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Hichem Sahbi, PhD, HDR


Current Position
CNRS Researcher/Professor (and HDR) at the LTCI Lab, CNRS, TELECOM ParisTech

Address, LTCI/Telecom ParisTech, 46 rue Barrault,
75013 Paris , France


Voice: (+33) 1 45 81 73 82
Fax: (+33) 1 45 81 37 94
Email: sahbi (at)

Positions and Visits
Currently: CNRS Researcher/Professor (and HDR) at the LTCI Lab, TELECOM ParisTech, France.
2006-2007 Senior Research Associate at ENPC (as Chargé de Recherche), Certis Lab, ENPC (joint with ENS-ULM and INRIA-Sophia) , France.
2005-2006 Research associate at the Machine Intelligence Lab , Cambridge University, UK.
2004-2005 Research assistant at INRIA-Rocquencourt, France.
2003-2004 Post doctoral fellow at the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (GMD Institute), Darmstadt, Germany.
2000-2003 PhD. Candidate with professor Donald Geman , INRIA Rocquencourt, France (defense 07 April 03.)
2001-2002 Invited visiting PhD student at the Center for Imaging Science, Johns Hopkins University, (December 2001 and September 2002)
2009 Invited visiting associate professor at the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China (October 2009)
2012 Invited visiting researcher at the "Google Faculty Summit", Google, London, UK (September 2012)

Research Interest

  • Statistical Machine Learning: manifold learning and graph based inference, kernel methods and kernel design.
  • Deep Learning: deep kernel learning, deep representation and attribute learning.
  • Coarse to Fine Testing: hierarchy of classifiers for object detection in vision.
  • Clustering: fuzzy approach, Gibbs distributions and simulated annealing.
  • Generalization Bounds: model selection and parameter estimation.


Some Selected Publications (Rank A/A+ conferences, ref journals, Best Paper Award publications ...)

  • H. Sahbi and D. Geman. A hierarchy of support vector machines for Face detection. (JMLR PDF link) Journal of Machine Learning Research (JMLR: ref journal in machine learning), Volume 7, 2087--2123, October, 2006.
  • H. Sahbi, J-Y Audibert and R. Keriven. Graph-Cut Transducers for Relevance feedback in Content Based Image Retrieval. (PDF) In the proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV: rank A/A+ conf in computer vision), October 2007.
  • H. Sahbi. Kernel PCA for Similarity Invariant Shape Recognition. (PDF), (DL) Neurocomputing, Volume/Issue 70/16-18 pages 3034-3045, November 2007.
  • H. Sahbi, J-Y. Audibert and R. Keriven. Context-Dependent Kernels for Object Classification (PDF), (CS Digital Library). In Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (PAMI: ref journal in computer vision and learning ), number 33, volume 4, April 2011.
  • H. Sahbi, J-Y. Audibert, J. Rabarisoa and R. Keriven. Robust Matching and Recognition using Context-Dependent Kernels. (PDF), In the proceedings of International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML: rank A/A+ conf in machine learning), July 2008.
  • H. Sahbi, P. Etyngier, J-Y Audibert and R. Keriven. Manifold Learning using Robust Graph Laplacian for Interactive Image Retrieval. (PDF), In the proceedings of IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR: rank A/A+ conf in computer vision), June 2008.
  • H. Sahbi, J-Y. Audibert, J. Rabarisoa and R. Keriven. Context-Dependent Kernel Design for Object Matching and Recognition. (PDF), In the proceedings of IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR: rank A/A+ conf in computer vision), June 2008.
  • H. Sahbi, J-Y Audibert, J. Rabarisoa and R. Keriven. Object Matching and Recognition Using Context Dependent Similarity Kernels (Best Regular Paper Award by Queen's Marry University of London), In the proceedings of IEEE Workshop on Content Based Multimedia Indexing (CBMI), June 2008.
  • H. Sahbi and X. Li. Context Based Support Vector Machines for Interconnected Image Annotation (oral). (PDF). ("The Saburo Tsuji" Best Regular Paper Award). In the Asian Conference on Computer Vision (ACCV), 2010. (oral paper acceptance rate, 4.7%)
  • H. Sahbi and X. Li. Context Dependent SVMs for Interconnected Image Network Annotation. (PDF) In the proceedings of (ACM MULTIMEDIA: rank A/A+ conf in multimedia and image search ), October 2010.
  • L. Wang and H. Sahbi. Directed Acyclic Graph Kernels for Action Recognition. (PDF) In the proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV: rank A/A+ conf in computer vision), December 2013.
  • P. Vo and H. Sahbi. Spacious: an interactive mental search interface. (DL) The 36th International ACM SIGIR conference on research and development in Information Retrieval, (SIGIR: rank A/A+ conf in information retrieval ), July 2013.
  • P. Vo and H. Sahbi. Semantic Subspace Learning for Mental Search in Satellite Images (PDF) (Best Paper Award Nomination), The International Geoscience and remote sensing symposium, IGARSS, July 2013.
  • H. Sahbi, L. Ballan, G. Serra and A. Del Bimbo. Context-Dependent Logo Matching and Recognition (PDF) In IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, volume 22, number 3, pages 1018-1031, 2013.
  • H. Sahbi. Finite State Machines for Structured Scene Decoding (PDF) In RLCO, Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS: rank A/A+ conf), 2014.
  • H. Sahbi. ImageCLEF annotation with explicit context-aware kernel maps (PDF) In International Journal of Multimedia Information Retrieval (IJMIR, Springer), 2015.
  • M. Jiu and H. Sahbi. Nonlinear Deep Kernel Learning for Image Annotation, (PDF) In the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing (Accepted, to appear, 2017) (IEEE TIP), 2017.
  • H. Sahbi. Interactive Satellite Image Change Detection with Context-Aware Canonical Correlation Analysis, (PDF) the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing (Accepted, to appear, 2017) (IEEE GRSL), 2017.
  • All Publications

