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Adaptive Extraction and Representation of Geometric Structures from Unorganized 3D Point Sets
(2009)

The primary emphasis of this thesis concerns the extraction and representation of intrinsic properties of three-dimensional (3D) unorganized point clouds. The points establishing a point cloud as it mainly emerges from LiDaR (Light Detection and Ranging) scan devices or by reconstruction from two-dimensional (2D) image series represent discrete samples of real world objects. Depending on the type of scenery the data is generated from the resulting point cloud may exhibit a variety of different structures. Especially, in the case of environmental LiDaR scans the complexity of the corresponding point clouds is relatively high. Hence, finding new techniques allowing the efficient extraction and representation of the underlying structural entities becomes an important research issue of recent interest. This thesis introduces new methods regarding the extraction and visualization of structural features like surfaces and curves (e.g. ridge-lines, creases) from 3D (environmental) point clouds. One main part concerns the extraction of curve-like features from environmental point data sets. It provides a new method supporting a stable feature extraction by incorporating a probability-based point classification scheme that characterizes individual points regarding their affiliation to surface-, curve- and volume-like structures. Another part is concerned with the surface reconstruction from (environmental) point clouds exhibiting objects that are more or less complex. A new method providing multi-resolutional surface representations from regular point clouds is discussed. Following the applied principles of this approach a volumetric surface reconstruction method based on the proposed classification scheme is introduced. It allows the reconstruction of surfaces from highly unstructured and noisy point data sets. Furthermore, contributions in the field of reconstructing 3D point clouds from 2D image series are provided. In addition, a discussion concerning the most important properties of (environmental) point clouds with respect to feature extraction is presented.

Photonic crystals are inhomogeneous dielectric media with periodic variation of the refractive index. A photonic crystal gives us new tools for the manipulation of photons and thus has received great interests in a variety of fields. Photonic crystals are expected to be used in novel optical devices such as thresholdless laser diodes, single-mode light emitting diodes, small waveguides with low-loss sharp bends, small prisms, and small integrated optical circuits. They can be operated in some aspects as "left handed materials" which are capable of focusing transmitted waves into a sub-wavelength spot due to negative refraction. The thesis is focused on the applications of photonic crystals in communications and optical imaging: • Photonic crystal structures for potential dispersion management in optical telecommunication systems • 2D non-uniform photonic crystal waveguides with a square lattice for wide-angle beam refocusing using negative refraction • 2D non-uniform photonic crystal slabs with triangular lattice for all-angle beam refocusing • Compact phase-shifted band-pass transmission filter based on photonic crystals

Photochemical reactions are of great interest due to their importance in chemical and biological processes. Highly sensitive IR/UV double and triple resonance spectroscopy in molecular beam experiments in combination with ab initio and DFT calculations yields information on reaction coordinates and Intersystem Crossing (ISC) processes subsequent to photoexcitation. In general, molecular beam experiments enable the investigation of isolated, cold molecules without any influence of the environment. Furthermore, small aggregates can be analyzed in a supersonic jet by gradually adding solvent molecules like water. Conclusions concerning the interactions in solution can be derived by investigating and fully understanding small systems with a defined amount of solvent molecules. In this work the first applications of combined IR/UV spectroscopy on reactive isolated molecules and triplet states in molecular beams without using any messenger molecules are presented. Special focus was on excited state proton transfer reactions, which can also be described as keto enol tautomerisms. Various molecules such as 3-hydroxyflavone, 2-(2-naphthyl)-3-hydroxychromone and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid have been investigated with regard to this question. In the case of 3-hydroxyflavone and 2-(2-naphthyl)-3-hydroxychromone, the IR spectra have been recorded subsequent to an excited state proton transfer. Furthermore the dihydrate of 3-hydroxyflavone has been analyzed concerning a possible proton transfer in the excited state: The proton transfer reaction along the water molecules (proton wire) has to be induced by raising the excitation energy. However, photoinduced reactions involve not only singlet but also triplet states. As an archetype molecule xanthone has been analysed. After excitation to the S2 state, ISC occurs into the triplet manifold leading to a population of the T1 state. The IR spectrum of the T1 state has been recorded for the first time using the UV/IR/UV technique without using any messenger molecules. Altogether it is shown that IR/UV double and triple resonance techniques are suitable tools to analyze reaction coordinates of photochemical processes.

