Section: Research Program
Experimental research and software development
We develop a high quality open source software platform called gudhi which is becoming a reference in geometric and topological data analysis in high dimensions. The goal is not to provide code tailored to the numerous potential applications but rather to provide the central data structures and algorithms that underlie applications in geometric and topological data analysis.
The development of the gudhi platform also serves to benchmark and optimize new algorithmic solutions resulting from our theoretical work. Such development necessitates a whole line of research on software architecture and interface design, heuristics and fine-tuning optimization, robustness and arithmetic issues, and visualization. We aim at providing a full programming environment following the same recipes that made up the success story of the cgal library, the reference library in computational geometry.
Some of the algorithms implemented on the platform will also be interfaced to other software platform, such as the R software (https://www.r-project.org/) for statistical computing, and languages such as Python in order to make them usable in combination with other data analysis and machine learning tools. A first attempt in this direction has been done with the creation of an R package called TDA in collaboration with the group of Larry Wasserman at Carnegie Mellon University (Inria Associated team CATS) that already includes some functionalities of the gudhi library and implements some joint results between our team and the CMU team. A similar interface with the Python language is also considered a priority. To go even further towards helping users, we will provide utilities that perform the most common tasks without requiring any programming at all.