2019-01327 - PhD Position F/M [GRAPHDECO] Evaluating Error/Uncertainty in Approximate Global Illumination Algorithms

Contract type : Public service fixed-term contract

Level of qualifications required : Graduate degree or equivalent

Fonction : PhD Position

About the research centre or Inria department

The Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée center counts 37 research teams and 9 support departments. The center's staff (about 600 people including 400 Inria employees) is composed of scientists of different nationalities (250 foreigners of 50 nationalities), engineers, technicians and administrators. 1/3 of the staff are civil servants, the others are contractual. The majority of the research teams at the center are located in Sophia Antipolis and Nice in the Alpes-Maritimes. Six teams are based in Montpellier and a team is hosted by the computer science department of the University of Bologna in Italy. The Center is a member of the University and Institution Community (ComUE) "Université Côte d'Azur (UCA)".


There are currently several very effective global illumination algorithms that manage to simulate the majority of significant visual phenomena (eg [Georgiev12]); however they are far from real time. On the other end of the spectrum, there are real-time global illumination solutions (eg [McGuire17]) that usually achieve very approximate solutions, but at interactive or real-time framerates, and often with remarkable visual quality. These solutions are typically built on light probes or virtual point lights, that can be seen as a sampling of path space.

We will first analyze error in the different steps of these approximate algorithms, possibly modelling the error with statistical tools that handle uncertainty [Smi13]. This will require careful analysis starting with simple configurations, moving up to more complex cases. We will investigate the effect of discretization, both spatial and directional, and quantify the effect on the accumulated error, using statistical methods or alternatively data-driven learning-based methods.




[Georgiev12] Georgiev, I., Krivánek, J., Davidovic, T., & Slusallek, P. (2012). Light transport simulation with vertex connection and merging. ACM Trans. Graph.31(6), 192-1.



[McGuire17] McGuire, M., Mara, M., Nowrouzezahrai, D., & Luebke, D. (2017, February). Real-time global illumination using precomputed light field probes. In Proceedings of the 21st ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games (p. 2). ACM.


[Smi13] Ralph C Smith. Uncertainty quantification: theory, implementation, and applications, volume 12. Siam, 2013.


Ph.D. student in the context of the ERC FunGraph (fungraph.inria.fr)

Main activities

Ph.D. research: developing new algorithms and mathematical tools for innovative research in the field of computer graphics.


Good knowledge of Computer Graphics, knowledge of Computer Vision desirable, good knowledge of C++ and OpenGL/GLSL and equivalent.

Benefits package

  • Subsidized meals
  • Partial reimbursement of public transport costs
  • Leave: 7 weeks of annual leave + 10 extra days off due to RTT (statutory reduction in working hours) + possibility of exceptional leave (sick children, moving home, etc.)
  • Possibility of teleworking (after 6 months of employment) and flexible organization of working hours
  • Professional equipment available (videoconferencing, loan of computer equipment, etc.)
  • Social, cultural and sports events and activities
  • Access to vocational training
  • Social security coverage


Duration: 36 months
Location: Sophia Antipolis, France
Gross Salary per month: 1982€brut per month (year 1 & 2) and 2085€ brut/month (year 3)