The manuscript divides in 7 chapters. Chapter 2 briefly introduces the reader to the elementary measures of classical continuum mechanics and thus allows to familiarize with the employed notation. Furthermore, deeper insight of the proposed first-order computational homogenization strategy is presented. Based on the need for a discrete representative volume element (rve), Chapter 3 focuses on a proper rve generation algorithm. Therein, the algorithm itself is described in detail. Additionally, we introduce the concept of periodicity. This chapter finalizes by granting multiple representative examples. A potential based soft particle contact method, used for the computations on the microscale level, is defined in Chapter 4. Included are a description of the used discrete element method (dem) as well as the applied macroscopically driven Dirichlet boundary conditions. The chapter closes with the proposition of a proper solution algorithm as well as illustrative representative examples. Homogenization of the discrete microscopic quantities is discussed in Chapter 5. Therein, the focus is on the upscaling of the aggregate energy as well as on the derivation of related macroscopic stress measures. Necessary quantities for coupling between a standard finite element method and the proposed discrete microscale are presented in Chapter 6. Therein, we tend to the derivation of the macroscopic tangent, necessary for the inclusion into the standard finite element programs. Chapter 7 focuses on the incorporation of inter-particle friction. We select to derive a variational based formulation of inter-particle friction forces, founded on a proposed reduced incremental potential. This contribution is closed by providing a discussion as well as an outlook.

This PhD thesis aims at finding a global robot navigation strategy for rugged off-road terrain which is robust against inaccurate self-localization, scalable to large environments, but also cost-efficient, e.g. able to generate navigation paths which optimize a cost measure closely related to terrain traversability. In order to meet this goal, aspects of both metrical and topological navigation techniques are combined. A primarily topological map is extended with the previously lacking capability of cost-efficient path planning and map extension. Further innovations include a multi-dimensional cost measure for topological edges, a method to learn these costs based on live feedback from the robot and a set of extrapolation methods to predict the traversability costs for untraversed edges. The thesis presents two sophisticated new image analysis techniques to optimize cost prediction based on the shape and appearance of surrounding terrain. Experimental results indicate that the proposed global navigation system is indeed able to perform cost-efficient, large scale path planning. At the same time, the need to maintain a fine-grained, global world model which would reduce the scalability of the approach is avoided.

Proprietary polyurea based thermosets (3P resins) were produced from polymeric methylene diphenylisocyanate (PMDI) and water glass (WG) using a phosphate emulsifier. Polyisocyanates when combined with WG in presence of suitable emulsifier result in very versatile products. WG acts in the resulting polyurea through a special sol-gel route as a cheap precursor of the silicate (xerogel) filler produced in-situ. The particle size and its distribution of the silicate are coarse and very broad, respectively, which impart the mechanical properties of the 3P systems negatively. The research strategy was to achieve initially a fine water in oil type (W/O = WG/PMDI) emulsion by “hybridising” the polyisocyanate with suitable thermosetting resins (such as vinylester (VE), melamine/formaldehyde (MF) or epoxy resin (EP)). As the presently used phosphate emulsifiers may leak into the environment, the research work was directed to find such “reactive” emulsifiers which can be chemically built in into the final polyurea-based thermosets. The progressive elimination of the organic phosphate, following the European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use (REACH), was studied and alternative emulsifiers for the PMDI/WG systems were found. The new hybrid systems in which the role of the phosphate emulsifier has been overtaken by suitable resins (VE, EP) or additives (MF) are designed 2P resins. Further, the cure behaviour (DSC, ATR-IR), chemorheology (plate/plate rheometer), morphology (SEM, AFM) and mechanical properties (flexure, fracture mechanics) have been studied accordingly. The property upgrade targeted not only the mechanical performances but also thermal and flame resistance. Therefore, emphasis was made to improve the thermal and fire resistance (e.g. TGA, UL-94 flammability test) of the in-situ filled hybrid resins. Improvements on the fracture mechanical properties as well as in the flexural properties of the novel 3P and 2P hybrids were obtained. This was accompanied in most of the cases by a pronounced reduction of the polysilicate particle size as well as by a finer dispersion. Further the complex reaction kinetics of the reference 3P was studied, and some of the main reactions taking place during the curing process were established. The pot life of the hybrid resins was, in most of the cases, prolonged, which facilitates the posterior processing of such resins. The thermal resistance of the hybrid resins was also enhanced for all the novel hybrids. However, the hybridization strategy (mostly with EP and VE) did not have satisfactory results when taking into account the fire resistance. Efforts will be made in the future to overcome this problem. Finally it was confirmed that the elimination of the organic phosphate emulsifier was feasible, obtaining the so called 2P hybrids. Those, in many cases, showed improved fracture mechanical, flexural and thermal resistance properties as well as a finer and more homogeneous morphology. The novel hybrid resins of unusual characteristics (e.g. curing under wet conditions and even in water) are promising matrix materials for composites in various application fields such as infrastructure (rehabilitation of sewers), building and construction (refilling), transportation (coating of vessels, pipes of improved chemical resistance)…