SOFTWARES and Databases


Past and Current Projects

Activities and Memberships

  • PhD thesis reviewer (rapporteur) and jury memberships.
  • TPC member of RFIA 16 (Reconnaissance des Formes et Intelligence Artificielle).
  • TPC member of IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV 2010, 2012).
  • TPC member of SPPRA 09,2010,2011, 2012.
  • Program Chair of SPPRA 2010 (Signal processing Pattern Recognition and Applications).
  • TPC member of ECCV Workshop on Web-scale Vision and Social Media, 2012.
  • Session Chair at International Geoscience and remote sensing symposium (IGARSS 2013).
  • Session Chair at IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2012).
  • Session Chair at IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2009).
  • TPC member of the European Conference on Machine Learning (ECML 08).
  • TPC member of RFIA 08 (Reconnaissance des Formes et Intelligence Artificielle).
  • Jury member in many PhD theses (including as rapporteur) and jury member of several mid-term thesis evaluations.
  • Reviewer in many confs and journals (ICCV 09, PAMI, JMLR, Pattern Recognition, EURASIP, CVIU,...).
  • Member of associate professor and Chaire CNRS selection committees in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
  • Expert reviewer in the French National Research Agency (ANR) since 2008.
  • Elected in january 2009 as a member of the scientific board of the GIS (Groupe d'Interessement Scientifique) including LIP6 at University of Pierre and Marie Curie and LTCI-CNRS at TELECOM ParisTech. Coordinator of the Machine Learning and Information retrieval axes.
  • Past TELECOM ParisTech Seminars on Perception, Indexing and Machine Learning. (link)

Supervised PhD students (as official thesis director)

  • 2010-2012: Fei Yuan (PhD Student at TELECOM ParisTech in collaboration with NLPR, The Chinese Academy of Science, currently researcher at NLPR ): Graph based techniques for Event Detection and Recognition (thesis defense june 2012)
  • 2010-2013: Nicolas Bourdis (CIFRE PhD Student at TELECOM ParisTech and EADS, currently researcher at AIRBUS): change detection, (thesis defense, may 2013).
  • 2011-2014: Phong Vo (PhD Student at TELECOM ParisTech, currently postdoc at CEA): Transductive inference for image interpretation and search (thesis defense march 2014)
  • Since Oct 2011: Eric Benhai (CIFRE PhD Student at TELECOM ParisTech and PARROT): Lip reading (ongoing)
  • Since Jan 2015: Quentin Oliveau (CIFRE PhD Student at TELECOM ParisTech): Attribute Learning for Object Recognition (ongoing)

Supervised post docs (as official postdoc director)

  • Oct 2014-Oct 2015: Anjan Dutta (former Post doc at LTCI, Telecom ParisTech, Paris): graph hashing for pattern classification

Supervised and Visiting Students (as Co-Supervisor)

  • 2003-2007: Liu Huajian (former PhD candidate at Fraunhofer IPSI, defense 2007, currently Research Staff at Fraunhofer SIT, Germany ): "object of interest" based image authentication
  • 2004-2007: Stefan Thiemert (Former PhD Candidate at Fraunhofer IPSI, Germany): content-based video watermarking
  • 2004: Varun Kumta (M.S. Candidate IIT INDIA currently at IBM INDIA): Robustness of image retrieval to image watermarking
  • 2007: Bhavna Agarwal (M.S. Candidate from INDIA): Image Matching and Recognition
  • 2008: Olivier Le Floch (B.S Candidate from l'Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau): Image Search
  • 2007-2008: Jiayu Chen (Former Visiting PhD Student at TELECOM ParisTech from University of Wuhan): Image Retrieval
  • 2005-2006: Khe Chai Sim (Former Post Doc at Cambridge university moved to A-Star and currently professor at Institute of Digital Media, Singapore ): System combination for statistical machine translation
  • 2006-2007: Patrick Etyngier (Former PhD. student at Certis, ENPC, France, defense Jan 2008, moved to Philips Paris): Graph Laplcian for Interactive Image Retrieval
  • April-Aug 2012: Surrender Varma (Former PhD vistor during 5 months from IIT INDIA): change detection
  • 2011-2012: Malek Nadil (Former PhD visitor during 10 months from USTHB Algiers): face processing
  • 2012-2014: Emilie Au (PhD Student at LIP6 and TELECOM ParisTech): Learning on graphs


  • Dr. Hichem Sahbi received his M.S. degree in theoretical computer science from the University of Paris Sud, in Orsay, France in 1999, and his PhD in computer vision and machine learning from INRIA/Versailles University, France in 2003. From 2003-2006 he was a research associate first at the Fraunhofer Institute in Darmstadt, Germany, and then at the Machine Intelligence Laboratory at Cambridge University, UK. From 2006-2007, he was a senior research associate at l'Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech, in Paris. Since 2007, he has been a CNRS professor (and HDR) at Telecom ParisTech, in Paris. Dr. Sahbi has participated in various scientific committees, industrial, national, and international projects, and he is the author of many publications. Dr. Sahbi's research interests include statistical machine learning, computer vision, and image retrieval.





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