Title: Bio-inspired image and video compression schemes
The INRIA, Neuromathcomp Project Team is looking for highly motivated candidates to work in the field of computational neuroscience with a focus on information theory.

Supervised by Pierre Kornprobst, INRIA Researcher
This work is to provide strong basis to conceive novel bio-inspired video compression schemes based on realistic spiking retinal simulators. It is a very challenging and motivating subject for two main reasons: The first is that video compression techniques are now essential for most standard equipments such as HDTV and DVD, and that recent technical progress allow us to imagine more elaborated coding schemes. The second is that neuroscience and recent discoveries about the nervous system could be a source of inspiration to propose new ideas, especially if one is able to better understand the statistics of spike trains.
The first goal will be to better define for a spiking retinal simulator to be “realistic”. To do so, we will start from the Virtual Retina simulator, which is a large-scale spiking simulator developed in the team (see [1]). Virtual Retina already proved its capacity to reproduce accurately several retinal cells behaviors such as contrast gain control. We want to extend this validation to additional retinal cells behaviors by comparing the statistics of simulated and real spike trains thanks to statistical tools developed in the team (see [2]). Based on these results and, we will consider to make the parameters of the simulator evolve according to plasticity rules (see [3]).
The second goal will be to investigate decoding strategies based on simulated realistic spike trains obtained from the Virtual Retina. This work will start from some recent efforts from the team to understand how to “invert” retinal operations when still images are presented (see [4,5]) and it will be based on other related contribution not necessarily focus on the visual system such as [6].
Successful candidate is expected to interact with several researchers and PhD students coming from different disciplines and already working on the different aspects mentioned above. Mainly, the candidate will interact with Bruno Cessac (theoretical physics and mathematics), Marc Antonini (electrical engineering), and Pierre Kornprobst (mathematics and computational neuroscience). Also, other interactions corresponding to current proposals will be encouraged, for example with Adrian Palacios and Institut de la Vision.
Related references
[1] Virtual Retina: A biological retina model and simulator, with contrast gain control A. Wohrer and P. Kornprobst, Journal of Computational Neuroscience, Volume 26:2, pp. 219-249 (2009)
[2] ENAS: Event neural assembly Simulation
[3] How Gibbs distributions may naturally arise from synaptic adaptation mechanisms, B. Cessac, H. Rostro, J.C. Vasquez, T. Viéville, Journal of Statistical Physics, 136, (3), 565-602 (2009).
[4] Retinal filtering and image reconstruction, A. Wohrer, P. Kornprobst and M. Antonini, INRIA Research report no 6960, 2009
[5] A novel bio-inspired static image compression scheme for noisy data transmission over low-bandwidth channels, K. Masmoudi, M. Antonini, P. Kornprobst and L. Perrinet, ICASSP 2010, to appear.
[6] Spikes: Exploring the Neural Code. F Rieke, D Warland, R de Ruyter van Steveninck & W Bialek (MIT Press, Cambridge, 1997)
Deadline to apply: February, 20

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