Home Page of Michèle Courant


(My personal home page is available here)

Working Environment

Pervasive and Artificial Intelligence Research Group
Department of Informatics
Faculty of Science
University of Fribourg

Office A408
Department of Informatics
University of Fribourg - Site Pérolles 2
Boulevard de Pérolles 90
CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland

Access plan (Building 21)

Phone ++41 26 300 84 70 (secr.: 84 65)
Fax      ++41 26 300 97 31
Email  michele.courant@unifr.ch


(Details on my past and current research projects are available on the FUTURA database)


My current research activities aims at providing concepts, middleware and methodologies, for facilitating the design of adaptive systems made of heterogeneous interconnected entities.

By adaptive system , I mean :

1) context-aware, i.e. able to perceive the physical or digital environment in which it is operating, and able to react to it,

2) robust, i.e. able to resist to failures or changes occurring in the environment, by self-recovery or self-organization techniques,

3) reliable, i.e. able to assure a rather stable Quality of Service (QoS) regarding correctness and completeness of results, data transmission, etc,

4) efficient in the use of resources, like CPU, memory, bandwith, energy, and any kind of computing or physical resource.

By heterogeneous interconnected entities, I mean wired and wireless computer (or mixed) networks like Internet, Grids, mobile and ad hoc networks, or computing infrastructures operating in the physical world through sensors and actuators, and possibly including humans and autonomous robots.

Therefore, the concepts, software and methodologies I am contributing to develop, mainly apply to the technological horizon called pervasive computing, or ambient intelligence. They also encompass the problematic of human machine interaction, as the management of the dilemna encountered in numerous assistive applications between serenpidity and user unobtrusiveness.


My design principles fit into the paradigms of autonomy and coordination, that find their epistemological foundations in situated and embodied intelligence, collective intelligence, swarm intelligence, and emergence. They are largely bio-inspired, especially by the social behavior of insects (ants), and by biological and ecological mechanisms like evolution, learning, cooperation and antagonism.
Concerning human machine interaction, I try to do my best for taking into account the social, environmental and cognitive impacts of the models and technologies that I develop. I promote an interdisciplinary approach of design with human sciences at an early stage of the engineering processes, and a sustainable approach in Information and Communication Technology in general.

Former research interests

Artificial intelligence, knowledge representation and logic programming; human computer Interaction (1982-1992); autonomous robotics (1992-2004).


See on group publication list.


Spring 2009 : Paradigmes de programmation (Bachelor course)

Winter 2008 : Interdisciplinary Computing (Master course), Projet I - Robotique (Bachelor course)

Previous courses: Artificial Intelligence (Bachelor, Summer 2007), Système III : Systèmes d'exploitation (Bachelor, Winter 2006/07), Ubiquitous Computing: Human Computer Interaction (Bachelor, Summer 2005), Système I: Architecture de l'ordinateur (Winter 2004/05)