Grid Computing and High Performance Computing

With the use of high performance computing, Computational sciences enable us to explore uncharted fields of science, and it has now become indispensable for the development of science and technology of the 21st century. High performance computing systems used for cutting-edge computational science have reached to the petaflop performance (a million billion calculations per second), and will be targeted to the next generation of exascale systems.

The aim of the collaboration is to contribute in establishing software technologies, languages and programming models to explore extreme performance computing beyond petascale computing. The ability to program future high-performance systems efficiently is considered by all national research agencies worldwide as a strategic issue. Post-petascale systems and future exascale computers are expected to have an ultra large-scale and highly hierarchical architecture with nodes of many-core processors and accelerators. That implies that existing systems, languages, programming paradigms and parallel algorithms would have, at best, to be adapted, and often to be developed in many new ways. To manage these ultra large-scale parallel systems, we also require new adaptive and heterogeneous runtime systems, allowing to manage huge distributed data, minimizing the energy consumption and with fault resilient properties.

Images and Multimedia

There are many potential applications for Virtual Reality such as realistic simulators for industrial applications, games, entertainment, culture and education. However, an improvement of the realism in immersive environments is neededfor the enrichment of the immersive experience and issues such as complex interactions, virtual characters and multimodal interfaces (vision, sound, tracking and gesture analysis, etc) have to be investigated in order to obtain the best possible feeling of immersion. This research area has to be understood in a broad sense, encompassing virtual reality, augmented and mixed reality, ubiquitous environments, sound environments, that is, all advanced interactive environments where humans interact with computers through multimodal interfaces. Also another related collaborative research is concerned with Multimedia content analysis and retrieval, as key technologies in the next generation broadband network environment.

When combined together, these technologies will lead to next-generation digital contents and engender many applications in the domain of art, entertainment, traditional culture, archiving of historical heritage, and education. Contents-oriented research and development will effectively push these technologies into industries and the society.

Next Generation Internet

 The area of networking at large and the one of the future Internet are a scientific and technological priority in many countries because of the importance of the Internet on our society and of the economical impact that it is going to continue to produce. This is the reason why this area is strongly supported in Europe (IST FP7), in the USA (NSF FIND/GENI initiatives) and in Japan (the AKARI project). It is interesting to notice that France and Japan have anticipated this evolution and clearly identify their complementarities in this area. Indeed, France and Japan have a good academic and industrial presence in the area of telecommunications; and a critical mass can be achieved by joining efforts and complementary skills, enabling a higher visibility and competitiveness.

The general theme of the cooperation is the future internet and the main focus is: (i) mobility in the internet (e.g. location-aware mobile communication and multimedia data transmission form mobile users) and (ii) monitoring and internet measurement in order to better understand the internet but also prepare for self-management. The cooperation also studies important borderline problems, such as sensor networks, delay tolerant networks, as well as network security.

Quantum Computing

 Quantum information processing has been intensely investigated both theoretically and experimentally in the last decade, and, with the integration of research efforts in different fields of science, it is now coming into a stage to lay the foundation for further quantum information technology. Building a quantum computer is now a major research effort, with numerous research groups in several countries working towards that. At the same time, coming up with more applications for quantum computers (in the form of new quantum algorithms and new quantum communication protocols) and understanding the potential and limitations of quantum computing, remains an important research challenge.

The collaboration is developing around four inter-related subprojects:

(i) Quantum Cryptography and Communication,

(ii) Quantum Algorithms, such as algorithms for graph properties, networks and quantum walks,

(iii) the role of entanglement and the theoretical and experimental building blocks for a realisable technology, and

(iv) the feasibility of large scale Quantum computation and communication.

Software, Programming Models and Formal Methods

 The development of software is one of the classical domains of Information Technology and a key challenge is to provide more reliable software. This is one of the very basic requirements for our 21st Century society to be safe since some software is used as infrastructures and safety control systems for our society; failures of software controlling the infrastructure of the society would result in very serious damages.

At the fundamental and basic research level, Formal Methods, using the logical and mathematical methodology, provide the foundations of secure and safe software for practical and crucial applications.

At the intermediate level of programming models, new programming paradigms have emerged in the last decades and they are more and more applied to concrete problems and applications, such as for instance Multi-Agent Systems for real-time simulation and Constraint Programming for combinatorial search and optimization.

Finally at a practical level, at the intersection between Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering, the engineering of Ambient Intelligence is a new domain aiming at producing joint development of complete software-hardware systems and platforms, for instance cognitive agents and sensor networks in a pervasive environment.