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A new and systematic basic approach to force- and vision-based robot manipulation of deformable (non-rigid) linear objects is introduced. This approach reduces the computational needs by using a simple state-oriented model of the objects. These states describe the relation between the deformable and rigid obstacles, and are derived from the object image and its features. We give an enumeration of possible contact states and discuss the main characteristics of each state. We investigate the performance of robust transitions between the contact states and derive criteria and conditions for each of the states and for two sensor systems, i.e. a vision sensor and a force/torque sensor. This results in a new and task-independent approach in regarding the handling of deformable objects and in a sensor-based implementation of manipulation primitives for industrial robots. Thus, the usage of sensor processing is an appropriate solution for our problem. Finally, we apply the concept of contact states and state transitions to the description of a typical assembly task. Experimental results show the feasibility of our approach: A robot performs several contact state transitions which can be combined for solving a more complex task.

Dynamics of Excited Electrons in Copper and Ferromagnetic Transition Metals: Theory and Experiment
(2000)

Both theoretical and experimental results for the dynamics of photoexcited electrons at surfaces of Cu and the ferromagnetic transition metals Fe, Co, and Ni are presented. A model for the dynamics of excited electrons is developed, which is based on the Boltzmann equation and includes effects of photoexcitation, electron-electron scattering, secondary electrons (cascade and Auger electrons), and transport of excited carriers out of the detection region. From this we determine the time-resolved two-photon photoemission (TR-2PPE). Thus a direct comparison of calculated relaxation times with experimental results by means of TR-2PPE becomes possible. The comparison indicates that the magnitudes of the spin-averaged relaxation time t and of the ratio t_up/t_down of majority and minority relaxation times for the different ferromagnetic transition metals result not only from density-of-states effects, but also from different Coulomb matrix elements M. Taking M_Fe > M_Cu > M_Ni = M_Co we get reasonable agreement with experiments.

The increasing parallelisation of development processes as well as the ongoing trends towards virtual product development and outsourcing of development activities strengthen the need for 3D co-operative design via communication networks. Regarding the field of CAx, none of the existing systems meets all the requirements of very complex process chain. This leads to a tremendous need for the integration of heterogeneous CAx systems. Therefore, MACAO, a platform-independent client for a distributed CAx component system, the so-called ANICA CAx object bus, is presented. The MACAO client is able to access objects and functions provided by different CAx servers distributed over a communication network. Thus, MACAO is a new solution for engineering design and visualisation in shared distributed virtual environments. This paper describes the underlying concepts, the actual prototype implementation, as well as possible application scenarios in the area of co-operative design and visualisation.

For the next generation of high data rate magnetic recording above 1 Gbit/s, a better understanding of the switching processes for both recording heads and media will be required. In order to maximize the switch-ing speed for such devices, the magnetization precession after the magnetic field pulse termination needs to be suppressed to a maximum degree. It is demonstrated experimentally for ferrite films that the appropriate adjustment of the field pulse parameters and/or the static applied field may lead to a full suppression of the magnetization precession immediately upon termination of the field pulse. The suppression is explained by taking into account the actual direction of the magnetization with respect to the static field direction at the pulse termination.

Within this paper we review image distortion measures. A distortion measure is a criterion that assigns a "quality number" to an image. We distinguish between mathematical distortion measures and those distortion measures in-cooperating a priori knowledge about the imaging devices ( e.g. satellite images), image processing algorithms or the human physiology. We will consider representative examples of different kinds of distortion measures and are going to discuss them.

The quality of freeform surfaces is one of the major topics of CAD/CAM. Aesthetic and technical demands require the construction of high quality surfaces with strong shape conditions. Quality diminishing properties like dents or flat points have to be eliminated while approximation conditions must hold at the same time. Our approach combines quality and approximation criteria to a nonlinear multicriteria optimization problem and achieves an automatic approximation and fitting process.

In multicriteria optimization problems the connectedness of the set of efficient solutions (pareto set) is of special interest since it would allow the determination of the efficient solutions without considering non-efficient solutions in the process. In the case of the multicriteria problem to minimize matchings the set of efficient solutions is not connected. The set of minimal solutions E pot with respect to the power ordered set contains the pareto set. In this work theorems about connectedness of E pot are given. These lead to an automated process to detect all efficient solutions.

We consider the problem of locating a line or a line segment in three- dimensional space, such that the sum of distances from the linear facility to a given set of points is minimized. An example is planning the drilling of a mine shaft, with access to ore deposits through horizontal tunnels connecting the deposits and the shaft. Various models of the problem are developed and analyzed, and effcient solution methods are given.

Many polynomially solvable combinatorial optimization problems (COP) become NP when we require solutions to satisfy an additional cardinality constraint. This family of problems has been considered only recently. We study a newproblem of this family: the k-cardinality minimum cut problem. Given an undirected edge-weighted graph the k-cardinality minimum cut problem is to find a partition of the vertex set V in two sets V 1 , V 2 such that the number of the edges between V 1 and V 2 is exactly k and the sum of the weights of these edges is minimal. A variant of this problem is the k-cardinality minimum s-t cut problem where s and t are fixed vertices and we have the additional request that s belongs to V 1 and t belongs to V 2 . We also consider other variants where the number of edges of the cut is constrained to be either less or greater than k. For all these problems we show complexity results in the most significant graph classes.

It is well-known that some of the classical location problems with polyhedral gauges can be solved in polynomial time by finding a finite dominating set, i.e. a finite set of candidates guaranteed to contain at least one optimal location. In this paper it is first established that this result holds for a much larger class of problems than currently considered in the literature. The model for which this result can be proven includes, for instance, location problems with attraction and repulsion, and location-allocation problems. Next, it is shown that the approximation of general gauges by polyhedral ones in the objective function of our general model can be analyzed with regard to the subsequent error in the optimal objective value. For the approximation problem two different approaches are described, the sandwich procedure and the greedy algorithm. Both of these approaches lead - for fixed epsilon - to polynomial approximation algorithms with accuracy epsilon for solving the general model considered in this paper.