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Award - Social web

Nathalie Lacaux - 5/04/2013

The Social Web: Senior Inria research scientist Anne-Marie Kermarrec wins "Google Focused Award"

Anne-Marie Kermarrec, Senior Inria research scientist and head of ASAP project-team at Inria Rennes - Bretagne Atlantique

Anne-Marie Kermarrec, a senior research scientist at the Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique centre, has been presented with the 2013 Google Focused Award. The award comes in recognition of the Web-Alter Ego project, which she is pursuing in collaboration with EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), and which focuses on the establishment of an original architecture for personalising web services. Her work is being conducted within the ASAP project team, which she leads. This ambitious project will benefit from the results she obtained as part of the ERC SG project GOSSPLE.

"Google Focused Award": a prestigious prize

The Google Focused Award supports ambitious work in computer science in key fields both for Google and for the social networks and distributed systems research community. Anne-Marie Kermarrec is one of only two researchers in Europe to receive the prestigious prize in 2013.

Reward for a social web project

The Web-Alter Ego project aims to identify a social Web user's alter egos, i.e. user profiles exhibiting similar interests in their internet browsing, in real time and with a very strong, dynamic presence. The aim is to identify a personalised "slice" of the web associated with each user with a view to personalising a number of services, from recommendation to browsing and searching for information.
There are plenty of practical and theoretical challenges, and the project focuses, in particular, on:

  • managing and representing heterogeneous interests so as to calculate similarities between user profiles in a multi-application context.
  • upscaling of the underlying infrastructure, potentially involving Cloud servers and user machines to manage interests and ever more dynamic content flows.
  • enabling users to control their own data, in order to take privacy and anonymity concerns into account.

Anne-Marie Kermarrec, Rachid Guerraoui, a professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Director of the LPD (Laboratory of Distributed Programming), and their respective teams will set about tackling these multiple challenges, from theoretical and practical perspectives, through randomised epidemic algorithms, profile obfuscation techniques to deal with privacy concerns, and finally, hybrid architectures, combining the benefits of decentralised and client-server infrastructures in order to exploit the Cloud infrastructure while delegating some complex calculations to user machines, all fields in which their teams have extensive experience.

Keywords: Google focused award INRIA Rennes - Bretagne Atlantique Anne-Marie Kermarrec ASAP Social web