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We propose a multiscale model for tumor cell migration in a tissue network. The system of equations involves a structured population model for the tumor cell density, which besides time and
position depends on a further variable characterizing the cellular state with respect to the amount
of receptors bound to soluble and insoluble ligands. Moreover, this equation features pH-taxis and
adhesion, along with an integral term describing proliferation conditioned by receptor binding. The
interaction of tumor cells with their surroundings calls for two more equations for the evolution of
tissue fibers and acidity (expressed via concentration of extracellular protons), respectively. The
resulting ODE-PDE system is highly nonlinear. We prove the global existence of a solution and
perform numerical simulations to illustrate its behavior, paying particular attention to the influence
of the supplementary structure and of the adhesion.

This thesis investigates the electromechanic coupling of dielectric elastomers for the static and dynamic case by numerical simulations. To this end, the fundamental equations of the coupled field problem are introduced and the discretisation procedure for the numerical implementation is described. Furthermore, a three field formulation is proposed and implemented to treat the nearly incompressible behaviour of the elastomer. Because of the reduced electric permittivity of the material, very high electric fields are required for actuation purposes. To improve the electromechanic coupling a heterogeneous microstructure consisting of an elastomer matrix with barium titanate inclusions is proposed and studied.

Stochastic Network Calculus (SNC) emerged from two branches in the late 90s:
the theory of effective bandwidths and its predecessor the Deterministic Network
Calculus (DNC). As such SNC’s goal is to analyze queueing networks and support
their design and control.
In contrast to queueing theory, which strives for similar goals, SNC uses in-
equalities to circumvent complex situations, such as stochastic dependencies or
non-Poisson arrivals. Leaving the objective to compute exact distributions behind,
SNC derives stochastic performance bounds. Such a bound would, for example,
guarantee a system’s maximal queue length that is violated by a known small prob-
ability only.
This work includes several contributions towards the theory of SNC. They are
sorted into four main contributions:
(1) The first chapters give a self-contained introduction to deterministic net-
work calculus and its two branches of stochastic extensions. The focus lies on the
notion of network operations. They allow to derive the performance bounds and
simplifying complex scenarios.
(2) The author created the first open-source tool to automate the steps of cal-
culating and optimizing MGF-based performance bounds. The tool automatically
calculates end-to-end performance bounds, via a symbolic approach. In a second
step, this solution is numerically optimized. A modular design allows the user to
implement their own functions, like traffic models or analysis methods.
(3) The problem of the initial modeling step is addressed with the development
of a statistical network calculus. In many applications the properties of included
elements are mostly unknown. To that end, assumptions about the underlying
processes are made and backed by measurement-based statistical methods. This
thesis presents a way to integrate possible modeling errors into the bounds of SNC.
As a byproduct a dynamic view on the system is obtained that allows SNC to adapt
to non-stationarities.
(4) Probabilistic bounds are fundamentally different from deterministic bounds:
While deterministic bounds hold for all times of the analyzed system, this is not
true for probabilistic bounds. Stochastic bounds, although still valid for every time
t, only hold for one time instance at once. Sample path bounds are only achieved by
using Boole’s inequality. This thesis presents an alternative method, by adapting
the theory of extreme values.
(5) A long standing problem of SNC is the construction of stochastic bounds
for a window flow controller. The corresponding problem for DNC had been solved
over a decade ago, but remained an open problem for SNC. This thesis presents
two methods for a successful application of SNC to the window flow controller.

Buses not arriving on time and then arriving all at once - this phenomenon is known from
busy bus routes and is called bus bunching.
This thesis combines the well studied but so far separate areas of bus-bunching prediction
and dynamic holding strategies, which allow to modulate buses’ dwell times at stops to
eliminate bus bunching. We look at real data of the Dublin Bus route 46A and present
a headway-based predictive-control framework considering all components like data
acquisition, prediction and control strategies. We formulate time headways as time series
and compare several prediction methods for those. Furthermore we present an analytical
model of an artificial bus route and discuss stability properties and dynamic holding
strategies using both data available at the time and predicted headway data. In a numerical
simulation we illustrate the advantages of the presented predictive-control framework
compared to the classical approaches which only use directly available data.

