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Experience feedback : Inria Labcom SMILK

In January 2014, Inria and the company VISEO launched a joint laboratory called SMILK (Social Media Intelligence and Linked Knowledge), for a duration of three years. The aim of this joint laboratory was to accelerate the analysis of Web and social media content and data.

The three fields covered, and in particular their interaction in order to assist with the analysis of Web content, were: natural language processing, linked open data and the social Web with its social media. 

The partners have, together, won the French National Research Agency's ANR SIDES 3.0 project.

The company

VISEO is an intermediate-sized French company of 1,200 people, well-positioned on the international market. Its areas of activity are business intelligence, information systems and digital marketing. VISEO has a structure dedicated to innovation that works on several technologies: IoT, Chatbot, Block chain and cognitive sciences. The joint laboratory was built with its own research centre, which includes around ten people and whose core activity focuses on data analysis.

The Inria project team

The Wimmics project-team is an EPC, shared by Université Côte d’Azur, Inria, CNRS ans I3S. The themes addressed by SMILK fall directly within the scope of the research subjects tackled by the Wimmics project team (semantic Web, combination of language processing and linked data, analysis of social media).


This joint laboratory developed a system capable of identifying, 'on the fly', the relevant entities and the relations they maintain within a Web page. This work not only resulted in joint publications but also in the construction and publication of data and, in particular, the ProVoc ontology.

The demonstrator, which is very innovative with regard to its understanding of natural language and data navigation aspect, has been used by VISEO in numerous exhibitions, with a positive impact on its customers. Moreover, thanks to the skills acquired, VISEO has won two calls for tender issued by SNCF Innovation et Recherche (French national railways innovation and research department). The first project is a semantic search engine in technical documentation, and the second focuses on the search for information in social networks.

What has worked well throughout the duration of this project is the strong involvement of the forces we have dedicated to it: regular exchanges on the VISEO and Inria sites have fuelled the collaboration in order to achieve, together, the results visible on the demonstrator. 

                 Frédérique Segond, director of research of the VISEO Group and associate professor at INALCO

Keywords: Smilk Social web Inria Innovation Lab WIMMICS Semantic Web