Our daily life more and more depends on computational systems embedded in common appliances. Just think of advanced driver assistance systems in cars, medical devices, or indsutrial supervisory control and data acquisition systems. Since such systems also realise safety-critical tasks, it is all the more important to provide effective and efficient quality assurance for them. The specification, verification and testing theory group researches methods for model-based development and model checking, logical verification, and automated testing of safety-critical software. Prog. Schlingloff is chief scientist of the system quality center at Fraunhofer FOKUS, Berlin, and chairman of the boards of GFaI e.V. and ZeSys e.V.
- Major German company for communication and sensors: Student semester project for the design and implementation of a system for distributed control of indoor air quality.
With his Computer Engineering research group, Prof. Scheuermann develops technologies for application-specific communication and computer systems that are efficient, secure, and reliable. The topics range from tailored communication protocols and application-specific digital circuits all the way to different aspects of online anonymity and privacy-preserving technologies. For instance, Prof. Scheuermann aims to interconnect automobiles to make best possible use of the available road network resources. Furthermore, he develops specialised circuitry for firewalls, so that within nanoseconds the firewall can decide what communication should be permitted. The research team models flow control and congestion control mechanisms for Internet anonymity systems, which for example allow political activists in totalitarian regimes to bypass Internet censorship. They design privacy compliant data collection algorithms, which grant detailed Internet traffic statistics without revealing information about individual users. His team’s expertise encompasses the set-up of wireless communication in between manufacturing machines in factories, so as to optimize the production process. In the field of warehouse logistics, Prof. Scheuermann combines measurements from various types of sensors to allow for a more accurate positioning of goods. In all fields of operation, tailored solutions for communication protocols and circuitry are necessary. The challenges are rooted in the particular application area: for instance, very fast or particularly reliable communication may be needed. Or data exchange is limited due to inherent technical limitations, yet the respective application must function reliably. It could be the case that IT security requirements need to be taken into account in new application fields where standard solutions fail. There may be a trade-off between data protection requirements or user privacy concerns, and communication requirements for data transmission. In all mentioned examples, it is necessary to look beyond common solution strategies and to keep the whole picture in mind. This systems perspective characterises the Computer Engineering group and its projects.
- extensive experience in analytical, simulative, and experimental Analysis of network protocols and digital circuits
- well-equipped network laboratory, which allows for realistic set-ups of scenarios and network topologies (for experimental assessments of wired and wireless communication protocols)
- workshops and laboratories for the design and evaluation of application-specific digital circuits, in particular of FPGA-based systems
- for a large German car manufacturer: the group developed application-specific communication protocols for the data exchange between automobiles, including analytical and simulative assessment
- for afinancial service provider: the group assessed the security of the IT and communication infrastructure
- together with an IT security solution provider: the group developed tailored processors for hardware-supported firewalls
- with a young start-up company: the group developes a secure system and communication architecture for highly distributed Smart City applications
Model-driven engineering raises the level of abstraction in software engineering by using models as primary development artifacts. In particular, domain-specific modelling languages can ease the transition between informally sketched requirements or designs and implementations by supporting high-level yet formal representations as a starting point for automation. Moreover, using a model-based development approach, critical system properties can be analyzed, validated and verified even before the system is actually built. Model-driven development thus leads to an increase in both productivity and quality. To some extent, model-driven engineering has made its way into industrial practice, most notably for the development of embedded systems in various domains. However, model-driven engineering does not suffice to successfully manage all challenges of modern software engineering, and actually creates new problems. Research conducted at the Chair of Model-driven Software Engineering is particularly driven by relevant challenges and problems arising from the adoption of the model-driven engineering paradigm in industrial practice.
