Monday, August 7, 2017

The Spiderino Swarm Robot at Research Days 2017

In Klagenfurt from July 10-12, 2017, the Lakeside Research Days were held in collaboration between the Lakeside Labs and the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt. Researchers presented their work and discussed open issues in self-organization and swarm intelligence in cyber physical systems.

The Research Days included also laboratory sessions with training on swarm robotics platform. Midhat Jdeed from theAlpen-Adria-Universität gave a lab session about Spiderino, how to program and implement the basic functionalities such as walking, turning and lighting two LEDs using Arduino Studio. In addition, a program has been implemented using sensors distance to make a small swarm of Spiderinos search for the light source and follow it. The sensors employed in Spiderino are CNY70s, which can measure distances and detect obstacles based on the amount of reflected light from an obstacle. This method is prone to ambient light, but it can be also used to make the robots finding a light source.

In the lab session, the Research Days participants learned about the possibilities and programming interface of Spiderino and could implement their own first program hands on. By the end of the session we had a lab of swarming spiders.

More details about Research Days 2017 can be found on the Research Days'17 webpage.

If you want to learn more about the Spiderino swarm robot, check out this paper:

M. Jdeed, S. Zhevzhyk, F. Steinkellner, and W. Elmenreich. Spiderino - a low-cost robot for swarm research and educational purposes In Proceedings of the 13th International Workshop on Intelligent Solutions in Embedded Systems (WISES'17), Hamburg, Germany, June 2017.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Game of Trust: a Game about Game Theory

The game of trust is a game created by Nicky Case inspired by Robert Axelrod's 1984 book, "The Evolution of Cooperation" and his 1997 sequel, "The Complexity of Cooperation", and Robert D. Putnam's 2000 book on America's declining "social capital", Bowling Alone.

The game let's you play an iterated prisoner's dilemma. Do you know the prisoners' dilemma? Not sure about the payoffs? Have a look at Nicky Case's model for an easy to remember ruleset:

You have one choice. In front of you is a machine: if you put a coin in the machine, the other player gets three coins – and vice versa. You both can either choose to COOPERATE (put in coin), or CHEAT (don't put in coin).

Experience game theory with entertaining graphics by Nicky Case

Now visit the game page of the game of trust and have fun!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

PhD position for Software Engineering of Swarm Systems

The Institute of Networked and Embedded Systems at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria, has an opening for a researcher (PhD student) on the topic of software engineering of swarm systems.

Swarm systems consist of a high number of autonomous agents, which interact with each other so that the emerging swarm performs a desired function. The topic of the PhD is to address the software design for such systems as well as investigate how unwanted swarm effects can be avoided. Other aspects involve simulation of such systems and using swarm approaches in games.

You will mainly work in an European project on Cyber-Physical Swarm Systems, which runs until end of 2019. The position is offered at the Smart Grids group at the Institute of Networked and Embedded Systems under the supervision of Professor Wilfried Elmenreich. The institute cooperates with national and international partners from industry and academia and is part of the research cluster Lakeside Labs (self-organizing networked systems).

Our team is very international and dedicated to quality research and teaching. Our working language is english. The offices and laboratories are located in the well-equipped Lakeside Science & Technology Park. Working language is English. The Institute cooperates with national and international partners in research and industry. It is part of the research cluster Lakeside Labs on self-organizing networked systems.

The candidate is expected to have a master in electrical or computer engineering, computer science, applied mathematics or equivalent. Experience in one or more of the following fields is required:

    Distributed and swarm algorithms
    Genetic algorithms and evolutionary design
    Very good programming skills in Java

The contract will be based on 40 hours per week with a gross salary of 38235 EUR per year. Please mail applications containing a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, copies of academic certificates and courses, list of publications, and contact details of two references in a single PDF file to no later than August 25, 2017. Women are especially encouraged to apply.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Research Days on Self-Organization and Swarm Intelligence in Cyber Physical Systems

July 10 – 12, 2017
Lakeside Labs
Klagenfurt, Austria

Systems with swarm intelligence consist of a set of agents, with local intelligence, interacting locally. Typically, approaches for swarm intelligence come from biological systems, like ant or bee colony behavior, schooling of fishes, flocking of birds, etc. As the agents follow very simple rules without a central control dictating their activities, the interactions between those agents lead to the emergence of intelligent or complex global behavior. In other words, CPS researchers need to learn how to construct and apply techniques for self- organization and swarm intelligence, their opportunities and challenges.