Elastomers and their various composites, and blends are frequently used as engineering working parts subjected to rolling friction movements. This fact already substantiates the importance of a study addressing the rolling tribological properties of elastomers and their compounds. It is worth noting that until now the research and development works on the friction and wear of rubber materials were mostly focused on abrasion and to lesser extent on sliding type of loading. As the tribological knowledge acquired with various counterparts, excluding rubbers, can hardly be adopted for those with rubbers, there is a substantial need to study the latter. Therefore, the present work was aimed at investigating the rolling friction and wear properties of different kinds of elastomers against steel under unlubricated condition. In the research the rolling friction and wear properties of various rubber materials were studied in home-made rolling ball-on-plate test configurations under dry condition. The materials inspected were ethylene/propylene/diene rubber (EPDM) without and with carbon black (EPDM_CB), hydrogenated acrylonitrile/butadiene rubber (HNBR) without and with carbon black/silica/multiwall carbon nanotube (HNBR_CB/silica/MWCNT), rubber-rubber hybrid (HNBR and fluororubber (HNBR-FKM)) and rubber-thermoplastic blend (HNBR and cyclic butylene terephthalate oligomers (HNBR-CBT)). The dominant wear mechanisms were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and analyzed as a function of composition and testing conditions. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic-mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) along with other auxiliary measurements, were adopted to determine the phase structure and network-related properties of the rubber systems. The changes of the friction and wear as a function of type and amount of the additives were explored. The friction process of selected rubbers was also modelled by making use of the finite element method (FEM). The results show that incorporation of filler enhanced generally the wear resistance, hardness, stiffness (storage modulus), and apparent crosslinking of the related rubbers (EPDM-, HNBR- and HNBR-FKM based ones), but did not affect their glass transition temperature. Filling of rubbers usually reduced the coefficient of friction (COF). However, the tribological parameters strongly depended also on the test set-up and test duration. High wear loss was noticed for systems showing the occurrence of Schallamach-type wavy pattern. The blends HNBR-FKM and HNBR-CBT were two-phase structured. In HNBR-FKM, the FKM was dispersed in form of large microscaled domains in the HNBR matrix. This phase structure did not change by incorporation of MWCNT. It was established that the MWCNT was preferentially embedded in the HNBR matrix. Blending HNBR with FKM reduced the stiffness and degree of apparent crosslinking of the blend, which was traced to the dilution of the cure recipe with FKM. The coefficient of friction increased with increasing FKM opposed to the expectation. On the other hand, the specific wear rate (Ws) changed marginally with increasing content of FKM. In HNBR-CBT hybrids the HNBR was the matrix, irrespective to the rather high CBT content. Both the partly and mostly polymerized CBT ((p)CBT and pCBT, respectively) in the hybrids worked as active filler and thus increased the stiffness and hardness. The COF and Ws decreased with increasing CBT content. The FEM results in respect to COF achieved on systems possessing very different structures and thus properties (EPDM_30CB, HNBR-FKM 100-100 and HNBR-(p)CBT 100-100, respectively) were in accordance with the experimental results. This verifies that FEM can be properly used to consider the complex viscoelastic behaviour of rubber materials under dry rolling condition.

It was recently reported that imatinib causes cell death in neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes (NRVCM) by triggering endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and collapsed mitochondrial membrane potential. Retroviral gene transfer of an imatinib-resistant mutant c-Abl into NRVCM appeared to alleviate imatinib-induced cell death and it was concluded that the observed imatinib-induced cytotoxicity is mediated through direct interactions of imatinib with c-Abl. The imatinib effects were described as being specific for cardiomyocytes only, which are relevant also for the in vivo situation in man. [Kerkelä et al. 2006] The goal of the present study was to reproduce the published experiments and to further explore the dose-response relationship of imatinib-induced cell death in cardiomyocytes. Additional markers of toxicity were investigated. The following biochemical assays were applied: LDH release (membrane leakage marker), MTS-reduction (marker of mitochondrial integrity), ATP cellular contents (energy homoeostasis) and caspase 3/7 activity (apoptosis). The endoplasmatic reticulum (ER) stress markers eIF2α (elongation initiation factor 2α), XBP1 (X Box binding Protein 1), and CHOP (cAMP response element-binding transcription factor (C/EBP) homologous protein) were determined at the transcriptional and protein level. Online monitoring of cell attachment of, oxygen consumption and acidification of the medium by rat heart cells (H9c2) seated on chips (Bionas) allowed the determination of the onset and reversibility of cellular functions. Image analysis measured the spontaneous beating rates after imatinib treatment. The role of imatinib-induced reactive oxygen species was evaluated directly by 2’,7’-Dichlorofluorescein fluorescence and indirectly by means of interference experiments with antioxidants. The specificity of imatinib-induced effects were specific to cardiomyocytes was evaluated in fibroblasts derived from rat heart, lung and skin. The specific role of c-Abl in the imatinib-induced cellular toxicity was investigated by specific gene silencing of c-Abl in NRVCM. The results demonstrated that imatinib caused concentration-dependent cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and ER stress in heart, skin and lung fibroblasts, similar or stronger to those observed in cardiomyocytes. Similar to the results from cardiomyocytes, ER stress markers in fibroblasts were only increased at cytotoxic concentrations of imatinib. This effect was not reversible; also, reactive oxygen species did not participate in the mechanism of the imatinib-induced cytotoxicity in NRVCM. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated reduction of c-Abl mRNA levels by 51 % and c-Abl protein levels by 70 % had neither an effect on the spontaneous beating frequency of cardiomyocytes nor did it induce cytotoxicity, apoptosis, mitochondrial dysfunction or ER stress in NRVCM. Incubation of imatinib with c-Abl siRNA-transfected NRVCM suggested that reduced c-Abl protein levels did not rescue cardiomyocytes from imatinib-induced cytotoxicity. In conclusion, results from this study do not support a specific c-Abl-mediated mechanism of cytotoxicity in NRVCM.

