GEOSTAT is a research project which investigates the analysis of some classes of natural complex signals (physiological time series, turbulent universe and earth observation data sets) by determining, in acquired signals, the properties that are predicted by commonly admitted or new physical models best fitting the phenomenon. Consequently, when statistical properties discovered in the signals do not match closely enough those predicted by accepted physical models, we question the validity of existing models or propose, whenever possible, modifications or extensions of existing models. A new direction of research, based on the CONCAUST exploratory action and the newly accepted (in February 2021) associated team COMCAUSA proposed by N. Brodu with USA / UC Davis, Complexity Sciences Center, Physics Department is developped in the team.

An important aspect of the methodological approach is that we don't rely on a predetermined "universal" signal processing model to analyze natural complex signals. Instead, we take into consideration existing approaches in nonlinear signal processing (wavelets, multifractal analysis tools such as log-cumulants or micro-canonical multifractal formalism, time frequency analysis etc.) which are used to determine the micro structures or other micro features inside the acquired signals. Then, statistical analysis of these micro data are determined and compared to expected behaviour from theoretical physical models used to describe the phenomenon from which the data is acquired. From there different possibilities can be contemplated:

GEOSTAT is a research project in nonlinear signal processing which develops on these considerations: it considers the signals as the realizations of complex extended dynamical systems. The driving approach is to describe the relations between complexity (or information content) and the geometric organization of information in a signal. For instance, for signals which are acquisitions of turbulent fluids, the organization of information may be related to the effective presence of a multiscale hierarchy of coherent structures, of multifractal nature, which is strongly related to intermittency and multiplicative cascade phenomena ; the determination of this geometric organization unlocks key nonlinear parameters and features associated to these signals; it helps understand their dynamical properties and their analysis. We use this approach to derive novel solution methods for super-resolution and data fusion in Universe Sciences acquisitions 12. Specific advances are obtained in GEOSTAT in using this type of statistical/geometric approach to get validated dynamical information of signals acquired in Universe Sciences, e.g. Oceanography or Astronomy. The research in GEOSTAT encompasses nonlinear signal processing and the study of emergence in complex systems, with a strong emphasis on geometric approaches to complexity. Consequently, research in GEOSTAT is oriented towards the determination, in real signals, of quantities or phenomena, usually unattainable through linear methods, that are known to play an important role both in the evolution of dynamical systems whose acquisitions are the signals under study, and in the compact representations of the signals themselves.

Signals studied in GEOSTAT belong to two broad classes:

Every signal conveys, as a measure experiment, information on the physical system whose signal is an acquisition of. As a consequence, it seems natural that signal analysis or compression should make use of physical modelling of phenomena: the goal is to find new methodologies in signal processing that goes beyond the simple problem of interpretation. Physics of disordered systems, and specifically physics of (spin) glasses is putting forward new algorithmic resolution methods in various domains such as optimization, compressive sensing etc. with significant success notably for NP hard problem heuristics. Similarly, physics of turbulence introduces phenomenological approaches involving multifractality. Energy cascades are indeed closely related to geometrical manifolds defined through random processes. At these structures’ scales, information in the process is lost by dissipation (close to the lower bound of inertial range). However, all the cascade is encoded in the geometric manifolds, through long or short distance correlations depending on cases. How do these geometrical manifold structures organize in space and time, in other words, how does the scale entropy cascades itself ? To unify these two notions, a description in term of free energy of a generic physical model is sometimes possible, such as an elastic interface model in a random nonlinear energy landscape : This is for instance the correspondence between compressible stochastic Burgers equation and directed polymers in a disordered medium. Thus, trying to unlock the fingerprints of cascade-like structures in acquired natural signals becomes a fundamental problem, from both theoretical and applicative viewpoints.

