Team Tosca

Overall Objectives
Scientific Foundations
Application Domains
New Results
Contracts and Grants with Industry
Other Grants and Activities

Section: Application Domains

Application Domains

Tosca is interested in developing stochastic models and probabilistic numerical methods. Our present motivations come from Finance, Neurosciences and Biology, Fluid Mechanics and Meteorology, Chemical Kinetics, Diffusions in random media, Transverse problems and Softwares and Numerical experiments.


For a long time now Tosca has collaborated with researchers and practitioners in various financial institutions and insurance companies. We are particularly interested in calibration problems, risk analysis (especially model risk analysis), optimal portfolio management, Monte Carlo methods for option pricing and risk analysis, asset and liabilities management. We also work on the partial differential equations related to financial issues, for example the stochastic control Hamilton–Jacobi–Bellman equations. We study existence, uniqueness, qualitative properties and appropriate deterministic or probabilistic numerical methods. At the time being we pay a special attention to the financial consequences induced by modelling errors and calibration errors on hedging strategies and portfolio management strategies.

Neurosciences and Biology

The interest of Tosca in biology is developing in three main directions: neurosciences, molecular dynamics and population dynamics. In neurosciences, stochastic methods are developed to analyse stochastic resonance effects and to solve inverse problems. For example, we are studying probabilistic interpretations and Monte Carlo methods for divergence form second-order differential operators with discontinuous coefficients, motivated by the 3D MEG inverse problem. Our research in molecular dynamics focus on the development of Monte Carlo methods for the Poisson-Boltzmann equation which also involves a divergence form operator, and of original algorithms to construct improved simulation techniques for protein folding or interactions. Finally, our interest in population dynamics comes from particular methods, ecology, evolution and genetics. For example, we are studying the emergence of diversity through the phenomenon of evolutionary branching in adaptive dynamics. Some collaborations in biostatistics on cancer problems are also being initiated.

Fluid Mechanics and Meteorology

In Fluid Mechanics we develop probabilistic methods to solve vanishing vorticity problems and to study the behavior of complex flows at the boundary, and their interaction with the boundary. We elaborate and analyze stochastic particle algorithms. Our studies concern the convergence analysis of these methods on theoretical test cases and the design of original schemes for applicative cases. A first example concerns the micro-macro model of polymeric fluids (the FENE model). A second example concerns Pope's Lagrangian modelling of turbulent flows, motivated by the problem of modelling and computing characteristic properties of the local wind activity in areas where windmills are built. Our goal is to estimate local resources in energy which are subject to meteorological randomness by combining large scale wind models and small scale Monte Carlo techniques, and to simulate management strategies of wind resources.

Chemical Kinetics

The Tosca team is studying coagulation and fragmentation models, that have numerous areas of applications (polymerization, aerosols, cement industry, copper industry, population dynamics,...). Our current motivation comes from the industrial copper crushers in Chile. We aim to model and calibrate the process of fragmentation of brass particles of copper in industrial crushers, in order to improve their efficiency at a low cost.

Diffusions in random media

A random medium is a material with a lot of heterogeneity which can be described only statistically. Typical examples are fissured porous media with rocks of different types, turbulent fluids or unknown or deficient materials in which polymers evolve or waves propagate. These last few years, the Tosca team has been in relation with the Geophysics community on problems related to underground diffusions, especially those which concern waste transport or oil extraction. We are extending our previous results on the simulation of diffusion processes generated by divergence form operators with discontinuous coefficients. Such an operator appears for example from the Darcy law for the behavior of a fluid in a porous media. We are also developing another class of Monte Carlo methods to simulate diffusion phenomena in discontinuous media.

Transverse problems

Several of the topics of interest of Tosca do not only concern a single area of application. This is the case of particular methods for the long time simulations of nonlinear McKean-Vlasov PDEs, the problem of simulation of multivalued models, variance reduction techniques or stochastic partial differential equations. For example, multivalued processes have applications in random mechanics or neurosciences, and variance reduction techniques have applications in any situation where Monte Carlo methods are applicable.

Software, numerical experiments

Tosca is interested in designing algorithms of resolution of specific equations in accordance with the needs of practitioners. We benefit from our strong experience on the programming of probabilistic algorithms on various architectures including intensive computation architectures. In particular, our activity will concern the development of grid computing techniques to solve large dimensional problems in Finance. We are also interested in intensively comparing various Monte Carlo methods on PDEs and in the development of open source libraries for our numerical methods in Fluid Mechanics, Meteorology, MEG or Chemical Kinetics.


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