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Start-up Aetheris

AB - 2/09/2015

Aetheris, algorithms to help us travel better

In the price comparison jungle, planning a trip can sometimes be difficult. With Aetheris, researcher Chedy Raïssi's goal is to help users to truly customise their journeys as simply as possible.

Can you tell us about your background?

Chedy Raïssi : I am of Tunisian-Egyptian nationality and studied in France, and in Montpellier in particular, where I did my master's (DEA) in computer science and presented a thesis on sequence analysis in data flows. I was then a post-doctoral student in Singapore, and today I am a researcher at Inria Nancy - Grand Est, in the Orpailleur project team.

What made you want to become involved in travel planning?

Chedy Raïssi : The initial idea came from a personal observation : when you're looking for a plane ticket, existing platforms are more often than not quite limited and do not, for example, allow you to integrate specific preferences - such as the length of stopovers, the desired level of comfort or the choice of airline. This flaw really was a light bulb moment that encouraged me to work on this subject.

In what ways is your research project innovative?

Chedy Raïssi : Today, the big data sphere is so voluminous that it is becoming difficult to work with traditional management tools. Only a computing power created from additional filters can refine a search and provide a satisfactory solution for increasingly demanding customers. That is the aim of my work : adding algorithms that refine selection and truly place the user at the heart of the search.

How will it work?

Chedy Raïssi : Incredibly simply. The users can express their preferences in natural language. The answers will be clear and instantaneous : the user will no longer have to sort through long lists of results that will then need to be compared with other types of travel on other sites. It demonstrates that the correct combination of algorithms can make computing more precise and so make our lives easier. There are many possibilities, and most of all they can be applied to several sectors.

You received an award in the i-LAB national competition in the "Emergence" category - what will that bring you?

Chedy Raïssi : Thanks to this distinction, we are going to be able to study the feasibility of our project and measure how this solution could change the current landscape of online tourism. At the moment I am working with Johan Brissaud, a computer engineer, and Hadel Grairia, a business development consultant. However in order to progress even further, the Aetheris research team must be strengthened. Between now and October, we will focus on collecting a maximum of data in order to increase the density of our project, and then we will think about setting up the company.

Have you always wanted to set up a start-up?

Chedy Raïssi : In the beginning, I really didn't have the start-up mentality, but when I measured the potential of travel planning and most of all its appeal for a very large number of users, I quickly understood that I had to go towards this type of structure.  I am optimistic with regard to its development, especially since the management team at Inria fully supports its researchers. As soon as the results are there, they trust and support us. That's already a lot.

Can you tell us about your background?

Chedy Raïssi : I am of Tunisian-Egyptian nationality and studied in France, and in Montpellier in particular, where I did my master's (DEA) in computer science and presented a thesis on sequence analysis in data flows.  I was then a post-doctoral student in Singapore, and today I am a researcher at Inria Nancy Grand Est, in the Orpailleur project team.

What made you want to become involved in travel planning?

Chedy Raïssi : The initial idea came from a personal observation: when you're looking for a plane ticket, existing platforms are more often than not quite limited and do not, for example, allow you to integrate specific preferences - such as the length of stopovers, the desired level of comfort or the choice of airline. This flaw really was a light bulb moment that encouraged me to work on this subject.

In what ways is your research project innovative?

Chedy Raïssi : Today, the big data sphere is so voluminous that it is becoming difficult to work with traditional management tools. Only a computing power created from additional filters can refine a search and provide a satisfactory solution for increasingly demanding customers. That is the aim of my work: adding algorithms that refine selection and truly place the user at the heart of the search.

Keywords: Chedy Raïssi Aetheris I-Lab Innovation Technology transfer Travel planning

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