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Scientific challenges

2013-2017 Strategy

Visualisation de surface alégbrique © INRIA Projet GALAAD

Thanks to its influence in the Mediterranean area, the Inria Sophia Antipolis Méditerranée research centre plays a leading role within the networks of socio-economic players in the regions inwhich it is involved. Over the next four years, its ambition is to increase the attractiveness of these ecosystems, making them centres of excellence for the poursuit of computational scientific research activities.

  • Omnipresent communication and computing
  • Computational medicine and biology
  • Modelling, simulation, and interaction with the real world

Omnipresent communication and computing

The networks and the highly heterogeneous mobile entities are deploying rapidly, and their complexity is increasing. Their proper operation and the transparency of their use constitute vital issues for our companies, since the services and applications that use them require an omnipresent, secure, reliable network. Making these complex heterogeneous networks work is a major scientific challenge requiring the development of fundamental applied research in the design of architectures and protocols as well as in the sizing, optimisation and planning of networks. They must rely on algorithmics, performance evaluation, simulation, formal methods and experimentation platforms.

In order to use these networks correctly and efficiently, the Centre's research revolves around three main areas:

  • security, trust (software security, proof on executable code properties, etc.) and robustness (tolerance for failures)
  • new network architectures (networks on chips, peer-to-peer, self-organising networks, recovery networks (computer/network overlay), computing grids, etc.), and discovery of resources
  • integration of knowledge and service into service and community networks through the semantic Web.

Computational medicine and biology

The objective is to design, implement, and verify digital and computerised models of living systems as varied as microbial ecosystems, organs of the human body, or a forest, and to identify their parameters using multi-modal measures (imaging, biological and biochemical signals, etc.). These models are called computational (or computing) models, as they make it possible to describe a living system and simulate it on a computer. This research involves the study and development of new mathematical and algorithmic tools in collaboration with several related disciplines (biology, medicine, physics, chemistry, etc.) and involves the geometric and statistical modelling of complex forms, the modelling of complex physiological processes, the construction of multi-scale representations, the resolution of inverse problems, and the assimilation of data through deterministic or stochastic methods.

The Centre focuses on four areas:

  • Computational modelling of biological, anatomical and physiological systems
  • Medical imaging and robotics, which, with the help of the previous area, seek to assist in diagnosis and personalised therapy
  • Computational neurosciences, from the modelling and measurement of neural activity to the design of bio-inspired computing and communication systems
  • Modelling of plants and ecosystems in a sustainable development context.

Modelling, simulation and interaction with the real world

Computational simulation has become a key element for understanding, modelling, designing and verifying physical, biological or societal phenomena. Well established in sophisticated industrial processes (space, transport, energy, etc.), modelling and computational simulation will be used more and more in increasingly varied sectors (risk management, industrial security, urban planning, surgery, functional rehabilitation, games, etc.). For a number of them, the additional dimension of interaction is fundamental. This interaction between virtual and real on both physical and cognitive levels then requires the creation and audiovisual rendering of a virtual or augmented environment and the fulfilment of haptic conditions for real-time interaction with the user integrating conditions of their evaluation. On another level, robotics is also a discipline in which modelling and simulation play a growing role, including on the "robot-human" interaction facet, particularly for the development of new service robots.

The Centre focuses on four areas:

  • Stochastic or multi-scale modelling for the simulation of complex or very large-scale phenomena,
  • Geometric modelling, interactive multi-modal rendering, and development of technological platforms of demos
  • Construction of realistic models from data, images, sounds and video of the real world
  • Rehabilitation robotics in immersive spaces.

Keywords: Strategy Inria Sophia Antipolis-Méditerranée Research Centre