The University of Arizona
NSF Cloud and Autonomic Computing Center @ UofA

Update from the Director

It is my please to let you know that our Phase II proposal to extend our Center for Cloud and Autonomic Computing (CAC) for another 5 years has been awarded 500K by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAC mission is to conduct near-term research projects to advance the knowledge of how to design cloud and autonomic computing systems that are capable of self-healing, self-protecting, and self-optimizing themselves with little involvement of users or system administrators. These systems are sometimes referred to as Self-* systems, where * is a placeholder for a specific objective or attribute to be managed at runtime such as performance, security, fault, availability, energy, etc. Unlike past research that attempted to manage these attributes in isolation, the CAC research approach is a paradigm shift that addresses all these properties in a holistic approach. In Phase II of our NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Cloud and Autonomic Computing , our goal is to continue to advance the design and deployment of Self-* systems and applications that will overcome the current security and management challenges of IT and Cloud infrastructures. Autonomic computing provides the methodology to continuously monitor, analyze, and manage the systems, applications, and cyber resources so they can meet their requirements whenever abnormal event is observed or detected.

The Center in Phase II will focus on new emerging important areas such as cybersecurity, autonomic cybersecurity protection of cloud systems, and Internet of Things (IoT) and how autonomic computing and cloud services can advance the IoT deployment and services. In this aspect, we will closely collaborate with a wide range of industry and government agencies that are interested in these new areas of research. The following are concrete examples of industry-relevant ongoing research projects that are being pursued by CAC researchers:

Autonomic Cyber Security (ACS)- ACS is developing tools and algorithms to self-protect computers, data, applications and cyber resources with little involvement of users or system administrators This project will utilize our autonomic monitoring tools, Anomaly Behavior Analysis (ABA) methodology, and Self-management tools to deliver the required ACS capabilities.
Autonomic Management of Performance and Energy- This project utilize our ABA methodology and data analytics and prediction to optimize performance and energy in large scale data centers and cloud systems.
Automated and Integrated Management for Insider Threat Detection- This project integrates the results from three disciplines (computer science, mathematical and statistical techniques , and social behavior sciences) to reveal, explain and predict patters of malicious threats.
Big Data Cybersecurity Analytics- This project aims at utilizing big data analytics tools to provide unprecedented cybersecurity capabilities to proactively monitor, analyze and mitigate sophisticated and advanced persistent threats and exploitations.
IoT Security Development Framework for Smart Cyber Infrastructures- This project aims at integrating security issues at all the stages of software development of IoT applications and services rather than being ad-hoc and after thought.
Anomaly-based Detection of Attacks against Wireless Networks- This project aims at applying our ABA methodology to secure and protect all types of wireless network technologies including WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, etc.
Resilient Cloud Services (RCS)- This project leverages Moving Target Defense (MTD), our Software Behavior Encryption (SBE) technique, and Autonomic computing to build cloud services that can tolerate any type of attacks (insiders or outsiders), known or unknown, faults or accidents (malicious or natural).
Resilient Cyber Physical Systems- This projects extends the RCS capabilities to smart cities, grids, buildings and cars.
Resilient Software Defined Radio Architecture- This projects extends RCS capabilities to deliver resilient radio and satellite communications that can tolerate and operate normally in spite of Denial of Service (DoS) or jamming attacks.
Hacker Data Analytics- In this project we are developing autonomic bots that can collect information about hackers using IRC forums to identify and predict malicious activities that are being circulated and planned within the hacker communities.
Cyber Security Assistant (CSA)- This project aims at applying ACS technology to secure and protect all types of users (novice or advance) by using ABA and cognitive computing techniques.
Autonomic Workflow Management- This project applies ABA and autonomic computing to achieve self-optimization of large scale scientific and engineering applications.