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IDSIA was founded in Lugano in 1988 by Angelo Dalle Molle (1908-2002), an Italian philanthropist. The Swiss AI Lab IDSIA (Istituto Dalle Molle di Studi sullIntelligenza Artificiale) later in 2000 became a non-profit research institute for artificial intelligence, affiliated with both the Faculty of Informatics of the Università della Svizzera Italiana and the Department of Innovative Technologies of SUPSI, the University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland which focuses on machine learning (deep neural networks, reinforcement learning), operations research, data mining, and robotics. IDSIA is situated near Lugano, a lakeside city in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, a region of Switzerland well known for its warm climate and outstanding scenery.
IDSIA is one of four Swiss research organisations founded by the Dalle Molle foundation in Artificial Intelligence. IDSIA is active in teaching at all levels from bachelor courses, master’s level to PhD courses. Researchers who are working in the universities are allowed to teach for bachelors and masters courses. The Board coordinates the activities of the Staff. IDSIA contributes to courses in Bachelor in Computer science and Bachelor in Engineering and management. It also has master programmes in specialised courses which are strongly related to IDSIAs research areas. IDSIA has a number of projects for PhD Researchers.
There are about 50 people working as staff in the university. It has been 20 years since the university formation. There are about 3 post graduate assistants, 15 PhD students, 28 Research associates currently working in the University for Various Projects.
IDSIA conducts research in four areas: optimization, simulation, and decision support; uncertain reasoning and data mining; machine learning and artificial neural networks; cognitive and mobile robotics. IDSIA is a first-class institute for research on imprecise probability. IDSIA has been particularly successful in the application of Ant Colony Optimisation applied to Combinatorial Optimisation problems. The paper "Ant colony system: a cooperative learning approach to the traveling salesman problem" published in 1997 by Dorigo and Gambardella has received more than 6000 citations so far. IDSIA is now leading the way in the field of Deep Learning. The Neural networks research team has won nine international competitions in machine learning and pattern recognition. As an evidence of the recognized expertise in international level, in 2016 IDSIA received a supercomputer from $ 130,000 and has been mentioned as one of the 10 most important institutions worldwide, including MIT, Berkeley, NYU, Stanford, Toronto, CMU, University of Montreal, Oxford and Hong Kong to mark the NVIDIA Prize for pioneers in artificial intelligence research and it will benefit from $ 300,000 contribution for three years offered by Google as an unrestricted gift.