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Our digital future will encompass even larger data flows and more complex applications then what we have today. How will the systems and the internet of tomorrow look like? This is what drives our research. Paola Grosso
Zhiming Zhao © UvA
Zhiming Zhao © UvA


The MultiScale Networked Systems (MNS) group is part of the Informatics Institute at the University of Amsterdam. The group focusses its research on multiscale systems e.g. cloud systems or clusters that define themselves by their dynamic size and scale, and on the network connecting them. The MNS group explores the emerging architectures that can support emerging applications across the future internet.

The predominant question that the group tries to answer: How can these distributed systems work as efficiently as possible? And how do these systems need to evolve to satisfy the constantly new application requirements?

The group is uniquely positioned to answer these questions. The rich infrastructure and network connectivity at University of Amsterdam allow MNS to perform both theoretic work as well as implementation and validation in large settings. The Science Park is rich of fibers linking it to the rest of the world, eg SURFnet and GEANT PoPs. It also provides the group with a strong network of collaborators , eg SURFsara, NLNetLabs and the eScienceCenter.

Facts & Figures

An elaborate international scientific network gives the group a significant impact in The Netherlands and Europe. The group has a strong funding track record and received several EU Horizon2020 and NWO grants in recent years.

Partnerships & collaborations

In order to challenge the problems of multiscale systems, the group has built an impressive network of public-private partnerships. Most of the projects within the group have industry participation. An example is the ongoing collaboration with Equinix, an American multinational company that specializes in internet connection and data science. The group values collaboration with industries, encouraging all its staff and the PhDs to build these links, for example with participation to the ICT with Industry workshop. Dr. Grosso currently chairs the steering committee. This workshop challenges a group of around 50 researchers from IT and Computer Science from a wide range of universities to work together extensively during five days on challenging problems proposed by companies.

The group also has rich scientific collaborations. A strong connection is with the eScience Center that is involved in several research projects with MNS e.g. the NWO-funded SecConNet and the H2020-funded PROCESS. These projects looks at novel architectures and technologies that provide scientific, industrial and business applications with versatile computing environments suitable to handle Big Data applications.

The work of MNS is applicable in a diverse set of domains, from environmental science to health. Within the CLARIFY project the group works together with nine partners to link engineering and medicine. Based on cutting-edge technologies the project develops an automated digital diagnostic environment for pathology to reach better-informed medical decisions.

Future mission

The MNS group aims at making a difference in how systems of networks of the future will respond to new societal challenges and help to solve some of the pressing problems in our world, such as the energy transition and environmental problems. The tools, ideas and architecture that are built for distributed computing can be applied in these domains.

ENVRI-FAIR that focusses on software development for environmental research infrastructures on the ESFRI roadmap (European Roadmap for research infrastructures) and landmark programmes. This project seeks interoperable and reusable solutions in the various environmental science sub-domains of atmosphere, marine, solid earth and biodiversity.

MNS positions itself primarily in the Systems & Networking research theme, and also with clear links to the Data Science theme of the Informatics Institute.

Dr Z. (Zhiming) Zhao

Group leader MultiScale Networked Systems (MNS)