Most software systems are described in high-level model or programming languages. Their runtime behavior, however, is determined by the compiled code. For uncritical software, it may be sufficient to test the runtime behavior of the code. For safety-critical software, there is an additional aggravating factor resulting from the fact that the code must satisfy the formal specification which reflects the safety policy of the software consumer and that the software producer is obliged to demonstrate that the code is correct with respect to the specification using formal verification techniques. In this scenario, it is of great importance that static analyses and formal methods can be applied on the source code level, because this level is more abstract and better suited for such techniques. However, the results of the analyses and the verification can only be carried over to the machine code level, if we can establish the correctness of the translation. Thus, compilation is a crucial step in the development of software systems and formally verified translation correctness is essential to close the formalization chain from high-level formal methods to the machine-code level. In this thesis, I propose an approach to certifying compilers which achieves the aim of closing the formalization chain from high-level formal methods to the machine-code level by applying techniques from mathematical logic and programming language semantics. I propose an approach called foundational translation validation (FTV) in which the software producer implements an FTV system comprising a compiler and a specification and verification framework (SVF) which is implemented in higher-order logic (HOL). The most important part of the SVF is an explicit translation contract which comprises the formalizations of the source and the target languages of the compiler and the formalization of a binary translation correctness predicate corrTrans(S,T) for source programs S and target programs T. The formalizations of the languages are realized as deep embeddings in HOL. This enables one to declare the whole program in a formalized language as a HOL constant. The predicate formally specifies when T is considered to be a correct translation of S. Its definition is explicitly based on the program semantics definitions provided by the translation contract. Subsequent to the translation, the compiler translates the source and the target programs into their syntactic representations as HOL constants, S and T, and generates a proof of corrTrans(S,T). We call a compiler which follows the FTV approach a proof generating compiler. Our approach borrows the idea of representing programs in correctness proofs as logic constants from the foundational proof-carrying code (FPCC) approach. Novel features that distinquish our approach from further approaches to certifying compilers, such as proof-carrying code (PCC) and translation validation (TV) are the following: Firstly, the presence of an explicit translation contract formalized in HOL: The approaches PCC and TV do not formalize a translation contract explicitly. Instead of this, they incorporate operational semantics and translation correctness criterion in translation validation tools on the programming language level. Secondly, representation of programs in correctness proofs as logic constants: The approaches PCC and the TV translate programs into their representations as semantic abstractions that serve as inputs for translation validation tools. Thirdly, certification of program transformation chains: Unlike the TV approach, which certifies single program transformations, the FTV approach achieves the aim of certifying whole chains of program transformations. This is possible due to the fact that the translation contract provides, for all programming languages involved in the program transformation chain, definitions of program semantics functions which map programs to mathematical objects that are elements of a set with an (at least) partial order "<=". Then, the proof makes use of the fact that the relation "<=" is transitive. In this thesis, the feasibility of the FTV approach is exemplified by the implementation of an FTV system. The system comprises a compiler front-end that certifies its optimization phase and an accompanying SVF that is implemented in the theorem prover Isabelle/HOL. The compiler front-end translates programs in a small C-like programming language, performs three optimizations: constant folding, dead assignment elimination, and loop invariant hoisting, and generates translation certificates in the form of Isabelle/HOL theories. The main focus of the thesis is on the description of the SVF and its translation verification techniques.

This dissertation is intended to give a systematic treatment of hypersurface singularities in arbitrary characteristic which provides the necessary tools, theoretically and computationally, for the purpose of classification. This thesis consists of five chapters: In chapter 1, we introduce the background on isolated hypersurface singularities needed for our work. In chapter 2, we formalize the notions of piecewise-homogeneous grading and we discuss thoroughly non-degeneracy in arbitrary characteristic. Chapter 3 is devoted to determinacy and normal forms of isolated hypersurface singularities. In the first part, we give finite determinacy theorems in arbitrary characteristic with respect to right respectively contact equivalence. Furthermore, we show that "isolated" and finite determinacy properties are equivalent. In the second part, we formalize Arnol'd's key ideas for the computation of normal forms an define the conditions (AA) and (AAC). The last part of Chapter 3 is devoted to the study of normal forms in the general setting of hypersurface singularities imposing neither condition (A) nor Newton-Nondegeneracy. In Chapter 4, we present algorithms which we implement in Singular for the purpose of explicit computation of regular bases and normal forms. In chapter 5, we transfer some classical results on invariants over the field C of complex numbers to algebraically closed fields of characteristic zero known as Lefschetz principle.