Advantage of Filtering for Portfolio Optimization in Financial Markets with Partial Information
(2016)

In a financial market we consider three types of investors trading with a finite
time horizon with access to a bank account as well as multliple stocks: the
fully informed investor, the partially informed investor whose only source of
information are the stock prices and an investor who does not use this infor-
mation. The drift is modeled either as following linear Gaussian dynamics
or as being a continuous time Markov chain with finite state space. The
optimization problem is to maximize expected utility of terminal wealth.
The case of partial information is based on the use of filtering techniques.
Conditions to ensure boundedness of the expected value of the filters are
developed, in the Markov case also for positivity. For the Markov modulated
drift, boundedness of the expected value of the filter relates strongly to port-
folio optimization: effects are studied and quantified. The derivation of an
equivalent, less dimensional market is presented next. It is a type of Mutual
Fund Theorem that is shown here.
Gains and losses eminating from the use of filtering are then discussed in
detail for different market parameters: For infrequent trading we find that
both filters need to comply with the boundedness conditions to be an advan-
tage for the investor. Losses are minimal in case the filters are advantageous.
At an increasing number of stocks, again boundedness conditions need to be
met. Losses in this case depend strongly on the added stocks. The relation
of boundedness and portfolio optimization in the Markov model leads here to
increasing losses for the investor if the boundedness condition is to hold for
all numbers of stocks. In the Markov case, the losses for different numbers
of states are negligible in case more states are assumed then were originally
present. Assuming less states leads to high losses. Again for the Markov
model, a simplification of the complex optimal trading strategy for power
utility in the partial information setting is shown to cause only minor losses.
If the market parameters are such that shortselling and borrowing constraints
are in effect, these constraints may lead to big losses depending on how much
effect the constraints have. They can though also be an advantage for the
investor in case the expected value of the filters does not meet the conditions
for boundedness.
All results are implemented and illustrated with the corresponding numerical
findings.

Urban quality of life is currently conceptualized in principally economic terms. As the decline in manufacturing activities, the rise of the service and knowledge economy, the growing importance of accessibility and globalizing processes continue to reconfigure the economic competition between cities, quality of life enters the discourse primarily as a means to attract high-skilled workers and improve the city’s economic prospects. Local governments increasingly seek partnerships with local and foreign capital, reorganizing institutions and tasks to attract capital, including the “selling of place”, strengthening place promotion and marketing efforts. The rhetoric clearly welcomes wealthy, creative, high-skilled people, disadvantaged and low skilled groups receive less attention in the making of places. Especially with respect to inner city areas, high quality of life is promoted as spaces for ‘clean’ and convenient consumption with positive atmospheres and shiny images.
Yet, a plethora of theoretical engagements with urban everyday live reminds us that, while on the one hand, variety of jobs, quality of public spaces, range of shops and services, cultural facilities and public transport are important place characteristics, more subjective aspects such as safe neighbourhoods, well-being, community prospects, social cohesion, happiness, satisfaction and social and spatial justice are equally crucial determinants of urban quality of life. These elements of urban quality of life – and how they are experienced by diverse formations of urban inhabitants – seem to be absent from, if not at odds with, the dominant discourse in rankings, policy and practice. Urban life, social cohesion and complexity are at risk in the dynamics of modernization and adaptation strategies of cities. Gentrification, the occupation of inner-city districts by hyper-rich people, segregation and displacement of lower and middle classes can be observed as a consequence of these long-lasting strategies.
Well-known sociologists and geographers from the UK and Germany have presented their insights on the matter and debate theoretical and empirical attempts to capture the dynamics of urban processes in shaping the quality of life.

Knowing the extent to which we rely on technology one may think that correct programs are nowadays the norm. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Luckily, possible reasons why program correctness is difficult often come hand in hand with some solutions. Consider concurrent program correctness under Sequential Consistency (SC). Under SC, instructions of each program's concurrent component are executed atomically and in order. By using logic to represent correctness specifications, model checking provides a successful solution to concurrent program verification under SC. Alas, SC’s atomicity assumptions do not reflect the reality of hardware architectures. Total Store Order (TSO) is a less common memory model implemented in SPARC and in Intel x86 multiprocessors that relaxes the SC constraints. While the architecturally de-atomized execution of stores under TSO speeds up program execution, it also complicates program verification. To be precise, due to TSO’s unbounded store buffers, a program’s semantics under TSO might be infinite. This, for example, turns reachability under SC (a PSPACE-complete task) into a non-primitive-recursive-complete problem under TSO. This thesis develops verification techniques targeting TSO-relaxed programs. To be precise, we present under- and over-approximating heuristics for checking reachability in TSO-relaxed programs as well as state-reducing methods for speeding up such heuristics. In a first contribution, we propose an algorithm to check reachability of TSO-relaxed programs lazily. The under-approximating refinement algorithm uses auxiliary variables to simulate TSO’s buffers along instruction sequences suggested by an oracle. The oracle’s deciding characteristic is that if it returns the empty sequence then the program’s SC- and TSO-reachable states are the same. Secondly, we propose several approaches to over-approximate TSO buffers. Combined in a refinement algorithm, these approaches can be used to determine safety with respect to TSO reachability for a large class of TSO-relaxed programs. On the more technical side, we prove that checking reachability is decidable when TSO buffers are approximated by multisets with tracked per address last-added-values. Finally, we analyze how the explored state space can be reduced when checking TSO and SC reachability. Intuitively, through the viewpoint of Shasha-and-Snir-like traces, we exploit the structure of program instructions to explain several state-space reducing methods including dynamic and cartesian partial order reduction.

