Interdisciplinary Academic Competencies
The eleven participating chairs of the Departments of Economics and Business Engineering, Informatics, and Electrical Engineering and Information Technology will be described briefly below. Some of them already cooperated successfully under the projects of MeRegio, MeRegioMobil, and CROME.
The Chair of Energy Economics (Prof. Fichtner) at the Institute for Industrial Production (IIP) analyses techno-economic questions along the whole energy supply chain, from primary energy supply, over energy conversion and energy transport to energy distribution and energy use. The scope of research includes both energy system analyses of regions or states and single enterprises or households. Our analyses include interdisciplinary methods of technical, economic, ecologic and socio-scientific research. Strategically relevant problems relate to, inter alia, capacity expansion and deployment planning, supply chain optimization and technology assessment. Newer studies extend these traditional topics especially in the field of decentralized energy supply structures including (mobile) energy storage. These research topics include analyses of electric mobility and of the long term development of decentralized generation capacities and technologies or instruments to enhance the market integration of decentralized demand and generation. In addition, we develop and evaluate methods and tools to control these decentralized systems and the load response of households, business and industry and analyze the acceptance of these measures.
Department of Economics and Business Engineering
The Efficient Algorithms research group (Professor Schmeck) of the Institute of Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods (AIFB) focuses on the development of methods for the efficient use of modern computer infrastructures in the planning, improvement, and execution of information processing, business, and fabrication processes. Particular attention is devoted to multiply networked, adaptive systems capable of self-organization. Their management and efficient use is a major objective of the DFG priority programme of Organic Computing that is coordinated by H. Schmeck. Apart from fundamental research into architectures and methods of organic computing, concrete technical applications in the critical infrastructures of transport, energy, and cloud computing are studied. Activities in the field of energy focus on the innovative topics of smart home, smart grid, and charge management of electric vehicles that are covered by the projects of MeRegio, MeRegioMobil, CROME, and iZEUS among others. Participation in the KICs InnoEnergy and EIT ICT Labs ensures extensive networking on the European level. Partnerships with renowned OEMs, plant manufacturers, and utility companies guarantee close-to-practice research. H. Schmeck also is the scientific spokesperson of the KIT Commputation Focus that addresses the inherent combination of communication and computation in today’s smart systems. Active transfer of research results to direct cooperative ventures with industry partners is ensured via the “Intelligent Information and Communication in Technical Systems” Division established at the Research Center for Information Technology (FZI). KIT’s contributions to the MeRegio and MeRegioMobil projects were coordinated by the group of H. Schmeck. It designed and constructed the smart home and developed the energy management system and energy management panel. Now, the chair will coordinate and manage the iZEUS project for the further development of the Energy Smart Home Lab and the design of smart charge management processes.
The key objective of the Knowledge Management Group (Prof. Studer) is research in the area of semantic technologies. The focus of the group is on the development of methods and infrastructures for intelligent ontology-based management of distributed data sources and services, as well as intelligent knowledge management applications. The group can look back on extensive expertise acquired over the years, and is considered one of the leading groups in its field worldwide. The group conducts semantic technology research in the context of a number of prominent projects, for example the European research projects Render (Reflecting Knowledge Diversity) and PlanetData. Also, the group has been actively involved in the standardisation effort of W3C's Web Ontology Language (OWL).
An important aspect of iZeus is a highly scalable, distributed data management and query processing. In this context, the Knowledge Management Group has already developed multiple software prototypes, using technologies which can also be applied in the iZeus project. Most notably, the group has developed the Information Workbench (in cooperation with FluidOps) as well as Visinav, both of which successfully participated in international competitions (amongst others the Semantic Web Challenge). A second important factorin the iZeus project is a formal vocabulary for data integration. Ontologies have been already applied in several national projects, e.g., the BMBF project "SmartWeb", BMBF project "SESAM", and the BMWi project "MeRegioMobil", in order to allow for flexible data integration between various heterogeneous parties. Furthermore, the Knowledge Management Group has also worked on expressive policy languages, enabling an effective access restriction given distributed environments. Research on policies will be applied in iZeus in order to enforce data privacy aspects. The research group actively supports the transfer of research output to partners in industry and academia via the Forschungszentrum Informatik (FZI) and the Karlsruhe Service Research Institute (KSRI). Further, the group has taken a leading role in establishing the German branch of the Semantic Technology Institute (STI), a well-connected organisation for technology transfer.
The research group of Prof. Dr. Christof Weinhardt (Institute of Information Systems and Management - IISM) analyzes and designs electronic markets for various industries, e.g. energy, finance, and services.
