Mobile menu icon
Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Mobile menu icon Search iconSearch
Search type

Department of Computer Science

Finding a way through the Fog from the Edge to the Cloud

Primary supervisor

Additional supervisors

  • Norman Paton

Contact admissions office

Other projects with the same supervisor


  • Competition Funded Project (Students Worldwide)

This research project is one of a number of projects at this institution. It is in competition for funding with one or more of these projects. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding. Applications for this project are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Project description

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to open up new applications that stand to benefit from numerous sensing devices in different environments. These applications may involve travel planning or congestion management in smart cities, proactive energy usage or health monitoring in homes, or coordinated emergency response.

The Internet of Things may be realized in practice, in relation to other computer infrastructure, as consisting of edge (sensing) devices, fog (intermediate computation and networking devices) and the cloud (elastic, but potentially too remote from edge devices to support timely decision-making). As a result, IoT architectures involve heterogeneous devices with widely differing capabilities, potentially supporting a diverse collection of applications with very different requirements. Furthermore, the objectives of application users (that relate to the specific needs of their application) may be quite different from those of the infrastructure providers (that relate to revenue and maximizing resource usage).

In this complicated environment, there are also a diversity of tasks to support, which include: infrastructure provisioning - deciding what devices to procure, and where to put them; resource allocation - deciding how to assign different edge/fog/cloud resources to a recently arrived application; and adaptation - how to revise resource allocation decisions in the light of changing demands or resource availability. In practice, all these decisions have to be taken in ways that reflect both application user and infrastructure provider priorities and constraints and their trade-offs. The latter suggests that no universally good solutions are expected: instead the suitability of a range of feasible solutions depends on how priorities and constraints are weighed.

This project is to investigate techniques that support all of provisioning, allocation and/or adaptation within a consistent framework; although these tasks are different, they share infrastructure features, application characteristics and user preferences. As such, in this project, the challenge is to: (i) model the infrastructure and applications in ways that support resource provisioning, allocation and adaptation tasks; (ii) identify ways of capturing the preferences and constraints of application users and infrastructure providers; and (iii) developing algorithms within a common framework for resource provisioning, allocation and adaptation over the model at (i) taking into account the preferences at (ii). This is potentially a very significant undertaking, so work will necessarily proceed incrementally, starting with simple models and strong assumptions, and incrementally relaxing the assumptions to move towards more comprehensive proposals.

Person specification

For information


Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You must be capable of performing at a very high level.
  • You must have a self-driven interest in uncovering and solving unknown problems and be able to work hard and creatively without constant supervision.


Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You will have good time management.
  • You will possess determination (which is often more important than qualifications) although you'll need a good amount of both.


Applicants will be required to address the following.

  • Comment on your transcript/predicted degree marks, outlining both strong and weak points.
  • Discuss your final year Undergraduate project work - and if appropriate your MSc project work.
  • How well does your previous study prepare you for undertaking Postgraduate Research?
  • Why do you believe you are suitable for doing Postgraduate Research?