Combining ultracold atomic gases with the peculiar properties of Rydberg excited atoms gained a lot of theoretical and experimental attention in recent years. Embedded in the ultracold gas, an interaction between the Rydberg atom and the surrounding ground state atoms arises through the scattering of the Rydberg electron from an intruding perturber atom. This peculiar interaction gives rise to a plenitude of previously unobserved effects. Within the framework of the present thesis, this interaction is studied in detail for Rydberg \(P\)-states in rubidium.
Due to their long lifetime, atoms in Rydberg states are subject to scattering with the surrounding ground state atoms in the ultracold cloud. By measuring their lifetime as a function of the ground state atom flux, we are able to obtain the total inelastic scattering cross section as well as the partial cross section for associative ionisation. The fact that the latter is three orders of magnitude larger than the size of the formed molecular
ion indicates the presence of an efficient mass transport mechanism that is mediated by the Rydberg–ground state interaction. The immense acceleration of the collisional process shows a close analogy to a catalytic process. The increase of the scattering cross section renders associative ionisation an important process that has to be considered for experiments in dense ultracold systems.
The interaction of the Rydberg atom with a ground state perturber gives rise to a highly oscillatory potential that supports molecular bound states. These so-called ultralong-range Rydberg molecules are studied with high resolution time-of-flight spectroscopy, where we are able to determine the binding energies and lifetimes of the molecular states between the two fine structure split \(25P\)-states. Inside an electric field, we observe a broadening of the
molecular lines that indicates the presence of a permanent electric dipole moment, induced by the mixing with high angular momentum states. Due to the mixing of the ground state atom’s hyperfine states by the molecular interaction, we are able to observe a spin-flip of the perturber upon creation of a Rydberg molecule. Furthermore, an incidental near-degeneracy in the underlying level scheme of the \(25P\)-state gives rise to highly entangled states between the Rydberg fine structure state and the perturber’s hyperfine structure. These mechanisms can be used to manipulate the quantum state of a remote particle over distances that exceed by far the typical contact interaction range.
Apart from the ultralong-range Rydberg molecules that predominantly consist of only one low angular momentum state, a class of Rydberg molecules is predicted to exist that strongly mixes the high angular momentum states of the degenerate hydrogenic manifolds. These states, the so-called trilobite- and butterfly Rydberg molecules, show very peculiar properties that cannot be observed for conventional molecules. Here we present the first experimental observation of butterfly Rydberg molecules. In addition to an extensive spectroscopy that reveals the binding energy, we are also able to observe the rotational structure of these exotic molecules. The arising pendular states inside an electric field allow us, in comparison to the model of a dipolar rotor, to extract the precise bond
length and dipole moment of the molecule. With the information obtained in the present study, it is possible to photoassociate butterfly molecules with a selectable bond length, vibrational state, rotational state, and orientation inside an electric field.
By shedding light on various previously unrevealed aspects, the experiments presented in this thesis significantly deepen our knowledge on the Rydberg–ground state interaction and the peculiar effects arising from it. The obtained spectroscopic information on Rydberg molecules and the changed reaction dynamics for molecular ion creation will surely provide valuable data for quantum chemical simulations and provide necessary data to plan future experiments. Beyond that, our study reveals that the hyperfine interaction in Rydberg molecules and the peculiar properties of butterfly states provide very promising new ways to alter the short- and long-range interactions in ultracold many-body systems. In this sense the investigated Rydberg–ground state interaction not only lies right at
the interface between quantum chemistry, quantum many-body systems, and Rydberg physics, but also creates many new and fascinating possibilities by combining these fields.