Electronic trading platforms and market and coordination mechanisms are not only designed, but also analyzed with regard to their quality of results and appropriateness for the area of application. One of the methods used is the design science methodology by implementing prototypes of such systems and then running experiments and simulations on these implementations. The overall approach is called "Market Engineering", which is at the heart of the group's research interest.
Within the project iZEUS, the methods of Market Engineering are applied to find solutions which help people in their every day life to handle scarce energy resources more informed and more responsibly, hence more efficiently. The focus in this project is particularly about the coordination of the charging processes of electric-vehicles on the basis of variables like prices from the energy market, the state of the local electrical network or by inclusion of information about the available renewable energy. Besides economic incentives, nonmonetary incentives and feedback information should also be included in the coordination process.
In addition to the analysis based on simulations which has already been a major focus of the IISM project in MeRegioMobil, the testing of the charging strategies as well as the investigation of the user acceptance in cooperation with the IIP is to be carried out in iZEUS. Moreover, the integration of vehicle fleets in the energy system can be analysed regarding the market integration via the simulation platforms being developed within the project MeRegio.
Department of Informatics
The group headed by Prof. Dorothea Wagner is part of the Institute of Theoretical Computer Science at the Department of Informatics and carries on research in the domain of algorithm engineering, where theoretical analysis and practical approaches are combined. Amongst others, current research covers topics from graph drawing, graph clustering and shortest-path computation in large-scale networks. Dorothea Wagner currently holds the position of a vice president of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and is active as an editor of several well-known journals, including JDA and JGAA.
The group has conducted intensive research on route planning for more than a decade, making it one of the world leaders in this field. Studies mainly focus on approaches that yield low and most notably practically feasible computation times. The developed methods have been implemented and evaluated exhaustively on real-world data, proving their practicality. The academic studies are supported in several cooperations with industrial partners, including companies such as PTV, Google and HaCon. The focus of current research is on multi-modal and multi-criteria route planning as well as the theoretical analysis of shortest-path algorithms.
As its main contribution with regard to the iZeus project the group will provide algorithmic approaches for fast computation of battery-efficient routes. The primary goal is to improve the acceptance of electric vehicles among the broader public by providing a precise and context sensitive indication of the remaining range of a vehicle. Moreover battery efficiency can be improved by both suggesting routes to the user that optimize energy consumption and giving instructions for economical driving behaviour. Developed approaches will be implemented and integrated into a navigation system that is going to be introduced in a field test in cooperation with the industrial partners of the project.
The research group for Energy Information Law and Legal Computer Sciences headed by Dr. Raabe located at the Institute for Information and Business Law (Prof. Dreier) focuses particularly on the legal issues arising from the increasing computerization in the energy industry. Especially the areas of data protection law, measurement law and the law of evidence as well as the specific legislation and regulation of the energy market should be mentioned. The research fellows of this group have gained a broad knowledge in those fields and their numerous publications and lectures are nationally and internationally recognized. The research group is also active in politics and government advice on all legal issues related to smart grid and electric vehicles. By participating in committees - such as the "National Platform Networks" - the team of Dr. Raabe is gaining early insight into future legislative developments. Therefore, it is possible to have an impact on the lawful conception and implementation of system architectures, components and communication models for the project partners at an early stage.
The Institute for Programme Structures and Data Organisation (IPD) (Prof. Dr. Reussner) is a member of the Faculty of Informatics that is concerned with an engineering approach to software design in research and teaching. The domain of the chair for Software Design and Quality (SDQ) includes all topics in the context of systematic construction of software systems. In particular, this ranges from architectural designs, development methods, tools and environments up to methods for ensuring the quality and economics of programming.The chair is focused on the close interaction of software architecture, software components, model driven development and software quality. This involves methods for prediction of software quality attributes, like performance and reliability, on the base of architectural designs. For this purpose methods and tools have been developed within the DFG Palladio Research Project, which are currently being used and refined within the QImPrESS and SLA@SOI EU projects.
The research topic of the IPD Reussner in the context of the iZEUS project are software architectures for the next generation power grid. The developed software architectures provide reliable communication between electric vehicles and the power grid. This means the system is available even under heavy load conditions. Therefore, a good cloud infrastructure has to be applied. Moreover, a secure authentication and authorization mechanism has to be provided to the end-users. Since one of the goals of iZEUS is to develop an open market electro mobility platform, open source software (e.g. Linux and NoSQL) will be used for the server architecture. Additionally, the IPD Reussner will model and evaluate software architectures for supporting Demand-Side-Management (DSM) .The IPD Reussner is using an engineering approach to software design to evaluate the performance of software architectures in a very early software development stage. This approach allows to test mission critical scenarios before having an implemented and running system.
