That secondment was the starting point of collaborations with Yuandou and the team at UvA that are actually still on-going and that we plan to continue.

Hoi! Today, I wanna talk to you about my secondment in Amsterdam ☺


One of the limitations for the development of robust and generalizable models in our field is the scarce availability of training data. Indeed, obtaining additional data samples from multiple institutions is strongly hindered by the privacy-related regulations when it comes to sharing patient data. Of course, there have been innovative methods that help cope with that issue, such as the generation of synthetic data, but if we want to train optimal models, we need to make collaborations possible.

To work on this issue, I had the opportunity to join the System and Network Engineering (SNE) Research Group at the University of Amsterdam where Na (ESR1) and Yuandou (ESR2) are doing their Ph.D. Therefore, from December 2021 to February 2022, I was under the supervision of Dr. Zhiming Zhao to try and combine UPV’s expertise in artificial intelligence with that of the SNE group in cloud computing, among others. There, my work focused on the development of a step-by-step pipeline that would allow multi-institution collaboration by means of federated learning, thus enabling to train models locally at each institution without having to share their data. Optimally, the development of this framework could bring the promise of gathering more substantial datasets to complete ours in CLARIFY and reach optimal models.

During that stay at the UvA, I gained a lot of insight regarding the SNE group expertise, leading to more ideas to combine it with artificial intelligence. That secondment was also the starting point of collaborations with Yuandou (Figure 1) and the team at UvA that are actually still on-going and that we plan to continue.

Yet that secondment was not only enriching at a professional level, but also at a personal one. Indeed, despite the strong COVID-related restrictions that were in place at the beginning of my secondment, I still had the chance to visit the country, try local cheeses and, most of all, meet amazing people both at the UvA and my roommates. Looking forward to visiting them!

Figure 1: Planning the next steps in our collaboration with Yuandou (ESR2)

Figure 2: My “swapfiets” bike next to Na (ESR1)’s bike at UvA

Figure 3: Excursion to a castle with Ph.D. student friends of the UvA

Laëtitia – ESR7.