The research described in this section is a collaboration effort of GEOSTAT, CNRS LEGOS (Toulouse), CNRS LAM (Marseille Laboratory for Astrophysics), MERCATOR (Toulouse), IIT Roorkee, Moroccan Royal Center for Teledetection (CRST), Moroccan Center for Science CNRST, Rabat University, University of Heidelberg. Researchers involved:

The analysis and modeling of natural phenomena, specially those observed in geophysical sciences and in astronomy, are influenced by statistical and multiscale phenomenological descriptions of turbulence; indeed these descriptions are able to explain the partition of energy within a certain range of scales. A particularly important aspect of the statistical theory of turbulence lies in the discovery that the support of the energy transfer is spatially highly non uniform, in other terms it is intermittent47. Because of the absence of localization of the Fourier transform, linear methods are not successful to unlock the multiscale structures and cascading properties of variables which are of primary importance as stated by the physics of the phenomena. This is the reason why new approaches, such as DFA (Detrented Fluctuation Analysis), Time-frequency analysis, variations on curvelets 45 etc. have appeared during the last decades. Recent advances in dimensionality reduction, and notably in Compressive Sensing, go beyond the Nyquist rate in sampling theory using nonlinear reconstruction, but data reduction occur at random places, independently of geometric localization of information content, which can be very useful for acquisition purposes, but of lower impact in signal analysis. We are successfully making use of a microcanonical formulation of the multifractal theory, based on predictability and reconstruction, to study the turbulent nature of interstellar molecular or atomic clouds. Another important result obtained in GEOSTAT is the effective use of multiresolution analysis associated to optimal inference along the scales of a complex system. The multiresolution analysis is performed on dimensionless quantities given by the singularity exponents which encode properly the geometrical structures associated to multiscale organization. This is applied successfully in the derivation of high resolution ocean dynamics, or the high resolution mapping of gaseous exchanges between the ocean and the atmosphere; the latter is of primary importance for a quantitative evaluation of global warming. Understanding the dynamics of complex systems is recognized as a new discipline, which makes use of theoretical and methodological foundations coming from nonlinear physics, the study of dynamical systems and many aspects of computer science. One of the challenges is related to the question of emergence in complex systems: large-scale effects measurable macroscopically from a system made of huge numbers of interactive agents 26, 42. Some quantities related to nonlinearity, such as Lyapunov exponents, Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy etc. can be computed at least in the phase space 27. Consequently, knowledge from acquisitions of complex systems (which include complex signals) could be obtained from information about the phase space. A result from F. Takens 46 about strange attractors in turbulence has motivated the theoretical determination of nonlinear characteristics associated to complex acquisitions. Emergence phenomena can also be traced inside complex signals themselves, by trying to localize information content geometrically. Fundamentally, in the nonlinear analysis of complex signals there are broadly two approaches: characterization by attractors (embedding and bifurcation) and time-frequency, multiscale/multiresolution approaches.
In real situations, the phase space associated to the acquisition of a complex phenomenon is unknown. It is however possible to relate, inside the signal's domain, local predictability to local reconstruction 13 and to deduce relevant information associated to multiscale geophysical signals 14. A multiscale organization is a fundamental feature of a complex system, it can be for example related to the cascading properties in turbulent systems. We make use of this kind of description when analyzing turbulent signals: intermittency is observed within the inertial range and is related to the fact that, in the case of FDT (fully developed turbulence), symmetry is restored only in a statistical sense, a fact that has consequences on the quality of any nonlinear signal representation by frames or dictionaries.

The example of FDT as a standard "template" for developing general methods that apply to a vast class of complex systems and signals is of fundamental interest because, in FDT, the existence of a multiscale hierarchy critical exponents which explain the macroscopic properties of a system around critical points, and the quantitative characterization of universality classes, which allow the definition of methods and algorithms that apply to general complex signals and systems, and not only turbulent signals: signals which belong to a same universality class share common statistical organization. During the past decades, canonical approaches permitted the development of a well-established analogy taken from thermodynamics in the analysis of complex signals: if

We show in figure 1 the result of the computation of singularity exponents on an Herschel astronomical observation map (the Musca galactic cloud) which has been edge-aware filtered using sparse

The team is working on a new class of models for modeling physical systems, starting from measured data and accounting for their dynamics 32. The idea is to statistically describe the evolution of a system in terms of causally-equivalent states; states that lead to the same predictions 28. Transitions between these states can be reconstructed from data, leading to a theoretically-optimal predictive model 44. In practice, however, no algorithm is currently able to reconstruct these models from data in a reasonable time and without substantial discrete approximations. Recent progress now allows a continuous formulation of predictive causal models. Within this framework, more efficient algorithms may be found. The broadened class of predictive models promises a new perspective on structural complexity in many applications.

