Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

European Initiatives

FP7 & H2020 Projects

  • Title: BrainScaleS: Brain-inspired multiscale computation in neuromorphic hybrid systems


  • Defi: Brain-inspired multiscale computation in neuromorphic hybrid systems

  • Instrument: Integrated Project (IP)

  • Objectif: FET proactive 8: Brain Inspired ICT

  • Duration: January 2011 - December 2014

  • Coordinator: Universitaet Ruprecht- Karls Heidelberg (Germany)

  • Other Partners: Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Amsterdam; Universitetet For Miljo Og Biovitenskap, Aas; Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona; University of Cambridge, Cambridge; Debreceni Egyetem, Debrecen; Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden; CNRS-UNIC, Gif-sur- Yvette; CNRS-INCM, Marseille; CNRS-ISM, Marseille; TUG, Graz; Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg; Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich; EPFL LCN, Lausanne; EPFL- BBP, Lausanne; The University Of Manchester, Manchester; KTH, Stockholm; Universität Zuürich, Zuürich

    See also http://brainscales.kip.uni-heidelberg.de/

  • Inria contact: Olivier Faugeras

  • Abstract: The BrainScaleS project aims at understanding function and interaction of multiple spatial and temporal scales in brain information processing. The fundamentally new approach of Brain-ScaleS lies in the in-vivo biological experimentation and computational analysis. Spatial scales range from individual neurons over larger neuron populations to entire functional brain areas. Temporal scales range from milliseconds relevant for event based plasticity mechanisms to hours or days relevant for learning and development. In the project generic theoretical principles will be extracted to enable an artificial synthesis of cortical-like cognitive skills. Both, numerical simulations on petaflop supercomputers and a fundamentally different non-von Neumann hardware architecture will be employed for this purpose. Neurobiological data from the early perceptual visual and somatosen- sory systems will be combined with data from specifically targeted higher cortical areas. Functional databases as well as novel project-specific experimental tools and protocols will be developed and used. New theoretical concepts and methods will be developed for understanding the computational role of the complex multi-scale dynamics of neural systems in-vivo. Innovative in-vivo experiments will be carried out to guide this analytical understanding. Multiscale architectures will be synthesized into a non-von Neumann computing device realised in custom designed electronic hardware. The proposed Hybrid Multiscale Computing Facility (HMF) combines microscopic neuromorphic physical model circuits with numerically calculated mesoscopic and macroscopic functional units and a virtual environment providing sensory, decision-making and motor interfaces. The project also plans to employ petaflop supercomputing to obtain new insights into the specific properties of the different hardware architectures. A set of demonstration experiments will link multiscale analysis of biological systems with functionally and architecturally equivalent synthetic systems and offer the possibility for quantitative statements on the validity of theories bridging multiple scales. The demonstration experiments will also explore non-von Neumann computing outside the realm of brain-science. BrainScaleS will establish close links with the EU Brain-i-Nets and the Blue Brain project at the EPFL Lausanne. The consortium consists of a core group of 10 partners with 13 indi- vidual groups. Together with other projects and groups the BrainScaleS consortium plans to make important contributions to the preparation of a future FET flagship project. This project will address the understanding and exploitation of information processing in the human brain as one of the major intellectual challenges of humanity with vast potential applications.

    This project started on January 1st, 2011 and is funded for four years.

  • Title: Mathematics of Multilevel Anticipatory Complex Systems

  • Type: Collaborative project (generic) (FP7-ICT)

  • Defi: develop a mathematical theory of complex multilevel systems and their dynamics.

  • Instrument: Integrated Project (IP)

  • Objectif: NC

  • Duration: October 2012 - September 2015

  • Coordinator: Fatihcan Atay, Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig (Germany)

  • Other Partners: Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences (Leipzig, Germany), Universität Bielefeld (Germany), Chalmers University of Technology (Gothenburg, Sweden), Ca’Foscari University of Venice (Italy), Università Politecnica delle Marche (Ancona, Italy).

