Seminar: Trustworthy Systems-of-Systems: Architectural Principles of the NZ Data Commons

5th Jun 2018 11:00am-12:00pm
Presenter/Speaker: Robert O'Brien, Software Alchemist
Location: G.1.15

Technology driving big data analytics are now mainstream commodities and Machine-Learning infrastructure is fast following suit. To make use of these technology stacks — and the associated utility computing — requires access to data and algorithmic know-how. Data often locked away due to concerns for privacy, misuse, quality, control and interpretation, lack of consent, or anticipated proprietary interest.

The Data Commons is a new open project (NZ wide) that aims to enable access to a wide class of data and algorithms. To create open network markets for access to data services. To build trustworthy abstractions into the use of data. Designing distributed network systems as the socio-technical boundary-objects they have become— Interpreting and instrumenting systems architecture with explicit economic, legal, financial, and accounting models. Integrating services across different organisations to facilitate the flow and use of information.

To achieve this the project will lean heavily on many areas of Computer Science, integrating it with other disciplines. Touching on data sovereignty and data protection, leading to integration with law and the legal system (code-as-law and law-as-code) and modes of governance. The need to achieve coordination across mutually distrusting entities leads to evolutionary mechanism design, cryptography, and formal models and methods. To create meaning elevates the importance of semantics and secure provenance of data to create strong portable archival bonds.

Building a foundation for the trusted and efficient integration of systems is no easy task. This talk will describe the project, the architecture, but also highlight many of the unanswered questions around building pervasive computing systems that we are confronting.

Robert O'Brien is a software alchemist: a designer, distributed systems engineer and financial cryptographer. He has worked on high-performance reliable transaction systems for financial markets and co-founded three companies in accounting, data integration, and international trade payments. His current focus is on privacy, computational law, and commercial contracting as it relates to the use of data.

Robert is based in Tauranga, New Zealand

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