Online Social Network Capabilities for a Platform-Independent Cloud Storage System for Multi-Usage

State: completed by Alexander Filitz

PiCsMu (Platform-independent Cloud Storage for Multi-Usage) [1] is a Cloud storage system designed and implemented with a Cloud-based overlay. The overlay is used in order to store, retrieve, and share files – either private (not sharing) or in a public fashion (sharing). In the private scope, PiCsMu users can upload files to their own use. Just who uploaded can download the file. In the public scope, PiCsMu users can choose if files should be available to a set of other PiCsMu users (private share), or if everyone part of the PiCsMu network can access them (public share).

The system is divided into the overlay and the underlay. In the PiCsMu underlay, PiCsMu users need to add Cloud Services credentials, e.g., Google Picasa, Facebook, SoundCloud, ImageShack, Dropbox, Amazon EC2/S3, Apple iCloud, OwnCloud, or any Cloud Service that provides an API, in order to store files. The overlay holds the index information about files, e.g., in which Cloud Service the file was stored, if the data was encrypted, how the file was split into several small chunks.

Since the PiCsMu system has its own Identity Provider (IdP), it could provide a social network capability to its users, in order to enable trust and a better environment to exchange/share data.

Even though PiCsMu provides means to enable an online social network (OSN) on its own, mainly due to the existence of an IdP, a full-fledge solution is neither designed nor implemented yet. Moreover, in order to re-use knowledge from other OSNs, the system could retrieve data from, e.g., Facebook or Twitter. The re-use of knowledge, which is, e.g, friends in other OSNs, friends you interact more with, can be integrated to PiCsMu to enable a recommender system and provide more information related to content to PiCsMu.

Therefore, this thesis shall develop a general design and a respective open-source implementation, which builds a PiCsMu OSN, fetching information from other existing OSNs, enabling a recommender system to PiCsMu. The main purpose of the PiCsMu OSN is to enhance the user experience when sharing and receiving shared content. One of the conceptual requirements is to be fully compatible to the existing PiCsMu system for which, in turn, the supervisor will support the student on all interfaces and compatibility aspects.

30% design, 60% implementation, 10% documentation
Java, Web programming

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Burkhard Stiller, Dr. Thomas Bocek, Guilherme Sperb Machado

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