Inria - Activity report 2009


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The 2009 annual report, covering the activity of the whole Institute, is now available in two formats: in the print version and in the on-line version that can be consulted online. It is an opportunity to look back over an eventful year and to share this document which is both important and at the same time enjoyable to read.

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Inria - Activity report 2009

  1. 1. Computational sciences at the heart of society AnnuAl report 2009
  2. 2. fields of application communication agriculture sciences transport industry healthcare training and education 02 InrIA AnnuAl report 2009
  3. 3. INRIA’s scientific energy priorities ModELING Combining mathematics and computer science, modeling serves to mathematically describe meteorological, physical, geological and physiological phenomena in order to understand, analyze and predict them more effectively cryptographic CoMMuNICatING security Beyond infrastructure issues (protocols, distribution, rules), the goal is to make the knowledge and services Internet a reality (smart Internet). INtEraCtING Interaction between the real and the virtual and interchange between man and machine require software control of sight, touch, gesture, natural language and speech. robotics is another promising field with potential applications in many sectors. services ProGraMMING At the very core of computer science, programming attempts to ensure software security and reliability and resolve problems concerning confidentiality, authentification, data protection and traceability, etc. CoMPutatIoNaL sCIENCEs By marrying modeling, simulation, multiscale computing and nanotechnologies, research efforts are aiming to develop models for use in biology, agronomics, ecology and the study of ecosystems and materials. CoMPutatIoNaL ENGINEErING this field involves studying and predicting the behaviour of industrial objects (virtual prototypes) and aims to guarantee the correct functioning of embedded software (validation of autopilot systems on aircraft etc.). CoMPutatIoNaL MEdICINE this field of research seeks to develop models of organs © amy uratsu/the image Bank/getty images for improving the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular or neurological diseases. environment More information on 03
  4. 4. InrIA’s scientific priorities ........................................................ 02 Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 04 InrIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 05 Interview with the Ceo, Michel Cosnard. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 06 research centres eight centres at the heart of the InrIA system. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Influence in the scientific community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Indicators in good shape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 software development plots a new course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Familiarising schools with digital sciences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 research in action. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 smart research through coordination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 applied mathematics, computation and simulation Financial crisis: mathematicians to the rescue? ........................... 28 researchers rub shoulders. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 algorithmics, programming, software and architecture Shabal in the semi-final! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 How long until secure electronic voting becomes a reality? ............. 34 Networks, systems and services, distributed computing energy-saving computers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Working today on the supercomputers of tomorrow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Perception, Cognition, Interaction An all-terrain crane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 learning to search for images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Computational sciences for biology, medicine and the environment Computer scientists go green . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Fighting cancer with modeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 A policy of openness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 a strengthened organizational structure to prepare for the future . . . 52 Partnerships in continuous progress. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 a breath of fresh air for transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 project-teams active in 2009 Project-teams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Partnerships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 organization chart and councils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
  5. 5. inRia 3,150 scientists e217 174 million (2009) – 21% of which from its own resources project-teams 8 active in 2009 research centres 4,100 collaborators all over france 97 companies formed since 1984 INRIA is a public research establishment entirely dedicated to information and communication sciences. For more than 40 years, it has supported the economic and social transformations linked with the dissemination of digital technologies. As such, together with its academic and industrial partners, it conducts at the highest international level an increasingly influential activity in fundamental research and technology development. the knowledge produced at InrIA has become essential in medicine, biology and many other sciences. It enriches our everyday lives (communication, safety, Internet usages) and sheds light on the issues of sustainable development and energy conservation. 05