We study the extension of techniques from Inductive Logic Programming (ILP) to temporal logic programming languages. Therefore we present two temporal logic programming languages and analyse the learnability of programs from these languages from finite sets of examples. In first order temporal logic the following topics are analysed: - How can we characterize the denotational semantics of programs? - Which proof techniques are best suited? - How complex is the learning task? In propositional temporal logic we analyse the following topics: - How can we use well known techniques from model checking in order to refine programs? - How complex is the learning task? In both cases we present estimations for the VC-dimension of selected classes of programs.

This Dissertation tried to provide insights into the influences of individual and contextual factors on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) teachers’ learning and professional development in Ethiopia. Specifically, this research focused on identifying and determining the influences of teachers’ self perception as learners and professionals, and investigates the impact of the context, process and content of their learning and experiences on their professional development. The knowledge of these factors and their impacts help in improving the learning and professional development of the TVET teachers and their professionalization. This research tried to provide answers for the following five research questions. (1) How do TVET teachers perceive themselves as active learners and as professionals? And what are the implications of their perceptions on their learning and development? (2) How do TVET teachers engage themselves in learning and professional development activities? (3) What contextual factors facilitated or hindered the TVET Teachers’ learning and professional development? (4) Which competencies are found critical for the TVET teachers’ learning and professional development? (5) What actions need to be considered to enhance and sustain TVET teachers learning and professional development in their context? It is believed that the research results are significant not only to the TVET teachers, but also to schools leaders, TVET Teacher Training Institutions, education experts and policy makers, researchers and others stakeholders in the TVET sector. The theoretical perspectives adopted in this research are based on the systemic constructivist approach to professional development. An integrated approach to professional development requires that the teachers’ learning and development activities to be taken as an adult education based on the principles of constructivism. Professional development is considered as context - specific and long-term process in which teachers are trusted, respected and empowered as professionals. Teachers’ development activities are sought as more of collaborative activities portraying the social nature of learning. Schools that facilitate the learning and development of teachers exhibit characteristics of a learning organisation culture where, professional collaboration, collegiality and shared leadership are practiced. This research has drawn also relevant point of views from studies and reports on vocational education and TVET teacher education programs and practices at international, continental and national levels. The research objectives and the types of research questions in this study implied the use of a qualitative inductive research approach as a research strategy. Primary data were collected from TVET teachers in four schools using a one-on-one qualitative in-depth interview method. These data were analyzed using a Qualitative Content Analysis method based on the inductive category development procedure. ATLAS.ti software was used for supporting the coding and categorization process. The research findings showed that most of the TVET teachers neither perceive themselves as professionals nor as active learners. These perceptions are found to be one of the major barriers to their learning and development. Professional collaborations in the schools are minimal and teaching is sought as an isolated individual activity; a secluded task for the teacher. Self-directed learning initiatives and individual learning projects are not strongly evident. The predominantly teacher-centered approach used in TVET teacher education and professional development programs put emphasis mainly to the development of technical competences and has limited the development of a range of competences essential to teachers’ professional development. Moreover, factors such as the TVET school culture, the society’s perception of the teaching profession, economic conditions, and weak links with industries and business sectors are among the major contextual factors that hindered the TVET teachers’ learning and professional development. A number of recommendations are forwarded to improve the professional development of the TVET teachers. These include change in the TVET schools culture, a paradigm shift in TVET teacher education approach and practice, and development of educational policies that support the professionalization of TVET teachers. Areas for further theoretical research and empirical enquiry are also suggested to support the learning and professional development of the TVET teachers in Ethiopia.

