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Interaction- and Communication-based Systems

Prof. Dr. Simon Mayer

In our research group, we explore interactions among devices and people in ubiquitous computing environments. Our focus is on the integration of physical things into the Web, on increasing the autonomy of Web-enabled devices, and on making interactions of connected devices intelligible for people.


Knowledge Graphs for Sustainability

We are happy to announce an exciting new project funded by Innosuisse on the framework of the Flagship Initiative for Systemic Innovation. Dr. Kimberly Garcia will be leading the University of St. Gallen contribution to the project entitled “Web of Interoperable Digital Services for Knowledge on Decarbonisation Pathways” (WISER). WISER will be a four-year endeavour starting in January 2022 that brings together a large consortium of researchers and implementation partners; which include University of St. Gallen, EMPA, ZHAW, HESSO, PSI; digitalswitzerland, ABB, City of Schaffhausen, Ecoinvent, EY, Microsoft, City Winterthur, Swiss Data Efficiency Association, SWICO, and City of Lausanne.

The objective of the project is to create a digital ecosystem of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions knowledge that will allow public and private stakeholders improve and accelerate their decarbonization efforts. Thanks to the GHG emission Knowledge Graph that we will create, stakeholders will have transparent and harmonized access to heterogenous information sources that have remained isolated until now and which usage is limited to not only sustainability experts, but experts that understand the specifics of each database. Moreover, the semantic layer that the Knowledge Graph will provide, will open the possibility for stakeholder to update their GHG emissions assessments quickly or even automatically, which will support their decision making towards their decarbonization goals. To demonstrate the advantages of an interoperable ecosystem of sustainability data, such as the one WISER will foster, tailored dashboards will be created for the implementation partners interested on GHG assessments of Swiss production sites, procurement services for ICT in cities, and decarbonisation of data centres.

Author: Kimberly Garcia

Date: 2. December 2021

A Typology of Automatically Processable Regulation

A new paper from our group was accepted for publication in Law, Innovation and Technology: A Typology of Automatically Processable Regulation.

Abstract: The possibility of encoding regulation to make it processable automatically by computers has been gaining attention within the legal discipline. With it, an abundance of terms has emerged as much as an array of academic discussions providing different examples, raising different concerns, while, unfortunately, having different premises in mind. This makes contributions within the field of what we refer to as ‘automatically processable regulation’ difficult to compare with each other and research results hard to transfer among different research projects and groups. To overcome this problem, we propose a typology that enables researchers to locate their research project within the domain of automatically processable regulation, understand what issues might arise depending on where within the typology a project falls, and determine the relationship between projects.The typology revolves around three dimensions: the primary aim of the project, the potential for divergence of interests amongst stakeholders, and the degree of mediation by computers.

Link to the full paper

Author: Simon Mayer

Date: 27. August 2021

Legal Code Workshop

After two Covid-related postponements, our workshop on Legal Code (link to Workshop Leaflet) finally took place yesterday at the University of St.Gallen and internationally. In this one-day workshop, we investigated the transformative impact of computerised law on society with an inter-disciplinary group of researchers. It was great to meet everyone, especially for those who were able to attend in person!

The first session of the workshop was guided by the questions: What are the foundations (technical, legal, political, societal) that enable law to be an object of more systematic translation for automatic interpretation by computers? What obstacles but also potentials/promotions occur in the quest for legal code? To what extent does the translation of law for automatic interpretation impact the trust of society in the legal order and the rule of law?

The second session of the workshop focused on: What novel approaches on regulating the digitalised society through computerised, algorithms-based approaches will accompany us in the next decade and beyond? How will the legal process, the law, individuals, and society at large be impacted by those approaches? How are issues of legitimacy, trust, and transparency taken into account in these discussions? Is the personalization of law realistic, or even inevitable?

Author: Simon Mayer

Date: 27. August 2021

Announcing Prof. Kay Römer and Prof. Sanjay Sarma as Keynote Speakers at IoT 2021

We are happy to announce Prof. Dr. Kay Römer from Graz University of Technology and Prof. Dr. Sanjay Sarma from Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the two keynote speakers of IoT 2021! Looking forward to the conference, and remember that the abstract submission deadline is already next week!

