Jean-Marc Alliot

Head of the Global Optimization Laboratory

Professor of computer science

This page is also available in french.

Favorite quotes

"A year spent in Artificial Intelligence is enough to make one believe in God."

"I consider the most important trend was that computers got considerably faster in these last 50 years. In this process, we found that many things for which we had at best anthropomorphic solutions, which in many cases failed to capture the real gist of a human's method, could be done by more brute-forcish methods that merely enumerated until a satisfactory solution was found. If this is heresy, so be it."
Hans Berliner

"It is hopeless to implement in a program thousands of special chess rules. There will always be one important rule missing and it is practically impossible to specify human knowledge in a precise way. To give one example: Strong human players usually know for each type of position how to play a king-attack (or to avoid the king attack of the opponent). Hydra does not have this special knowledge. An important part of the evaluation is a general king-attack-term. Basically: Which pieces attack and defend the king. The search tries to optimize its own and minimizes the opponents attacking chances. GM R.Huebner noted, that Hydra plays a systematic, planned king-attack. This is not entirely true. The program has no direct notion of a plan. The optimization process of the search has a similar effect than the human planning process. It is playing along a plan without having one."
The Hydra chess program team after defeating Michael Adams (world ranking #6) 5.5-0.5

Useful informations


My professional activities

I mainly work on global optimization techniques (Genetic algorithms, simulated annealing, interval programming, branch and bound, neural networks, etc) applied to Air Traffic Management and Air Traffic Control. I co-organized a few conferences on GA EA95, EA94. We work on trajectory planning, conflict probe and conflict resolution, Free Flight, slot allocation...

I still write some code, but I mainly have students write it for me! One success of our lab is the CATS/OPAS arithmetic simulator now in used at EUROCONTROL and (I think)at the FAA.

I have been teaching computer science for quite a few years now and even wrote a book, used in different french universities.


My publications are here, and those of the other members of the lab there.

You'll find here some elements about Air Traffic Control and Free Flight.

My personal interests are (not limitative)

You can also have a look at my personal web site.

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