  6. 6. inteRview with the ceo, Michel cosnaRd Whether in terms of the environment, education, health, economics or research, INrIa is trying to meet the issues of tomorrow’s society.” Michel Cosnard, general puBlic What contribution is inria making to the digital (Chairman and Ceo technologies now filling our daily lives? since 2006) answers Michel Cosnard. InrIA is involved in many ways in the questions the design of technologies now appearing on the most frequently market. the development of intelligent devices such asked by different as the Smartphone, which can be used not only for calls but also for using online services, is based on groups of society work in telecommunications, human-computer inter- regarding the faces, and software, to which institute researchers challenges facing have contributed. Another example – social net- works, currently very much in vogue, are generating information and communication science a great deal of research into software security and and technology (ICSt). reliability, confidentiality of interchanges, and pri- vacy protection. our teams are also tackling crucial issues affecting all traffic on the Internet. We are also involved in the deliberations surrounding the ethical Wide-ranging questions which may be raised by rapid advances in technology and their widespread adoption. We have recommended the creation of an ethics com- science mittee for our fields, so as to be able to take such concerns into consideration at a very early stage in the research process. open to society young people at large how does icst research contribute to solving society’s big questions? M. C. InrIA is showing an interest now in those ques- tions which are real issues for future generations, such as sustainable development, medicine and personal care services. We have placed these big questions in our strategic plan, and our work in this area has been much strengthened over the last four years. For example, our researchers are modelling plant growth with a view to improving food production, and are 06 InrIA AnnuAl report 2009
  7. 7. © istockphoto INrIa intends to consolidate its role in technology transfer for society’s benefit.” © istockphoto doctors building diagnosis support tools for medicine. they medicine increasingly relies on digital are designing energy saving technologies, invent- technologies, what role does the institute ing shared automatic transport methods, and are intend to take in this area? creating services for the elderly and disabled. the omnipresence of ICSt in all areas of economic activity M. C. Computational medicine is a research prior- makes these very lucrative areas for the future. We will ity for the institute, and our efforts in that area are need talented and creative researchers, and I hope growing. our researchers are contributing to that this work, which now finds itself at the core of the highly-accurate modelling and simula- some exciting social and human issues, will be able to tion of those organs (liver, heart or brain) generate still more roles, especially for women, who the workings of which it is possible to study. are still under-represented in our disciplines. our work they are also modeling illnesses, in particular on disseminating science to young people and on cancers, and are developing imaging tools boosting computer education in secondary schools and aids for treatment and surgery, such as is likely to make a contribution to this. cataract operation support tools. InrIA is HIgHlIgHtS 2009 14 JanuaRy 20 febRuaRy 1-5 June 11 June INrIa and oNEra, the Visiting Committee INrIa attended the Birth of a joint the french centre submitted its evaluation Javaone conference supercomputing for aerospace research, report on the institute in san francisco laboratory between INrIa signed a partnership to valérie pécresse, french for the first time. and the national centre for agreement to undertake minister for Research. an opportunity to present supercomputing applications joint projects in the the report follows a visit technologies developed (ncsa) at the university areas of data processing to inRia by this committee by its researchers of illinois in the united states. and systems. of international experts in the services sector. see p. 55. in december 2008. 07
  8. 8. inteRview with the ceo, Michel cosnaRd also involved in remote medical care systems allowing only going to expand. We are already participating patients to remain at home, and in the development in the new alliance for health and life sciences; we of new generations of implanted devices, such as are involved in most multi-organization subject-based pacemakers, giving rise to patent applications. Such research programmes at the French national Institute research requires working in close collaboration with for Health and Medical research (InSerM), where bio-medical staff, which is why we are developing InrIA researchers’ talents are recognised. joint platforms and teams. teamwork of this kind is industry can inria’s research help with economic recovery? M. C. For two years, we have been developing our research will be increasingly procedures to increase the impact of our technol- ogy on the economy. to do so, we have given top multi-disciplinary, collaborative priority to strategic partnerships with major com- panies. these partnerships are based on a shared and Europe-oriented.” vision of current economic challenges, and enable our staff’s efforts to be directed at fundamental issues in order to overcome technological hurdles. We have also ensured we have the tools to work to best effect with SMes in our sector, such as the small joint laboratories, I-labs. At the same time we have improved our ability to reach these SMes. the estab- lishment of new research centres in lille, Bordeaux and Saclay has enabled the institute to weave itself into the regional economic fabric, and get involved in the local business community in close conjunction with the competitiveness clusters. the InrIA Industry meetings which took place this year in lille with the retail industry sector are a good illustration of this. Similar initiatives will increase in number in all centres. lastly, 2010 is expected to see the transformation © istockphoto of our InrIA-transfer subsidiary to improve the pen- etrative strength of our start-ups by helping them to create products with wider distribution. HIgHlIgHtS 2009 22 July 14 septeMbeR 6 octobeR 9 noveMbeR Latin america the French National INrIa and the European Centre for during the colibri conference, radioactive Waste Microsoft research and advanced training inRia signed an agreement Management agency research in scientific computation (ceRfacs) with the federal university (andRa) and inRia signed a renewed and inRia announced the creation of Rio Grande do sul in partnership agreement on digital the agreement of a joint laboratory to meet brazil to include its computer simulation in particular. this is a on their joint the challenges of high-performance digital science institute within fundamental area for simulating laboratory in simulation, often the only approach Grid’5000. changes in radioactive waste saclay for 4 years. possible for analyzing complex systems. stored underground. see p. 54. see p. 54. 08 InrIA AnnuAl report 2009
