Mission

The mission of CRACS (Center for Research in Advanced Computing Systems) is to pursue scientific excellence in the areas of programming languages, parallel and distributed computing, security and privacy, information mining, and Web based systems with a focus on developing scalable software systems for challenging, multidisciplinary applications.
 
CRACS research is organized in three main areas:

1. LANGUAGES AND DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING

We have a long tradition of research in high-level programming languages that integrate logical and probabilistic reasoning, supporting negation, tabling, and parallelism; languages for mobile distributed environments that are “correct-by-design”, namely, in wireless sensor networks (WSN), aiming to simplify programming and debugging; middleware frameworks capable of supporting sensing and actuation activities in large WSN deployments, with a focus on scalability, energy efficiency and seamless management; innovative peer-to-peer middleware and cloud-computing platforms, specifically for ad-hoc networks of mobile devices.

2. SECURITY AND PRIVACY

We focus on algorithms and methodologies to improve the usability of privacy and security in software and systems, namely on user-controlled identity management systems that respect user privacy and protect personally identifiable information; secure identity cards and authentication mechanisms with a view to ensure access control to physical locations or networks, as well as to enable identity verification in online transactions or governmental services communications to guarantee its data integrity and non-repudiation properties; specialized algorithms and tools for sharing sensitive data while preserving privacy; ethical hacking and penetration testing for preemptive vulnerability detection. We have been collaborating with the Portuguese Data Protection Commission as consultants in national projects and with Portuguese National Security Agency on auditing systems and developing solutions to secure mobile communications.

3. KNOWLEDGE IN A WORLD OF DATA

We work on the bridge between logic, probabilities, data structures and learning. Our focus is on applications that tie our work together with domains such as author identification, semantic relatedness, sentiment discovery, interesting node discovery, sensor data streams, medical records data, and high-throughput genomics data.

In order to accomplish our mission and achieve consistent progress in these areas, CRACS pursues the following interconnected objectives: create a good research environment for junior talented students to mature as researchers; consolidate and strengthen our extensive network of long-standing international collaborations; strengthen connections with our sister groups within INESC-TEC; participate actively in international programs such as the CMU-Portugal and UTAustin- Portugal; and actively establish partnerships with industry to promote and disseminate research results.