The Decentralized Systems and Network Services Research Group of Prof.Hartenstein focusses on design, evaluation and optimization of mobile and virtual networks as well as federative service oriented architectures. In this context, self-organizing adaptive communication networks are examined. In the field of mobile networks the research group specializes in inter-vehicle communications (BMBF projects FleetNet, NoW: Network on Wheels, EU-FP7 project PRE-DRIVE C2X, DRIVE C2X). In these types of networks content-based addressing is essential, as the end-to-end principle is not applicable in many cases. Instead, geographically relevant target regions are addressed. In the field of virtual networks the group examined autonomous communication infrastructures through simulations and testbeds in the context of the SESAM project of the BMBF, which addressed issues of internet economics. In SESAM, the group focused on scalability, robustness and deployability. Further research questions were addressed within the project KAI founded by the BSI. In the context of decentralized service oriented architectures the research group concerned itself with identity management for federative structures in the integrative project KIM of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Identity management for federative structures acts as a basic service allowing for higher-order services to be built on top.
In MeRegioMobil the group helped design an IT architecture for electromobility, facilitating secure authentification, authorization as well as data management among independent market participants. Methodologically, the research group has significant competences in the field of simulation as well as in analytical studies and work with prototypes and test environments.
The research group's goal in the project iZeus is to create an electromobility platform which is open to all market participants and which enables flexible and failsafe delivery of demand side management services. Particular focus is on legal conformity and a future-proof design as well as detailed management of permissions as a basis for communication among market participants, especially in view of roaming. Furthermore, an efficient simulation infrastructure and corresponding models will allow for identification and evaluation of potentials for energy efficiency in the fields of smart traffic and smart grid.
In the context of new services and applications, the team of Prof. Dr. Martina Zitterbart at the Institute of Telematics is focused on the research and the development of prototypes for novel communication infrastructures applicable for today's Internet as well as future Internet architectures. Research topics range from signaling and management aspects of future networks, over the realization of distributed applications and services by means of overlay and peer-to-peer based approaches, to communication protocols and applications for wireless sensor networks. Security aspects, the abstract modeling of processes and problems as well as the simulation of networks play a major role in all fields of research. The Institute shows a high level of expertise acquired through different research projects such as the SpoVNet project funded by the Landesstiftung BW within the BW-FIT program. SpoVNet offers a flexible architecture simplifying the realization of distributed services with respect to quality of service and security constraints. With his junior researchgroup SODESSON funded by the Excellence Initiative, Dr. Ingmar Baumgart additionally investigates the use of P2P techniques within mobile and heterogeneous networks. With OverSim, the Institute of Telematics additionally yielded a powerful ICT simulation tool, which is used, extended and approved by the peer-to-peer research community worldwide. Within the projects Meregio and MeregioMobil the simulator was extended by smart grid components. Therefore, OverSim is suitable as basis for further investigations in the context of iZEUS, where the Institute of Telematics develops decentralized smart traffic applications which utilize an overlay-based communication architecture.
Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
The research efforts of the Institute of Electric Energy Systems and High Voltage Technology (IEH) under the direction of Prof. Leibfried can be divided into three main areas. The intention of the first area is to investigate new strategies for increasing capacity of transmission lines by improving FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission Systems) topologies and control systems. Further the realization of charging stations for electric vehicles in car parks is analyzed and the potential of system services like voltage stabilization within distribution grids is investigated. The second area of interest is the development of control strategies for a grid with a high fraction of distributed renewable energy sources and energy storages like those of electric vehicles. The intent is to maintain grid stability, while attaining high grid efficiency. The third research area is the „diagnostics of power grid equipment” which is dedicated to the development of new measuring and analysis approaches for state estimation and fault prediction of power transformers. For in situ testing of power grid equipment, new high-voltage test systems based on power electronics are developed.
The Institute of Electrical Engineering targets the field of electrical drives and power electronics headed by Prof. Michael Braun. Current research topics are high dynamic control of permanently excited synchronous machines for industry and transportation, new power electronic topologies as well as open and closed loop inverter control. Short time battery storage and power inverters for integration of renewable energy sources into the power grid are examined. This includes the development of novel inverter topologies as well as highly optimized control strategies.
For verification purposes the institute possesses a 4kW photovoltaic generator mounted on the rooftop and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles at the parking space. During the Project MeRegioMobil the grid integration of electrical vehicles and the connection to the Smart Home has been regarded. In the Project iZEUS a fast charging station including stationary energy storage should be developed and evaluated. This station should charge several vehicles near the Smart Home Lab. Another field of research is the investigation of vehicle based grid stabilization techniques which could help to maintain grid stability with a high amount of renewable energy production.