Author: Simon Mayer

Date: 11. August 2021

Best Paper Award

A new paper from our group was recently awarded Best Paper at the International Conference on Sensing, Communication and Networking 2021.

The work, titled “Compensating Altered Sensitivity of Duty-Cycled MOX Gas Sensors with Machine Learning“, has been a collaboration with researchers from TU Graz and ETH Zurich. In it, we show that it is possible to recover accurate continuous-sensor measurements from transient responses obtained from a duty cycled sensor and compensate for an altered multi-gas cross-sensitivity profile using machine learning methods.

Link to the full paper and to the teaser video.

Author: Andres Gomez

Date: 14. July 2021

Towards Provenance Integration for Field Devices in Industrial IoT Systems

A new paper from our group was published at the International Provenance and Annotation Workshop: Towards Provenance Integration for Field Devices in Industrial IoT Systems.

Abstract: Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) systems are becoming increasingly complex with interconnected field devices. To cope with the complexity and to facilitate further interoperability between heterogeneous field devices, it is necessary to have a holistic understanding of different types of provenance information about field devices and associated processes. In this paper, we investigate the potential integration of such provenance with the W3C Web of Things and current industrial standards to realize more explainable, efficient, and safer industrial IoT systems.

Link to the full paper

Author: Simon Mayer

Date: 10. July 2021

The Internet of Things Conference 2021

We are happy to announce that the 11th iteration of the International Conference on the Internet of Things will take place in St Gallen (and virtually) from November 8-12th. The IoT Conference is the premier gathering for visionary, groundbreaking research in the IoT field. It connects world-class researchers with leading industry experts to steer innovation in multiple IoT verticals (e.g., smart city, smart health, smart buildings, rural areas). Since its beginnings in 2008, the conference has been backed by strong support from leading academic institutions as well as industry.

We invite you to visit the official website for more information and encourage you to submit your contributions by August 23rd. The topics of interest are:

  • IoT Architectures
  • AI and Machine Learning for the IoT
  • Web of Things including Hypermedia Agents for the IoT
  • New IoT Communication Technologies
  • Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in IoT
  • Sensing, Signal Processing, Actuation and Analytics in Small and Large-scale pilots
  • Security and Privacy in IoT
  • Human Interaction with IoT
  • (Syntactic/Semantic) Interoperability in IoT
  • Distributed Ledger Technologies for IoT
  • Real-world Deployments, and Testbeds
  • Novel Applications of IoT in Verticals (e.g., industrial, rural, business processes, etc.)
  • Societal Impacts and Ethical Implications of the IoT

Author: Kimberly Garcia

Date: 27. May 2021

GEAR: A Gaze-Enabled Augmented Reality System

Gaze-enabled systems have been proposed decades ago but the computing power and connectivity of mobile devices enable just recently an interactive user and environment understanding in systems that are ergonomic and affordable. We believe that promising and generalizable solutions can now be achieved by developing a gaze-enabled Augmented Reality (AR) system (GEAR) that can dynamically adapt the information load on a display to the changing situation of its user and surroundings.

For instance, in an industrial setup, safety is one of the concerns when a human operator interacts with a robot. In this context, we will develop a system that will employ a mobile eye tracker as a diagnostic tool to understand the user’s cognitive situation. GEAR aims directing its user’s attention to relevant artifacts, which can be physical (e.g., emergency button or a robot) or virtual (e.g., interfaces to control the robot’s speed). Furthermore, GEAR will need to integrate information about the user, the robot, and heterogeneous virtual and physical artifacts that are available to the system. Thus, we plan to carry out a contextual assessment by integrating available sensors in the environment, semantic models and information about the user, and even state and prediction models of the robot and its behavior. Finally, GEAR will also need to be able to highlight safety-specific information within the operator’s visual field using an AR display. Additional details can be found here.

This project is funded by the University of St. Gallen and started in May 2021.

Author: Dr. Kenan Bektas

Date: 20. May 2021