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Cognitive Dependable Cyber Physical Systems

Embedded electronics with central processors and “buried” software are increasingly the “intelligent core” behind modern technology. Such systems are a part of nearly every facet of modern life from the fully autonomous control of traffic lights, coffee machines and even cases cars and airplanes through the semi-automated management of power plants up to providing advice and support for mechanics and surgeons. The next generation of electronics, however, will need to go beyond merely collecting and collating information. Since next generation systems will receive complex, noisy, and often incomplete data from a heterogeneous array of sensors, they will need cognitive abilities such as perception, interpretation, learning, and optimal decision making. First, this wealth of complex data must be interpreted and integrated with stored knowledge in order to abstract higher-order information and to learn new rules. This new set of knowledge and rules will then be used to make informed decisions, which in turn are used to coordinate the entire system including any humans that will need to work with or near the system. Since future systems will work side-by-side with humans, they will not only need to continue the trend of doing human work, but they will need to do it in a way that is understandable and predictable. Preferably, they will do the work the way we would have. Since we will increasingly come to rely on such systems, they must also be dependable, safe, and secure. The two overarching goals of this thematic cluster are, on the one hand to study, develop, and evaluate “Cognitive and Dependable Cyber Physical Systems” (CD-CPS) and, on the other hand, to train highly qualified personal for developing and working with such systems, especially in regional industry.

The thematic cluster CD-CPS consists of 12 Professors and at least 9 Postdoctoral students. Four of the departments are well known for their research into “Dependable Cyber Physical Systems” (Prof. J. Nolte, Prof. R. Krämer, Prof. P. Langendörfer und Prof. T. Vierhaus). As a result, BTU is known as one of the leading research institutions in this area. Recently, a “Joint Lab” with the Leibniz Institute IHP was formed and a second “Joint Lab” with IHP and the University of Postdam was created. Six departments are well-established in research fields related to cognitive systems (Prof. M. Breuß, Prof. D.W. Cunningham, Prof. C. Hentschel, Prof. M. Wolff, Prof. E. Schneider and Prof. C. Petersen). In addition, two departments have a history performing research into dependable as well as into cognitive systems (Prof. I. Schmitt and Prof. P. Hofstedt).

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