Subject of this book is an epistemological consideration - a consideration which could be characterised as a main theme - maybe the main theme - of that part of philosophy we all know as epistemology: the nature of knowledge. But other than the most essays on the subject of knowledge, here I am going to deal with a largely overlooked account to try to find an answer to the epistemological question of knowledge. This is the mental state account of knowledge (Price in his 'Belief' the formulation ``mental acts'' and Williamson talks about a ``state of mind''). Or to put it into the question I chose as title: is knowledge a mental state? We have to concede first that there is only a small group of philosophers who used to explain knowledge in terms of a mental state, particularly the `Oxford Realists'. And secondly, the acceptance of the MS thesis is low and negative. There is an interesting detail here: unlike the poor interest in an epistemic theory such as the MS thesis, philosophers like Prichard or Austin (and their philosophical thinking) are not really living in the shadows of philosophical consideration. Indeed their philosophical impact is high level, if we consider for instance Prichard's moral writings or Austin's theory of speech acts. I think we can conclude from this fact that the reason of the `negative' ignorance in respect of their epistemological point of view was not caused by a negative quality of their philosophy. Now, the question we are faced with (and that should be answered here) is: what is wrong with the MS thesis even though it is held by high class philosophers? Why is the epistemic thinking of Cook Wilson, Prichard and Austin afflicted with such ignorance? I will try to explain this later on with the notion of an unreflected Platonian heritage during 2000 years of epistemic thinking - a notion which is similar to a point Hetherington has called ``epistemic absolutism''. So, there are three main purposes which I am pursuing in this consideration: 1.To explain the reasons why there is such an ignorance towards an assertion of the MS thesis. I am going to pursue this through an analysis of knowledge which will demonstrate the inappropriateness of the JTB thesis as an adequate analysis of knowledge. 2.To describe that it is a mistake to ignore or at least underestimate the MS thesis in the discussion of an appropriate definition of knowledge and to maintain that the MS thesis is the key to a general theory of knowledge. 3.Conclusion: If the first two steps are correct, the JTB thesis is insufficient in order to give an account of the nature of knowledge in general. A consequence from this is: all the epistemic theories which are dealing with the JTB thesis are based on deficient assumptions. Hence their results - notably the well-known externalism/internalism debate - are insufficient, too. So, there is a need for a new theory of knowledge based on the MS thesis. In the course of my consideration I am going to justify the following three theses: i) The JTB thesis as a definition of knowledge in general is deficient, as the JTB thesis describes the propositional aspect of knowledge only. But the propositional knowledge - the so-called `knowledge that' - is merely one element among others that has to be recognized in search of a theory of knowledge. ii) The status of the `knowledge that' is derivative and not ultimate. It is derived from the non- propositional knowledge in order to make the non-propositional knowledge communicable to others. The mode of the `knowledge that' is indirect and thus can be stated in the third person point of view only. This ultimate kind of knowledge - the knowledge which the `knowledge that' is derived from - is the non-propositional knowledge. Its mode is direct and hence it is restricted to the first person point of view. Therefore the basis towards a theory of knowledge in general has to be this non-propositional aspect of knowledge. iii) Hence, taking the first two theses for granted, an appropriate theory of knowledge needs an account of the non-propositional knowledge. The MS thesis will accomplish this task.

Knowledge discovery from large and complex collections of today’s scientific datasets is a challenging task. With the ability to measure and simulate more processes at increasingly finer spatial and temporal scales, the increasing number of data dimensions and data objects is presenting tremendous challenges for data analysis and effective data exploration methods and tools. Researchers are overwhelmed with data and standard tools are often insufficient to enable effective data analysis and knowledge discovery. The main objective of this thesis is to provide important new capabilities to accelerate scientific knowledge discovery form large, complex, and multivariate scientific data. The research covered in this thesis addresses these scientific challenges using a combination of scientific visualization, information visualization, automated data analysis, and other enabling technologies, such as efficient data management. The effectiveness of the proposed analysis methods is demonstrated via applications in two distinct scientific research fields, namely developmental biology and high-energy physics. Advances in microscopy, image analysis, and embryo registration enable for the first time measurement of gene expression at cellular resolution for entire organisms. Analysis of highdimensional spatial gene expression datasets is a challenging task. By integrating data clustering and visualization, analysis of complex, time-varying, spatial gene expression patterns and their formation becomes possible. The analysis framework MATLAB and the visualization have been integrated, making advanced analysis tools accessible to biologist and enabling bioinformatic researchers to directly integrate their analysis with the visualization. Laser wakefield particle accelerators (LWFAs) promise to be a new compact source of highenergy particles and radiation, with wide applications ranging from medicine to physics. To gain insight into the complex physical processes of particle acceleration, physicists model LWFAs computationally. The datasets produced by LWFA simulations are (i) extremely large, (ii) of varying spatial and temporal resolution, (iii) heterogeneous, and (iv) high-dimensional, making analysis and knowledge discovery from complex LWFA simulation data a challenging task. To address these challenges this thesis describes the integration of the visualization system VisIt and the state-of-the-art index/query system FastBit, enabling interactive visual exploration of extremely large three-dimensional particle datasets. Researchers are especially interested in beams of high-energy particles formed during the course of a simulation. This thesis describes novel methods for automatic detection and analysis of particle beams enabling a more accurate and efficient data analysis process. By integrating these automated analysis methods with visualization, this research enables more accurate, efficient, and effective analysis of LWFA simulation data than previously possible.

Product development with end-user integration is not an end in itself but a logical necessity due to divergent types of knowledge of the user and the developer of a product. While the user is an expert in regard to the product’s usage the developer is an expert in the product’s construction and functioning. For the development of high-end products both types of expertises were a prerequisite at all times. The efficient and throughout integration of the user’s perspective into existing product development approaches is the core of user-centred product development. Activities that are the basic ingredient of just any user-centred development approach can be roughly categorized into analysis, design and evaluation activities. Research and practice prove the early integration of real end-users within those activities to add significant and sustainable value to product innovation. The instrumental, methodological and procedural impact of globalization tendencies, on modern user-centred product development in particular, is the primary research focus of the field of cross-cultural user-centred product development. This research aims at the further advancement of the methodological foundations of cross-cultural user centred product development approaches based on a stabile and profound theoretical basis. Primary research objects are established user-analysis methodologies, which are mainly based on Western concepts and theories, and their applicability in disparate cultural contexts of the Far East (China and Korea in particular). For facilitating the adaptation of abstract method characteristics to the situational context of method application as foundation of cross-cultural methodological advancement, a model of method localization was developed. In alignment with internationalization and localization activities within product development processes, a framework for localizing user-centred methodologies was developed. Equivalent to internationalization activities of real product development, the abstraction of method traits from specific methodologies is a necessity in a first step. Methodological adaptation with the primary objective of optimizing situational application of a methodology is to be done in a second step – the step of method-localization. This model of method localization and its underlying theories and principles were tested within an extensive empirical study in Germany, China and Korea. Within this study the applicability of six distinct user-centred product development methodologies, each with its very own profile of abstract method traits, was tested with 248 participants in total. Results clearly back the basic hypothesis of method-localization, i.e. that the application of a user-centred methodology rises and falls with the alignment of its characteristic traits with the cross-cultural application context. Beyond, applicability-influencing factors identified within this study could be proven to be valid indicators of adaptation-necessities and –potentials of user-centred product development methodologies.

