How thesis research can lead to useful results

13 April 2021

DNS Belgium regularly helps students perform research for their Master's thesis. The students are able to gain experience in a professional context and have access to unique know how and data about the internet. Their research often leads to useful results or ideas that we are able to develop. 

Michaël Dooreman and Guillaume Parent recently contacted us with regard to their Master's thesis. Michaël is a Computer Science Civil Engineer student at KU Leuven and is specialised in Artificial Intelligence. He wrote his Master's thesis on the early detection of domain abuse at the level of a TLD .   

Guillaume studies IT at the University of Namur. He conducted an analysis of authoritative nameservers in the .be zone. Both students were helped at DNS Belgium by Maarten Bosteels and Guy Houben.

Efficient co-operation

Michaël's first challenge was understanding the domain name system and DNS Belgium's role in this. ‘I knew DNS Belgium through my course work and my knowledge of the domain name system has grown over the year by reading up on it. However, most of my knowledge has come from DNS Belgium itself,' he says. Michaël is very positive about the support DNS Belgium provided. 

Useful work 

Maarten also enjoyed working with Michaël and Guillaume. Michaël is eager to learn and intelligent, he lives nearby and came to the office regularly. He also respected his own planning quite well and was not afraid to ask for help when he needed it. Guillaume chose to come to the office four days a week, even though it was not a requirement for us. But in the end, his work was very useful to us. 

In his research, Guillaume visualised, among other things, the performance of DNS Belgium's name servers as perceived by users. 'He also did this for a number of potential suppliers which enabled us to include this aspect in our final choice of supplier,' Maarten explains.   

Through the students we also come into contact with experienced researchers at the universities, who often have good ideas and interesting angles.

New ideas

By helping students with their theses, DNS Belgium is able to work on ideas that are potentially interesting but not a high priority. The reason they are not a priority is often because of the uncertainty of the research results,' says Maarten. ‘It also temporarily brings in fresh blood and therefore new ideas into our organisation. And through the students we also come into contact with experienced researchers at the universities, who often have good ideas and interesting angles'. 

In other words, DNS Belgium does use the results of the theses. For example, Michaël's research shows that domain names that are re-registered within a few days of being released tend to be used by cyber criminals and people with bad intentions. This is an interesting fact for DNS Belgium.

We would like to continue Michael's research together with some of the permanent researchers at KU Leuven. Discussions about this are currently underway. And we would like to take over the scripts Guillaume wrote to carry out regular testing. This will allows us to see how and where we can improve the performance of our name servers. 

We'd like to give the last word to Michaël:

With this article, we support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.