The Research Training Group (Graduiertenkolleg GRK 1362) is funded by the (DFG). It addresses fundamental scientific and technological challenges arising from the collaboration of networked autonomous entities that accomplish a common task through actively monitoring the environment and through requisite responses via a variety of stationary and mobile sensors/actuators. The sensing/actuating entities (and the collaborative system thus formed) monitor, acquire, manage and disseminate data with the goal of deriving higher level (context/event) information upon which the system can respond appropriately.

The problem space addressed by the GRK is defined along several dimensions including (i) perception abilities, (ii) motion and behavior abilities, (iii) communication abilities, and (iv) computing and middleware layers. We assume heterogeneous system characteristics along all these dimensions. The resulting, challenging research topics are structured along four main areas:

  • Research Area A: Sensing and Monitoring
  • Research Area B: Foundations of Communication
  • Research Area C: Computing and Middleware
  • Research Area D: Cooperative Planning and Control

They require a close, interdisciplinary approach by all participating scientists. International researchers from Virginia Tech, UVA and UIUC are associated to the GRK. Joint experimental setups of networked autonomous vehicles cover all areas A-D and allow evaluating the devised methodologies.

The qualification concept of the GRK includes focus topic courses held by the PIs and the associated international PIs. Graduate level courses designed to foster a common understanding between the diverse disciplines within the GRK are offered. International research stays of PhD students are facilitated, and a GRK summer school is jointly organized by the students, both promoting the involvement of our PhD candidates in the international research community. In addition, long-term research stays (e.g., sabbaticals) of the affiliated international faculty strengthen the overall program.

The mentoring of the PhD students is strengthened by the early involvement of a co-advisor and an early appointment of the doctoral committee. Annual GRK progress workshops are introduced with the goal of focusing research and fostering collaboration among the PhD students. Renowned international scholars contribute keynotes and act as reviewers of the presented research in these workshops. A collective selection process involving the entire GRK ensures that candidates are both excellent as well as complementary to the GRK.