The Networks and Computer Science Department’s scientific work has been evolving around three main research themes: mobility, security, and complexity — where complex systems must be understood as encompassing large, complicated, distributed, open, dynamic, and possibly embedded systems. Energy efficiency is a relatively recent theme for the department, and new projects were defined and developed across different research.
Very large distributed systems are of paramount interest with particular instantiations: the Web, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Future Internet, and SmartGrid. The department recognizes the strategic importance of such systems in our society of today and tomorrow and is organizing and applying its research to these particular use cases. In parallel, attention has to be paid to ‘smart’ and communicating objects as they regroup into networks called ‘Internet of Things’ which in turn can communicate to one another, access to the Web or to a cloud and globally form an instance of a complex distributed system that was described few lines sooner.
The sheer size of these systems, data, and networks demands to revisit a number of scientific topics under a new prism. Infrastructure resilience and dependability as well as data integrity and privacy are key aspects of their viability. The efficient usage of the resources inherent to such systems necessitates the aggregation of huge amount of data generated both by the end users and the infrastructure itself (via sensors or even computation). Mobile communication requires dealing with radio resource scarcity. Cognitive radio is a promising approach together with sophisticated planning including resource sharing between carriers.
Designing, developing, and verifying such systems or networks require investigating multiple topics in multiple directions. It also requires developing for oneself a key and well-chosen set of disciplines. Last but not least, it requires partnering.
Infres’ partners can be seen along two segments: academic and industrial. Our goal is to establish and foster long term partnership in both segments, going beyond a mere research project which is traditionally three years long.
One outstanding opportunity was to participate to the unprecedented series of proposals ‘Investissements d’Avenir’ in France such as: IRT (Institut de Recherche Technologique), IEED (Institut d’Excellence sur les Energies Décarbonées), Labex, Equipex called by ANR or ADEME administrations. These projects were designed to last five to ten years opening opportunities for the department to build strategic long term relationship, particularly on Saclay Campus. However, the department had to minimize its usually important involvement in European projects in 2010 and 2011.
It is now time to refocus our partnership outside of France and the department will prioritize three geographic areas: Europe, USA, and China. Several agreements are nearing their conclusion in each of these regions. Of course, this does not mean that no other cooperation will be undertaken elsewhere, this rather means that a particular effort will be put to create and reinforce cooperation in these areas.