  9. 9. gIvIng InnovAtIon a Boost IN EuroPE inRia is a stakeholder in eit ict labs, one of the three Knowledge and innovation communities selected on december 16 by the european institute of innovation and technology (eit) initiated by the european commission. “The objective of EIT ICT Labs is to strengthen the European industry’s position in an economically strategic domain, namely services and applications linked with tomorrow’s information society,” says © istockphoto Jean-Pierre Banâtre, director of european partnerships. “This major initiative, lasting for between 12 and 15 years, draws on the synergy between research, education and innovation to create researchers conditions conducive to the emergence of companies What will computing research capable of taking a place on the global stage.” look like in the future? eic ict labs is deployed across five geographical sites (berlin, eindhoven, helsinki, paris and stockholm) and M. C. the addition of computer science to the pres- has 23 partnerships with ten manufacturers, six research tigious higher education and research establish- organizations and seven universities with a leading ment, the Collège de France, this year, was a major position europe-wide, as well as innovation centres (certain advancement with symbolic resonance. this event competitiveness clusters in france). the sites in Rennes marks the recognition both of computer science as and sophia antipolis are also involved in this initiative. a discipline in its own right, and that of its increas- “We’re hoping for direct effects in the form of business and ingly substantial contribution to other sciences. this job creation. More than this, the research activity of EIT ICT recognition is accompanied by the target of securing Labs will benefit the whole of society by tackling major computer science its rightful place in education. It topical subjects such as health, the city of the future and is currently an option in the science syllabus post- the problems of energy, environment and climate change.” 16 years of age. It is our duty to get involved in the training of mathematics teachers, who will be tasked with teaching this subject. this work has got off to a successful start in Sophia Antipolis. this recognition also backs up the comprehensive, cross-disciplinary approach we have adopted in trend, with our erC prize winners, our cross-border our strategic plan to meet the major challenges teams and, most importantly, (and a source of pride of our time. the cooperative aspect of our work is in this eventful year), with the success of the eIt ICt therefore liable to be consolidated not only within labs project. A fine project to build wholly oriented large-scale projects supported by the institute, but towards europe and social concerns. also under more substantial joint ventures like the new Alliances. the role of researcher will take on a more european dimension, with more integra- tion and coordination. We are definitely part of this 10 noveMbeR 24 noveMbeR 2-4 deceMbeR 10 deceMbeR INrIa and the Collège INrIa signed an INrIa organized, with INrIa and the french institute de France created an agreement with six the french Ministry of higher for agricultural and environmental annual chair in computer african partners establishing education and Research, engineering, ceMaGRef, created science and computational the creation of a joint virtual the university of paris 1 and a joint project team, fluminance. sciences. Gérard berry laboratory called the international the Max-planck institute, it is original in that it combines the is the first holder of this chair. laboratory for Research in the 7th conference on the institute researchers’ skills in image see p. 21. computer science and applied knowledge internet, berlin 7. analyzis and processing with Mathematics (liRiMa). see p. 16. those of ceMaGRef’s researchers see p. 55. in fluid mechanics. 09
  10. 10. ReseaRch centRes Eight centres at the heart of the INRIA system the centres, which are firmly established in the local landscape, are a gateway (access, path) for their partners to all of the Institute’s skills. We take sensor for embedded a closer look at the year’s key initiatives. systems. lille GRenoble CoMMErCIaL INdustrIEs a BooM IN EMBEddEd the InrIA-Industry meetings, soFtWarE which took place in lille in June research into embedded software on the topic of commercial is a strong point of the centre industries, were given a warm and the partnerships that we’re reception. the format adopted developing with St Microelectronics was well matched with the and the CeA (French Atomic expectations of manufacturers energy Commission) are at the in the sector, which are taking heart of the regional dynamic a growing interest in r&D on this topic. this is a rich field for issues. We retained a highly research, as well as being crucial for practical approach, manufacturers, as the programming with demonstrations offered of multicore architectures - a major by all InrIA centres. this event component of our research into is a high point of our efforts embedded software - is the key (concerning manufacturers), to their competitive future. this year which aim to build a genuine we launched 10 projects on the community between researchers subject, as well as the integrative demonstration of and manufacturers at both research centre pIlSI together with a virtual store at a regional and national level. our partners. the inria-industry Max dauchet, director of the inria François sillon, director of the inria meetings in lille. lille – nord europe research centre. grenoble – rhône alpes centre. Rennes a WINdoW oN thE BraIN the neurinfo platform, launched with our partners from InSerM (national Institute for Health and Medical research), the university of rennes 1 and the university Hospital Centre, is intended for the study of inflammatory and degenerative brain diseases. It stands out due to its triple use, in research, clinical applications and for industry, for example in the testing of drugs. our researchers add innovative tools to neurinfo for the acquisition and utilisation of images and the management of databases. In the long term, we’re planning to insert the irm, core of the neurinfo platform, financed the platform into european research infrastructures. by a state-region project contract together with Patrick Bouthemy, director of the inria a significant contribution from inria. rennes – Bretagne atlantique research centre. 10 InrIA AnnuAl report 2009