Mixed-signal systems combine analog circuits with digital hardware and software systems. A particular challenge is the sensitivity of analog parts to even small deviations in parameters, or inputs. Parameters of circuits and systems such as process, voltage, and temperature are never accurate; we hence model them as uncertain values (‘uncertainties’). Uncertain parameters and inputs can modify the dynamic behavior and lead to properties of the system that are not in specified ranges. For verification of mixed- signal systems, the analysis of the impact of uncertainties on the dynamical behavior plays a central role.
Verification of mixed-signal systems is usually done by numerical simulation. A single numerical simulation run allows designers to verify single parameter values out of often ranges of uncertain values. Multi-run simulation techniques such as Monte Carlo Simulation, Corner Case simulation, and enhanced techniques such as Importance Sampling or Design-of-Experiments allow to verify ranges – at the cost of a high number of simulation runs, and with the risk of not finding potential errors. Formal and symbolic approaches are an interesting alternative. Such methods allow a comprehensive verification. However, formal methods do not scale well with heterogeneity and complexity. Also, formal methods do not support existing and established modeling languages. This fact complicates its integration in industrial design flows.
In previous work on verification of Mixed-Signal systems, Affine Arithmetic is used for symbolic simulation. This allows combining the high coverage of formal methods with the ease-of use and applicability of simulation. Affine Arithmetic computes the propagation of uncertainties through mostly linear analog circuits and DSP methods in an accurate way. However, Affine Arithmetic is currently only able to compute with contiguous regions, but does not permit the representation of and computation with discrete behavior, e.g. introduced by software. This is a serious limitation: in mixed-signal systems, uncertainties in the analog part are often compensated by embedded software; hence, verification of system properties must consider both analog circuits and embedded software.
The objective of this work is to provide an extension to Affine Arithmetic that allows symbolic computation also for digital hardware and software systems, and to demonstrate its applicability and scalability. Compared with related work and state of the art, this thesis provides the following achievements:
1. The thesis introduces extended Affine Arithmetic Forms (XAAF) for the representation of branch and merge operations.
2. The thesis describes arithmetic and relational operations on XAAF, and reduces over-approximation by using an LP solver.
3. The thesis shows and discusses ways to integrate this XAAF into existing modeling languages, in particular SystemC. This way, breaks in the design flow can be avoided.
The applicability and scalability of the approach is demonstrated by symbolic simulation of a Delta-Sigma Modulator and a PLL circuit of an IEEE 802.15.4 transceiver system.

An Adaptive and Dynamic Simulation Framework for Incremental, Collaborative Classifier Fusion
(2016)

Abstract. To investigate incremental collaborative classifier fusion techniques, we have developed a comprehensive simulation framework. It is highly flexible and customizable, and can be adapted to various settings and scenarios. The toolbox is realized as an extension to the NetLogo multi-agent based simulation environment using its comprehensive Java- API. The toolbox has been integrated in two di↵erent environments, one for demonstration purposes and another, modeled on persons using re- alistic motion data from Zurich, who are communicating in an ad hoc fashion using mobile devices.

This thesis presents a novel, generic framework for information segmentation in document images.
A document image contains different types of information, for instance, text (machine printed/handwritten), graphics, signatures, and stamps.
It is necessary to segment information in documents so that to process such segmented information only when required in automatic document processing workflows.
The main contribution of this thesis is the conceptualization and implementation of an information segmentation framework that is based on part-based features.
The generic nature of the presented framework makes it applicable to a variety of documents (technical drawings, magazines, administrative, scientific, and academic documents) digitized using different methods (scanners, RGB cameras, and hyper-spectral imaging (HSI) devices).
A highlight of the presented framework is that it does not require large training sets, rather a few training samples (for instance, four pages) lead to high performance, i.e., better than previously existing methods.
In addition, the presented framework is simple and can be adapted quickly to new problem domains.
This thesis is divided into three major parts on the basis of document digitization method (scanned, hyper-spectral imaging, and camera captured) used.
In the area of scanned document images, three specific contributions have been realized.
The first of them is in the domain of signature segmentation in administrative documents.
In some workflows, it is very important to check the document authenticity before processing the actual content.
This can be done based on the available seal of authenticity, e.g., signatures.
However, signature verification systems expect pre-segmented signature image, while signatures are usually a part of document.
To use signature verification systems on document images, it is necessary to first segment signatures in documents.
This thesis shows that the presented framework can be used to segment signatures in administrative documents.
The system based on the presented framework is tested on a publicly available dataset where it outperforms the state-of-the-art methods and successfully segmented all signatures, while less than half of the found signatures are false positives.
This shows that it can be applied for practical use.
The second contribution in the area of scanned document images is segmentation of stamps in administrative documents.
A stamp also serves as a seal for documents authenticity.
However, the location of stamp on the document can be more arbitrary than a signature depending on the person sealing the document.
This thesis shows that a system based on our generic framework is able to extract stamps of any arbitrary shape and color.
The evaluation of the presented system on a publicly available dataset shows that it is also able to segment black stamps (that were not addressed in the past) with a recall and precision of 83% and 73%, respectively.
%Furthermore, to segment colored stamps, this thesis presents a novel feature set which is based on intensity gradient, is able to extract unseen, colored, arbitrary shaped, textual as well as graphical stamps, and outperforms the state-of-the-art methods.
The third contribution in the scanned document images is in the domain of information segmentation in technical drawings (architectural floorplans, maps, circuit diagrams, etc.) containing usually a large amount of graphics and comparatively less textual components. Further, as in technical drawings, text is overlapping with graphics.
Thus, automatic analysis of technical drawings uses text/graphics segmentation as a pre-processing step.
This thesis presents a method based on our generic information segmentation framework that is able to detect the text, which is touching graphical components in architectural floorplans and maps.
Evaluation of the method on a publicly available dataset of architectural floorplans shows that it is able to extract almost all touching text components with precision and recall of 71% and 95%, respectively.
This means that almost all of the touching text components are successfully extracted.
In the area of hyper-spectral document images, two contributions have been realized.
Unlike normal three channels RGB images, hyper-spectral images usually have multiple channels that range from ultraviolet to infrared regions including the visible region.
First, this thesis presents a novel automatic method for signature segmentation from hyper-spectral document images (240 spectral bands between 400 - 900 nm).
The presented method is based on a part-based key point detection technique, which does not use any structural information, but relies only on the spectral response of the document regardless of ink color and intensity.
The presented method is capable of segmenting (overlapping and non-overlapping) signatures from varying backgrounds like, printed text, tables, stamps, logos, etc.
Importantly, the presented method can extract signature pixels and not just the bounding boxes.
This is substantial when signatures are overlapping with text and/or other objects in image. Second, this thesis presents a new dataset comprising of 300 documents scanned using a high-resolution hyper-spectral scanner. Evaluation of the presented signature segmentation method on this hyper-spectral dataset shows that it is able to extract signature pixels with the precision and recall of 100% and 79%, respectively.
Further contributions have been made in the area of camera captured document images. A major problem in the development of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems for camera captured document images is the lack of labeled camera captured document images datasets. In the first place, this thesis presents a novel, generic, method for automatic ground truth generation/labeling of document images. The presented method builds large-scale (i.e., millions of images) datasets of labeled camera captured / scanned documents without any human intervention. The method is generic and can be used for automatic ground truth generation of (scanned and/or camera captured) documents in any language, e.g., English, Russian, Arabic, Urdu. The evaluation of the presented method, on two different datasets in English and Russian, shows that 99.98% of the images are correctly labeled in every case.
Another important contribution in the area of camera captured document images is the compilation of a large dataset comprising 1 million word images (10 million character images), captured in a real camera-based acquisition environment, along with the word and character level ground truth. The dataset can be used for training as well as testing of character recognition systems for camera-captured documents. Various benchmark tests are performed to analyze the behavior of different open source OCR systems on camera captured document images. Evaluation results show that the existing OCRs, which already get very high accuracies on scanned documents, fail on camera captured document images.
Using the presented camera-captured dataset, a novel character recognition system is developed which is based on a variant of recurrent neural networks, i.e., Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) that outperforms all of the existing OCR engines on camera captured document images with an accuracy of more than 95%.
Finally, this thesis provides details on various tasks that have been performed in the area closely related to information segmentation. This includes automatic analysis and sketch based retrieval of architectural floor plan images, a novel scheme for online signature verification, and a part-based approach for signature verification. With these contributions, it has been shown that part-based methods can be successfully applied to document image analysis.

