Koblenz, Germany

University of Koblenz-Landau

www.uni-koblenz-landau.de
Koblenz, Germany

The University of Koblenz and Landau is a university located in Koblenz and Landau, Germany. It was founded in 1990. Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Washington, DC (May 10, 2017) Most human interactions with robots come from behind a screen. Whether it's fiction or a real-life interaction, rarely are we put face to face with a robot. This poses a significant barrier when we look towards a future where robots will be part of our everyday lives. How do we break down this barrier? A recent study by researchers at the University of Koblenz-Landau, University of Wurzburg, and Arts Electronica Futurelab, found that people who watched live interactions with a robot were more likely to consider the robot to have more human-like qualities. Constanze Schreiner (University of Koblenz-Landau), Martina Mara (Ars Electronica Futuerlab), and Markus Appel (University of Wurzburg) will present their findings at the 67th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association in San Diego, CA. Using a Roboy robot, participants observed one of three experimental human robot interactons (HRI); either in real life, in virtual reality (VR) on a 3D screen, or on a 2D screen. The scripted HRI between Roboy and the human technician was 4:25 minutes long. During that time, participants saw Roboy assisting the human in organizing appointments, conducting web searches and finding a birthday present for his mom. The data analyzed revealed that observing a live interaction or alternatively encountering the robot in a VR lead to more perceived realness. Furthermore, the kind of presentation influenced perceived human-likeness. Participants who observed a real HRI reported the highest perceived human-likeness. Particularly interesting is that participants who were introduced to Roboy in VR perceived the robot as less human-like than participants who watched a live HRI, whereas these two groups did not differentiate in regard of perceived realness. Usually, experimental studies interested in HRI and participants' evaluations of humanoid service robots - due to limited resources - need to fall back on video stimuli. This is the first study using participants' evaluations of a humanoid service robot when observed either on a 2D video, in 3D virtual reality, or in real life. "Many people will have their first encounter with a service robot over the next decade. Service robots are designed to communicate with humans in humanlike ways and assist them in various aspects of their daily routine. Potential areas of application range from hospitals and nursing homes to hotels and the users' households," said Schreiner. "To date, however, most people still only know such robots from the Internet or TV and are still skeptical about the idea of sharing their personal lives with robots, especially when it comes to machines of highly human-like appearance." "When R2-D2 Hops off the Screen: A Service Robot Encountered in Real Life Appears More Real and Humanlike Than on Video or in VR," by Constanze Schreiner, Martina Mara, and Markus Appel; to be presented at the 67th Annual International Communication Association Conference, San Diego, CA, 25-29 May 2017. Contact: To schedule an interview with the author or request a copy of the research, please contact John Paul Gutierrez, jpgutierrez@icahdq.org. The International Communication Association is an academic association for scholars interested in the study, teaching, and application of all aspects of human and mediated communication. With more than 4,300 members in 80 countries, ICA includes 31 Divisions and Interest Groups and publishes the Annals of the International Communication Association and five major, peer-reviewed journals: Journal of Communication, Communication Theory, Human Communication Research, Communication, Culture & Critique, and the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. For more information, visit http://www. .