  11. 11. laying the first the walls feature stone of the the ideas of the icst campus. paris sub-office. © eurecom sophia antipolis ICst: BENEFICIaL CaMPus the result of extensive work, the launch of the ICSt campus unites local academic players around themes that are key for InrIA (network, health, environment and usage). Its formative role is beneficial for everyone, providing increased visibility, shared involvement in major projects such paRis-RocquencouRt as the oIn (national interest operation) ecovallée and the development of a coherent training INrIa EstaBLIshEs ItsELF offering. the campus will also house one of the sites IN thE hEart oF ParIs of the eIt ICt labs project, bringing together partners With this paris sub-office, present in our department. the centre will be more Gérard Giraudon, director of the inria sophia able to develop scientific antipolis – méditerranée centre. relationships with its paris-based partners. nancy the offices on Avenue GEttING youths d’Italie are home to the joint teams with INtErEstEd IN sCIENCE the pierre et Marie Curie our researchers have made and paris-Diderot major efforts to interest young universities, the École people in science. In partnership normale Supérieure with the Academy of nancy-Metz, de paris and the CnrS they have given 28 conferences in (French national Centre secondary schools and contributed for Scientific research). to the success of the Mathematics this sub-office is also olympiads. In a major first, nearly A Day with a Scientist initiative. a strategic component 80 researchers welcomed one for hosting the paris site or two students to their team for laying the first of the eIt ICt labs project an entire day to introduce them stone of the and the It Innovation to their job. the Science Festival saclay plateau and research Centre for was also a big event. We were construction project. Free Software (Cirill@paris), present there in the lorraine with which the Institute stations and trains with the Sillon is involved. lorrain project, which was © plein sud/m. lecompt antoine Petit, director of the inria selected by the ministry. paris – rocquencourt centre. Karl tombre, director of the inria nancy – grand est centre. boRdeaux MaJor VIsIBILIty IN aEroNautICs aNd sPaCE saclay the le Bourget Show was one of the high points of the year. As part sharING thE aMBItIoNs oF thE saCLay PLatEau of the show, we participated in inviting the Aerospace valley competitiveness this new building, which will bring together cluster, in which we are closely involved and with which we have the lrI and InrIA teams, gives concrete around ten projects addressing modelling, simulation, visualisation and form to the partnership between the digital high-performance computing, which are also specialities of the centre. sciences players of the Saclay plateau. At this event we played a pivotal role It also reflects the commitment of the Institute © région aquitaine/a. gilber between the local and national and its academic partners to building levels by bringing in demonstrations the research excellence park Digiteo, of which from other InrIA centres. they are the co-founders, and their joint Along the same lines, we’re preparing involvement in the campus of the Saclay plateau. InrIA industry meetings that these new districts will be given a european will take place in 2010 in Bordeaux dimension by hosting a portion of the paris-region and then toulouse. site of the eIt ICt labs project. demonstration by the iparla team Claude Kirchner, director of the inria Michel Bidoit, director of the saclay – Île-de-France at the inria-industry meetings. Bordeaux – sud-ouest research centre. research centre (in 2009). 11
  12. 12. Influence in the scientific community © Jason Hawkes/Corbis
  13. 13. Influence in the scientific community
  14. 14. Present everywhere, for everyone Like the networks that link sometimes very distant entities, INRIA forges links with numerous academic and industrial partners in France and abroad. It regularly ventures out to meet young people and its fellow citizens. Its scientific NETWORK results and its technologies enrich Athéna/Odyssée The brain the business and social world. and its billions of connections reconstructed by imaging.
  15. 15. INfluENcE IN ThE scIENTIfIc cOmmuNITy Indicators in good shape INRIA assigns its performance assessment to an internal monitoring unit, which is three years old this year. Its goal is to evaluate the progress of the Institute’s activities by monitoring certain indicators covering its scientific production, its management and its transfer activities. the verdict? A clean bill of health! “The Institute is on “The monitoring unit, created in 2007, is now an evaluate activity.” these indicators, covering fac- essential tool. Research is now thought out in terms tors such as the number of publications, research- the whole achieving of objectives, whether as part of ers, patents, submissions to the HAL-INRIA open the objectives the modernisation of govern- archives and european contracts, are all positive. set under the ment management (organic the institute can be proud of the number of pro- four-year contract law relating to finance laws - posals that have been accepted by european signed with the LOLF) or the four-year contract,” programs (around 25%) – testament to the quality of government, which explains Madeleine Zalkind, in the projects submitted. Activity is also increasing on comes to an end charge of the INRIA activity monitoring unit. “Work the data transfer side. For example: the amount of this year.” on the database, which is a real investigatory