both a browser and an embedded environment such as a Raspberry Pi 4 or ESP32 microcontroller.

As a conceptual basis and initial research ground, we provide the las2peer microservice environment and several publications and prototypes within the realm of peer-to-peer applications. If you are interested, please feel free to drop an email to koren (AT) dbis.rwth-aachen.de !

Prerequisites

Ideally, the candidate has a strong background in JavaScript and modern standards such as WebRTC and is eager to try out experimental new features on the web.

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