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Joakim Koskela

Introduction - Lorem ipsum ..

I was awarded a funded position at the Future Interner Graduate School (FIGS) for one year starting the 1st of January, 2010.


My research centers around applications and security in distributed network (think peer-to-peer) environments. In a nutshell, I'm intrigued by how the networking environment will look when authority is placed in the hands of the end-users. Currently we rely on a set of authorities that have been around since the Internet 'stone age' - the DNS system, Verisign and others - to tell us who's wrong or right, what's good or bad. If something bad happens, the user is to blame (e.g., for visiting the wrong sites or not checking the site certificate).

However, this model doesn't always hold nowadays. We have viruses spread through ads placed on proper sites. Packet injection, cache misuse and situations where the authority just simply isn't available to cast its judgement. As the Internet has grown and spread to different cultures, the notion of what's right or wrong can also differ. It seems that as the network evolves, the only thing users can rely on is themselves; the decisions should be made according to their own view of the world, experiences and preferences.

This leads us into topics such as identity management, trust and reputation. But also how applications can work in such an environment. An application (i.e. web page) might look completely different depending on how's accessing it, as there is no global authority telling us what to trust and what to filter.

My (planned) doctoral thesis deals with one aspect of this area; how to actually create a framework for this sort of an environment. The (ever-changing) research questions are currently (loosely formulated):

How do we design a framework that is deployable in the current Internet?

It's hard to change the way the Internet works. We should therefore find a way to create this sort of a user-centered networking environment on top of the current Internet.

We also try to see how the different proposals on 'new Internet architectures' (think DONA & friends) relates to this.

How do we manage identities in this environment?

Secure electronic identities is a cornerstone for everything in such an environment.

How does the new environment affect applications?

Preferably we would like to re-use existing (legacy) applications. Can this be done? What sort of new applications does this environment enable? Or does it radically change the way we use apps?

The full research plan (from 2009) can be found here.


I'm currently participating in the SPEAR project at HIIT. I'll (hopefully) write more on this later, but shortly it is a project which aims to develop an open source middleware for peer-to-peer communication. It is the place where all the engineering takes place;

I used to work for the TrustInet project (also at HIIT) until it ended last year. Other projects I've been participating in includes InfraHIP and the FI-SHOK (FICNIA?).

Although not involved, I find the work done by Ken Rimey's group in HIIT quite interesting. Especially the P2P-Fusion project, and one of its outcomes the PeerScape social network. It provides an interesting model for how peer-to-peer can operate in the future, and has many lessons for my work.

Contact information

I work at HIIT in Innopoli 2, 3rd floor, room c328

You can reach me by mail at my