software submitted to the Agency for the protection task, serves to calculate the indicators needed to of programs (87 copyrights in 2009) has risen by 14% ERC: A vINtAge yeAR IN 2009 SpEEdIng up ThE dISSEMInATIOn oF scIeNtIFIc ResuLts This year, INRIA researchers have hAl and has strongly urged its once again had their projects praised researchers to submit their articles to by the European Research council. the platform. furthermore, the 7th edition marie-france sagot was named as of the conference on the knowledge the winner of the “senior researchers” Internet was held in December category and received a €2.5 million this year at the sorbonne, together grant for her innovative project with the support of the ministry for in the mathematical, algorithmic Rapidly disseminating the result of higher Education and Research, the and biological study of symbiosis. their research is a priority for scientists. university of Paris 1 and the max-Planck The close relationship between To this end, in 2004, INRIA signed the Institute. “This is recognition of INRIA’s different species could potentially Berlin Declaration, which committed involvement in open access in France lead us to revisit the notions of health, the major signatory organizations to and worldwide,” notes Jean-Jacques our relationship with the environment working towards the direct, open and Millet, representative of scientific and even the concept of space and free communication of all scientific and technical information at the the individual. knowledge (an initiative supported Institute and head of the conference’s francis Bach (see page 43) and by the ANR and the European science organization committee. “The French Pierre-yves Oudeyer were winners foundation). The Institute has since session provided an opportunity to in the “junior researchers” category teamed up with the cNRs (french reflect on the future of HAL and speak and received a five-year grant of National centre for scientific Research) about its transformation into a national €1.5 million. to promote the open archives platform shared-governance platform.” 16 INRIA ANNuAL RepoRt 2009
  16. 16. compared to 2008. As for the principal indicator of scientific production from the Inria team-projects (quantity of “internationally recognized scientific 15,000 submissions and 32% of scientific 22 publications” calculated on the same basis for the publications entered into hAl. past ten years), it is constantly increasing and rose from 4,034 in 2008 to 4,351 in 2009. “An analysis of the indicators shows that only the distribution of the Institute’s financing has changed project-teams created compared with the forecasts of the four-year con- in 2009. tract,” says Madeleine Zalkind. “Whereas, initially, an equal contribution was expected from the government, Europe and industrial contracts, the share from the government, via the new A REwARdEd cAReeR National Research Agency (ANR), and Europe increased, while the share from industrial contracts gérard huet received the prestigious award from the European Association for Theoretical computer science decreased.” INRIA has taken note of this develop- (EATcs Award) in Rhodes on July 9 in recognition of ment and is now focusing its attention, particularly an illustrious career in fundamental computing research. within competitiveness clusters, on sMes with a This researcher, a member of the Académie des sciences major potential for innovation. and the Academia Europaea, is notably responsible for a variety of work in the field of formal verification. This work includes the design of the verification assistant coq, currently used to ensure the reliability of programs intended for applications including air transport and financial transactions. COnTRACTuAl INcoMes 2009 (IN %) A best-seLLeR In RObOTICS 6 six INRIA researchers contributed to the Springer Handbook of Robotics, the 2008 best-seller of the scientific publisher 11 springer in the engineering category. This book, which looks back at 50 years of research and the social and ethical 40 implications of this field, received two awards from the Europe Association of American scientific Publishers: the Award ANR and other in Engineering & Technology and the Award for Excellence 43 state funds in Physical sciences & mathematics. Businesses miscellaneous 17
  17. 17. INfluENcE IN ThE scIENTIfIc cOmmuNITy Software development plots a new course INRIA is currently turning its attention to the production of completed software programs to improve their impact in scientific and industrial circles. the implementation of a new organizational structure for software development is already bearing fruit and opening up new prospects. stéphane ubeda, director of technology development, tells us more. In-Situ Over the last few years the Institute The Wild platform has been aiming to enhance software is a shared working environment development. what stage are things comprising a at today? 32-screen interactive Stéphane ubeda. three years ago, we began a wall. Using simple revision of our policy in order to improve the matu- gestures, it is possible to move an image, ration stage for software developed by research zoom in on a detail and to encourage its use by a larger number or show documents of researchers and industry players. our labour to all participants. power has grown thanks to the recruitment of engineers, the creation of experimentation and development services (seD) in each research centre and management at a national level. At the same time, we have organized software development actions (ADt). these are initiatives that bring together seD engineers and researchers as part of a technology development program. It’s a large-scale structured approach. this system is now firmly in place and is beginning to bear fruit. As a result, we have around 60 ADts and are beginning the third call for project tenders. gEnOuEST bIoINFoRMAtIcs pLAtFoRM what are the effects of this new The Genouest platform is a resource platform is attached to the symbiose organizational structure? centre for biology laboratories. bioinformatics team, which S. u. thanks to this policy, we have reasserted It is now IsO 9001 certified, IBisA* has a direct link with biologists. the value of the role played by engineers. seDs labelled and a part of the Renabi