    See also: http://www.mathemacs.eu/description.html

  • Inria contact: Olivier Faugeras

  • Abstract: The MATHEMACS project aims to develop a mathematical theory of complex multi-level systems and their dynamics. This is done through a general formulation based on the mathematical tools of information and dynamical systems theories. To ensure that the theoretical framework is at the same time practically applicable, three key application areas are represented within the project, namely neurobiology, human communication, and economics. These areas not only provide some of the best-known epitomes of complex multi-level systems, but also constitute a challenging test bed for validating the generality of the theory since they span a vast range of spatial and temporal scales. Furthermore, they have an important common aspect; namely, their complexity and self-organizational character is partly due to the anticipatory and predictive actions of their constituent units. The MATHEMACS project contends that the concepts of anticipation and prediction are particularly relevant for multi-level systems since they often involve different levels. Thus, as a further unique feature, the project includes the mathematical representation and modeling of anticipation in its agenda for understanding complex multi-level systems.

    This project started on October 1st, 2012 and is funded for four years.

  • Type: COOPERATION, FP7 FET (Future Emerging technology) proactive program: Neuro-Bio-Inspired Systems Call 9 Objective 9.11

  • Defi: Retina-inspired ENcoding for advanced VISION tasks (RENVISION)

  • Instrument: Specific Targeted Research Project

  • Objectif: NC

  • Duration: March 2013 - February 2016

  • Coordinator: Vittorio Murino, PAVIS, IIT (Italy)

  • Partner: PAVIS, IIT (Italy), NBT, IIT (Italy), NAPH, IIT (Italy), The Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University (UK), Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation, The University of Edimburgh (UK), Neuromathcomp project-team, Inria (France)

  • Inria contact: Pierre Kornprobst

  • Abstract: The retina is a sophisticated distributed processing unit of the central nervous system encoding visual stimuli in a highly parallel, adaptive and computationally efficient way. Recent studies show that rather than being a simple spatiotemporal filter that encodes visual information, the retina performs sophisticated non-linear computations extracting specific spatio-temporal stimulus features in a highly selective manner (e.g. motion selectivity). Understanding the neurobiological principles beyond retinal functionality is essential to develop successful artificial computer vision architectures.

    RENVISION's goal is, therefore, twofold:

    • To achieve a comprehensive understanding of how the retina encodes visual information through the different cellular layers;

    • To use such insights to develop a retina-inspired computational approach to high-level computer vision tasks.

    To this aim, exploiting the recent advances in high-resolution light microscopy 3D imaging and high-density multielectrode array technologies, RENVISION will be in an unprecedented position to investigate pan-retinal signal processing at high spatio-temporal resolution, integrating these two technologies in a novel experimental setup. This will allow for simultaneous recording from the entire population of ganglion cells and functional imaging of inner retinal layers at near-cellular resolution, combined with 3D structural imaging of the whole inner retina. The combined analysis of these complex datasets will require the development of novel multimodal analysis methods.

    Resting on these neuroscientific and computational grounds, RENVISION will generate new knowledge on retinal processing. It will provide advanced pattern recognition and machine learning technologies to ICTs by shedding a new light on how the output of retinal processing (natural or modelled) allows solving complex vision tasks such as automated scene categorization and human action recognition.

  • Type: COOPERATION, FET Flagship' project

  • Defi: Understanding the brain

  • Instrument: FET Flagship' project

  • Objectif: NC

  • Duration: October 2013 - March 2016

  • Coordinator: EPFL (Switzerland)

  • Partner: see http://www.humanbrainproject.eu .

  • Inria contact: Olivier Faugeras

  • Abstract: The Human Brain Project (HBP) is supported by the European Union as a 'FET Flagship' project and the 86 institutions involved will receive one billion euro in funding over ten years. HBP should lay the technical foundations for a new model of ICT-based brain research, driving integration between data and knowledge from different disciplines, and catalysing a community effort to achieve a new understanding of the brain, new treatments for brain disease and new brain-like computing technologies. http://www.humanbrainproject.eu