Jobs/M2 2015 AD Faster, Faster, Faster


Faster, Faster, Faster
Reference id

M2 2015 AD Faster, Faster, Faster


5-6 months in 2015

Research field

Automata Theory

Related project



Akim Demaille

General presentation of the field

The classical theory of automata, of transducers and of rational expressions, admits a very elegant and extremely useful extension (eg, in natural language processing) taking into account the concept of weighting. The weights are then taken in a semi-ring, which can be classical (⟨𝔹, ∨, ∧⟩, ⟨ℤ, +, ×⟩, ⟨ℚ, +, ×⟩, etc..), tropical (⟨ℤ, min, +⟩, etc..), or yet of another type (e.g. rational expressions).

Vcsn is a project led by Alexandre Duret-Lutz and Akim Demaille (LRDE). It is a platform for the manipulation of automata, transducers and weighted rational expressions. It is written in C++11 avoiding the classical object-oriented programming in favor of generic programming (template) for more performance. Vcsn is an heir of the Vaucanson 2 project which was developed in partnership with Jacques Sakarovitch (Telecom ParisTech) and Sylvain Lombardy (LaBRI).

Vcsn aims at speed and user friendliness. To achieve this goal, it is built in three layers:

  • static: this is a templated C++ library with efficient data structures and algorithms
  • dyn: this C++ API support type-erasure and shields the user from the complex API of static while preserving performances. It also support code-generation and linking on the fly
  • Python: on top of dyn, a Python binding allows a pleasant use of Vcsn, without any C++ knowledge required.
  • good programmer in some language
  • acquaintance with C++
  • facilities with theoretical matters

The objective of this internship is to improve the performances of Vcsn in every possible ways. This includes:

  • design of a binary format to save and restore automata (possibly with mmap)
  • improvements to the core data structures
  • design of efficient alternatives to classical data structures such as found in the C++ library
  • improvement of the existing algorithms taken from Automata Theory, such as epsilon-transition removal
  • optimization of the dyn type-erased dynamic dispatch
  • development of benches and comparison with other platforms
  • etc.
Benefit for the candidate
Place LRDE: How to get to us

1000 € gross/month

Future work opportunities

<akim at lrde . epita . fr>