As a result, Genouest was national network of bioinformatics chosen by INRA to develop the are now seen as dynamic places for the training platforms. It develops tools for bioinformatics section of the pest of young engineers. Around 100 of them have managing large bulk data such genomics program. One already worked in these structures since 2007. the as the Biomaj software, a flagship of its tasks is hosting a specialised R&D culture acquired during their stay at INRIA product developed together with database on aphids, AphidBase, will be an asset in their professional lives and a INRA. It also actively participates which is used as a source benefit for the industry that will employ them later in the implementation of information of baseline information around on. ADts also offer a visibility that encourages systems required due to the larger the world. projects with common interests to come together. volume of data on living species. For example, cardiosense3D (a major initiative Another advantage is that the *National life sciences platforms. on the digital modeling of the heart) now uses 18 INRIA ANNuAL RepoRt 2009
  18. 18. Vgate: a full-scale 3D immersion platform at INRIA Grenoble Rhône-Alpes. the sofa platform (created by an ADt dedicated form on the intelligent home “The ideal to medical simulation algorithms). this fosters the is currently in the making. this is to have wider use of software programs. will unite actions relating to a limited home help, the intelligent what prospects lie ahead? office and energy conserva- number of large S. u. today our priority is to combine certain tion. It’s a way of breaking platforms actions in order to reduce the number of opera- work down into its constituent covering growth tions, while at the same time enlarging the base elements but also provides topics that of teams participating in each one. the aim is to an opportunity to encour- are capable increase the effect of the resources and personnel age the emergence of new research topics. of uniting various made available in order to obtain more complete For example, current research combining robot- projects.” software programs and increase the impact of ics and the home is undoubtedly an approach STéphane Ubeda, director results. We will also be uniting development efforts that should be addressed more widely given its of technology development around major challenges facing society. A plat- promising prospects. MulTI-AnTEnnA coMMuNIcAtIoN oN tHe HoRIZoN New radiocommunication standards are banking on multi-antenna transmission, which enhances the performance of mobile phones and laptops. The Radio platform – financed by INsA (National Institute of Applied sciences), the Rhône-Alpes region and INRIA – enables the creation and simulation of devices operating on all sorts of standards (Wi-fi, umTs, lTE) in order to fine-tune their performance and power consumption models and adapt the protocols. using this, it is possible to shorten the design cycle for new-generation devices, which is an advantage for the platform’s industrial partners such as Orange labs. “The platform is also the strong point of a European project on the planning of the future fourth-generation networks that began this year,” says Jean-Marie gorce, leader of the swing team. “Our expertise in modeling is also being put to use as part of a joint laboratory with Alcatel-Lucent.” 19
  19. 19. INfluENcE IN ThE scIENTIfIc cOmmuNITy Familiarising schools with digital sciences Aware of the loss of interest among youths in research and mathematics, INRIA is stepping up its efforts in liaison with teachers and academics in order to help primary and secondary school students learn more about Icst. this is paving the way for computing to enter into the school curriculum. “INRIA has a role to play in disseminating digital the sophia Antipolis centre. INRIA is also involved sciences among the general public, as well as in the Digital universities plan in partnership with more specifically among stu- the unisciel and unit university groupings. It runs dents and their teachers, who the Fuscia project, the aim of which is to improve themselves have little training in the accessibility of educational resources in Icst. this discipline,” notes Yannick the virtual reception office, which opened this le Thiec, head of the general year, has enabled 200 students from secondary public communication project. schools and preparatory classes to directly con- INRIA has for years been campaigning for digital tact researchers in order to prepare their personal Since 2008, INRIA has been sciences to be introduced into school syllabuses. supervised work (tpe) and personal supervised a partner of the Ministry consequently, it is delighted at news that these initiative work (tIpe). for National Education in disciplines will be entering secondary schools from the Mathematics Olympiads. 2012 as an optional subject in the final year of gAInIng MORE vISIbIlITY science. the research centres have made a major this support in the teaching of Icst complements contribution to this development by providing the business awareness activity that the Institute training aimed at mathematics teachers, includ- has been carrying out for a number of years, ing the algorithmics course offered this year by notably through collaborations with academies. InRIA fIlMS oN Eight videos explaining digital sciences to the general public have been chosen to be shown on This weekly updated Internet television site was launched at the end of 2009 by the Palais de la Découverte and the cité des sciences. INRIA is a partner of this new media resource dedicated to sciences and technologies and accessible to all users. The Open-Vibe film made in 2009 shows how to directly control a computer using thought. It will be available on 20 INRIA ANNuAL RepoRt 2009
