Finding faults in Excel

A familiar situation for many: A large Excel file that includes many sheets, rows and columns – and in the end, the correct result stubbornly refuses to materialize. Troubleshooting can be complicated whenever numerous formulas and references are involved. Patrick Koch is working on the project “Debugging of spreadsheet programs (DEOS)”, funded by the FWF, which aims to simplify the search for errors. He recently received the “ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award” for his publication on this subject.

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Firefly synchronization of a robot swarm

In a recent video posted on Youtube, Agata Gniewek and Michał Barciś  (supervisor in the Karl Popper Kolleg “Networked Autonomous Aerial Vehicles”: Christian Bettstetter) present viewers with a firefly synchronization. We asked them to tell us a little bit more.

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Andrea Tonelleo was honored with the Aerospace Best Paper Award

Stochastic Trajectory Generation Using Particle Swarm Optimization for Quadrotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has been selected as the best research article published in 2017 in the MDPI Aerospace journal. The paper is co-authored by Babak Salamat and Andrea Tonello. It provides a realistic stochastic trajectory generation method for unmanned aerial vehicles. It offers a tool for the emulation of trajectories in typical flight scenarios, for instance, flight level, takeoff-mission-landing, and collision avoidance with complex maneuvering. The trajectories for these scenarios are implemented with quintic B-splines, which grants smoothness in the second-order derivatives of the Euler angles and accelerations. In order to tune the parameters of the quintic B-spline in the search space, a multi-objective optimization method called particle swarm optimization (PSO) is used. The proposed technique satisfies the constraints imposed by the configuration of the UAV. Further constraints can be introduced such as: obstacle avoidance, speed limitation, and actuator torque limitations due to the practical feasibility of the trajectories.

In the domain of aerial robotics, there is a large body of literature on path planning  and flight control. However, to assess performance, for instance of navigation algorithms, the trajectories followed by the moving aerial vehicle must be generated with a statistically representative emulator. In this paper, we have provided a new seminal idea on how to do so, and we believe that the results can open the door to a novel methodology to develop stochastic trajectory generator – prof. Tonello says.

Publications: Babak Salamat and Andrea M. Tonello. Stochastic trajectory generation using particle swarm optimization for quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  Aerospace 2017, 4(2), 27. Aerospace best paper awards 2017 – Editorial. Aerospace 2018, 5(2), 61.

Artificially intelligent metal detector for the needle in the haystack of knowledge

There are individuals who are immensely knowledgeable. And yet, as Maria von Ebner-Eschenbach tells us, “knowledge expands when it is shared.” But does knowledge that has been gathered in vast knowledge bases always remain free of errors? And how does one go about drawing accurate conclusions from collected knowledge? Patrick Rodler, Post Doc at the Department of Applied Informatics, is working on artificially intelligent error detection and error correction in knowledge bases.

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Mathematiker Benjamin Hackl im Gespräch über seine Studienzeit

Benjamin Hackl begann mit 15 Jahren zu studieren, mit 20 Jahren hat er sein Masterstudium der Mathematik abgeschlossen. Er ist damit der jüngste Absolvent eines Masterstudiums an der Alpen-Adria-Universität. Heute arbeitet er als Doktorand am Institut für Mathematik.
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ÖGAI Award 2013-2016 for Patrick Rodler

Congratulations:  Patrick Rodler was awarded in January 2018 with the  Recognition Award of the Austrian Society for Artificial Intelligence 2013-2016 (ÖGAI) for his outstanding master thesis “A Theory of Interactive Debugging of Knowledge Bases in Monotonic Logics”.

The Austrian Society for Artificial Intelligence awards the ÖGAI-Award for the best diploma thesis / master thesis in a sub-area of Artificial Intelligence to support young scientists.

(from left to right): Prof. Stefan Woltran (Jury), Patrick Rodler (Winner), Prof. Ernst Buchberger (ÖGAI President), Thomas Krismayer (Winner), Prof. Thomas Eiter (Jury)

One time for all: Synchronising time in drone swarms

Wherever several clocks tick simultaneously, it is tricky to get them all to display precisely the same time. This can be a challenge for drone swarms that are airborne together. To tackle this problem, young scientist Agata Gniewek is developing new technologies.

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Packages delivered by air: Drones as delivery service

What has travelled by road to reach us until now could be delivered by drones in the future. This has many advantages: Poor rural transport infrastructure or persistent congestion in large cities can be bypassed. In 2013, Amazon was among the first to announce the intention to deliver goods using small autonomous drones. But when might this technology truly become part of our daily lives? Drone researcher Pasquale Grippa provides some answers.

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Researchers from Klagenfurt participate in an Analog Mars Mission in Oman

The deserts of Dhofar, the largest governorate in the Sultanate of Oman, bear a remarkable similarity to the surface of Mars in terms of structural composition. The Austrian Space Forum (ÖWF) has therefore chosen Oman as the location of a large-scale Analog Mars Mission  scheduled for February 2018 in order to conduct field studies. 16 experiment teams will participate in this event, including the research group for autonomous drone navigation led by Stephan Weiss.

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Shielded from prying eyes overhead: Drone cameras and protecting the private sphere

Omair Sarwar works to ensure that image data captured by drones do not pose a risk to our privacy. Over the past three years, he has conducted his research at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt and at the Queen Mary University of London. He aims to conclude his doctoral thesis early next year.

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