DISC department
Distributed digital algorithms, mobile networks, distributed systems, verification and validation of software and embedded devices

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OMNI (Optimisation, Mobility, NetworkIng) team is one of the four teams of the DISC department of the FEMTO-ST institute.  It is located in two towns in East of France: Montbéliard and Belfort. It is composed of 3 full professors, 14 associate and assistant professors, and several PhD students, around half of them in each location. The OMNI team's activities focus on the principles, techniques, applications, planning and scheduling of distributed and mobile systems.

The team has collaborations with academic institutions, both international (CMU USA, LIMMS Japon, PU Hong-Kong, FORTH Greece etc.) and national (IRISA, IRIT etc.), and has industrial partners (PSA, Faurécia, Orange Labs etc.) through projects and common publications. 

Goals and Research Areas

The two main research topics of the OMNI team are:

  •   DiMems (pour Distributed Intelligent Micro Systems) : Our activity of research is organized around the design and the production of autonomous, communicating and mobile micro-robots. It is part of the Programmable Matter consortium.
    The main idea developed in our group consists in proposing computer models to replace the atoms constituting the usual matter by micro-robots in order to add new properties to it, including the ability to change shape at will, and thus obtain self-reconfigurable Programmable Matter. Our objective is twofold: design self-configurable modular robots equipped with sensors that allow them to get information from their immediate environment, and to propose distributed algorithms that allow the robots to reach a common goal by exchanging messages. The use of these new autonomous systems raises a number of complex design, optimization and planning issues. We have developed our simulator: VisibleSim dedicated to modular robots. We have now acquired a platform for validating distributed algorithms on real robots: the Blinky Blocks. These cubic robots are assembled in a cubic grid thanks to magnets on their 6 faces and can communicate with their direct neighbors. We are now working on the design of a new platform of robots that can move (the catoms, quasi-spherical robots of about 3 mm in diameter) to evaluate our self-reconfiguration algorithms and obtain self-reconfigurable Programmable Matter.


  •  Wireless Networks and Mobility:  The vision for “Wireless Networks and Mobility” is to bring together underlying forces on the areas of Communication and Mobility, with Modelling and Approximate Methods of Combinatorial Optimization as the two main scientific topics and Wireless Networks as the main application topic. The fundamentals of this research field deal with the modelling of large-scale heterogeneous systems, the design of optimization algorithms, and the proposal of radio communication protocols, routing protocols and data transport. The performance evaluation of the proposed solutions is carried out either by simulation or in real-life situations. The main scientific challenges in this area concern the complexity of NP-hard problems, their modelling, simulation, emulation, and computation in uncertain environment, and dynamic adaptation in complex systems.


  • Planning and scheduling: This theme focuses on modelling, performance evaluation, simulation and optimization of industrial and logistics systems (production and distribution of goods and services). The complex systems studied are characterized by transport tasks and the integration of strong and sometimes atypical constraints. Our research interests are related to the design (location and sizing), planning and scheduling of production and/or transport activities (people and goods). The work carried out to solve these problems concerns the development of relevant and efficient models, methods and algorithms, in operations research and in the theory of discrete event systems. They also concern data analysis for the diagnosis and optimization of complex systems. The applications targeted are workshop scheduling, urban logistics and mobility, the hydrogen supply chain, port logistics, etc., in the context of industry 4.0, Smart Cities, renewable energy, IoT, and connected agriculture.


The scientific tools used by the OMNI team are numerous. Simulation and emulation of DiMEMS systems play an important role as they support the development of specific distributed algorithms within DiMEMS such as the distributed reconfiguration of modular robots. The multiscale positioning and mobility are intended to provide new positioning methods, from the metric to the micrometer scale.

A unique expertise has also been developed surrounding modeling, simulating and optimizing wireless networks within the 1-10 GHz band frequency, thus allowing for wireless communications in DiMEMS, but also between different processor cores.


Some links to our research activity : :

[1] Site web du projet Programmable Matter :

[1] Vidéos présentant le Catom : et

[1] Vidéo Datom : 

[1] Exemple d’utilisation des Blinky Blocks :

[1] Synchronisation de Blinky Blocks :

[1] Construction de formes avec des Catoms 3D :

[1] Construction de formes avec des Catoms 3D

[1] Vidéo YouTube d’auto-reconfiguration de Catoms 2D :

[1] Vidéo YouTube pour [ACTI-19-01] :

[1] Présentation de VisibleSim en Vidéo :


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