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Besides the work in the field of manipulating rigid objects, currently, there are several research and development activities going on in the field of manipulating non-rigid or deformable objects. Several papers have been published on international conferences in this field from various projects and countries. But there has been no comprehensive work which provides both a representative overview of the state of the art and identifies the important aspects in this field. Thus, we collected these activities and invited the corresponding working groups to present an overview of their research. Altogether, nineteen authors coming from Japan, Germany, Italy, Greece, United Kingdom, and Australia contributed to this book. Their research work covers all the different aspects that occur when manipulating deformable objects. The contributions can be characterized and grouped by the following four aspects: * object modeling and simulation, * planning and control strategies, * collaborative systems, and * applications and industrial experiences. In the following, we give a short motivation and overview of the single chapters of the book. The simulation of deformable objects is one way to approach the problem of manipulating these objects by robots. Based on a physical model of the object and the occurring constraints, the resulting object shape is calculated. In Chapter 2, Hirai presents an energy-based approach, where the internal energy under the geometric constraints is minimized. Frugoli et al. introduce a force-based approach, where the forces between discrete particles are minimized meeting given constraints. Finally, Remde and Henrich extend the energy-based approach to plastic deformation and give a solution of the inverse simulation problem. Even if the object behavior is predicted by simulation, there is still the question of how to control the robot during a single manipulation operation. An additional question is how to retrieve an overall plan for the concatenated manipulation operations. In Chapter 3, Wada investigates the control problems when positioning multiple points of a planar deformable object. McCarrager proposes a control scheme exploiting the flexibility, rather than minimizing it. Abegg et al. use a simple contact state model to describe typical assembly tasks and to derive robust manipulation primitives. Finally, Ono presents an automatic sewing system and suggests a strategy for unfolding fabric. In several manipulation tasks, it is reasonable to apply more than one robot. Especially in cases, where the deformable object has to take a specific shape. Since the robots working at the same object are influencing each other, different control algorithms have to be introduced. In Chapter 4, Yoshida and Kosuge investigates this problem for the task of bending a sheet of metal and exploits the relation ship between the static object deformation and the bending moments. Tanner and Kyriakopoulos regard the deformable object as underactuated mechanical system and make use of the existence of non-holonomic constraints. Both approaches model the deformable object as finite elements. All of the above aspects have their counterpart in different applications and industrial experiences. In Chapter 5, Rizzi et al. present test cases and applications of their approach to simulate the manipulation of fabric, wires, cables, and soft bags. Buckingham and Graham give an overview of two European projects processing white fish including locating, gripping, and deheading the fish. Maruyama outlines the three development phases of a robot system for performing outage-free maintenance of live-line power supply in Japan. Finally, Kämper presents the development of a flexible automatic cabling unit for the wiring of long-tube lighting with plug components.

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

Chaotic Billiards
(2000)

The frictionless motion of a particle on a plane billiard table The frictionless motion of a particle on a plane billiard table bounded by a closed curve provides a very simple example of a conservative classical system with non-trivial, chaotic dynamics. The limiting cases of strictly regular ("integrable") and strictly irregular ("ergodic") systems can be illustrated, as well as the typical case which shows an intricate mixture of regular and irregular behavior. Irregular orbits are characterized by an extremely sensitivity with respect to the initial conditions. Such billiard systems are exemplarily suited for educational purposes as models for simple systems with complicated dynamics as well as for far-reaching fundamental investigations.

A pure Yang-Mills theory extended by addition of a quartic term is considered in order to study the transition from the quantum tunneling regime to that of classical, i.e. thermal, behaviour. The periodic field confiurations are found, which interpolate between the vacuum and sphaleron field configurations. It is shown by explicit calculation that only smooth second order transitions occur for all permissible values of the parameter A introduced with the quartic term. The theory is one of the rare cases which canbe handled analytically.

