Posted by François Dumas, director of Advanced Technology Labs Cairo

Microsoft Research 2012 in Review logo 

When I joined Advanced Technology Labs Europe as its director, I expected to work with great talent on hard problems to incubate impactful technology. Three months later, I can honestly say that the group has fulfilled all my hopes, and as we cross the threshold of a new year, I realize that our lab is ready for greater things yet. 
 
François Dumas2013 is poised to be an exciting year for us—a year of change and a year of promises fulfilled. We will be moving from Aachen, Germany, to Munich over the summer. This relocation will provide us the ability to work more closely with Microsoft’s R&D efforts in Germany. We also look forward to closer ties with local sales and marketing groups, because grounding our research in actual business scenarios is a central tenet of our research.
 
In the coming years, we will be concentrating on three pillars, all highly relevant to Microsoft:

  • Information discovery: In this era, when terabytes of data are commonplace, we investigate how to enable users to discover interesting data and patterns. This endeavor is relevant to helping with feature extraction for machine learning, to pinpointing temporal log patterns that indicate network trouble spots, or to looking back in time to identify the source of specific errors among massive amounts of interrelated data.
  • Streaming data and analytics: Over the past four years, we have had the privilege to work with product teams and Microsoft Research on streaming analytics. We now focus on scalability and distribution of streaming analytics, along with integrating machine learning with such streaming systems. As Microsoft moves ever more to services in the cloud, the need to analyze and act on data, in near-real time, becomes ever more pronounced. And as edge devices become ubiquitous, both in consumer and industrial settings, data needs to be analyzed and filtered, on the edges and in the cloud. Our current efforts in streaming data and analytics are intend to fulfill these needs.
  • Edge devices: Another major area of focus for Microsoft is that of services on devices. We anticipate that as more premium services become available on devices, the need for security and intelligent power management on those devices will increase. This area of research forms the third pillar on which Advanced Technology Labs Europe has been focusing over the past few years.

We look forward to an exciting 2013—and to productive collaborations with product groups, as well as with other Microsoft Research groups.