Service-centric Networking

Achtung: Masterarbeit in Kombination mit einer Praktikumsstelle zu vergeben!

Die Technische Universität Berlin und T-Systems International suchen einen motivierten Masterstudenten/ Masterstudentin für eine Arbeit über digitale Hochschulabschlüsse auf SSI-Basis (Self-sovereign-Identity). Spitzenteam und Entlohnung inbegriffen. Bei Interesse bitte melden bei Patrick Herbke (p.herbke(at)tu-berlin.de).

Master Thesis
Decentralized  Management  of  Higher  Education  Institution  Certificates  Based  on  Self-Sovereign Identity Paradigm
                  
Topic
The digitization  of  higher  education  institution  (HEI)  degree  certificates  (bachelor/master certificates) have gained increasing interest in the research community over the last years. The most established project in digitization of student data is EMREX [1]. EMREX infrastructure and corresponding xml standard ELMO is widely used by Europe universities and students for accreditation of degrees and transcript of records. Universities using the EMREX infrastructure can issue bachelor and master certificates and transcript of records, and students can apply to universities with their signed pdf certificates and have their academic achievements recognized automatically. However, there are a couple of issues that EMREX cannot solve [2]:
                     •   Students cannot be authenticated by EMREX, therefore each HEI has their own
                         implementation of authenticating students in their system.  
                     •   Each country/HEI has their own student information systems. Therefore, there is not
                         one unified way of fetching results from these systems. The EMREX-system is
                         dependent on connecting to an existing solution that can fetch results for a given
                         student at a given HEI.  
                     •   Student data must be stored in local systems, as EMREX does not store data in itself.

Goals
An approach to overcome the challenges of EMREX is the use of Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) paradigms [3]. SSI allows users and organizations to establish trust in digital transactions through a verifiable data registry, i.e., Blockchain. For example, a student (holder) presents a digital HEI certificate (verifiable credential) to another university or company (verifier) and the verifier can verify that a trusted entity (issuer - e.g., HEI), issued the students’ (holders’) certificate by verifying the certificate through a blockchain [4].
The task is to bridge the SSI ecosystem to the work of EMREX already done in educational data standards and to implement a framework for the exchange of verifiable credentials between a holder, issuer, and verifier. Thus, in this thesis, the candidate first has to clarify suitable SSI methods [5] [6] and a data model and structure for HEI verifiable credentials based on existing standards [7] [8]. The next step consists in realizing an application that enables the issuing, holding, and verifying of HEI certificates based on existing implementations [5] [6] [9]. The existing xml file structure of EMREX should be used as a template for the needed JSON format in SSI context. Finally, various signature [8] and verification methods need to be implemented and evaluated in a demonstrator. At best, a verifiable credential can be verified with zero  knowledge proof, but this is optional [10]. Furthermore, the solution should be evaluated regarding  to  interoperability  with  existing  standards  (e.g.,  OpenBadges  [11]),  anti- counterfeiting,  automatic  application  processes,  automatic  recognition  of  degrees  and achievements, and protection of personal information. The thesis needs to be carried out in collaboration (internship) with T-Systems International GmbH.                   

Requirements
                     •   Knowledge of public key infrastructures and experience in at least one programming
                         language: Java, Kotlin, Go or Python
                     •   Good understanding of the Self-Sovereign Identity paradigm

[1]     G. Bacharach et al., “Progress on Digitization of Higher Education Processes towards Standards EU & DE: Status and future Perspectives,” p. 13.
[2]     “Technical-Guide-to-EMREX.pdf.” Accessed: Nov. 04, 2021. [Online]. Available: emrex.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Technical-Guide-to-EMREX.pdf
[3]     “Tobin et al. - 2017 - The Inevitable Rise of Self-Sovereign Identity.pdf.” Accessed: Nov. 10, 2021. [Online]. Available: sovrin.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/The-Inevitable-Rise-of-Self-Sovereign-Identity.pdf
[4]     “Building the digital credential infrastructure for the future.” Accessed: Nov. 15, 2021. [Online]. Available: digitalcredentials.mit.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/white-paper-building-digital-credential-infrastructure-future.pdf
[5]     Hyperledger Aries Cloud Agent - Python. Hyperledger, 2021. Accessed: Nov. 12, 2021. [Online]. Available: github.com/hyperledger/aries-cloudagent-python
[6]     Framework Go. Hyperledger, 2021. Accessed: Nov. 12, 2021. [Online]. Available: github.com/hyperledger/aries-framework-go
[7]     “Modeling Educational Verifiable Credentials.” Accessed: Nov. 12, 2021. [Online]. Available: w3c-ccg.github.io/vc-ed-models/
[8]     EBSI4Austria. Danube Tech, 2021. Accessed: Nov. 12, 2021. [Online].  Available: github.com/danubetech/ebsi4austria-examples
[9]     “Lissi.” Accessed: Nov. 12, 2021. [Online]. Available: lissi.id/start
[10]    “ePrint IACR Full Text PDF.” Accessed: Nov. 15, 2021. [Online]. Available: eprint.iacr.org/2018/691.pdf
[11]    “Developing Open Badges: a comprehensive approach” Accessed: Nov. 15, 2021. [Online]. Available: link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11423-015-9388-3.pdf