Phonetic and sub-phonetic analysis: We developed a novel algorithm for automatic detection of Glottal Closure Instants (GCI) from speech signals using the Microcanonical Multiscale Formalism (MMF). This state of the art algorithm is considered as a reference in this field. We made a Matlab code implementing it available to the community (link). Our approach is based on the Microcanonical Multiscale Formalism. We showed that in the case of clean speech, our algorithm performs almost as well as a recent state-of-the-art method. In presence of different types of noises, we showed that our method is considerably more accurate (particularly for very low SNRs). Moreover, our method has lower computational times does not rely on an estimate of pitch period nor any critical choice of parameters. Using the same MMF, we also developed a method for phonetic segmentation of speech signal. We showed that this method outperforms state of the art ones in term of accuracy and efficiency.

Pathological speech analysis and classification: we made a critical analysis of some widely used methodologies in pathological speech classification. We then introduced some novel methods for extracting some common features used in pathological speech analysis and proposed more robust techniques for classification.

Speech analysis of patients with Parkinsonism: with our collaborators from the Czech Republic, we started preliminary studies of some machine learning issues in the field essentially due the small amount of training data.

Data are often acquired at the highest possible resolution, but that scale is not necessarily the best for modeling and understanding the system from which data was measured. The intrinsic properties of natural processes do not depend on the arbitrary scale at which data is acquired; yet, usual analysis techniques operate at the acquisition resolution. When several processes interact at different scales, the identification of their characteristic scales from empirical data becomes a necessary condition for properly modeling the system. A classical method for identifying characteristic scales is to look at the work done by the physical processes, the energy they dissipate over time. The assumption is that this work matches the most important action of each process on the studied natural system, which is usually a reasonable assumption. In the framework of time-frequency analysis 36, the power of the signal can be easily computed in each frequency band, itself matching a temporal scale.

However, in open and dissipating systems, energy dissipation is a prerequisite and thus not necessarily the most useful metric to investigate. In fact, most natural, physical and industrial systems we deal with fall in this category, while balanced quasi-static assumptions are practical approximation only for scales well below the characteristic scale of the involved processes. Open and dissipative systems are not locally constrained by the inevitable rise in entropy, thus allowing the maintaining through time of mesoscopic ordered structures. And, according to information theory 38, more order and less entropy means that these structures have a higher information content than the rest of the system, which usually gives them a high functional role.

We propose to identify characteristic scales not only with energy dissipation, as usual in signal processing analysis, but most importantly with information content. Information theory can be extended to look at which scales are most informative (e.g. multi-scale entropy 31,

Building on these notions, it should also possible to fully automate the modeling of a natural system. Once characteristic scales are found, causal relationships can be established empirically. They are then clustered together in internal states of a special kind of Markov models called

This research topic involves Geostat team and is used to set up an InnovationLab with I2S company

Sparsity can be used in many ways and there exist various sparse models in the literature; for instance minimizing the

We have shown that the two powerful concepts of sparsity and scale invariance can be exploited to design fast and efficient imaging algorithms. A general framework has been set up for using non-convex sparsity by applying a first-order approximation. When using a proximal solver to estimate a solution of a sparsity-based optimization problem, sparse terms are always separated in subproblems that take the form of a proximal operator. Estimating the proximal operator associated to a non-convex term is thus the key component to use efficient solvers for non-convex sparse optimization. Using this strategy, only the shrinkage operator changes and thus the solver has the same complexity for both the convex and non-convex cases. While few previous works have also proposed to use non-convex sparsity, their choice of the sparse penalty is rather limited to functions like the

Edge aware smoothing: given an input image

where

We solve sub-problem

GeoStat is participating in the Covid-19 Inria mission: : Vocal biomarkers of respiratory diseases.

