Our five fields of research

Inria is organised around five fields of research. Each field of research is headed up by a Deputy Scientific Director, who coordinates research and forward planning in his/her field.... Meet our five chief scientists.

Alain Viari © Inria / Photo J. Wallace © Inria / Photo J. Wallace

Fields of research

Digital Health, Biology and Earth

Alain Viari is the Deputy Scientific Director responsible for the field of "Digital Health, Biology and Earth". In a 2010 interview (in french), the previous Deputy Scientific Director for this field, explained the implications of research in this area for the society of tomorrow.

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Jean Roman - Deputy Scientific Director © Inria / Photo Kaksonen © Inria / Photo Kaksonen

Fields of research

Applied Mathematics, Computation and Simulation

Jean Roman is Deputy Scientific Director of the Research Department with responsibility for Applied Mathematics, Computation and Simulation. In a 2010 interview (in french), Bernard Espiau, the previous Deputy Scientific Director for this field, explained the implications of research in this area for the society of tomorrow, particularly with regard to sustainable development, health, and energy.

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Monique Thonnat

Fields of research

Perception, Cognition & Interaction

"The 700 people in this research field, divided into 43 research teams, are studying communication with the physical world in all its forms: textual, visual and auditory. These researchers are looking at perception through the medium of sensors, data and knowledge modelling, and concrete interaction with the physical world. Their research is being conducted in close collaboration with manufacturers and often results in software transfers and start-up formations. It is applied to such diverse sectors as multimedia (searches for images in databases, for semantic content on the Web), security (video surveillance), transport (intelligent vehicles) and health (diagnostics aid). There are three major challenges for the future: combining machine learning and semantic interpretation, taking heterogeneous signals into account (including text, images, sounds, touch, etc.) and, finally, addressing problems of a very large spatial and temporal dimension (for example, heterogeneous sensor networks operating around the clock)."

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Frédéric Desprez © Inria / Photo C. Lebedinsky © Inria / Photo C. Lebedinsky

Fields of research

Networks, systems and services, distributed computing

"The research teams in this field help to define what will be the future of the Internet as a communication infrastructure, as well as a computing infrastructure in the broad sense. The researchers are interested in the development of innovative communication protocols as much as in the modelling of existing networks, in order to better evaluate their performance and size them to meet needs. They are devising effective algorithms adapted to the variable characteristics of the network. Their new challenges include "the Internet of Things" (the integration into the Internet of miniature devices such as RFID chips) and "the Internet of Services" (the integration of the Internet's characteristics into the building of software intended for the deployment of future online services and new distributed applications). With the Internet becoming a computer in and of itself, many research efforts are currently looking at operating systems and middleware for grids or digital hubs (clouds). Lastly, parallel architecture computing (heterogeneous, multicore, etc.), which has become a key element, is the focus of several teams."

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Didier Rémy © Inria / Photo G. Scagnelli Didier Rémy - © Inria / Photo G. Scagnelli

Fields of research

Algorithmics, Programming, Software and Architecture

This field is at the core of programming and computer systems. Technology developments,such as the development of multicore processors and pervasive computing, raise new scientific challenges for experts in algorithms, languages and software architectures. Their common goal is to achieve control over the reliability and security of programs and data exchanges.

Researchers are studying and certifying the reliability of embedded systems in avionics, automotives and now portable devices such as mobile phones and personal digital assistants, which have limited computing resources. They are also interested in the reliability of web services and in the security of data exchanges using cryptography techniques that also need to be certified, while at the same time addressing privacy issues. The teams are producing specification, programming, testing and proof environments, program analysis and verification tools, certified compilers, as well as cryptography and cryptanalysis methods.

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