Job: Postdoctorat, Grammaires formelles appliquees aux paysages

Thierry Hamon thierry.hamon at UNIV-PARIS13.FR
Tue Feb 23 16:46:58 UTC 2010

Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2010 11:53:15 +0100
From: Marie-Laure Guénot <mlguenot at>
Message-Id: <2DC5812A-0C7F-43B0-94AC-2A937F490C0F at>

Voici ci-dessous une offre de postdoctorat d'une durée de 1 an, à
réaliser à l'INRA de Montpellier. Cette offre intervient dans un
projet ANR d'envergure et associe plusieurs collaborateurs
spécialistes des champs disciplinaires concernés par le sujet.

Nous sommes en particulier intéressés par des compétences en
mathématiques (grammaires formelles), informatique (développement
java) et écologie (paysages), mais nous examinerons toutes les
candidatures motivées.

Avec nos remerciements. 
Bien cordialement, 

Cédric Gaucherel, INRA-AMAP (cedric.gaucherel at 
Marie-Laure Guénot, LALIC / Université Paris-Sorbonne
(mlguenot at

        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
        Postdoctoral fellow in mathematical ecology 
        The landscape language: 
        A formal grammar developed and implemented for landscape
        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Join an exciting team on a unique new project investigating landscape
dynamics and ecological modeling, based in Montpellier, South of
France. We are seeking enthusiastic candidates for a one-year
postdoctoral position studying landscape modeling using formal

Supervisor: Cédric GAUCHEREL (INRA - EFPA, UMR AMAP, Montpellier)

        ** CONTEXT ** 

Patchy landscapes driven by human decisions and/or natural forces are
still a challenge to be understood and to be modelled. Attempts to
define a coherent framework such as a mathematical description to
derive landscape evolution rules are still very scarce. This is the
first objective of this postdoctoral position. We propose to develop a
new formalism of landscape modeling based on rewriting rules belonging
to the widest field of formal grammars (Chomsky 1956). Patchy
landscape units (patches) indeed may be handled by a set of driving
forces that are gradually changing their states according to human
decisions (e.g. agricultural of forestry politics) or natural forcing
(e.g. climate). We wish to adapt formal grammar approaches to such
specific two-dimensional mosaics. Do have landscapes a common
language? Which syntax would be the most appropriate for rural
landscapes? This work is based on the hypothesis that landscapes have
common features and dynamics that an adapted language may
capture. Such a language and stochastic rules should then be used for
landscape modeling and would greatly improve our understanding of
landscape dynamics.

The second objective of this work is to implement such grammar
(reusing for instance existing Relational Growth Grammar package such
as GroImp (Kniemeyer et al. 2008)), into an existing landscape
modeling platform prototype written in Java® and called DYPAL (Dynamic
PAtchy Landscape). First, this task supposes to develop a computing
bridge between the grammar editorial software and the existing
prototype. This will require to modify the existing platform kernel
(based on landscape objects and spatio-temporal operations (Gaucherel
et al. 2006)) to make it compatible with grammar rules. Finally, some
well-chosen case-studies will be implemented to illustrate new
features of the system based on various evolution scenarios with
different impacts on landscape patterns. The development of the
platform will be performed in narrow collaborations with agriculture
and forestry specialists, providing site data as well as detailed
expertise about their studied landscapes. Powerful landscape formalism
as well as a user-friendly modeling platform would emphasize the
interest of formal grammar approaches to model patchy landscapes, and
hopefully other landscape structures. 

        ** MATERIALS ** 

BiodivAgriM project data at landscape scales (this ~1 Meuros project
of the ANR – Biodiversity call started in 2007 and is exploring
landscape modeling in order to preserve biodiversity in rural

        ** REQUIRED SKILLS ** 

Qualifications: A PhD doctorate in either applied mathematics and
computing with some biology/ecology skills or in biology/ecology with
strong mathematical skills would be appreciated. The candidate should
demonstrate interest in the broader questions in ecology and
complexity theory studies and a strong motivation. Research experience
in landscape ecology, in theoretical ecology, in stochastic processes
and analytical/numerical modeling are desirable.


Initial appointment would be for a period of one year, according to
the INRA postdoctorat salary (~ 25 keuros brut / yr). The starting
date is negotiable between January and March 1st, 2010. The
postdoctorat may be transformed into a more classical contract if

        ** HOW TO APPLY ** 

Please send a single PDF file containing letter of application with
statement of interest, CV and two letters of reference to Cédric
Gaucherel (gaucherel at For full consideration, apply by
March 1st, 2010.

        ** REFERENCES ** 

- Chomsky, N. 1956. Three Models for the Description of Language. IRE
  Transactions on Information Theory 2:113-124. 

- Gaucherel, C., N. Giboire, V. Viaud, T. Houet, J. Baudry, and
  F. Burel. 2006. A domain specific language for patchy landscape
  modeling: the brittany agricultural mosaic as a case
  study. Ecological modeling 194:233-243. 

- Kniemeyer, O., G. Barczik, R. Hemmerling, and
  W. Kurth. 2008. Relational Growth Grammars - a parallel graph
  transformation approach with applications in biology and
  architecture. Pages 152-167 in A. Schürr, M. Nagl, and A. Zündorf,
  editors. Applications of Graph Transformations with Industrial
  Relevance AGTIVE’07, International Workshop Kassel, Lecture Notes in
  Computer Science 5088. Springer, Berlin 

Message diffuse par la liste Langage Naturel <LN at>
Informations, abonnement :
English version       : 
Archives                 :

La liste LN est parrainee par l'ATALA (Association pour le Traitement
Automatique des Langues)
Information et adhesion  :

More information about the Ln mailing list