- Experience in implementing model-based development engineering methods, techniques and processes
- Know-how regarding the set-up of model-based transformation chains (domain-specific modeling languages, model transformation and interpretation, code generation) and development environments (collaborative modeling, (co-)evolution of models, model repair and synchronization)
- Expertise in the field of version and variant management, especially customized configuration management and software product lines
- Collaboration with a Berlin-based software company on the development of innovative software architecture analysis techniques for the quality assurance of embedded systems
- Consulting for a major German automotive supplier with regard to fundamental questions of configuration management of models for the model-driven development of embedded systems
- Support of an international electrical engineering corporation with the model-based development of software components for a new generation of internet-based multimedia building communication systems
Professor Hafner‘s research in Adaptive Systems is concerned with extracting principles of intelligence from biological systems and transferring them to artificial systems. We focus on the transfer of cognitive skills to autonomous robots. The challenge not only lies in building intelligent autonomous robots, but also in gaining insights into biological systems through robot experiments. Our main research themes are sensorimotor learning, internal models for prediction, attentional processes, and spatial cognition. The methodological approaches cover evolutionary algorithms, neural learning, and information theory. We use various types of mobile robots as research platforms, e.g. humanoid, mobile, flying and underwater robots, as well as software simulations. Professor Hafner is IEEE Senior Member and Principal Investigator in several projects funded by the EU.
- Local company for automation and robotics: Student semester project for the development of a collaborative fleet management system for autonomous transport robots.
Research at the chair of Wireless Broadband Communication systems within the computer engineering group focuses on communication systems for ultra-high data rates. Professor Eckhard Grass and his research group develop and investigate systems operating at ultra-high frequencies and research techniques and methods to improve the efficiency and reliability of wireless communication. The main reserach and developement focus is physical layers (PHY) and MAC layers.
- Complete toolchain for modelling, simulation, design and test of communication systems
- Software Defined Radio (SDR) modules
- Various FPGA platforms and toolchains for FPGA design
- Modules for mm-wave communications
- Measurement equipment such as oscillosocopes, spectrum analyzers, arbitrary waveform generators
- Development of a system for high-speed wireless communication with simultaneous distance measurement for a renowned automotive supplier
- mm-wave communication system with integrated positioning of mobile nodes for augmented reality applications for German industrial equipment supplier
- Joint development of a system for secure wireless communication for industry 4.0 together German industry partners
- mm-wave connections for 5G transport networks with European industry partners
The chair of Visual Computing develops new methods for the analysis and synthesis of image and video data. This includes algorithms for estimating shape, material, motion and deformation from monocular and multi-view camera systems. Both in national and international collaborations, those algorithms are exploited in applications like multimedia, VR/AR, industry, medicine, and security.
- Various cameras
- Multispectral sensors, 3D sensors
- Lighting and calibration systems
- Development of new methods for automatic inspection and damage classification of sewer networks with a water supply company
- Development of augmented reality systems for automobile production processes with a car manufacturer
- Analysis of multispectral imaging for tissue classification in collaboration with medical technology manufacturer
G.F. Schreinzer Positronik, Steinbeis GmbH & Co. KG, Steinbeis GmbH & Co. KG, Pronova Analysentechnik GmbH & Co. KG, newtec Umwelttechnik GmbH
Biosystems engineering works at the interface between engineering and biological production processes. Prof. Schmidt and his team develop engineering solutions for a sustainable agricultural production of crops and other environmental friendly technologies. Prof. Schmidt’s research thus leads to innovative plant farming methods in greenhouses, outdoors and other intensive crop farming systems. Alternative energy supply systems (low energy greenhouses) and closed material cycles for intensive crop farming (water hygiene, sensor systems and algorithms for fully automated nutrient solution supply in closed cycles) are Prof. Schmidt’s research area. His main activity herein is the development of sensors for gas analyses, climate measurement technology and that of software supporting decision making in automation systems. Moreover, the team also provides energetic assessments in complete production systems and parts thereof as well as process analyses.
- Experimental greenhouses with energy and material flow analytics, CO2 enrichment, artificial lights and fog systems
- Plant monitors for continuous measurement of photosynthesis, transpiration, tissue temperature, stomatal conductance, climate measurement, gas analyses (Co2, ethylene), soil moisture sensors
- Freely programmable automation system for climate and process control in greenhouses
- G.F. Schreinzer Positronik, Steinbeis GmbH & Co. KG: Development of an automation system for greenhouses based on measurement details of plants (Phytocontrol)
- Steinbeis GmbH & Co. KG: National collaborative research project „The Low Energy Greenhouse“ („Zukunftsinitiative Niederigenergiegewächshaus“, ZINEG)
- Pronova Analysentechnik GmbH & Co. KG: Development of ionselective sensors for continuous recording of ion proportion in circulating nutrient solution systems; Development of measuring device to analyse phytometric reactions in plants
- newtec Umwelttechnik GmbH: Development of re-circulating irrigation system with reduced phytosanitary risk in greenhouses