Modern digital imaging technologies, such as digital microscopy or micro-computed tomography, deliver such large amounts of 2D and 3D-image data that manual processing becomes infeasible. This leads to a need for robust, flexible and automatic image analysis tools in areas such as histology or materials science, where microstructures are being investigated (e.g. cells, fiber systems). General-purpose image processing methods can be used to analyze such microstructures. These methods usually rely on segmentation, i.e., a separation of areas of interest in digital images. As image segmentation algorithms rarely adapt well to changes in the imaging system or to different analysis problems, there is a demand for solutions that can easily be modified to analyze different microstructures, and that are more accurate than existing ones. To address these challenges, this thesis contributes a novel statistical model for objects in images and novel algorithms for the image-based analysis of microstructures. The first contribution is a novel statistical model for the locations of objects (e.g. tumor cells) in images. This model is fully trainable and can therefore be easily adapted to many different image analysis tasks, which is demonstrated by examples from histology and materials science. Using algorithms for fitting this statistical model to images results in a method for locating multiple objects in images that is more accurate and more robust to noise and background clutter than standard methods. On simulated data at high noise levels (peak signal-to-noise ratio below 10 dB), this method achieves detection rates up to 10% above those of a watershed-based alternative algorithm. While objects like tumor cells can be described well by their coordinates in the plane, the analysis of fiber systems in composite materials, for instance, requires a fully three dimensional treatment. Therefore, the second contribution of this thesis is a novel algorithm to determine the local fiber orientation in micro-tomographic reconstructions of fiber-reinforced polymers and other fibrous materials. Using simulated data, it will be demonstrated that the local orientations obtained from this novel method are more robust to noise and fiber overlap than those computed using an established alternative gradient-based algorithm, both in 2D and 3D. The property of robustness to noise of the proposed algorithm can be explained by the fact that a low-pass filter is used to detect local orientations. But even in the absence of noise, depending on fiber curvature and density, the average local 3D-orientation estimate can be about 9° more accurate compared to that alternative gradient-based method. Implementations of that novel orientation estimation method require repeated image filtering using anisotropic Gaussian convolution filters. These filter operations, which other authors have used for adaptive image smoothing, are computationally expensive when using standard implementations. Therefore, the third contribution of this thesis is a novel optimal non-orthogonal separation of the anisotropic Gaussian convolution kernel. This result generalizes a previous one reported elsewhere, and allows for efficient implementations of the corresponding convolution operation in any dimension. In 2D and 3D, these implementations achieve an average performance gain by factors of 3.8 and 3.5, respectively, compared to a fast Fourier transform-based implementation. The contributions made by this thesis represent improvements over state-of-the-art methods, especially in the 2D-analysis of cells in histological resections, and in the 2D and 3D-analysis of fibrous materials.