Most human interactions with robots come from behind a screen. Whether it's fiction or a real-life interaction, rarely are we put face to face with a robot. This poses a significant barrier when we look towards a future where robots will be part of our everyday lives. How do we break down this barrier? A recent study by researchers at the University of Koblenz-Landau, University of Wurzburg, and Arts Electronica Futurelab, found that people who watched live interactions with a robot were more likely to consider the robot to have more human-like qualities. Constanze Schreiner (University of Koblenz-Landau), Martina Mara (Ars Electronica Futuerlab), and Markus Appel (University of Wurzburg) will present their findings at the 67th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association in San Diego, CA. Using a Roboy robot, participants observed one of three experimental human robot interactons (HRI); either in real life, in virtual reality (VR) on a 3D screen, or on a 2D screen. The scripted HRI between Roboy and the human technician was 4:25 minutes long. During that time, participants saw Roboy assisting the human in organizing appointments, conducting web searches and finding a birthday present for his mom. The data analyzed revealed that observing a live interaction or alternatively encountering the robot in a VR lead to more perceived realness. Furthermore, the kind of presentation influenced perceived human-likeness. Participants who observed a real HRI reported the highest perceived human-likeness. Particularly interesting is that participants who were introduced to Roboy in VR perceived the robot as less human-like than participants who watched a live HRI, whereas these two groups did not differentiate in regard of perceived realness. Usually, experimental studies interested in HRI and participants' evaluations of humanoid service robots - due to limited resources - need to fall back on video stimuli. This is the first study using participants' evaluations of a humanoid service robot when observed either on a 2D video, in 3D virtual reality, or in real life. "Many people will have their first encounter with a service robot over the next decade. Service robots are designed to communicate with humans in humanlike ways and assist them in various aspects of their daily routine. Potential areas of application range from hospitals and nursing homes to hotels and the users' households," said Schreiner. "To date, however, most people still only know such robots from the Internet or TV and are still skeptical about the idea of sharing their personal lives with robots, especially when it comes to machines of highly human-like appearance." "When R2-D2 Hops off the Screen: A Service Robot Encountered in Real Life Appears More Real and Humanlike Than on Video or in VR," by Constanze Schreiner, Martina Mara, and Markus Appel; to be presented at the 67th Annual International Communication Association Conference, San Diego, CA, 25-29 May 2017. Explore further: Image: Controlling robots at the Human Robot Interaction Laboratory


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.4.2 | Award Amount: 8.48M | Year: 2014

Miniaturisation, progress with energy issues and cost reductions have resulted in rapid growth in deployment of networked devices and sensors, very strongly connecting the internet with the physical world. With wide adoption of smartphones and social media, also people have become key sources of information about the physical world, corresponding events and the intents and plans of many individuals. With more than a billion of people organizing their lives electronically and sharing information via social platforms on the Internet and with the number of devices connected to the Internet already exceeding the number of people on earth and still growing to an estimated 50 billion devices by 2020, handling these massive amounts of data becomes a huge challenge. Surmounting this challenge, however, may give us previously unattainable understanding of events and changes in our surrounding environments. EPPICS will develop large scale adaptive methods to enable pervasive modelling, monitoring and predicting of events in the real world by extracting and combining data and information from physical and social sensors. Such methods will be integrated into a platform that will support citizens, authorities and organizations in taking informed and timely decisions when tackling real world events. Application domains will cover the intelligent management in urban settings with a particular focus on city-wide events management as well as water management, specifically monitoring and reacting to widespread floods. EPPICS will provide the technological and methodological framework for the capturing, integrating, modeling and forecasting of the large-scale hybrid information deriving from hundreds of sensors, thousands of cars and large-scale social media. The technology will enable the authorities a huge leap in terms of the ability to manage large events where hundreds of thousands of people are involved at the same time.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.5.4 | Award Amount: 3.33M | Year: 2013

Making and implementing policy at any level of government is fraught with difficulty. The impact of decisions made are not always obvious at the time the policy is formulated or enacted, and any short-comings of the policy become known too late to change it. This is not due to a lack of information, it is due to the difficulty of finding and aggregating the right data out of the sea of information which characterises our modern world. Having once formulated a policy it is then impossible to make useful predictions around its likely impact and effectiveness. Policy specialists lack the resources and the methodology to be able to access most current data and are unable to take into account the views of citizens on policy issues expressed in real time through social network discussions. SENSE4US is creating an integrated package of utilities based on cutting-edge research that meets this need for tools and techniques to support information gathering, analysing and policy modelling in real time. Through close interaction with policy makers around Europe the project will validate results in complex policy-making settings and direct the research towards the support of more timely, more effective and better understood policy creation. The SENSE4US project will tackle these challenges of policy making and implementation, integrating the benefits of both quantitative open data sources and qualitative social media data. We will provide tools enabling policy makers to find and select relevant information; link and homogenise the data; model policy in terms of constraints and intent; validate the policy; discover and incorporate views from NGOs and public; predict social impact of policy; provide decision support; provide understandable visualisation. The ultimate objective of the SENSE4US project is to advance policy modelling and simulation, data analytics and social network discussion dynamics, providing economic and social benefits at all governmental levels across Europe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-22-2014 | Award Amount: 2.70M | Year: 2015

