Focus Research Team
Focus (FOundations of Component-based Ubiquitous Systems) is a joint effort between the Institut national de recherche en informatique et automatique (INRIA)
the University of Bologna
(Italy), and with the external participation of Foundation Bruno Kessler (FBK)
(Trento, Italy) and Ecole normale supérieure (ENS) de Lyon
On the INRIA side Focus is affiliated with the Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée
Research Team Presentation
Ubiquitous Computing (UC) refers to the situation in which computing
facilities are embedded or integrated into everyday objects and
activities. Networks are large-scale, including both hardware devices
and software agents. In UC, the systems are highly mobile and dynamic:
programs or devices may move and often execute in networks owned and
operated by others; new devices or software pieces may be added, the
operating environment or the software requirements may change. The systems
are also heterogeneous (the pieces that form a system may be
quite different from each other), and open (the constituents of
a system only have a partial knowledge of the overall system, and may only
know, or are aware of, a subset of the entities that operate on the
A prominent recent phenomenon in Computer Science is the emerging of
interaction and communication as key architectural and programming
This is especially visible in
Complex distributed systems are being thought and designed as structured
composition of computational units, usually referred to as
components. These components are supposed to interact with each
other and such interactions are supposed to be orchestrated into
conversions and dialogues.
Research objectives and approach
In UC, the systems are complex. As for complex systems in other
disciplines, such as physics, economics, biology, so in UC we need
theories that allow us to understand the systems, design or program
them, analyse them.
Focus investigates the semantic foundations for UC. The foundations
are intended as instrumental to formalizing and verifying important
computational properties of the systems, as well as to proposing
linguistic constructs for them. Prototypes are developed to test the
implementability and usability of the models and the techniques.
The models we study are in the process
with their emphasis on algebra,
well address compositionality---a central property
approach to problems.
Accordingly, the techniques we will employ will be mainly operational
techniques based on notions of behavioral equivalence, and
techniques based on algebra, mathematical logic, and type theory.
Collaborations and projects
We have cooperated, or are cooperating,
with various Inria Teams, including Indes, Sardes,
Moscova, with the universities of
ENS Lyon, Paris VII, Cambridge, Copenhagen, Munich, Lisbon, Sendai, and others.
We are involved in the EU projects Sensoria (Software Engineering for Service-Oriented Overlay
Computers) and Hats
(Highly Adaptable and Trustworthy Software using Formal
Models), and in a few minor national projects.
Focus web page at INRIA