Alain Girault

I am a senior researcher at INRIA, the French National Research Institute on Computer Science and Automatic Control. I belong to the SPADES research team, where we work on formal methods for the design and validation of real-time embedded systems, including models of computation, process calculi, component based approaches, contracts, mixed-critical systems, and data-flow models of computation. On a personal basis, I work on fault-tolerance, multi-criteria optimization, synchronous programming, models of computation, and automatic code distribution. In more details, I have been working on:

  • Synchronous programming languages (Lustre, Esterel, Signal), in particular automatic parallelization methods for such programs, higher-order data-flow, dynamic reconfiguration and code mobility. I started this research during my PhD at Verimag. More recently, I have contributed to the PRET-C and ForeC time-predictable programming languages, which are extend the C programming language with synchronous control structures.
  • Safe design methods for dependable embedded systems, in particular multi-processor static scheduling heuristics with fault-tolerance or reliability constraints, multi-criteria scheduling and optimization methods (execution time, reliability, power consumption, peak temperature), data-flow models of computation, and on scheduling for real-time systems.
  • Old research topics: discrete controller synthesis, automatic program transformations, aspect-oriented programming (AOP), automated highways and longitudinal control for autonomous vehicles.

From January to December 2008, I was on sabbatical leave in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Auckland, in New-Zeland. I worked with Partha Roop and Zoran Salcic on convertibility verification, the SystemJ programming language, and the PRETzel precision timed architecture and PRET-C programming language. I was funded by INRIA and by a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme.

From May 2011 to June 2015, I have been the head of science (aka “délégué scientifique”) for the INRIA Grenoble Rhône-Alpes research center. I supervised all aspects of the scientific life of the research center. The most visible part of this activity is the creation of the research teams and their evaluation by international panels (35 teams including 13 newly created ones and 8 initiated during my term). I also supervised the scientific relationships with our academic partners (CNRS, Lyon and Grenoble universities, and CEA) and industrial partners (large companies and SMEs, e.g., our strategic collaboration with ST Microelectronics). Finally, I co-supervised the hiring of the new junior researchers (aka CR2) and I monitored the evaluation of the center’s junior and senior researchers (aka CR1 and DR2). As the head of science, I was also a member of the INRIA Evaluation Committee, and as such I participated in all INRIA evaluation seminars and in the juries for hiring senior researchers (aka DR2).

From September 2015 to December 2018 I was one of the vice-chair of INRIA’s Evaluation Committee. As such, I co-organized the evaluation seminars of the INRIA teams (twice a year) and all the juries for the hiring and promotion of INRIA’s researchers. I also took this opportunity to work on two documents, the guidelines for senior researcher applicants, and the guidelines for the evaluation of the technology transfer.

Finally, since January 2019, I am Deputy Scientific Director at INRIA, in charge of the domain “Algorithmics, Programming, Software and Architecture”. This involves (i) surveying all the relevant research teams (40 teams in total), their creation, and their evaluation; (ii) launching and evaluating collaborative research programs; (iii) and many more tasks for Inria’s scientific management. This represents a significant amount of work and a large number of emails. I do my best to answer emails under a scheduling policy based on a mixture of FIFO, ASAP, and IF (Importance First).

Current events

Past events

FDL’20, FDL’19, ACSD’19, FDL’18, ACSD’18, SIES’18, DATE’17, …

Current students

  • Aina Rasoldier: PhD student. “Digital technologies in the anthropocene: technical, scientific and societal issues at the local level”.
  • Arash Shafiei: PhD student. “Dataflow models of computation for reconfigurable systems”.

Past students

Christophe Prévot, Hugh Wang, Nicolas Hili, Stephan Plassart, Athena Abdi, Jad Hamza, Wei-Tsun Sun, Adnan Bouakaz, Dmitry Burlyaev, Vagelis Bebelis, Peter Schrammel, Sidharta Andalam, Lies Lakhdar-Chaouch, Mouaiad Alras, Gerald Vaisman, Gwenael Delaval, Hamoudi Kalla, Christophe Le Gal, Laure France, Horia Toma.

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