This thesis deals with the following question. Given a moduli space of coherent sheaves on a projective variety with a fixed Hilbert polynomial, to find a natural construction that replaces the subvariety of the sheaves that are not locally free on their support (we call such sheaves singular) by some variety consisting of sheaves that are locally free on their support. We consider this problem on the example of the coherent sheaves on \(\mathbb P_2\) with Hilbert polynomial 3m+1.
Given a singular coherent sheaf \(\mathcal F\) with singular curve C as its support we replace \(\mathcal F\) by locally free sheaves \(\mathcal E\) supported on a reducible curve \(C_0\cup C_1\), where \(C_0\) is a partial normalization of C and \(C_1\) is an extra curve bearing the degree of \(\mathcal E\). These bundles resemble the bundles considered by Nagaraj and Seshadri. Many properties of the singular 3m+1 sheaves are inherited by the new sheaves we introduce in this thesis (we call them R-bundles). We consider R-bundles as natural replacements of the singular sheaves. R-bundles refine the information about 3m+1 sheaves on \(\mathbb P_2\). Namely, for every isomorphism class of singular 3m+1 sheaves there are \(\mathbb P_1\) many equivalence classes of R-bundles. There is a variety \(\tilde M\) of dimension 10 that may be considered as the space of all the isomorphism classes of the non-singular 3m+1 sheaves on \(\mathbb P_2\) together with all the equivalence classes of all R-bundles. This variety is obtained by blowing up the moduli space of 3m+1 sheaves on \(\mathbb P_2\) along the subvariety of singular sheaves. We modify the definition of a 3m+1 family and obtain a notion of a new family over an arbitrary variety S. In particular 3m+1 families of the non-singular sheaves on \(\mathbb P_2\) are families in this sense. New families over one point are either non-singular 3m+1 sheaves or R-bundles. For every variety S we introduce an equivalence relation on the set of all new families over S. The notion of equivalence for families over one point coincides with isomorphism for non-singular 3m+1 sheaves and with equivalence for R-bundles. We obtain a moduli functor \(\tilde{\mathcal M}:(Sch) \rightarrow (Sets)\) that assigns to every variety S the set of the equivalence classes of the new families over S. There is a natural transformation of functors \(\tilde{\mathcal M}\rightarrow \mathcal M\) that establishes a relation between \(\tilde{\mathcal M}\) and the moduli functor \(\mathcal M\) of the 3m+1 moduli problem on \(\mathbb P_2\). There is also a natural transformation \(\tilde{\mathcal M} \rightarrow Hom(\__ ,\tilde M)\), inducing a bijection \(\tilde{\mathcal M}(pt)\cong \tilde M\), which means that \(\tilde M\) is a coarse moduli space of the moduli problem \(\tilde{\mathcal M}\).

In engineering and science, a multitude of problems exhibit an inherently geometric nature. The computational assessment of such problems requires an adequate representation by means of data structures and processing algorithms. One of the most widely adopted and recognized spatial data structures is the Delaunay triangulation which has its canonical dual in the Voronoi diagram. While the Voronoi diagram provides a simple and elegant framework to model spatial proximity, the core of which is the concept of natural neighbors, the Delaunay triangulation provides robust and efficient access to it. This combination explains the immense popularity of Voronoi- and Delaunay-based methods in all areas of science and engineering. This thesis addresses aspects from a variety of applications that share their affinity to the Voronoi diagram and the natural neighbor concept. First, an idea for the generalization of B-spline surfaces to unstructured knot sets over Voronoi diagrams is investigated. Then, a previously proposed method for \(C^2\) smooth natural neighbor interpolation is backed with concrete guidelines for its implementation. Smooth natural neighbor interpolation is also one of many applications requiring derivatives of the input data. The generation of derivative information in scattered data with the help of natural neighbors is described in detail. In a different setting, the computation of a discrete harmonic function in a point cloud is considered, and an observation is presented that relates natural neighbor coordinates to a continuous dependency between discrete harmonic functions and the coordinates of the point cloud. Attention is then turned to integrating the flexibility and meritable properties of natural neighbor interpolation into a framework that allows the algorithmically transparent and smooth extrapolation of any known natural neighbor interpolant. Finally, essential properties are proved for a recently introduced novel finite element tessellation technique in which a Delaunay triangulation is transformed into a unique polygonal tessellation.

The thesis at hand deals with the numerical solution of multiscale problems arising in the modeling of processes in fluid and thermo dynamics. Many of these processes, governed by partial differential equations, are relevant in engineering, geoscience, and environmental studies. More precisely, this thesis discusses the efficient numerical computation of effective macroscopic thermal conductivity tensors of high-contrast composite materials. The term "high-contrast" refers to large variations in the conductivities of the constituents of the composite. Additionally, this thesis deals with the numerical solution of Brinkman's equations. This system of equations adequately models viscous flows in (highly) permeable media. It was introduced by Brinkman in 1947 to reduce the deviations between the measurements for flows in such media and the predictions according to Darcy's model.

In the context of inverse optimization, inverse versions of maximum flow and minimum cost flow problems have thoroughly been investigated. In these network flow problems there are two important problem parameters: flow capacities of the arcs and costs incurred by sending a unit flow on these arcs. Capacity changes for maximum flow problems and cost changes for minimum cost flow problems have been studied under several distance measures such as rectilinear, Chebyshev, and Hamming distances. This thesis also deals with inverse network flow problems and their counterparts tension problems under the aforementioned distance measures. The major goals are to enrich the inverse optimization theory by introducing new inverse network problems that have not yet been treated in the literature, and to extend the well-known combinatorial results of inverse network flows for more general classes of problems with inherent combinatorial properties such as matroid flows on regular matroids and monotropic programming. To accomplish the first objective, the inverse maximum flow problem under Chebyshev norm is analyzed and the capacity inverse minimum cost flow problem, in which only arc capacities are perturbed, is introduced. In this way, it is attempted to close the gap between the capacity perturbing inverse network problems and the cost perturbing ones. The foremost purpose of studying inverse tension problems on networks is to achieve a well-established generalization of the inverse network problems. Since tensions are duals of network flows, carrying the theoretical results of network flows over to tensions follows quite intuitively. Using this intuitive link between network flows and tensions, a generalization to matroid flows and monotropic programs is built gradually up.