  20. 20. Lillosciences in Lille. This event, organized by the INRIA Lille – Nord Europe centre and the University of Lille 1, was one of the seven national winners of the Science Festival 2009 call for project tenders. At all INRIA centres, researchers actively participate in this public event. A MAjoR step FoRWARD FoR COMpuTER SCIEnCE TEAChIng the collège de France and INRIA have created a five-year “computing and Digital sciences” chair. gérard berry, a world-renowned researcher and a member of the Academy of sciences and the Academy of technologies, will be the first holder. We asked this leading computer In 2009, the INRIA Lille – Nord europe centre signed sciences educator two questions. an agreement with the Academy of Lille, bringing whY IS ThE CREATIOn Of ThIS ChAIR A SpECIAl EvEnT? the number of agreements nationwide to six. each The creation of this chair establishes the discipline as an of the eight centres regularly makes arrangements independent science and marks its recognition by the for students to join the teams or researchers to other sciences. This is only right, as with 29% of global R&D, speak at the establishments. this discipline currently offers the biggest growth prospects. In the long term, INRIA is also contributing towards The chair also allows a highly varied audience to be reached the creation of a digital scientific culture fund. thanks to radio and Internet broadcasts. for example, my first since 2004, it has been running a popularisation course was downloaded tens of thousands of times. site called Interstices that now has 246 contributors and is this year offering special entry for second- whY dO YOu plACE A MAJOR EMphASIS On ary school students. It is involved in the publica- ThE nEEd fOR COMpuTER SCIEnCE TO bE TAughT tion of popularisation documents, such as the In SECOndARY SChOOlS? DocSciences issue on digital sciences and life To prepare for the future and develop individuals who are sciences. At each of the centres, events such active participants in the information society, it is essential as the science Festival have finally provided an to teach this discipline very early on in life. computer science’s opportunity for a major initiative to be carried out entry into the collège de france has provided an opportunity aimed at the general public. to make the teaching of the science that underpins digital technologies rather than their usage a priority in primary and secondary schools. “Being visible on the Web is essential for the attractiveness of 75% of mathematics teachers at the 100,000 visitors have attended INRIA events. both a university 10,000 Academy of Nice and a research organization have taken the algorithmics training and, more generally, for offered by the INRIA disseminating a country’s sophia Antipolis centre. students have visited scientific and industrial INRIA this year or attended courses given thinking.” by researchers at Patrick ramBert, head of the Fuscia project educational establishments. 21
  21. 21. © Aldo Sperber/Picturetank in action Research
  22. 22. Research in action
  23. 23. Securing the future with green sciences Mathematics and computer science are today decisive in understanding environmental issues (agronomics, climatology, energy). These disciplines help us to devise and develop essential tools for responding to the major challenges of our time: energy ENVIRONMENT savings, health, finance, industrial design Digiplante and the emergence of a safer, more Modeling the impact of intelligent and more usage-focused Internet climate change generation. on plant growth.
  24. 24. REsEaRch IN acTION Nano-D Modeling nanoscopic objects using Samson software. Gamma Visualization of different Clime speeds around a Falcon plane. Air quality forecast. Smart research sible that the Institute’s responsiveness could eventually be restricted. It seemed useful and important to implement an organizational through structure that would facilitate the coordi- nation of teams and skills and would be more suited to their geographical dispersion. coordination The aim was also to adapt to developments in the institutional framework of research, which often require collective responses to requests for project tenders by european structures or the National Research Agency. This improved after INRIa was created in 1967, little had changed in the coordination is also one of the objectives of way research was organized. The new organizational the new Alliance of Digital Sciences and Tech- structure introduced in 2009 is expected to enable the Institute nologies (Allistène), bringing together the Con- ference of the Heads of French engineering to respond better in a collective, coordinated and rapid Schools (CDeFI.), the French Atomic energy manner to the increasingly complex and multidisciplined Commission (CeA), the French National Insti- problems facing researchers. tute for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Con- ference of university presidents (Cpu), INRIA and the Institut Telecom. What was the idea the number of project-teams rose from 87 at behind reorganizing the end of 2000 to 169 at the end of 2009, plus How will research be run from now on? research? around 20 teams in the evaluation process. C. P. Five main fields have been defined Claude Puech (Direc- Relations between research teams were around four main activities (modeling, pro- tor of Research Depart- previously established very spontaneously, gramming, communicating and interacting) ment). The main aim was whenever personal relations sprang up or and one application field (life and environ- to achieve improved efficiency, particularly meetings between researchers took place, ment sciences). In each field, a deputy because of the considerable growth in the for example at conferences. The increase scientific director is supported by a com- Institute’s workforce. In the space of 10 years, in the number of teams meant it was pos- mittee of five to seven people with in-depth 26 INRIA ANNuAl RepoRT 2009
