German Research Foundation (DFG)

Current Projects and Programmes

German Research Foundation

A fundamental prerequisite for the development of society and the economy is that the actors and processes of present and future IT infrastructures can justifiably trust each other. The goal of the Collaborative Research Center CROSSING is to provide cryptography-based security solutions enabling trust in new and next generation computing environments. The solutions will meet the efficiency and security requirements of the new environments and will have sound implementations. They will be easy to use for developers, administrators, and end users of IT, even if they are not cryptography experts.

MAKI creates an innovative premise for the communication systems of the future. Its aim is to be more adaptive to changes, particularly during ongoing operations. This could facilitate, for instance, the ability to stream video on a smartphone in high quality without interruptions in spite of busy or overloaded mobile networks. Users would be able to rely on steady and reliable reception even while attending festivals or crowded sporting events.

The Internet has rapidly evolved into an integral part of our everyday life. Consequently, the necessary communication mechanisms and equipment are changing on a constant basis. The individual solutions resulting from this rapid evolution are widely considered to be problematic. Currently, as many as three standards exist for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and now LTE alone. The result: a multitude of services, often based on different technologies.

MAKI considers this diversity as an opportunity by utilizing the individual attributes of particular mechanisms to meet the desired high quality objectives.

The Doctoral College “Privacy and Trust for Mobile Users” was launched in October 2015. It is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration between Computer Science and the fields of Law, Economics, Sociology, and usability research funded as Research Training Group by the German National Science Foundation (DFG).

Robot Learning of Mobile Manipulation for Intelligent Assistance
Robotic household assistants have been a major goal of artificial intelligence and robotics since the fields’ inception. Significant recent progress in perception and manipulation learning for fixed-base robot arms with statically installed cameras indicates that this dream may finally be feasible. However, robot household assistants require intelligent mobile manipulation capabilities to safely enter every-day living environments, to interact with humans, and to fulfill basic household tasks.

Unlike in perception or stationary robot manipulation setups, intelligent mobile manipulation cannot rely on brute-force machine learning approaches with large real-world data sets but needs to merge the advantages of classical model-based robotics with modern machine learning methods. Such a hybrid approach is likely to succeed as mobile manipulators are often less constrained in their actions than a stationary robot arm.

Thus, the iROSA project aims to investigate a novel robot learning approach to mobile manipulation for intelligent assistance.
Prof. Dr. Georgia Chalvatzaki
Interactive Robot Perception and Learning (PEARL)

Funding DFG, since 2021

Project Details at GEPRIS
XIVA – eXplainable Image and Video Analysis

In her project XIVA – eXplainable Image and Video Analysis, funded by the Emmy Noether Programme, Schaub-Meyer will apply the methods of XAI specifically to image and video analysis. Her goal is to develop interpretable explanation methods for spatial and spatio-temporal visual tasks such as image/video segmentation and motion estimation. The insights gained from this work will be used to improve the models themselves and their robustness.
To this end, she will first analyze the predictive performance of existing models that already provide novel, human-interpretable metrics. A direct comparison will reveal global weaknesses and strengths of the models. Another goal is to develop local attribution methods that can process and visualize spatial and spatio-temporal decision processes.
Dr. Simone Schaub-Meyer
Image and Video Analysis Group

Funding DFG, since 2024

Project Details at GEPRIS

Former Funding Programmes

Cryptography beyond the black-box model
The current state of cryptographic research uses mathematical security models, which, in addition to a formal definition of desired security properties, in particular allow a security analysis based on mathematical evidence.

We will extend the current black-box model, and develop provably secure cryptographic countermeasures that provide a higher level of security when the quality of random numbers is poor and side channel attacks are possible. Furthermore, we will present tools that make the implementation process of cryptographic algorithms more error resistant.
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Faust
Angewandte Kryptographie

Funding DFG, since 2015

Project Details at GEPRIS

AIPHES is a Research Training Group (GRK 1994) funded by the DFG, the federal German research foundation. The research training group is led by Prof. Iryna Gurevych (UKP Lab) from the Computer Science Department of the Technische Universität Darmstadt. Participating partners are the Heidelberg University and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies. AIPHES cooperates with leading international researchers in all research areas.

How can large numbers of communicating sensors with vastly different computing and communication resources, ranging from simple temperature sensors to complex vision systems, cooperate to monitor their environment? How can multiple land, water and airborne autonomous vehicles navigate and coordinate with each other and with stationary sensors and a human mission manager? How can these teams of autonomous mobile sensor platforms be used in cooperative search and rescue missions in a disaster situation?

To answer these questions a variety of scientific and technological challenges must be solved ranging from dynamic terrain recognition to the automatic recognition of human shapes, from basic questions about dependability and quality of service in the communication and middleware platforms to the coordination of teams of autonomous vehicles.

Project Details GRK 1362: Cooperative, Adaptive and Responsive Monitoring in Mixed Mode Environments

The goal of this interdisciplinary research training group is to conduct research in the enabling technologies for e-commerce. The program is rooted in Computer Science, but also explores the interaction between technological and legal, social and commercial issues. The cooperation across disciplines is encouraged and supported through lectures, seminars and interaction with distinguished scientists and practitioners.