A. El Aouni, PhD student in Geostat receives the "Prix de thèse Systèmes complexes" CNRS ISC-PIF 2020 for his PhD "Lagrangian coherent structures and physical processes of coastal upwelling" defended September 24, 2019.

Use of proximal and non quadratic minimization. GPU implementation. If f is an input image, one seeks an output g such that the following functional is minimized:

l/2*(norme2(f-g) + psi(grad(g))) with : l positive constant, norme2 = L2 norm, psi is a Cauchy function used for parcimony.

This functional is also applied for debayerization.

The exploratory action « TRACME » was renamed « CONCAUST » and is going on with good progress. Collaboration with James P. Crutchfield and its laboratory has lead to a first draft of article, “Discovering Causal Structure with Reproducing-Kernel Hilbert Space

-Machines”, available at

https://. That article poses the main theoretical fundations for building a new class of models, able to reconstruct a measured process « causal states » from data.

Collaboration has also started on the application of this method for:

GeoStat made a significant contribution to the Covid-19 mission of Inria. Indeed, from the first lockdown, K. Daoudi identified the potential of speech processing for the management of Covid patients in tele-medicine. His proposal aroused the interest of Inria, MESRI and the medical profession and he has since been leading the CovidVoice project. The latter then evolved into the VocaPnée project in partnership with AP-HP and co-directed by K. Daoudi and Thomas Similowski, responsible for the pulmonology and resuscitation service at La Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital and UMR-S 1158. The objective of the VocaPnée project is to bring together all the skills available at Inria to develop and validate a vocal biomarker for the remote monitoring of patients at home suffering from an acute respiratory disease (such as Covid) or chronic (such as asthma) . This biomarker will then be integrated into a telemedicine platform, ORTIF or COVIDOM for Covid, to assist the doctors in assessing the patient's respiratory status. VocaPnée is divided into 2 longitudinal pilot clinical studies, a hospital study and another in tele-medicine.

In this context, a voice data collection platform, https://

Observations of the interstellar medium (ISM) show a complex density and velocity structure which is in part attributed to turbulence. We here present a self-contained introduction to the multifractal formalism in a microcanonical version which allows us for the first time to compute precise turbulence characteristic parameters from a single observational map without the need for averages in a grand ensemble of statistical observables.

Dense molecular filaments are ubiquituous in the interstellar medium, yet their internal physical conditions and the role of gravity, turbulence, the magnetic field, radiation and the ambient cloud during their evolution remain debated. We study the kinematics and physical conditions in the Musca filament, the ambient cloud and the Chamaeleon-Musca complex, to constrain the physics of filament formation.

Publication: Astronomy & Astrophysics, HAL, plus another paper accepted in 2021 in Astronomy & Astrophysics,

It is a challenge to develop methods which can process the PolSAR and multispectral (MS) data modalities together without losing information from either for remote sensing applications. This research attempts to introduce novel deep learning based remote sensing data processing frameworks that utilizes convolutional neural networks (CNNs) in both spatial and spectral domains to perform land cover (LC) classification with PolSAR-MS data. Also since earth observation remotely sensed data have usually larger spectral depth than normal camera image data, exploiting the spectral information in remote sensing (RS) data is crucial as well. In fact, convolutions in the sub-spectral space are intuitive and alternative to the process of feature selection.

Publication: International Journal of Remote Sensing, HAL

Analysis and study of coastal upwelling using sea surface temperature (SST) satellite images is a common procedure because of its coast effectiveness (economic, time, frequency, and manpower). Developing on the Ekman theory, we propose a robust method to identify the upwelling regions along the northwest African margin. The proposed method comes to overcome the issues encountered in a recent method devoted for the same purpose and for the same upwelling system. Afterward, we show how our method can serve as a framework to study and monitor the spatio-temporal variability of the upwelling phenomenon in the studied region.

Publication: IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, HAL

We study the transport properties of mesoscale eddies (i.e. vortices of 100-200 km in diameter) over a finite time duration. While these oceanic structures are well-known to stir and mix surrounding water, they can also carry and transport water properties in a coherent manner. In this paper, we are interested in dynamic transport properties of these coherent structures, despite their chaotic environment. Here, we reveal that such vortices can be identified based a simple decomposition of their Lagrangian trajectories. We identify and extract coherent vortices as material lines along which particles' trajectories share similar polar rotations. The proposed method identifies coherent vortices and their centers in automatic manner. We illustrate our new method by identifying and extracting Lagrangian coherent vortices in different two-dimensional flows.