Reading as a cultural skill is acquired over a long period of training. This thesis supports the idea that reading is based on specific strategies that result from modification and coordination of earlier developed object recognition strategies. The reading-specific processing strategies are considered to be more analytic compared to object recognition strategies, which are described as holistic. To enable proper reading skills these strategies have to become automatized. Study 1 (Chapter 4) examined the temporal and visual constrains of letter recognition strategies. In the first experiment two successively presented stimuli (letters or non-letters) had to be classified as same or different. The second stimulus could either be presented in isolation or surrounded by a shape, which was either similar (congruent) or different (incongruent) in its geometrical properties to the stimulus itself. The non-letter pairs were presented twice as often as the letter pairs. The results demonstrated a preference for the holistic strategy also in letters, even if the non- letter set was presented twice as often as the letter set, showing that the analytic strategy does not replace the holistic one completely, but that the usage of both strategies is task-sensitive. In Experiment 2, we compared the Global Precedence Effect (GPE) for letters and non-letters in central viewing, with the global stimulus size close to the functional visual field in whole word reading (6.5◦ of visual angle) and local stimuli close to the critical size for fluent reading of individual letters (0.5◦ of visual angle). Under these conditions, the GPE remained robust for non-letters. For letters, however, it disappeared: letters showed no overall response time advantage for the global level and symmetric congruence effects (local-to-global as well as global-to-local interference). These results indicate that reading is based on resident analytic visual processing strategies for letters. In Study 2 (Chapter 5) we replicated the latter result with a large group of participants as part of a study in which pairwise associations of non-letters and phonological or non-phonological sounds were systematically trained. We investigated whether training would eliminate the GPE also for non-letters. We observed, however, that the differentiation between letters and non-letter shapes persists after training. This result implies that pairwise association learning is not sufficient to overrule the process differentiation in adults. In addition, subtle effects arising in the letter condition (due to enhanced power) enable us to further specify the differentiation in processing between letters and non-letter shapes. The influence of reading ability on the GPE was examined in Study 3 (Chapter 6). Children with normal reading skills and children with poor reading skills were instructed to detect a target in Latin or Hebrew Navon letters. Children with normal reading skills showed a GPE for Latin letters, but not for Hebrew letters. In contrast, the dyslexia group did not show GPE for either kind of stimuli. These results suggest that dyslexic children are not able to apply the same automatized letter processing strategy as children with normal reading skills do. The difference between the analytic letter processing and the holistic non-letter processing was transferred to the context of whole word reading in Study 4 (Chapter 7). When participants were instructed to detect either a letter or a non-letter in a mixed character string, for letters the reaction times and error rates increased linearly from the left to the right terminal position in the string, whereas for non-letters a symmetrical U-shaped function was observed. These results suggest, that the letter-specific processing strategies are triggered automatically also for more word-like material. Thus, this thesis supports and expands prior results of letter-specific processing and gives new evidences for letter-specific processing strategies.

