MSI Seminar: Solving the trajectory inference problem with the help of Optimal Transport

  • IDEX UCAJedi
  • Research
Published on September 15, 2021 Updated on October 4, 2021

on the October 28, 2021

On October 28, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

100% online

Seminar held via Zoom

Online seminar held by Hugo Lavenant (Assistant Professor at Bocconi University, Italy)


Hugo Lavenant, Assistant Professor at Bocconi University (Italy).


The "trajectory inference" problem arises when one tries to study biological processes with new experimental technologies like single cell RNA sequencing and is interested in the evolution of cell states over time. Indeed these technologies provide high dimensional measurements of cell states, but they are destructive thus cannot track the trajectories of the cells over time.
We explain how optimal transport, a mathematical theory which enables to compare probability distributions and computing couplings between random variables, can be used to solve this problem and reconstruct the temporal couplings as well as the trajectories and the fates of the cells. This method was tested on synthetic and real data, in particular to study differentiation of cells in developmental biology. We will also mention some of the theoretical challenges linked to this problem.


To join this online seminar, please register on
Should you need further information, you can send an email to: