Pierre Senellart, head of the new Valda team
The Valda team arrives within the Paris research center and is managed by Pierre Senellart.
What does Valda stand for? What are your main research topics?
The name Valda comes from “Value from data”. We’re concerned with both theoretical and systems aspects of complex data management, especially human-centric data. Our research focuses on three areas:
- 1/ Foundational aspects of data management, database theory (expressivity, complexity, algorithms for complex data management tasks).
- 2/ Data uncertainty and provenance (effective handling and validity of uncertain and probabilistic data; calculation on data, while preserving provenance, data traceability).
- 3/ Personal information management (platforms for collecting and integrating users’ personal information to enable them to regain control of their personal data currently distributed on various websites and applications).
Would you say Valda’s research is basic or applied? Does it have any applications?
What makes Valda special is that our work focuses on both theoretical and applied aspects of data management. We study theoretical and systems problems and are also interested in applications.
Personal data management is our “flagship” application and something we intend to focus on in our research. Other applications include complex queries in public transport networks.
Who makes up your team?
The three permanent members are Pierre Senellart (ENS Professor), Serge Abiteboul (Inria DR) and Luc Segoufin (Inria DR). Serge Abiteboul and Luc Segoufin have been transferred from the Dahu team at Inria Saclay. Then we have the holder of an Inria international chair: Victor Vianu, a Professor from The University of California, San Diego. There are currently eight PhD candidates.
Do you have any industrial or academic partnerships?
We are involved in many academic collaborations: in Paris (Télécom ParisTech, Paris-Diderot, Paris-Sud), Europe (Oxford, Edinburgh, Dortmund, Warsaw), Israel (Tel Aviv), Asia (Hong Kong University, National University of Singapore) and North America (San Diego, Drexel University, and Montreal).
We also have industrial contacts: two of our PhD candidates are in industry; we are involved in a number of collaborative research projects, either on-going or currently under examination; and we have informal contacts with a number of other companies. But I don’t think we have enough sufficiently established specific partnerships to be mentioned here.