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S'ware Eng/IT: reasoning about network behaviour (scripting, Unix)

Oracle Labs #4

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Open Posted: 19 Sep 17. Closes: 22 Nov 17 Available: Summer vac + Semester 1 (Dec - Jun)

Summer vacation + Semester 1 2018 project

Note: students must be able to enrol in thesis/project during Semester 1; as well available whole of summer vacation. These are requirements for this project.

This project will suit final year / Masters students in Software Engineering / Computer Science / IT - with excellent programming skills (including scripting skills), experience with Unix-based systems, and a very solid understanding of data structures and algorithms (Grade 6 or 7 in relevant subject/s).

The successful applicant will receive a $6,000 scholarship + academic credit (24cps - QUT; 4 units - UQ).  You must be available to work on the project onsite for 3 days/week during semester 1; plus 5 days/week over the entire summer vacation period (excluding public holidays).

APPLICANTS NOTE: you must include your academic transcript/s inside your resume (undergrad + Masters if applicable) - before Oracle Labs will consider your application. Also include your student number.

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.

The aim is to identify techniques that help reason about the behaviour of large networks.  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.  Potential modelling and analysis techniques include the use of SMT solvers, Datalog based analysis, scenario exploration and counter-example generation. The key requirement is that these techniques must scale to large networks.


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. Yes, you’ll have your own mentor! They will work closely with you, helping you grow your skills—really practical skills you can put to work in real-world situations.

Now, be prepared: working at Oracle Labs is not a holiday. The work can be hard—a real challenge sometimes. So you’ll need to buckle down. But it’s a great workplace. If you put in the hard yards with Oracle Labs, your résumé will go to the top of the pile in job applications. It’s your ticket to the future.

Objectives / Tasks / Project Outcomes

  • Scope the project based on the individual’s interests/strengths and the requirements of Oracle Labs
  • Review existing work on tools and techniques to analyse network behaviour
  • Experiment with relevant tools to determine suitability
  • Write a detailed report on work done
  • Give a presentation to the group on work done

Skills / Experience Required

  • Excellent programming (including scripting skills)
  • Excellent academic results
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Strong interest in programming languages and software engineering principles
  • Strong understanding of data structures and algorithms
  • Experience with Unix-based systems
  • Interest in programmable networks
  • Ability to work independently and in small groups

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