Narges Mehran, who came to Klagenfurt from Iran in order to pursue her doctoral studies, has specialized in cloud and fog computing as part of her doctoral thesis. These decentralized processing systems make it possible to reduce latency and processing times.
Let’s consider the example of a smart home, equipped with dozens of small devices with sensors that control the technological applications of the house: If it is too warm, blinds are used to shut out the sunlight; when you get up in the morning, the coffee machine switches on automatically and the management of the refrigerator is taken over by sensors and apps. In a world full of such Internet-of-Things devices – Narges Mehran estimates that there will be billions of IoT devices in just a few years – an enormous volume of data is generated that must be processed quickly and in a manner that conserves resources.
The solution for real-time processing could be fog computing. This form of data processing shifts computing power to the edge of the network so that data no longer has to travel great distances to central servers. Instead, micro data centres will be set up in the vicinity of the IoT devices, which can finish the processing much faster.
Narges Mehran, a member of the Department of Information Technology and part of Radu Prodan’s research group, is working on defining the different characteristics of these applications and assigning priorities to them to be placed on resources of cloud and fog environment. “When such systems are used, we always have to ask ourselves how complex their design has to be in order to guarantee the lowest possible latency or processing time. Where can we compromise, perhaps even at lower costs, and energy concumptions?“ Narges Mehran is advancing in her work and has been working on her PhD thesis for the last eighteen months. She completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s studies at the University of Isfahan in Iran. When she first arrived in Klagenfurt after coming from a city with 2 million inhabitants, her early months in Austria were marked by many amazing experiences: “The weather was beautiful, the environment was fresh and green, everything was very clean. I quickly realized that I wanted to stay here for a while. Klagenfurt offers the perfect conditions for working on your PhD thesis, you can concentrate incredibly well. It’s very inspiring”, she tells us.
The fact that she lives a long way from her parents and friends became painfully clear to her at the beginning of the corona crisis in March. Yet modern communication technologies are useful helpers that make this kind of life situation much more bearable. Narges Mehran explains: “We can chat for hours now.” Laughing, she adds: “Sometimes we communicate even more than my parents talk to their neighbours.”
Narges Mehran would like to stay in the academic world when her PhD thesis is scheduled for completion in 2022. “Industrial and academic research each have advantages and disadvantages. It is important to stay in constant dialogue and to be able to communicate the current state of affairs to our students. However, I would like to remain in a university setting and contribute as much as possible to technological progress there,” she explains.