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In robotics, information is often regarded as a means to an end. The question of how to structure information and how to bridge the semantic gap between different levels of abstraction in a uniform way is still widely regarded as a technical issue. Ignoring these challenges appears to lead robotics into a similar stasis as experienced in the software industry of the late 1960s. From the beginning of the software crisis until today, numerous methods, techniques, and tools for managing the increasing complexity of software systems have evolved. The attempt to transfer several of these ideas towards applications in robotics yielded various control architectures, frameworks, and process models. These attempts mainly provide modularisation schemata which suggest how to decompose a complex system into less complex subsystems. The schematisation of representation and information ﬂow however is mostly ignored. In this work, a set of design schemata is proposed which is embedded into an action/perception-oriented design methodology to promote thorough abstractions between distinct levels of control. Action-oriented design decomposes control systems top-down and sensor data is extracted from the environment as required. This comes with the problem that information is often condensed in a premature fashion. That way, sensor processing is dependent on the control system design resulting in a monolithical system structure with limited options for reusability. In contrast, perception-oriented design constructs control systems bottom-up starting with the extraction of environment information from sensor data. The extracted entities are placed into structures which evolve with the development of the sensor processing algorithms. In consequence, the control system is strictly dependent on the sensor processing algorithms which again results in a monolithic system. In their particular domain, both design approaches have great advantages but fail to create inherently modular systems. The design approach proposed in this work combines the strengths of action orientation and perception orientation into one coherent methodology without inheriting their weaknesses. More precisely, design schemata for representation, translation, and fusion of environmental information are developed which establish thorough abstraction mechanisms between components. The explicit introduction of abstractions particularly supports extensibility and scalability of robot control systems by design.

In the classical Merton investment problem of maximizing the expected utility from terminal wealth and intermediate consumption stock prices are independent of the investor who is optimizing his investment strategy. This is reasonable as long as the considered investor is small and thus does not influence the asset prices. However for an investor whose actions may affect the financial market the framework of the classical investment problem turns out to be inappropriate. In this thesis we provide a new approach to the field of large investor models. We study the optimal investment problem of a large investor in a jump-diffusion market which is in one of two states or regimes. The investor’s portfolio proportions as well as his consumption rate affect the intensity of transitions between the different regimes. Thus the investor is ’large’ in the sense that his investment decisions are interpreted by the market as signals: If, for instance, the large investor holds 25% of his wealth in a certain asset then the market may regard this as evidence for the corresponding asset to be priced incorrectly, and a regime shift becomes likely. More specifically, the large investor as modeled here may be the manager of a big mutual fund, a big insurance company or a sovereign wealth fund, or the executive of a company whose stocks are in his own portfolio. Typically, such investors have to disclose their portfolio allocations which impacts on market prices. But even if a large investor does not disclose his portfolio composition as it is the case of several hedge funds then the other market participants may speculate about the investor’s strategy which finally could influence the asset prices. Since the investor’s strategy only impacts on the regime shift intensities the asset prices do not necessarily react instantaneously. Our model is a generalization of the two-states version of the Bäuerle-Rieder model. Hence as the Bäuerle-Rieder model it is suitable for long investment periods during which market conditions could change. The fact that the investor’s influence enters the intensities of the transitions between the two states enables us to solve the investment problem of maximizing the expected utility from terminal wealth and intermediate consumption explicitly. We present the optimal investment strategy for a large investor with CRRA utility for three different kinds of strategy-dependent regime shift intensities – constant, step and affine intensity functions. In each case we derive the large investor’s optimal strategy in explicit form only dependent on the solution of a system of coupled ODEs of which we show that it admits a unique global solution. The thesis is organized as follows. In Section 2 we repeat the classical Merton investment problem of a small investor who does not influence the market. Further the Bäuerle-Rieder investment problem in which the market states follow a Markov chain with constant transition intensities is discussed. Section 3 introduces the aforementioned investment problem of a large investor. Besides the mathematical framework and the HJB-system we present a verification theorem that is necessary to verify the optimality of the solutions to the investment problem that we derive later on. The explicit derivation of the optimal investment strategy for a large investor with power utility is given in Section 4. For three kinds of intensity functions – constant, step and affine – we give the optimal solution and verify that the corresponding ODE-system admits a unique global solution. In case of the strategy-dependent intensity functions we distinguish three particular kinds of this dependency – portfolio-dependency, consumption-dependency and combined portfolio- and consumption-dependency. The corresponding results for an investor having logarithmic utility are shown in Section 5. In the subsequent Section 6 we consider the special case of a market consisting of only two correlated stocks besides the money market account. We analyze the investor’s optimal strategy when only the position in one of those two assets affects the market state whereas the position in the other asset is irrelevant for the regime switches. Various comparisons of the derived investment problems are presented in Section 7. Besides the comparisons of the particular problems with each other we also dwell on the sensitivity of the solution concerning the parameters of the intensity functions. Finally we consider the loss the large investor had to face if he neglected his influence on the market. In Section 8 we conclude the thesis.