Synapses play a central role in the information propagation in the nervous system. A better understanding of synaptic structures and processes is vital for advancing nervous disease research. This work is part of an interdisciplinary project that aims at the quantitative examination of components of the neuromuscular junction, a synaptic connection between a neuron and a muscle cell.
The research project is based on image stacks picturing neuromuscular junctions captured by modern electron microscopes, which permit the rapid acquisition of huge amounts of image data at a high level of detail. The large amount and sheer size of such microscopic data makes a direct visual examination infeasible, though.
This thesis presents novel problem-oriented interactive visualization techniques that support the segmentation and examination of neuromuscular junctions.
First, I introduce a structured data model for segmented surfaces of neuromuscular junctions to enable the computational analysis of their properties. However, surface segmentation of neuromuscular junctions is a very challenging task due to the extremely intricate character of the objects of interest. Hence, such problematic segmentations are often performed manually by non-experts and thus requires further inspection.
With NeuroMap, I develop a novel framework to support proofreading and correction of three-dimensional surface segmentations. To provide a clear overview and to ease navigation within the data, I propose the surface map, an abstracted two-dimensional representation using key features of the surface as landmarks. These visualizations are augmented with information about automated segmentation error estimates. The framework provides intuitive and interactive data correction mechanisms, which in turn permit the expeditious creation of high-quality segmentations.
While analyzing such segmented synapse data, the formulation of specific research questions is often impossible due to missing insight into the data. I address this problem by designing a generic parameter space for segmented structures from biological image data. Furthermore, I introduce a graphical interface to aid its exploration, combining both parameter selection as well as data representation.

When designing autonomous mobile robotic systems, there usually is a trade-off between the three opposing goals of safety, low-cost and performance.
If one of these design goals is approached further, it usually leads to a recession of one or even both of the other goals.
If for example the performance of a mobile robot is increased by making use of higher vehicle speeds, then the safety of the system is usually decreased, as, under the same circumstances, faster robots are often also more dangerous robots.
This decrease of safety can be mitigated by installing better sensors on the robot, which ensure the safety of the system, even at high speeds.
However, this solution is accompanied by an increase of system cost.
In parallel to mobile robotics, there is a growing amount of ambient and aware technology installations in today's environments - no matter whether in private homes, offices or factory environments.
Part of this technology are sensors that are suitable to assess the state of an environment.
For example, motion detectors that are used to automate lighting can be used to detect the presence of people.
This work constitutes a meeting point between the two fields of robotics and aware environment research.
It shows how data from aware environments can be used to approach the abovementioned goal of establishing safe, performant and additionally low-cost robotic systems.
Sensor data from aware technology, which is often unreliable due to its low-cost nature, is fed to probabilistic methods for estimating the environment's state.
Together with models, these methods cope with the uncertainty and unreliability associated with the sensor data, gathered from an aware environment.
The estimated state includes positions of people in the environment and is used as an input to the local and global path planners of a mobile robot, enabling safe, cost-efficient and performant mobile robot navigation during local obstacle avoidance as well as on a global scale, when planning paths between different locations.
The probabilistic algorithms enable graceful degradation of the whole system.
Even if, in the extreme case, all aware technology fails, the robots will continue to operate, by sacrificing performance while maintaining safety.
All the presented methods of this work have been validated using simulation experiments as well as using experiments with real hardware.

Requirements-Aware, Template-Based Protocol Graphs for Service-Oriented Network Architectures
(2016)

