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S'ware Eng/Comp Sc: Analysis of Software Defined Networks for the Cloud

Oracle Labs #3

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Closed Posted: 02 May 18. Closes: 28 May 18 Available: Semester 2 (Jul - Nov)

UPDATE 3/7: a student has been appointed to this project.
The other Oracle Labs projects will not proceed - suitable students not found.

PROJECT DURATION: Semester 2 + Summer vacation + Semester 1 2019 

This project will suit final year / Masters level Software Engineering, Computer Science, Network major students - who can enrol in final year thesis or Masters project over two consecutive semesters (Sem2 2018 + Sem 1 2019). Applicants need strong programming skills.

The successful applicant will receive a $9,000 scholarship + academic credit spread across Semester 2 2018 + Semester 1 2019 (4 units-UQ; 24-48cps-QUT).

APPLICANTS NOTE - ONLY APPLY IF you are able to spread your project / thesis enrolment across BOTH Semester 2 2018 + Semester 1 2019 ... AND you are available to work onsite with Oracle Labs over Summer vacation 2018/19 (5 days/week).

Please include your unofficial academic transcript inside your resume (undergrad + current Masters, if applicable). Oracle Labs will not consider your application without transcript/s.

Location: Brisbane CBD QLD
Categories: Information Technology, Electrical Engineering

Project Background / Description

There are numerous challenges to ensure that a network remains operational, especially in the context of cloud applications. The network features such as topology, routing, etc. need to ensure that there are no bottle-necks as well as ensure that it is resilient to faults. As such networks are large, the necessary features are typically described and reconfigured using a high-level specification. This enables dynamic reconfiguration to provide fast infrastructure in a changing environment.

The aim of the project is to identify techniques that help reason about the behaviour of large software defined networks (SDNs). The project will explore techniques to model such networks including physical characteristics and behaviour under failure.  For example, one could check if the network becomes disconnected if a sequence of faults occur. For this the model needs to have the ability to express faults and its consequences. The project will also explore the effect of reconfiguration. For instance, one could determine if the reconfigured network is more resilient than the original network.

The key steps are to identify and extend existing modelling and analysis techniques that are suitable for cloud-scale (e.g., thousands of switches) SDNs. An example of existing work in this context that could be extended is OpenFlow.


About Oracle

Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications, platform services, and engineered systems.  With more than 400,000 customers—including 100 of the Fortune 100—in more than 145 countries, Oracle provides a complete technology stack both in the cloud and in the data centre.

Oracle’s industry-leading cloud-based and on-premises solutions give customers complete deployment flexibility and unmatched benefits including application integration, advanced security, high availability, scalability, energy efficiency, powerful performance, and low total cost of ownership.

For more information about Oracle, visit

Oracle Labs

Oracle Labs is the research division of Oracle.  It focuses on applied research to produce new technologies of interest to the company.

Oracle Labs Australia (, based in Brisbane, specialises in Program Analysis in a variety of domains, including bug-checking, productivity tools, security analysis, testing, and more. The Brisbane team hit the headlines with its research on static code analysis that lead to scalable and precise bug-checking algorithms embedded in the Parfait tool.

How Oracle helps CEED students

We link you up with an experienced supervisor on the Brisbane team. They will work closely with you, helping you grow your skills — really practical skills you can put to work in real-world situations. 

Objectives / Tasks / Project Outcomes

  • Scope the project based on the intern’s interests/strengths and the requirements of Oracle Labs;
  • Identify existing modelling and analysis techniques;
  • Develop or extend an existing technique to scale to thousands of switches (cloud-scale);
  • Write a detailed report on work undertaken
  • Give a presentation to the group on work undertaken

Skills / Experience Required

  • Excellent academic results
  • Good knowledge of networking and software engineering principles
  • Strong understanding of discrete mathematics
  • Strong understanding of data structures and algorithms (Grade 6 or 7 in relevant subjects)
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Excellent programming skills with knowledge of functional/logic programming desirable
  • Experience with Unix-based systems
  • Ability to work independently
  • Exposure to formal methods, compilers or program analysis is a plus


APPLICANTS - inside your resume, provide links to assignments / projects / online portfolio (eg. Github) to demonstrate you have the above technical skills. You MUST also provide your unofficial academic transcript inside your resume (undergrad + current Masters, if applicable). You can upload your resume + transcript before OR after you click 'apply' for the project.

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