Wetlands are special areas that they offer habitat for terrestrial and water life. Wetlands are nest sides also for amphibian, for this reason wetlands offer wide range diversity for species. Wetlands are also reproduction regions for birds. Wetlands have special importance for ecosystem because they obstruct erosion. Wetlands absorb contaminants from water therefore wetlands contribute to clean water and they offer more potable water. Wetlands obstruct waterflood. In that case wetlands must be maintained and conserved. Wetlands must be conserved because wetlands vanish very rapidly because of contamination, excessively agriculture, urban sprawl, dams…etc. this PhD thesis contributes to solve problems of wetlands that they are affected from urbanization especially metropolitan areas. Growth of cities requires more land for settlements; the more settlements bring about the more urban sprawl. The more urban sprawl deteriorates more natural regions. In this cycle wetlands are also affected from urbanization effects. In this sense some precautions should be developed in order to protect wetlands from urbanization effect. These precautions should include anticipation about effects of urbanization. An important tool for conserving wetlands and protecting these regions from cities is land uses and land use planning in city and regional planning. First step of land use planning is determination of settlement appropriateness. Settlement appropriateness contributes to choose correct locations for settlement in this respect wetlands can be affected in minimum level from urban sprawl. This PhD thesis inquires a method about buffer zones around wetlands and Thresholds in basin of wetlands; and this method is examined in two case study areas Mogan and Büyükçekmece Lake. According to results of Mogan and Büyükçekmece Lake the PhD method will be generalized to other quasi wetlands that they exist near cities and are affected from urban sprawl.

We tackle the problem of obtaining statistics on content and structure of XML documents by using summaries which may provide cardinality estimations for XML query expressions. Our focus is a data-centric processing scenario in which we use a query engine to process such query expressions. We provide three new summary structures called LESS (Leaf-Element-in-Subtree), LWES (Level-Wide Element Summarization), and EXsum (Element-centered XML Summarization) which are targeted to base an estimation process in an XML query optimizer. Each of these collects structural statistical information of XML documents, and the latter (EXsum) gathers, in addition, statistics on document content. Estimation procedures and/or heuristics for specic types of query expressions of each proposed approach are developed. We have incorporated and implemented our proposals in XTC, a native XML database management system (XDBMS). With this common implementation base, we present an empirical and comparative study in which our proposals are stressed against others published in the literature, which are also incorporated into the XTC. Furthermore, an analysis is made based on criteria pertinent to a query optimizer process.

A classical conjecture in the representation theory of finite groups, the McKay conjecture, states that for any finite group and prime number p the number of complex irreducible characters of degree prime to p is equal to the number of complex irreducible characters of degree prime to p of the normalizer of a p-Sylow subgroup. Recently a reduction theorem was proved by Isaacs, Malle and Navarro: If all simple groups are “good”, then the McKay conjecture holds. In this work we are concerned with the problem of goodness for finite groups of Lie type in their defining characteristic. A simple group is called “good” if certain equivariant bijections between the involved character sets exist. We present a structural approach to the construction of such a bijection by utilizing the so-called “Steinberg-Map”. This yields very natural bijections and we prove most of the desired properties.

A prime motivation for using XML to directly represent pieces of information is the ability of supporting ad-hoc or 'schema-later' settings. In such scenarios, modeling data under loose data constraints is essential. Of course, the flexibility of XML comes at a price: the absence of a rigid, regular, and homogeneous structure makes many aspects of data management more challenging. Such malleable data formats can also lead to severe information quality problems, because the risk of storing inconsistent and incorrect data is greatly increased. A prominent example of such problems is the appearance of the so-called fuzzy duplicates, i.e., multiple and non-identical representations of a real-world entity. Similarity joins correlating XML document fragments that are similar can be used as core operators to support the identification of fuzzy duplicates. However, similarity assessment is especially difficult on XML datasets because structure, besides textual information, may exhibit variations in document fragments representing the same real-world entity. Moreover, similarity computation is substantially more expensive for tree-structured objects and, thus, is a serious performance concern. This thesis describes the design and implementation of an effective, flexible, and high-performance XML-based similarity join framework. As main contributions, we present novel structure-conscious similarity functions for XML trees - either considering XML structure in isolation or combined with textual information -, mechanisms to support the selection of relevant information from XML trees and organization of this information into a suitable format for similarity calculation, and efficient algorithms for large-scale identification of similar, set-represented objects. Finally, we validate the applicability of our techniques by integrating our framework into a native XML database management system; in this context we address several issues around the integration of similarity operations into traditional database architectures.