Rigidness of the Internet causes its architectural design issues such as interdependencies among the layers, no cross-layer information exchange, and applications dependency on the underlying protocols implementation.
G-Lab (i.e., http://www.german-lab.de/) is a research project for Future Internet Architecture (FIA), which focuses on problems of the Internet such as rigidness, mobility, and addressing. Where the focus of ICSY (i.e., www.icsy) was on providing the flexibility in future network architectures. An approach so-called Service Oriented Network Architecture (SONATE) is proposed to compose the protocols dynamically. SONATE is based on principles of the service-oriented architecture (SOA), where protocols are decomposed in software modules and later they are put together on demand to provide the desired service.
This composition of functionalities can be performed at various time-epochs (e.g., run-time, design-time, deployment-time). However, these epochs have trade-off in terms of the time-complexity (i.e., required setup time) and the provided flexibility. The design-time is the least time critical in comparison to other time phases, which makes it possible to utilize human-analytical capability. However, the design-time lacks the real-time knowledge of requirements and network conditions, what results in inflexible protocol graphs, and they cannot be changed at later stages on changing requirements. Contrary to the design-time, the run-time is most time critical where an application is waiting for a connection to be established, but at the same time it has maximum information to generate a protocol graph suitable to the given requirements.
Considering limitations above of different time-phases, in this thesis, a novel intermediate functional composition approach (i.e., Template-Based Composition) has been presented to generate requirements aware protocol graphs. The template-based composition splits the composition process across different time-phases to exploit the less time critical nature and human-analytical availability of the design-time, ability to instantaneously deploy new functionalities of the deployment time and maximum information availability of the run-time. The approach is successfully implemented , demonstrated and evaluated based on its performance to know the implications for the practical use.

This thesis deals with risk measures based on utility functions and time consistency of dynamic risk measures. It is therefore aimed at readers interested in both, the theory of static and dynamic financial risk measures in the sense of Artzner, Delbaen, Eber and Heath [7], [8] and the theory of preferences in the tradition of von Neumann and Morgenstern [134].
A main contribution of this thesis is the introduction of optimal expected utility (OEU) risk measures as a new class of utility-based risk measures. We introduce OEU, investigate its main properties, and its applicability to risk measurement and put it in perspective to alternative risk measures and notions of certainty equivalents. To the best of our knowledge, OEU is the only existing utility-based risk measure that is (non-trivial and) coherent if the utility function u has constant relative risk aversion. We present several different risk measures that can be derived with special choices of u and illustrate that OEU reacts in a more sensitive way to slight changes of the probability of a financial loss than value at risk (V@R) and average value at risk.
Further, we propose implied risk aversion as a coherent rating methodology for retail structured products (RSPs). Implied risk aversion is based on optimal expected utility risk measures and, in contrast to standard V@R-based ratings, takes into account both the upside potential and the downside risks of such products. In addition, implied risk aversion is easily interpreted in terms of an individual investor's risk aversion: A product is attractive (unattractive) for an investor if its implied risk aversion is higher (lower) than his individual risk aversion. We illustrate this approach in a case study with more than 15,000 warrants on DAX ® and find that implied risk aversion is able to identify favorable products; in particular, implied risk aversion is not necessarily increasing with respect to the strikes of call warrants.
Another main focus of this thesis is on consistency of dynamic risk measures. To this end, we study risk measures on the space of distributions, discuss concavity on the level of distributions and slightly generalize Weber's [137] findings on the relation of time consistent dynamic risk measures to static risk measures to the case of dynamic risk measures with time-dependent parameters. Finally, this thesis investigates how recursively composed dynamic risk measures in discrete time, which are time consistent by construction, can be related to corresponding dynamic risk measures in continuous time. We present different approaches to establish this link and outline the theoretical basis and the practical benefits of this relation. The thesis concludes with a numerical implementation of this theory.

In this thesis, mathematical research questions related to recursive utility and stochastic differential utility (SDU) are explored.
First, a class of backward equations under nonlinear expectations is investigated: Existence and uniqueness of solutions are established, and the issues of stability and discrete-time approximation are addressed. It is then shown that backward equations of this class naturally appear as a continuous-time limit in the context of recursive utility with nonlinear expectations.
Then, the Epstein-Zin parametrization of SDU is studied. The focus is on specifications with both relative risk aversion and elasitcity of intertemporal substitution greater that one. A concave utility functional is constructed and a utility gradient inequality is established.
Finally, consumption-portfolio problems with recursive preferences and unspanned risk are investigated. The investor's optimal strategies are characterized by a specific semilinear partial differential equation. The solution of this equation is constructed by a fixed point argument, and a corresponding efficient and accurate method to calculate optimal strategies numerically is given.