Project Details GRK 492: Enabling Technologies for e-Commerce

Research Training Group Intelligente Systeme für die Informations- und Automatisierungstechnik

The use of numerical simulation techniques for more and more engineering areas becomes a cost-effective alternative to expensive, time and personnel consuming experimental investigations. In many industrial branches numerical simulation has already developed to a key technology. In spite of the progresses that have been achieved in recent years for many practical applications, which, moreover, permanently increase in complexity, a reliable simulation is still not possible. This can be caused either by the lack of theoretical foundations in modelling or by extremely high requirements concerning the computer capacities.

Project Details GRK 853: Modelling, Simulation and Optimisation of Engineering Applications

(In German only)

Das Graduiertenkolleg “Qualitätsverbesserung im E-Learning durch rückgekoppelte Prozesse” verfolgt die gezielte Qualitätsverbesserung von E-Learning. Neben Fragen nach Konzepten für Qualität und deren Messbarkeit steht dabei der Rückkopplungsbegriff im Fokus: Dieser fächert sich auf nach automatisierter, computerbasierter Rückkopplung, Feedback von Individuen und in Communities oder der Verschränkung beider Formen. Darüber hinaus werden implizite oder explizite Rückkopplungen und die damit einhergehenden Effekte auf Bildungsprozesse und Lernfortschritte untersucht.

System integration is a topic of growing importance, both in research and university education programs. Computers are able to support humans in daily tasks, granted they have access to additional information in order to have their functionality and usability improved. Therefore, the computers must be embedded in the application domain in such a way they can extract the information by themselves. To achieve the required miniaturization, it is necessary to integrate all the different components in a single system. The analysis and development of such heterogeneous systems is the subject of this research training group. For this purpose, the techniques and methodologies available in the related disciplines must be merged into a multi-disciplinary approach, which implies an intensive collaboration between the members of the group.

Project Details GRK 749: System Integration for Ubiquitous Computing in the Information Technology

Taking the guiding principle that technology figures as a “material dispositive”, which shapes, influences, and characterises social interaction and society at large, the Research Training Group focusses on the interplay of technology and space. Technology obviously bears an impact on existing spatial arrangements and intervenes in space constitutions of various kinds. Technology and space relate to each other in arenas such as design offices, households, airplane cockpits and urban areas. In addition, technology generates completely new spaces, e.g., cyberspace and built environments.

The general aim of the Research Training Group is to develop a topology of technology based on the twofold assumption that technology essentially shapes spatial arrangements and creates conditions which even influence sensory perception and bodily experience.

Project Details GRK 1343: Topology of Technology

Graduate School Computational Engineering

(Excellence Initiative of the German Federal Republic and the Federal States)

The Graduate School of Excellence Computational Engineering (CE) at the Technische Universität (TU) Darmstadt has been recognized as a center for top-level research and scientific excellence by the highly competitive 'Excellence Initiative' of the German Federal and State Governments. The Graduate School enables PhD students to develop their scientific skills in a focused way, and to cooperate under optimal conditions in a highly stimulating interdisciplinary environment.

This Priority Programme assumes that a paradigm shift in IT-security is necessary in order to reliably guarantee the security of complex software systems. The current trust-based and mechanism-centric approaches to IT-security shall be complemented by property-oriented solutions. This paradigm shift shall enable a trustworthy certification of system-wide, technical security guarantees that adequately respects the semantics of programs and of security requirements. Bridging the gap from security in-the-small to security in-the-large will involve the improvement of conceptual foundations, the development of analysis and engineering tools, and their migration into practice. Collaborations between multiple sub-disciplines of Computer Science, primarily formal methods, IT-security, and programming languages, will be necessary to achieve the objectives of the programme.

Project Details Reliably Secure Software Systems

The DFG research project “Multi-Port bone surgery using the example of the temporal bone” (MUKNO) is a cooperation between the ORL-clinic in Düsseldorf, the “WZL” of the RWTH Aachen and the “Interactive Graphics System Group” of the TU Darmstadt. The aim of the project is to investigate how minimally traumatic surgical procedures at the otobasis can be accomplished. The main challenge here is not to damage any important structures such as the facial nerve or the carotid artery. So far, the surgeon dissects all collision structures in the surgical field which means a high risk for the patient. In future, only three drilling canals should be used. Through these canals the instruments are inserted and the computer supports the surgeon during the navigation. In order to keep the complication rate under 0.5 %, the process chain has to be controllable. This means in every step of the chain – from the image acquisition over the segmentation, registration and planning to the drilling – the possible error should be kept under a feasible threshold.

Project Details FOR 1585: Multiport Bone Surgery at the Otobase

The significance of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) increased enormously over the last few years. With regard to traffic volume P2P systems are replacing more and more the world wide web (WWW), until now the predominant application on the internet. These P2P applications are based on a communication paradigm that is fundamentally different from that of the WWW and other traditional (client-server) applications, raising questions about suitable mechanisms for this paradigm where performance and quality are concerned.

The objective of the research project is to enhance the quality of P2P systems by systematically researching suitable mechanisms. Specific quality features will be applied to assess the quality of the P2P systems. This will be achieved by using and comparing it to centralized procedures as the respective reference points.

Project Details Improvement of the Quality of Peer-to-Peer Systems (QuaP2P)