At the Research Days 2017, a group of international researchers will discuss how this translation between CPS, self-organization, and swarm intelligence can be achieved on a theoretical and practical basis. The Research Days are a regular event concentrating on the core competence of Lakeside Labs - Self-organizing Networked Systems. During this workshop organized by Lakeside Labs GmbH in cooperation with the University of Klagenfurt, international experts devote themselves to a special topic in self-organization. The event is organized as a workshop of several consecutive days in July. It takes place at Lakeside Labs in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Austria, near a beautiful lake and Alps scenery. Invited experts, local professors, and young researchers discuss and elaborate ideas in the field of Self-Organizing Systems (SOS). The main emphasis of the workshop is on soliciting discussions and creating new ideas regarding a topic related to self-organizing systems. The event greatly supports scientific exchange, networking, establishment of international collaborations, and joint research projects.

The following video gives a nice impression of the Research Days:
Learn more and registerfor the event at

Friday, February 10, 2017

School Kids Rule at Coding Contest

The results from the Advent Programming Contest 2016 made it clear: The next generation of hackers will be awesome!

The front positions are dominated by students from school, who showed great problem-solving skills and also a lot of dedication to apply these skills! Running up are excellent coders from the "other" category, thus (often professional) coders who are not studying in a school or university.

The final ranking is as follows:
RankNameCategorySolved Problems
1Marc Goritschnig school24
2ChristianGubesch school24
3DanielSemmelrock school24
4Simon school24
5jareds other22
6ck127720 other22
7Dieser1Boi other21
8gutblender other20
9nightelf other19
10MichaelGubesch other19
11maahgeh other18
12Matzoer other17
13AugustHoerandl school16
14JoelHolzbauer school16
15Kozeschnik Oskar school16

In overall, we had 175 participants from schools, 105 university students, and 115 in the "other" category.
The awarding ceremony will take place at the beginnig of the new semester as part of the semester opening game night of the IEEE Student Branch Klagenfurt. See you there

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

TeWi Hackathon 2016

The technical faculty of the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt ist organizing a research demo from 21. to 22. of December 2016. The goal of the hackathon is to (i) find a team with which you can (ii) define a research demo application which you can publish at a scientific conference, and then (iii) implement it in two days time. It’s actually big fun and it gives you the opportunity to learn to knew new people, learn new things ... and publish a new paper.

All kind of folks, including PhD students, post docs, researchers, teachers, professors are invited to join!

Learn more about it on the TeWi Hackathon page.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Advent Programming Contest 2016

An Advent calendar is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas. Advent calendars typically begin on December 1 and provide a window to open until December 24. Usually they have windows, which you can open each day containing some chocolate or other stuff. But what is better to kill some time until Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Boxing Day, etc. than an Advent calendar giving you a programming problem every day?

The Advent Programming Contest, being organized by the IEEE Student Branch Klagenfurt will provide a new problem every day from December 1st to December 24th. You can submit solutions any day until the contest ends on December 26. You can choose to use C, C++, C#, Java, Perl, Python 2.x or Python 3.x as programming language. The programming tasks can be solved with short programs (typically less than 100 lines of code). Until a solution is correct you can submit your program as often as you want (but please don't spam our server). The number of tries will not be a criterion for determining your score. The idea is to do it just for fun, but we will try to announce a winner after the contest is closed. The event is open to everyone. There are separate categories for pupils, university students and others. If you want to participate, please register at (Registration is also possible after 1st December)

Here are some example problems from last year:

 All problems from Adventcoder 2015 can be found in this document. If you want to see the new ones, you need to join the contest :-)