Inflation modeling is a very important tool for conducting an efficient monetary policy. This doctoral thesis reviewed inflation models, in particular the Phillips curve models of inflation dynamics. We focused on a well known and widely used model, the so-called three equation new Keynesian model which is a system of equations consisting of a new Keynesian Phillips curve (NKPC), an investment and saving (IS) curve and an interest rate rule.
We gave a detailed derivation of these equations. The interest rate rule used in this model is normally determined by using a Lagrangian method to solve an optimal control problem constrained by a standard discrete time NKPC which describes the inflation dynamics and an IS curve that represents the output gaps dynamics. In contrast to the real world, this method assumes that the policy makers intervene continuously. This means that the costs resulting from the change in the interest rates are ignored. We showed also that there are approximation errors made, when one log-linearizes non linear equations, by doing the derivation of the standard discrete time NKPC.
We agreed with other researchers as mentioned in this thesis, that errors which result from ignoring such log-linear approximation errors and the costs of altering interest rates by determining interest rate rule, can lead to a suboptimal interest rate rule and hence to non-optimal paths of output gaps and inflation rate.
To overcome such a problem, we proposed a stochastic optimal impulse control method. We formulated the problem as a stochastic optimal impulse control problem by considering the costs of change in interest rates and the approximation error terms. In order to formulate this problem, we first transform the standard discrete time NKPC and the IS curve into their high-frequency versions and hence into their continuous time versions where error terms are described by a zero mean Gaussian white noise with a finite and constant variance. After formulating this problem, we use the quasi-variational inequality approach to solve analytically a special case of the central bank problem, where an inflation rate is supposed to be on target and a central bank has to optimally control output gap dynamics. This method gives an optimal control band in which output gap process has to be maintained and an optimal control strategy, which includes the optimal size of intervention and optimal intervention time, that can be used to keep the process into the optimal control band.
Finally, using a numerical example, we examined the impact of some model parameters on optimal control strategy. The results show that an increase in the output gap volatility as well as in the fixed and proportional costs of the change in interest rate lead to an increase in the width of the optimal control band. In this case, the optimal intervention requires the central bank to wait longer before undertaking another control action.

The present study investigated the effects of two methods of shared book reading on children´s emergent literacy skills, such as language skills (expressive vocabulary and semantic skills) and grapheme awareness, i.e. before the alphabetic phase of reading acquisition (Lachmann & van Leeuwen, 2014) in home and in kindergarten contexts. The two following shared book reading methods were investigated: Method I - literacy enrichment: 200 extra children's books were distributed in kindergartens and children were encouraged every week to borrow a book to take home and read with their parents. Further, a written letter was sent to the parents encouraging them to frequently read the books with their children at home. Method II - teacher training: kindergarten teachers participated in structured training which included formal instruction on how to promote child language development through shared book reading. The training was an adaptation of the Heidelberger Interaktionstraining für pädagogisches Fachpersonal zur Förderung ein- und mehrsprachiger Kinder - HIT (Buschmann & Jooss, 2011). In addition, the effects of the two methods in combination were investigated. Three questions were addressed in the present study: (1) What effect does method I (literacy enrichment), method II (teacher training) and the combination of both methods have on children's expressive vocabulary? (2) What effect does method I (literacy enrichment), method II (teacher training) and the combination of both methods have on children's semantic skills? (3) What effect does method I (literacy enrichment), method II (teacher training) and the combination of both methods have on children's grapheme awareness? Accordingly, 69 children, ranged in age from 3;0 to 4;8 years, were recruited from four kindergartens in the city of Kaiserslautern, Germany. The kindergartens were divided into: kindergarten 1 – Method I (N = 13); kindergarten 2 - Method II (N = 18); kindergarten 3 - Combination of both methods (N = 17); kindergarten 4 - Control group (N = 21). Half of the participants (N = 35) reported having a migration background. All groups were similar in regards to socioeconomic status and literacy activities at home. In a pre- posttest design, children performed three tests: expressive vocabulary (AWSTR, 3-5; Kiese-Himmel, 2005), semantic skills (SETK, 3-5 subtests ESR; Grimm, 2001), and grapheme awareness which is a task developed with the purpose of testing children’s familiarity with grapheme forms. The intervention period had duration of six months. The data analysis was performed using the software IBM SPSS Statistics version 22. Regarding language skills, Method I showed no significant effects on children expressive vocabulary and semantic skills. Method II showed significant effects for children expressive vocabulary. In addition, the children with migration background took more advantage of the method. Regarding semantic skills, no significant effects were found. No significant effects of the combination of both methods in children's language skills were found. For grapheme awareness, however, results showed positive effects for Method I, and Method II, as well as for the combination of both methods. The combination group, as reported by a large effect size, showed to be more effective than Method I and Method II alone. Moreover, the results indicated that in grapheme awareness, all children (in regards to age, gender, with and without migration background) took equal advantage in all three intervention groups. Overall, it can be concluded with the results of the present study, that by providing access to good books, Method I may help parents involve themselves in the active process of their child's literacy skills development. However, in order to improve language skills, access to books alone showed to be not enough. Therefore, it is suggested that access combined with additional support to parents in how to improve their language interactions with their children is highly recommended. In respect to Method II, the present study suggests that shared book reading through professional training is an important tool that supports children´s language development. For grapheme awareness it is concluded that with the combination of the two performed methods, high exposure to shared book reading helps children to informally learn about the surface characteristics of print, acquire some familiarity with the visual characteristics of the letters and learn to differentiate them from other visual patterns. Finally, it is suggested to organizations and institutions as well as to future research, the importance of having more programs that offer different possibilities to children to have more contact with adequate language interaction as well as more experiences with print through shared book reading as showed in the present study.