Publication: Physics of Fluids, American Institute of Physics, HAL

We describe here experiments on the mechanics of hydrogel particle packings from the Behringer's lab, performed between 2012 and 2015. These experiments quantify the evolution of all contact forces inside soft particle packings exposed to compression, shear and the intrusion of a large intruder. The experimental set-ups and processes are presented and the data are concomitantly published in a repository.

Publication: Granular Matter, HAL

We propose a speckle removal denois-ing algorithm for synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images. The approach is based on the concept of extracting informative feature (based on the concept of multifractal decomposition of signals) from a speckle-induced SAR image and then estimating a noise-free image from the gradients restricted to those features. The experimental results show that the proposed technique not only improves the visual quality of the SAR images but also effectively preserves their texture. Comparison with the classical and state-of-the-art denoising techniques shows the advantages of the proposed scheme, both visually and quantitatively.

Publication: IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, HAL

Oceanic fields display a large variability over large temporal and spatial scales. One way to characterize such variability, borrowed from the field of turbulence, is to consider scaling regimes and multi-scaling properties.

The Bay of Biscay and the English Channel, in the Northeastern Atlantic, are considered as a natural laboratory to explore the coastal dynamics at different spatial and temporal scales. In those regions, the coastal circulation is constrained by a complex topography (e.g. varying width of the continental shelf, canyons), river runoffs, strong tides and a seasonally contrasted wind-driven circulation. Based on different numerical model experiments (from 400m to 4km spatial resolution, from 40 to 100 sigma vertical layers using 3D primitive equation ocean models), different features of the Bay of Biscay and English Channel circulation are assessed and explored. Both spatial (submesoscale and mesoscale) and temporal (from hourly to monthly) scales are considered.

The InnovationLab with I2S is extended one year starting 1st February 2021.

In 2020, one main task was to develop image processing algorithms for 3D stereo imaging. Such algorithms improve the quality of noisy and distorted disparity maps that can be used to reconstruct 3D objects. A. Zebadua was responsible for assisting the two research engineers who implemented the algorithms in C++.

A. Zebadua is also responsible for the co-supervision of the Ph.D. of Arash Rashidi worked with him in the development of fast image deconvolution algorithms.

InnovationLab with I2S company, starting scheduled after 1st 2019 COPIL in January 2019. This InnovationLab is extended one year starting February 2021.

The project of associated team COMCAUSA proposed by N. Brodu with USA / UC Davis, Complexity Sciences Center, Physics Department, is accepted, starting Feburary 2021.

Jim Crutchfield (Distinguished Prof.) http://

N. Schneider I. Physik. Institut, University of Cologne, Zülpicher Str. 77, 50937 Cologne, Germany.

GENESIS Project (Geostat, Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux, Physics Inst. Köln University).

GENeration et Evolution de la Structure InterStellaire (GENESIS) (GENreration and Evolution of Structure in the ISm).

Participation in the Covid-19 Inria mission: Vocal biomarkers of respiratory diseases. The CovidVoice project evolved into the VocaPnée project in partnership with AP-HP and co-directed by K. Daoudi and Thomas Similowski, responsible for the pulmonology and resuscitation service at La Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital and UMR-S 1158. The objective of the VocaPnée project is to bring together all the skills available at Inria to develop and validate a vocal biomarker for the remote monitoring of patients at home suffering from an acute respiratory disease (such as Covid) or chronic (such as asthma) . This biomarker will then be integrated into a telemedicine platform, ORTIF or COVIDOM for Covid, to assist the doctors in assessing the patient's respiratory status. VocaPnée is divided into 2 longitudinal pilot clinical studies, a hospital study and another in tele-medicine.

In this context, a voice data collection platform, https://

H. Yahia is reviewer for the IGARSS conference.

A. Zebadua and H. Yahia are co-supervising A. Rashidi's Phd thesis.