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Knowledge & Content Technologies

Find the most recent information on EU Funding activities in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) by visiting our ICT in FP7 website , which covers ICT in the 7 th Framework Programme (FP7) 2007 - 2013.

Go to the MUSCLE Website

Multimedia Understanding through Semantics, Computation and Learning

MUSCLE aimed at creating and supporting a pan-European Network of Excellence to foster close collaboration between research groups in both multimedia data mining and machine learning.


MUSCLE research activities have been driven towards harnessing the full potential of machine learning and cross-modal interaction for the (semi-) automatic generation of metadata with high semantic content for multimedia documents. Moreover, with this technology MUSCLE facilitated the broad and democratic access to information and knowledge for all European citizens (e.g. e-Education, enriched cultural heritage).

Main innovation

One leading innovation within the scope of MUSCLE research activities has been that of applying machine learning for the creation of expressive, context-aware, self-learning, and human-centered interfaces in order to effectively assist users in the exploration of complex and rich multimedia content.


MUSCLE has launched a series of complementary actions to foster the integration of the research carried by the different teams involved in the network, and in particular:

  • MUSCLE fellowship Programme (allowing PhD Students to work in two distinct MUSCLE partner institutes for two consecutive 9 month periods
  • Mobility programme, facilitating both travel and collaboration of researchers based in different teams and countries
  • Definition of a joint research agenda every year to drive research teams towards further cooperation
  • Implementation of e-teams, acting as virtual laboratories and pooling together resources and expertise from different teams to address shared research priorities

Among the latest achievements are research developments in machine learning, single-modality and cross-modality, allowing browsing through large multimedia collections automatically. In addition, the project has been carrying large dissemination of its results towards the rest of the scientific community and launched both training for students (summer school in cooperation with the DELOS network of Excellence on Digital Libraries) and showcases designed particularly for the industrial stakeholders.

More details
  • The MUSCLE project ended on 29 February 2008, and the MUSCLE Final Project Report presents the actors, as well as the activities and achievements of the NoE over the four years of its life-time. ( PDF , 12MB)
  • MUSCLE has established a presence on SecondLife , where anyone who is interested can visit their island and look at their results in a virtual building that is shaped so as to show the relationship between various areas of research. Find the introduction video on YouTube : VirtualMuscle Showcase (Preview).
  • Demos and videos
  • Book on Machine Learning Techniques for Multimedia (27 February 2008) – Flyer ( PDF , 42KB)
  • Brief Project Presentation ( PDF , 51KB)
  • Annual Report 2004 ( PDF , 919KB)
  • Annual Report 2005 ( PDF , 69KB)
  • Annual Report 2006 ( PDF , 153KB)
  • Annual Report 2007 ( PDF, 80KB)
  • WIRED magazine article : Emotion-Recognition Software Knows What Makes You Smile (16 July 2007)
  • ICT Results feature: See what I see - machines with mental muscle (1 October 2008) MUSCLE, an EU-funded super project which created a pan-European network of excellence involving more than 30 academic and research institutions from 14 countries, has come up not only with new paradigms but a range of practial applications, writes the ICT Results. Several showcases are highlighted, and one of them is the one that analyses human emotion using both audio and visual clues. 'It was trialled on US election candidates to see if their emotional states actually matched what they were saying and doing, and it was even tried out, visually only of course, on the enigmatic Mona Lisa', says MUSCLE project coordinator Nozha Boujemaa.
  • Website
Administrative details

MUSCLE is a Network of Excellence of the European Union's 6th Framework Programme centred on the Thematic Priority area "Information Society Technologies". MUSCLE started on 1 March 2004 and finished on 28 February 2008. The overall budget is approximately 14 million euros.

List of participants
  • GEIE ERCIM, France
  • Stichting Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica, Netherlands
  • University College London, United Kingdom
  • Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Sweden
  • Bilkent Universitesi, Turkey
  • Technische Universitaet Wien, Austria
  • Magyar Tudomanyos Akademia Szamitastechnikai es Automatizalasi Kutato Intezeze, Hungary
  • University of Ulster, United Kingdom
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy
  • Technische Universitaet Graz, Austria
  • Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Spain
  • Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg, Germany
  • Academy of Sciences of the Czeck Republic: Institute of Information Theory and Automation, Czech Republic
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, France
  • Advanced Computer Vision GMBH, Austria
  • Technion, Israel
  • Institute of Technology, Israel
  • Institut fur Bildverarbeitung und Angewandte Informatik e.V, Germany
  • Institute of Communication and Computer Systems, Greece
  • Telecommunication System Institute (Technical University Crete), Greece
  • Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Méthodes et Processus Industriels, France
  • Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Austria Research Centers, Seibersdorf Research GMBH, Austria
  • The Provost, Fellows and Scholars of the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, Ireland
  • Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas, Greece
  • Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland
  • Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique, France
  • Groupe des Ecoles des Telecommunications, France
  • LTU Technologies SA, France
  • The University of Surrey, United Kingdom
  • The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l'Electronique et de ses Applications, France
  • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France
  • Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, France
  • Forschungsverein E-Commerce Competence Center, Austria
  • Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6, France
  • National University of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Contact persons
Project Coordinator:
Patricia Ho-Hune - ERCIM
Scientific Coordinator:
Nozha Boujemaa - INRIA
Events in connection with MUSCLE
  • MUSCLE Conference in Cannes, France on 11-12 February 2008. This event highlighted and demonstrated the major results achieved by the members of its community in the field of Multimedia Understanding through Semantics, Computation and Machine Learning. The videos of the MUSCLE presentations at MCVC'08 are now available .
  • INTERSEC'08 in DUBAI on 13-15 January 2008. Researchers from "Real-Time Fire and Smoke detection"and "Unusual Behavior Detection" showcases will participate to the fair. MUSCLE-NoE had a stand at the Commertcial Security hall.
  • IBC 2007 - The World of Content Creation Management and Delivery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 6-11 September 2007. MUSCLE will demonstrate its showcases in the New Technology Campus.
  • CIVR 2007 - The 6th International Conderence on Image and Video Retrieval, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 9-11 July 2007. The showcase events are sponsored by MUSCLE.
  • CeBIT 2007 - The MUSCLE NoE presented its activities and showcases at a booth at CeBIT, Hanover, Germany, 21 March 2007.
  • SAMT 2006 - International Conference on Semantics and Digital Media Technology, Athens, Greece, 6-8 December 2006.
  • EUPISCO 2006 - European Signal Processing Conference , Florence, Italy, 4-8 September 2006.
  • The first Joint DELOS-MUSCLE Summer School on Multimedia Digital Libraries: Machine learning and cross-modal technologies for access and retrieval, San Vincenzo, Italy, 12-17 June 2006. Lecture Videos available on-line and press release on CORDIS Wire (31 July 2006).