Institute for Mathematical Optimization
Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig
Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig
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Research Projects in Mathematical Optimization

This web page gives a brief overview over current and past research projects at Institute of Mathematical Optimization.

MOReNet: Modelling, Optimization and Control of Networks of Heterogeneous Energy Systems with Volatile Renewable Energy Production

The Energiewende (German for energy transition), i.e. a low-fossil-fuel economy, is an ambitious goal. The project MOReNet solves mathematical problems of the Energiewende, which are provided by industrial partners. As a high rate of renewable energy is necessary to achieve a massive greenhouse gas reduction, the energy network of the future will consist of many decentralized energy generators and has to deal with a bidirectional energy flow. Further, the network will be characterized by a high volatility (due to dependence on external influences). The mathematical challenges are: the modeling of coupled multi-physics systems; robustification of control processes against uncertain parameters; modeling, simulation and discrete-continuous optimization under uncertainty; real-time simulation and optimization of multi-scale and hybrid systems; model reduction and adaption.

Researchers: Prof. Kirches and Prof. Stiller (TU Braunschweig), with Prof. Bock, Prof. Kostina, Dr. Potschka (all Heidelberg University) and Dr. Faulwasser, Prof. Hagenmeyer (both Karlsruhe Institut of Technology)
Funding: German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) (BMBF Industriemathematik 2017-20)
Duration: Jan 2018 - Dec 2020

Heidelberg University Frontier 2017 Research Project

This joint research project of applied and theoretical psychology and scientific computing applies agent-based modeling (ABM) techniques to explore how cognitive factors contribute to the spread of information in filter bubbles. ABM is a method to computationally model individual behaviors and to assess how these affect others as well as the environment. This innovative project is the first to investigate the spread of information in filter bubbles from a cognitive perspective by using a rigorous scientific computing approach. We merge agent-based modeling with ACT-R, a cognitive architecture that simulates the cognitive process of each agent and apply mathematical simulation and optimization to our model to make quantitative statements about the distribution of outcomes (e.g., radicalization of beliefs in groups) under different parameter settings. We also determine optimal parameter settings (e.g., optimal belief distributions in groups to avoid radicalization).

Researchers: Dr. Fischer (ATP Heidelberg), Dr. Potschka, N. Said (IWR Heidelberg), Prof. Kirches
Funding: Innovationsfonds Frontier 2017
Duration: Nov 2017 - Aug 2018

Non-smooth Methods for Complementarity Formulations of Switched Advection-Diffusion Processes

efficient numerical methods for optimization of advection- diffusion processes described by large-scale instationary switched PDAEs with application to optimal operation of the transient behaviour of Rankine cycles for energy recovery.

Researchers: Prof. Kirches (TU Braunschweig), with Prof. Sager (OVGU Magdeburg), S. Leyffer (Argonne National Laboratory, IL, USA)
Funding: Priority Programme 1962 of Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Duration: Oct 2016 - Sep 2019

MoPhaPro - Model-based Optimization of Pharmaceutical Processes

Providing effective, safe and affordable medication is a highly relevant and society-wide effort. MoPhaPro develops new mathematical methods to replace empirical procedures in developing and producing medications by systematic mathematical modeling of the underlying pharmaceutical process, by fast and reliable numerical simulation of process models. By making use of model-based optimization, this project help to improve identification and development aspects of the production cycle and makes highly effective medication safer, more available, and more affordable.

Researchers: Prof. Kirches (TU Braunschweig), Prof. Bock, Prof. Kostina, Dr. Potschka (all Heidelberg University)
Funding: German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
Duration: Dec 2016 - Nov 2019

Completed Projects

KoroiBot - Improving humanoid walking capabilities by human-inspired mathematical models, optimization and learning

Teaching two-legged robots a stable, robust “human” way of walking – this is the goal of the international research project KoroiBot, which is named after Koroibos of Elis, the first recorded Olympic champion in history. KoroiBot is funded by the European Union from October 2013 on for three years and gathers an interdisciplinary consortium from the areas of robotics, mathematics and cognitive sciences. Whether as rescuers in disaster areas, household helps or as “colleagues” in modern work environments: there are numerous possible areas of deployment for humanoid robots in the future. One of the major challenges on the way is to enable robots to move on two legs in different situations, without falling – even in unknown rough terrain and under possible perturbations. In the KoroiBot project, we will study the way humans walk e.g. on stairs and slopes, on soft and slippery ground or over beams and seesaws, and create mathematical models. Besides developing new optimization and learning methods for walking on two legs, we aim to implement them in practice on real robots. In addition, the research results are to flow into planning new design principles for the next generation of robots. Besides the targeted use in robotics, we expect possible applications of the methods in medicine, e.g. for controlling intelligent artificial limbs, designing and controlling exoskeletons as well as in computer animation and in game design.

Researchers: IWR Heidelberg (Prof. Mombaur, Dr. Schlöder, Dr. Kirches) with researchers at Tübingen University, at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, at Weizmann Institute, at Delft Technical University, and at LAAS-CNRS Toulouse.
Funding: European Union within the Seventh Framework Programme (grant agreement no 611909)
Duration: Oct 2013 - Sep 2016

TEAM - Tomorrow's Elastic Adaptive Mobility

TEAM stands for Tomorrow’s Elastic Adaptive Mobility. It turns static into elastic mobility by joining drivers, travellers and infrastructure operators together into one collaborative network. Thereby TEAM explicitly takes into account the needs and constraints of all participants and the network itself.

Researchers: Prof. Stiller, with ...
Funding: European Union within the Seventh Framework Programme (grant agreement no 318621)
Duration: Nov 2012 - Oct 2016

RobuNet - Robustes Netzwerkdesign für sehr große Logistiknetzwerke

Location and touring decisions for large scale logistics networks under uncertain input data.

Researchers: Prof. Stiller, with ...
Funding: European fund for regional development (EFRE), Investment Bank Berlin (IBB).
Duration: Aug 2012 - May 2015

GOSSIP - BMBF Industriemathematik 2013-2016

Researchers: Dr. Kirches, with Prof. Bock, Prof. Kostina, Dr. Potschka (all Heidelberg University), Prof. Sager (OVGU Magdeburg)
Funding: German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
Duration: Jan 2014 - Mar 2017

E-Motion - BMBF Industriemathematik 2013-2016

Optimization of freight train schedules in Germany under consideration of energy relevant processes in railway and air transportation. Part of the BMBF project "E-Motion" to increase the energy efficiency in mobility.

Researchers: Prof. Zimmermann, with ...
Funding: German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Duration: Oct 2013 - Dec 2015