Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

European Initiatives

FP7 & H2020 Projects

Amos Korman has an ERC Consolidator Grant entitled “Distributed Biological Algorithms (DBA)”, started in May 2015. This project proposes a new application for computational reasoning. More specifically, the purpose of this interdisciplinary project is to demonstrate the usefulness of an algorithmic perspective in studies of complex biological systems. We focus on the domain of collective behavior, and demonstrate the benefits of using techniques from the field of theoretical distributed computing in order to establish algorithmic insights regarding the behavior of biological ensembles. The project includes three related tasks, for which we have already obtained promising preliminary results. Each task contains a purely theoretical algorithmic component as well as one which integrates theoretical algorithmic studies with experiments. Most experiments are strategically designed by the PI based on computational insights, and are physically conducted by experimental biologists that have been carefully chosen by the PI. In turn, experimental outcomes will be theoretically analyzed via an algorithmic perspective. By this integration, we aim at deciphering how a biological individual (such as an ant) “thinks”, without having direct access to the neurological process within its brain, and how such limited individuals assemble into ensembles that appear to be far greater than the sum of their parts. The ultimate vision behind this project is to enable the formation of a new scientific field, called algorithmic biology, that bases biological studies on theoretical algorithmic insights.

LIA Struco

Pierre Charbit is director of the LIA STRUCO, which is an Associated International Laboratory of CNRS between IÚUK, Prague, and IRIF, Paris. The director on the Czech side is Pr. Jaroslav Nešetřil. The primary theme of the laboratory is graph theory, more specifically: sparsity of graphs (nowhere dense classes of graphs, bounded expansion classes of graphs), extremal graph theory, graph coloring, Ramsey theory, universality and morphism duality, graph and matroid algorithms and model checking.

STRUCO focuses on high-level study of fundamental combinatorial objects, with a particular emphasis on comprehending and disseminating the state-of-the-art theories and techniques developed. The obtained insights shall be applied to obtain new results on existing problems as well as to identify directions and questions for future work.

One of the main goals of STRUCO is to provide a sustainable and reliable structure to help Czech and French researchers cooperate on long-term projects, disseminate the results to students of both countries and create links between these students more systematically. The chosen themes of the project indeed cover timely and difficult questions, for which a stable and significant cooperation structure is needed. By gathering an important number of excellent researchers and students, the LEA will create the required environment for making advances, which shall be achieved not only by short-term exchanges of researchers, but also by a strong involvement of Ph. D students in the learning of state-of-the-art techniques and in the international collaborations.

STRUCO is a natural place to federate and organize these many isolated collaborations between our two countries. Thus, the project would ensure long-term cooperations and allow young researchers (especially PhD students) to maintain the fruitful exchanges between the two countries in the future years, in a structured and federated way.