Distributed optimal transport with application to multi-agent systems

Type de recrutement
Université de Poitiers, Polytechnique Montréal
Fin de l'affichage

A fully funded PhD position is available jointly between the University of Poitiers, France, and Polytechnique Montreal, Canada. The topic is distributed optimal transport with application to multi-agent systems, in particular the coordination of multi-robot systems. Optimal transport problems, which Monge originally motivated by the problem of transporting material from an initial to a final spatial distribution, constitute a fundamental class of resource allocation problems. There has been in the last few years a renewed interest in this topic, motivated by progress in computational methods, applications to machine learning, or connections to active research areas in control such as mean-field games. The proposed project will develop methodologies and algorithms based on optimal transport theory for the control of distributed large-scale systems composed of a large number of agents, whose distribution must be shaped to match them efficiently to a set of tasks. 

The student will be spend half of her/his time in Montreal and the other half in Poitiers. In Montreal, she/he will be affiliated with the department of electrical engineering at Polytechnique Montreal and with GERAD, a multi-university research center on decision systems. Experimental facilities are also available with the Mobile Robotics and Autonomous Systems Laboratory. More information on graduate studies at Polytechnique Montreal can be found here 

In Poitiers, she/he will be affiliated with the University of Poitiers and the LIAS laboratory, in the team Automatic Control & Systems. Although the laboratory is deeply linked to the new Information and Communications Technology as far as its fundamental fields are concerned, the LIAS, through its main applications (energy management, water treatment, complex systems modelling, or the optimisation of real-time systems), is naturally involved in many specialized engineering fields. The main research interests of the Automatic Control & Systems members include system identification and control of systems. As far as system identification is concerned, the team works on modelling, identification and diagnosis of non-linear systems governed by ordinary as well as partial differential equations. A part of the work concerns the analysis and the design of feedback control laws satisfying specific and robust performance level.

Interested applicants should have a master's degree in engineering, computer science, applied mathematics or a related field. A strong background in mathematical methods applied to an area such as control theory, robotics, dynamical systems, machine learning, signal processing, optimization, etc. is desirable. 

Interested students are encouraged to send their application, as pdf file(s), to Profs. Moulay, Coirault and Le Ny at

An application should include: 
1) A cover letter (maximum one page), stating your research interests and prior experience;
2) A full CV (including a list of publications for the postdoc position);
3) Unofficial transcripts;
4) 1 or 2 samples of past contributions/publications, in English or French (which could be project reports).

The preferred starting date is September 2022. A successful applicant will then need to submit an official complete application to Polytechnique Montreal before one of the upcoming deadlines: 

Polytechnique Montreal is the engineering school affiliated with the Université de Montréal and is one Canada’s leading engineering teaching and research institutions. While courses are typically taught in French, non French-speaking students can take their courses in English at McGill University or Concordia University. Montreal is regularly ranked one of the best student cities in the world. Polytechnique Montreal is deeply committed to employment equity, diversity and inclusion. Accordingly, we encourage women, members of visible and ethnic minorities, Indigenous individuals, and persons with disabilities to apply.

The University of Poitiers is a public university located in Poitiers, France. It is a member of the Coimbra Group, as one of the oldest universities of Europe. It is multidisciplinary and contributes to making Poitiers the city with the highest student/inhabitant ratio in France by welcoming nearly 30,000 students. Founded in 1431 by Pope Eugene IV and chartered by King Charles VII, the University of Poitiers was originally composed of five faculties: theology, canon law, civil law, medicine, and arts. In the 16th century, the university exerted its influence over the town cultural life, and was ranked second only to Paris. Of the 4,000 students who attended it at the time, some were to become famous: Joachim Du Bellay, Jean-Louis Guez de Balzac, François Rabelais, René Descartes, and Scévole de Sainte-Marthe to name but a few. Currently the university covers all major academic fields through its 14 Teaching and Research Departments, Institutes and Schools.