Loss of the voluntary muscular control while preserving cognitive functions is a common symptom of neuromuscular disorders leading to a variety of functional deficits, including the ability to operate software tools that require the use of conventional interfaces like mouse, key-board, or touch-screens. As a result, the affected individuals are marginalized and unable to keep up with the rest of the society in a digitized world. MAMEMs goal is to integrate these people back into society by increasing their potential for communication and exchange in leisure (e.g. social networks) and non-leisure context (e.g. workplace). In this direction, MAMEM delivers the technology to enable interface channels that can be controlled through eye-movements and mental commands. This is accomplished by extending the core API of current operating systems with advanced function calls, appropriate for accessing the signals captured by an eye-tracker, an EEG-recorder and bio-measurement sensors. Then, pattern recognition and tracking algorithms are employed to jointly translate these signals into meaningful control and enable a set of novel paradigms for multimodal interaction. These paradigms will allow for low- (e.g., move a mouse), meso- (e.g., tick a box) and high-level (e.g., select n-out-of-m items) control of interface applications through eyes and mind. A set of persuasive design principles together with profiles modeling the users (dis-)abilities will be also employed for designing adapted interfaces for disabled. MAMEM will engage three different cohorts of disabled (i.e. Parkinsons disease, muscular disorders, and tetraplegia) that will be asked to test a set of prototype applications dealing with multimedia authoring and management. MAMEMs final objective is to assess the impact of this technology in making these people more socially integrated by, for instance, becoming more active in sharing content through social networks and communicating with their friends and family


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.2-02 | Award Amount: 3.82M | Year: 2013

The project aims to identify the key semi-natural habitats (SNH), outside and within crops, providing essential ecological services (ES). Vegetation traits will be linked to potential ES provision, case studies will measure actual ES levels and inform models which will show unused opportunities and trade-offs among ES by SNH from habitat to landscape scale. This will be achieved for a range of representative cropping systems and farming intensities in regions dominated by agriculture and matched to the requirements of local and national stakeholders. Surveys will identify key SNH and existing literature will be used to link their vegetation traits to ES provision. ES provision will be measured in existing habitat types (SNH to crop) across economically important cropping systems, farming intensities and four European agro-climatic zones using simple techniques in 16 case studies. A case study is defined by a unique combination of region, crop species, and service. Each case study will concentrate on locally important cropping system and the main ES required. Pollination and pest control have been identified as main ES needed, but also soil fertility, weed control and social services will be considered. The relative socio-economic weight of the studied ecosystem services will be appraised using feedback from national experts using a semi-quantitative method. Data will parameterise spatially explicit models to determine how the vegetation composition, management, shape, area, and placement of SNH in agricultural landscapes affect the distribution of mobile-agent based ecosystem services from farm to landscape level. To investigate synergies and trade-offs in ecological services, multi-criteria analysis will be developed to combine a suite of modules in an integrative modelling framework. Outputs are designed to inform local, national and EU stakeholders on how to improve ES provision from SNH and will include a novel web-based tool.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: CO-CREATION-05-2016 | Award Amount: 992.48K | Year: 2016

Emerging challenges of demographic change and of digitisation of societies call for new innovative models of public governance. Citizens and other civil and private sector actors take a more active and responsive role in ensuring prosperity, a secure living environment and economic growth. Involving citizens in co-creation of public services while reducing administrative burden has become an important social and economic asset in innovative public governance. To significantly reduce administrative burdens, the once-only principle (OOP) demands public administrations to request key data of citizens and businesses only once, and to internally share these data, while respecting data protection and privacy regulations. However, this principle also bears a number of organisational, legal, socio-economic and technical challenges to finally harvest the full benefits and to reach the digital by default status. SCOOP4C will investigate, discuss and disseminate how the OOP can be implemented in public service provisioning in order to significantly reduce administrative burden and simplify administrative procedures for citizens while reusing data among public administration with the control and consent of citizens. In particular, SCOOP4C will (1) build up and sustain a stakeholder community; (2) identify, collect and share existing good practices of once-only implementations for citizens and establish a body of knowledge; (3) discuss challenges, needs and benefits of the OOP in co-creation and public service provisioning contexts involving citizens; (4) develop policy recommendations towards a necessary paradigm change to build trust in the once-only implementations; (5) identify relevant stakeholders and develop a strategic stakeholder engagement plan to ensure sustainable implementations of the OOP achieving wide outreach; and (6) develop a tangible roadmap of areas of actions for R&I to implement, diffuse and sustain implementations of the OOP.


