Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

European Initiatives


The FeedNetBack proposal has been accepted as a STREP project at the FP7-ICT-2007-2 call in October 2007, for a duration of three years and will end in January 2012. It is coordinated by C. Canudas de Wit and gathers researchers from academia (INRIA-NeCS, ETH Zurich, Universidad de Sevilla, KTH Stockholm, Universita di Padova) and from industry (Ifremer, Videotec and OMG). The main objective of the FeedNetBack project is to generate a rigorous co-design framework that integrates architectural constraints and performance trade-offs from control, communication, computation, complexity and energy management. The goal is to master complexity, temporal and spatial uncertainties such as delays and bandwidth in communications and node availability. This approach enabled the development of more efficient, robust and affordable networked control systems that scale and adapt with changing application demands. The project extend the current scientific state-of-the-art in networked control and develop a set of software tools to support the co-design framework. To demonstrate the potential and limitations of the new technology, FeedNetBack applies it on two industrial test cases of realistic complexity and scale: underwater inspection systems based on fleets of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), and surveillance systems using a network of smart cameras. The control component is essential in both test cases as they require cooperation of distributed objects to achieve a common goal (http://feednetback.eu/ ). Specific issues are addressed in the project:

  • Heterogeneity: The sensor hardware and the communication means may be of different natures (different noises, bandwidths, resolution characteristics, etc.).

  • Mobility: Sensor location may not be fixed. Dynamic location of sensors will lead to varying topologies.

  • Resource management: The energy and computation capabilities of each node are generally limited.

  • Scalability: Wireless sensor networks may comprise hundreds or thousands of nodes. It is therefore crucial that the complexity of the design procedures and the resulting controllers scale slowly with the number of nodes.

  • Asynchrony: Information exchange between sensor/control units may not be synchronous in time.

Since in NCS the goal is to ensure satisfactory performance of the overall closed loop system, these problems are treated holistically through sets of performance constraints. The co-design framework aims at controlling more complex systems with a fraction of the effort, while increasing availability and reliability. The framework will enable application developers, programmers and systems integrators to fully use the potential of networked control in a wide set of industrial domains. Examples of areas where an impact is expected are the fields of factory automation, public infrastructure safety and security, transport and building maintenance. New technologies have been developed and applied in FeedNetBack to areas of society where they protect the environment and improve people's safety, security and ultimately quality of life.


HYCON2 (Highly-Complex and Networked Control Systems) is a Network of Excellence, within the European Union's FP7. It has started on September 2010, for a duration of three years. Coordinated by Françoise Lamnabhi-Lagarrigue (L2S-CNRS), it involves 26 academic institutions from all over Europe. ICT developments both enable and enforce large-scale, highly-connected systems in society and industry, but knowledge to cope with these emerging systems is still lacking. HYCON2 will stimulate and establish the long-term integration of the European research community, leading institutions and industry in the strategic field of control of complex, large-scale, and networked dynamical systems. HYCON2 will assess and coordinate basic and applied research, from fundamental analytical properties of complex systems to control design methodologies with networking, self-organizing and system-wide coordination. HYCON2 has identified several applications domains to motivate, integrate, and evaluate research in networked control. These domains are ground and aerospace transportation, electrical power networks, process industries, and biological and medical systems. Benchmarking will serve as a tool for testing and evaluating the technologies developed in HYCON2 and for stimulating and enforcing excellence by the identification and adoption of best practices. In particular, two show-case applications corresponding to real-world problems have been selected in order to demonstrate the applicability of networked control and the need for research in control. The proposed research, integration and dissemination program will make Europe both the prominent scientific and the industrial leader in the area of highly complex and networked control systems, therefore posing Europe in an extraordinary position to exploit their impact in economy and society.

The NeCS team is mainly involved in the first show case application, which corresponds to the operation of the freeway network around the Grenoble area. The recent advent of new vehicle sensing technologies provides an opportunity for innovative control applications in traffic management. The Grenoble Traffic Lab (GTL) initiative, lead by the NeCS team, has the ambition to equip massively the Grenoble south beltway with wireless magnetometers. The availability of such a reliable sensor network, designed primarily with control applications in mind, will allow to see control systems used in the field of freeway management. Control systems in road transportation are primarily involved in the management of traffic lights in urban (city corridors), and inter-urban sectors (rings highways). The target of most of the efforts in the domain is to improve the freeway efficient in an equal way to all drivers. The goal of this show case is to provide a rich set of field traffic data to the control community in order to test their algorithms on a practical real-world problem. These data will be available through a web server administered by INRIA along with all the maps describing finely the freeway under study. Historical and real time data will be available. All these data wiLL be ready for experiments and the outcomes can be provided to the road operators to judge the relevance and efficiency of the results for operational use.


TeMP (Tensor-based Information modelling and Processing) is a project funded in the framework of the French-Brazilian bilateral collaboration program (FUNCAP-INRIA). It started from August 2011 for a duration of two years and is coordinated for the French part by A. Kibangou. This project aims to study, analyze, propose and evaluate new models and techniques for digital communication systems using tensors and multilinear algebra tools, through in-depth theoretical analysis of mathematical models, optimization algorithms, and computational simulations. Indeed, new models should be developed for generalizing existing tensor models in order to allow the modeling of a wider class of communication systems for more realistic propagation channels including the cooperation among multiple nodes of a communication network (users or sensors). Due to dynamic change of parameters, tensor-based filtering algorithms need to be developed for information retrieval systems in cooperative communication. These algorithms should be distributed for avoiding network vulnerability and for a better management of computation and storage resources.