The purpose of Exploration in Oil Industry is to "discover" an oil-containing geological formation from exploration data. In the context of this PhD project this oil-containing geological formation plays the role of a geometrical object, which may have any shape. The exploration data may be viewed as a "cloud of points", that is a finite set of points, related to the geological formation surveyed in the exploration experiment. Extensions of topological methodologies, such as homology, to point clouds are helpful in studying them qualitatively and capable of resolving the underlying structure of a data set. Estimation of topological invariants of the data space is a good basis for asserting the global features of the simplicial model of the data. For instance the basic statistical idea, clustering, are correspond to dimension of the zero homology group of the data. A statistics of Betti numbers can provide us with another connectivity information. In this work represented a method for topological feature analysis of exploration data on the base of so called persistent homology. Loosely, this is the homology of a growing space that captures the lifetimes of topological attributes in a multiset of intervals called a barcode. Constructions from algebraic topology empowers to transform the data, to distillate it into some persistent features, and to understand then how it is organized on a large scale or at least to obtain a low-dimensional information which can point to areas of interest. The algorithm for computing of the persistent Betti numbers via barcode is realized in the computer algebra system "Singular" in the scope of the work.

This thesis deals with the solution of special problems arising in financial engineering or financial mathematics. The main focus lies on commodity indices. Chapter 1 addresses the important issue for the financial engineering practice of developing well-suited models for certain assets (here: commodity indices). Descriptive analysis of the Dow Jones-UBS commodity index compared to the Standard & Poor 500 stock index provides us with first insights of some features of the corresponding distributions. Statistical tests of normality and mean reversion then helps us in setting up a model for commodity indices. Additionally, chapter 1 encompasses a thorough introduction to commodity investment, history of commodities trading and the most important derivatives, namely futures and European options on futures. Chapter 2 proposes a model for commodity indices and derives fair prices for the most important derivatives in the commodity markets. It is a Heston model supplemented with a stochastic convenience yield. The Heston model belongs to the model class of stochastic volatility models and is currently widely used in stock markets. For the application in the commodity markets the stochastic convenience yield is included in the drift of the instantaneous spot return process. Motivated by the results of chapter 1 it seems reasonable to model the convenience yield by a mean reverting Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process. Since trading desks only apply and consider models with closed form solutions for options I derive such formulas for commodity futures by solving the corresponding partial differential equation. Additionally, semi-closed form formulas for European options on futures are determined. The Cauchy problem with respect to these options is more challenging than the first one. A solution can be provided. Unlike equities, which typically entitle the holder to a continuing stake in a corporation, commodity futures contracts normally specify a certain date for the delivery of the underlying physical commodity. In order to avoid the delivery process and maintain a futures position, nearby contracts must be sold and contracts that have not yet reached the delivery period must be purchased (so called rolling). Optimal trading days for selling and buying futures are determined by applying statistical tests for stochastic dominance. Besides the optimization of the rolling procedure for commodity futures we dedicate ourselves in chapter 3 with the optimization of the weightings of the commodity futures that make up the index. To this end, I apply the Markowitz approach or mean-variance optimization. The mean-variance optimization penalizes up-side and down-side risk equally, whereas most investors do not mind up-side risk. To overcome this, I consider in the next step other risk measures, namely Value-at-Risk and Conditional Value-at-Risk. The Conditional Value-at-Risk is generalized to discontinuous cumulative distribution functions of the loss. For continuous loss distributions, the Conditional Value-at-Risk at a given confidence level is defined as the expected loss exceeding the Value-at-Risk. Loss distributions associated with finite sampling or scenario modeling are, however, discontinuous. Various risk measures involving discontinuous loss distributions shall be introduced and compared. I then apply the theoretical results to the field of portfolio optimization with commodity indices. Furthermore, I uncover graphically the behavior of these risk measures. For this purpose, I consider the risk measures as a function of the confidence level. Based on a special discrete loss distribution, the graphs demonstrate the different properties of these risk measures. The goal of the first section of chapter 4 is to apply the mathematical concept of excursions for the creation of optimal highly automated or algorithmic trading strategies. The idea is to consider the gain of the strategy and the excursion time it takes to realize the gain. In this section I calculate formulas for the Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process. I show that the corresponding formulas can be calculated quite fast since the only function appearing in the formulas is the so called imaginary error function. This function is already implemented in many programs, such as in Maple. My main contribution of this topic is the optimization of the trading strategy for Ornstein-Uhlenbeck processes via the Banach fixed-point theorem. The second section of chapter 4 deals with statistical arbitrage strategies, a long horizon trading opportunity that generates a riskless profit. The results of this section provide an investor with a tool to investigate empirically if some strategies (for example momentum strategies) constitute statistical arbitrage opportunities or not.