  25. 25. 3,150 researchers work within eight centres of the INRIa distributed in all france. SuStAiNAble eNviRoNmeNt: IMpROVINg ThE cOORdINaTION Of REsEaRch EffORTs aNd MakINg ThEM MORE VIsIblE “INRIA has skills in the majority areas for the consistency of work. The first concerns of cross-discipline themes green IT and the development of more resource- in sustainable development,” friendly software, communication protocols, explains isabelle Herlin, who operating systems and compilers. The second core participated in a working group work area is sustainable towns and ambient on the subject. No less than intelligence, including the development of sensor 65 project-teams contribute to this topic, in various networks (for observing and monitoring), software sectors: energy (green computing and ITER (for measuring actions or managing networks) project), transport (road traffic modeling and and tools that facilitate teleworking. The final core control etc.), sustainable towns, health, ecology area, which is cross-departmental, brings together and the environment (plant, ocean and air quality work in information and communication science modeling, etc.). To achieve better coordination and technology (IcsT) that “serves” sustainable of scientific work and an improvement of its impact, development: energy, transport, environment the Research department identified three core and ecology. knowledge of the field and its different to a strategic project that the Institute wants facets. Together, they explore the main chal- to focus on in keeping with its strategic plan lenges, coordinate the scientific community and the milestones identified in this plan. in their field and initiate new collaborations Research at INRIA: 8 research centres between researchers from INRIA’s various (Rocquencourt, Rennes, Sophia Antipolis, centres or between the Institute’s teams and Grenoble, Nancy, Bordeaux, lille and outside parties. Cross-departmental subjects Saclay), 2,800 researchers, 174 INRIA project- such as high-performance computing also teams, 25 teams, 20 Collaborative Research benefit from this improved visibility. Actions, 3 exploratory Actions, 6 large-Scale This new management structure has proved Initiative Actions, and 19 Technology Devel- very useful in working towards the creation opment Actions. of new industrial and academic strategic 1. CDEFI: Conference of Directors of French partnerships. For example, it has enabled us to Engineering Schools. 2. CPU: French Conference of University Presidents. respond to recent demands in the field of sus- tainable development by quickly identifying the skills concerned. It is also more attentive to the emerging subjects raised by researchers with the aim of initiating new scientific fields. ePS: A MICRoBIoloGY pReDICTIoN Tool Are the current tools suitable? The ability to predict the growth of pathogenic bacteria in food enables C. P Yes. exploratory actions foster the emer- . consumer safety to be more effectively guaranteed. The collaborative research gence of new subjects that constitute a action Eps (statistical projected Eco-microbiology), coordinated by Pierre Del departure from the traditional approaches. moral from the alea team, develops sophisticated statistical tools for improving Collaborative research actions encourage the predictions made on the basis of microbiology models. These tools produce synergies between teams and support a reliable estimate of the model’s parameters, while also factoring in the multiple research efforts that require the involvement sources of errors associated with the experimental handling necessary to test of researchers from several disciplines, or the model. after millions of virtual counts and hundreds of hours of computing, even several organizations. large-scale ini- the specific filtering methods can satisfactorily estimate the probability, for tiative actions aim to give a particular scope example, of locating a can of food that carries a health risk before its use-by date. 27
  26. 26. REsEaRch IN acTION FIelD: ApplIeD MATHeMATICS, CoMpuTATIoN AND SIMulATIoN You find a lot of INRIA mathematicians “automation”). Thanks to these cross- and computer code developers discipline skills in computing, optimization, in this field: 35 teams in total, or statistics and control, they are also led around 500 people. These researchers work to collaborate with many other colleagues in close collaboration with their counterparts within INRIA. from other scientific disciplines (physics, In the future, the challenge for these teams biology, materials science, sciences of the will be the growing complexity of the universe), with whom they develop specific problems to address, with an increasing applications. To do so, they write equations, volume of data to handle, models from beRNARD eSPiAu, analyze them and find numerical schemes highly diverse origins needing to be DepuTY SCIeNTIFIC DIReCToR, “FIelD: for conversion into computer programs. combined and ever-more advanced ApplIeD MATHeMATICS, Based on this modeling, they simulate computing resources conducting billions CoMpuTATIoN systems and, for some applications, go of billions of operations per second, ” AND SIMulATIoN” as far as controlling them (in other words, which will need to be adapted to. Financial crisis: head of the Mathfi project-team. “Partner banks are adapting our algorithms to their mathematicians specific needs and take their own decisions about risk hedging.” to the rescue? HeDGiNG RiSkS Interdependence of the markets, lack of regulation and badly hedged risks (in financial mathematics is a real challenge for mathematicians. particular for the well-known subprime The development of increasingly complex products and the mortgages) were the initial cause of the crisis. The global economy is founded on emergence of new markets for derivatives linked with energy, these risk exchange techniques, which commodities, climate and even pollution require specific require increasingly sophisticated software modeling, advanced mathematical analysis and efficient programs. So what can mathematicians do in this computational methods. context? “I think that it is necessary to enhance the research activity, and con- tinue to develop the mathematical tools The financial crisis in 2008 took the entire world to better handle model uncertainty, sud- by surprise and made life rather difficult for den fluctuations and risk control, with con- mAtHFi PRojeCt-teAm mathematicians. “The objective of the soft- stant computational concerns,” responds 7 peRMANeNT MeMBeRS ware Premia that we’re developing is to set Agnès Sulem. 12 pHD STuDeNTS up a technology watch These researchers’ daily activities con- 3 poST pHD for numerical problems sist of analyzing and controlling random toSCA PRojeCt-teAm related to the evaluation processes. They develop sophisticated 10 peRMANeNT MeMBeRS and hedging of financial algorithms to address pricing of finan- 8 pHD STuDeNTS derivative products,” cial derivatives and to evaluate their risk 1 poST pHD explains Agnès Sulem, hedging. 28 INRIA ANNuAl RepoRT 2009