Section: Scientific Foundations
This section is the prospective part of the report written for the Evaluation Seminar that took place in November 2007 for the INRIA theme COG A, to which TAO belongs. Because this was a unique opportunity to re-think the objectives of the project after 4 years of activity, it naturally becomes the Scientific Foundations of TAO activities for the next 4 years.
Four main objectives have been identified, related to scientific bottlenecks of Machine Learning and Stochastic Optimisation. The first one, illustrated by the results discussed in sections 6.1 and 6.3 , is devoted to the search of representations with desirable properties. The second one, exploiting the prominent successes obtained with Multi-Armed Bandit algorithms and MoGo (section 6.2.3 ), considers the various challenges raised by extending MAB algorithms to dynamic contexts and hostile environments. The third one will investigate the conceptual and algorithmic shift required to deal with modern computing architectures. The fourth one is concerned with Crossing the Chasm (Geoffrey A. Moore, Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customer , 1991), and making algorithmic advances available to the whole (digital) society.
These objectives are relevant to the main research projects in our agenda. For the sake of completeness the projects starting end 2007 or in 2008 are listed below as they do not appear in section 7.1 :
Adaptive Combinatorial Search , joint project with Microsoft Research (M. Schoenauer and Y. Hamadi, Microsoft Research Cambridge, coordinators), aims at the automatic tuning of search and optimization algorithms, from heuristics to meta-heuristics (more precisely Evolutionary Computation). Both off-line and on-line tunings will be investigated.
SYMBRION, an FP7 IP (Integrated Project), coordinated by Sergey Kornienko (Univ. Stuttgart), involving 10 partners from Robotics (Electronics and Mechanics), Evolutionary Biology, and Computer Science (working on bio-inspired complex systems). Integrating hardware and software design, Symbrion IP aims at designing autonomous swarm robots. The software will involve both time-scales of evolutionary learning and on-line learning, in direct connection with TAO research themes.
Observatory of the EGEE Grid (WP in EGEE-III, C. Germain coordinator). Resuming earlier studies in EGEE-II, the Grid Observatory will integrate the collection and publication of traces of the EGEE grid and users with the development of models and ontology of the domain knowledge.
DigiBrain, a Digiteo project, coordinated by J.-D. Muller (CEA-LIST) and M. Sebag, involves CEA, INRIA, LRI and Neurospin (S. Dehaene and J.-B. Poline). DigiBrain will investigate EEG-based interfaces for neuroscience studies and Human Computer Interaction.