Point defects in piezoelectric materials – continuum mechanical modelling and numerical simulation
(2010)

The topic of this work is the continuum mechanic modelling of point defects in piezoelectric materials. Devices containing piezoelectric material and especially ferroelectrics require a high precision and are exposed to a high number of electrical and mechanical load cycles. As a result, the relevant material properties may decrease with increasing load cycles. This phenomenon is called electric fatigue. The transported ionic and electric charge carriers can interact with each other, as well as with structural elements (grain boundaries, inhomogeneities) or with material interfaces (domain walls). A reduced domain wall mobility also reduces the electromechanical coupling effect, which leads to the electric fatigue effect. The materials considered here are barium titanate and lead zirconate titanate (PZT), in which oxygen vacancies is the most mobile and most frequently appearing defect species. Intentionally introduced foreign atoms (dopants) can adjust the material properties according to their field of application by generating electric dipoles with the vacancies. Agglomerations of point defects can strongly influence the domain wall motion. The domain wall can be slowed down or even be stopped by the locally varying fields in the vicinity of the clusters. Accumulations of point defects can be detected at electrodes, pores or in the bulk of fatigued samples. The present thesis concentrates focuses on the self interaction behaviour of point defects in the bulk. A micro mechanical continuum model is used to show the qualitative and the quantitative interaction behaviour of defects in a static setup and during drift processes. The modelling neglects the ferroelectric switching mechanisms, but is applicable to every piezoelectric material. The underlying differential equations are solved by means of analytical (Green's functions) and numerical (Finite Differences with discrete Fourier Transform) methods, depending on the boundary conditions. The defects are introduced as localised Eigenstrains, as electric charges and as electric dipoles. The required defect parameters are obtained by comparisons with atomistic methods (lattice statics). There are no standardised procedures available for the parameter identification. In this thesis, the mechanical parameter is obtained by a comparison of relaxation volumes of the atomic lattice and the continuum solution. Parameters for isotropic and anisotropic defect descriptions are identified. The strength of the electric defect is obtained by a comparison of the electric internal energies of atomistics and continuum. The appearing singularities are eliminated by taking only the energy difference of a infinite crystal and a periodic cell into account. Both identification processes are carried out for the cubic structure of barium titanate, which decouples the mechanical and the electrical problem. The defect interaction is analysed by means of configurational forces. The mechanical defect parameter generates a directional short-range attraction between defects. An electrical defect parameter produces the long-range Coulomb interaction, which predicts a repulsion of two similar charges. Additionally, an interaction with defect dipoles is taken into account. It is shown that a defect agglomeration is possible for any static defect configuration. Finally, defect drift is simulated using a thermodynamically motivated migration law based on configurational forces. In this context, the migration of point defects due to self interaction, and the influence of external fields is investigated.

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are dynamically-arranged networks typically composed of a large number of arbitrarily-distributed sensor nodes with computing capabilities contributing to –at least– one common application. The main characteristic of these networks is that of being functionally constrained due to a scarce availability of resources and strong dependence on uncontrollable environmental factors. These conditions introduce severe restrictions on the applicability of classic real-time methods aiming at guaranteeing time-bounded communications. Existing real-time solutions tend to apply concepts that were originally not conceived for sensor networks, idealizing realistic application scenarios and overlooking at important design limitations. This results in a number of misleading practices contributing to approaches of restricted validity in real-world scenarios. Amending the confrontation between WSNs and real-time objectives starts with a review of the basic fundamentals of existing approaches. In doing so, this thesis presents an alternative approach based on a generalized timeliness notion suitable to the particularities of WSNs. The new conceptual notion allows the definition of feasible real-time objectives opening a new scope of possibilities not constrained to idealized systems. The core of this thesis is based on the definition and application of Quality of Service (QoS) trade-offs between timeliness and other significant QoS metrics. The analysis of local and global trade-offs provides a step-by-step methodology identifying the correlations between these quality metrics. This association enables the definition of alternative trade-off configurations (set points) influencing the quality performance of the network at selected instants of time. With the basic grounds established, the above concepts are embedded in a simple routing protocol constituting a proof of concept for the validity of the presented analysis. Extensive evaluations under realistic scenarios are driven on simulation environments as well as real testbeds, validating the consistency of this approach.