SocioPlug Project


SocioPlug is a 4-years basic research project taking place from 1 December 2013 to 30 November 2017, funded by French National Agency for Research (ANR), program ANR INFRA (ANR-13-INFR-0003). The aim of the project is investigation on Social Cloud over Plug Networks, Enabling Symmetric Access to Data and Preserving Privacy. SocioPlug partners are Asap (IRISA), BD (LIRIS), CIDRe (IRISA), GDD (LINA). The coordinator of SocioPlug is Yann Busnel, Associate Professor at University of Nantes and Member of GDD team at LINA.


Free online services such as Twitter or Google docs have come to play a pivotal role on today’s web, in both our personal and professional lives. These services consume substantial resources from their providers, who recoup their investment by monetizing the data they obtain from their users. Because this business model favors large companies, user data and their exploitation are now concentrated in the hands of few powerful players who drive the industry. Users, who have contributed to the data, have no or little control nor access to data, and must live with a fundamentally unbalanced relationship.

Many grassroots initiatives have alerted users on the threats to their privacy, and on the problematic dependency created by such services. Few users are however aware of the systematic extent to which their data is being exploited. To offer alternative choices, several initiatives such as Freedom box, Beedbox, or Soxyd have been launched to develop decentralized social networks regulated by on-line communities, with the aim to replace traditional hosted on-line services. These approaches have been further helped by the rise of novel low-cost plug computers, such as Raspberry Pi, which offer a cheap and readily available infrastructure to deploy them.

Unfortunately, and in contrast to traditional cloud services, today we do not know how to construct such a service on a federation of plugs. In particular, we lack any clear model to write and deploy applications, seek for pertinent information, and secure access in such a fully decentralized environment. How should we model the security, safety and privacy of such a decentralized social infrastructure? What consistency and programming model should we use? How can we perform efficient queries on such alternative personal cloud infrastructure? How can we valorize users’ data while preserving privacy? How can we bridge the gap between privacy and data exploitation?

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SocioPlug aims to provide models for programming, querying and securing federation of plugs while preserving symmetry, fairness and privacy.

Socioplug will explore how to deploy efficiently disorderly distributed programs on a federation of plugs using probabilistic approach and emergent localities. SocioPlug will allow plugs programmers the ability to perform "community-based" queries i.e. queries that preserve information symmetry. Finally, Socioplug will secure the federation by monitoring divergence evolution of streams on each node and by integrating a usage control model based on data publishers rather than service providers.

Further information

The project in a nutshell : [PDF (English version)] or [PDF (French version)]

For further information, contact the SocioPlug manager.