Stehle S.,University of Koblenz-Landau | Schulz R.,University of Koblenz-Landau
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

Compared with nutrient levels and habitat degradation, the importance of agricultural pesticides in surface water may have been underestimated due to a lack of comprehensive quantitative analysis. Increasing pesticide contamination results in decreasing regional aquatic biodiversity, i.e., macroinvertebrate family richness is reduced by ∼30% at pesticide concentrations equaling the legally accepted regulatory threshold levels (RTLs). This study provides a comprehensive metaanalysis of 838 peer-reviewed studies (>2,500 sites in 73 countries) that evaluates, for the first time to our knowledge on a global scale, the exposure of surface waters to particularly toxic agricultural insecticides. We tested whether measured insecticide concentrations (MICs; i.e., quantified insecticide concentrations) exceed their RTLs and how risks depend on insecticide development over time and stringency of environmental regulation. Our analysis reveals that MICs occur rarely (i.e., an estimated 97.4% of analyses conducted found no MICs) and there is a complete lack of scientific monitoring data for ∼90% of global cropland. Most importantly, of the 11,300 MICs, 52.4% (5,915 cases; 68.5% of the sites) exceeded the RTL for either surface water (RTLSW) or sediments. Thus, the biological integrity of global water resources is at a substantial risk. RTLSW exceedances depend on the catchment size, sampling regime, and sampling date; are significantly higher for newer-generation insecticides (i.e., pyrethroids); and are high even in countries with stringent environmental regulations. These results suggest the need for worldwide improvements to current pesticide regulations and agricultural pesticide application practices and for intensified research efforts on the presence and effects of pesticides under real-world conditions. © 2015, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


Thimm M.,University of Koblenz-Landau
Artificial Intelligence | Year: 2013

Inconsistencies in knowledge bases are of major concern in knowledge representation and reasoning. In formalisms that employ model-based reasoning mechanisms inconsistencies render a knowledge base useless due to the non-existence of a model. In order to restore consistency an analysis and understanding of inconsistencies are mandatory. Recently, the field of inconsistency measurement has gained some attention for knowledge representation formalisms based on classical logic. An inconsistency measure is a tool that helps the knowledge engineer in obtaining insights into inconsistencies by assessing their severity. In this paper, we investigate inconsistency measurement in probabilistic conditional logic, a logic that incorporates uncertainty and focuses on the role of conditionals, i.e. if-then rules. We do so by extending inconsistency measures for classical logic to the probabilistic setting. Further, we propose novel inconsistency measures that are specifically tailored for the probabilistic case. These novel measures use distance measures to assess the distance of a knowledge base to a consistent one and therefore takes the crucial role of probabilities into account. We analyze the properties of the discussed measures and compare them using a series of rationality postulates. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.1.6 | Award Amount: 6.93M | Year: 2013

The world of media and communication is currently experiencing enormous disruptions: from one-way communication and word of mouth exchanges, we have moved to bi- or multi directional communication patterns. No longer can selected few (e.g. media organizations and controllers of communication channels) act as gatekeepers, deciding what is communicated to whom and what not. Individuals now have the opportunity to access information directly from primary sources, through a channel we label e-word of mouth, or what we commonly call Social Media.\nA key problem: it takes a lot of effort to distinguish useful information from the noise (e.g. useless or misleading information). Finding relevant information is often tedious. This challenge has become the focus of various research efforts. Many concentrate on the automatic discovery of information by adapting semantic search and retrieval technologies to the particularities of Social Media content. REVEAL, however, aims to discover higher level concepts hidden within information. In Social Media we do not only have bare content; we also have interconnected sources. We have to deal with interactions between them, and we have many indicators about the context within which content is used, and interactions taking place. A core challenge is to decipher interactions of individuals in permanently changing constellations, and do so in real time.This is what we aim for!\nWe will reveal much more than bare content. Further to discovering what is being said, we will determine how trustworthy that information is. We will predict contributor impact and how much or to what extent all this affects reputation or influence. This allows us to automatically judge the quality and accuracy of content, and bring us to predicting future trends with greater accuracy. We label all this Social Media modalities. The core of our work is to reveal hidden modalities for the benefit of a better understanding and utilization of the Social Media world

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