Abstract: The transition from the quantum to the classical regime of the nucleation of the closed Robertson-Walker Universe with spacially homogeneous matter fields is investigated with a perturbation expansion around the sphaleron configuration. A criterion is derived for the occurrence of a first-order type transition, and the related phase diagram for scalar and vector fields is obtained. For scalar fields both the first and second order transitions can occur depending on the shape of the potential barrier. For a vector field, here that of an O (3) nonlinear o-model, the transition is seen to be only of the first order. PACS numbers: 11.15.Kc, 03.65Sq, 05.70.Fh, 98.80.Cq

The paper concerns the equilibrium state of ultra small semiconductor devices. Due to the quantum drift diffusion model, electrons and holes behave as a mixture of charged quantum fluids. Typically the involved scaled Plancks constants of holes, \(\xi\), is significantly smaller than the scaled Plancks constant of electrons. By setting formally \(\xi=0\) a well-posed differential-algebraic system arises. Existence and uniqueness of an equilibrium solution is proved. A rigorous asymptotic analysis shows that this equilibrium solution is the limit (in a rather strong sense) of quantum systems as \(\xi \to 0\). In particular the ground state energies of the quantum systems converge to the ground state energy of the differential-algebraic system as \(\xi \to 0\).

An asymptotic preserving numerical scheme (with respect to diffusion scalings) for a linear transport equation is investigated. The scheme is adopted from a class of recently developped schemes. Stability is proven uniformly in the mean free path under a CFL type condition turning into a parabolic CFL condition in the diffusion limit.

The aim of this article is to show that moment approximations of kinetic equations based on a Maximum Entropy approach can suffer from severe drawbacks if the kinetic velocity space is unbounded. As example, we study the Fokker Planck equation where explicit expressions for the moments of solutions to Riemann problems can be derived. The quality of the closure relation obtained from the Maximum Entropy approach as well as the Hermite/Grad approach is studied in the case of five moments. It turns out that the Maximum Entropy closure is even singular in equilibrium states while the Hermite/Grad closure behaves reasonably. In particular, the admissible moments may lead to arbitrary large speeds of propagation, even for initial data arbitrary close to global eqilibrium.

The satellite-to-satellite tracking (SST) problems are characterized from mathematical point of view. Uniqueness results are formulated. Moreover, the basic relations are developed between (scalar) approximation of the earth's gravitational potential by "scalar basis systems" and (vectorial) approximation of the gravitational eld by "vectorial basis systems". Finally, the mathematical justication is given for approximating the external geopotential field by finite linear combinations of certain gradient fields (for example, gradient fields of multi-poles) consistent to a given set of SST data.

Being interested in (rotation-)invariant pseudodi erential equations of satellite problems corresponding to spherical orbits, we are reasonably led to generating kernels that depend only on the spherical distance, i. e. in the language of modern constructive approximation form spherical radial basis functions. In this paper approximate identities generated by such (rotation-invariant) kernels which are additionally locally supported are investigated in detail from theoretical as well as numerical point of view. So-called spherical di erence wavelets are introduced. The wavelet transforms are evaluated by the use of a numerical integration rule, that is based on Weyl's law of equidistribution. This approximate formula is constructed such that it can cope with millions of (satellite) data. The approximation error is estimated on the orbital sphere. Finally, we apply the developed theory to the problems of satellite-to-satellite tracking (SST) and satellite gravity gradiometry (SGG).

Linearized flows past slender bodies can be asymptotically described by a linear Fredholm integral equation. A collocation method to solve this equation is presented. In cases where the spectral representation of the integral operator is explicitly known, the collocation method recovers the spectrum of the continuous operator. The approximation error is estimated for two discretizations of the integral operator and the convergence is proved. The collocation scheme is validated in several test cases and extended to situations where the spectrum is not explicit.

We consider the determination of optimal portfolios under the threat of a crash. Our main assumption is that upper bounds for both the crash size and the number of crashes occurring before the time horizon are given. We make no probabilistic assumption on the crash size or the crash time distribution. The optimal strategies in the presence of a crash possibility are characterized by a balance problem between insurance against the crash and good performance in the crash-free situation. Explicit solutions for the log-utility case are given. Our main finding is that constant portfolios are no longer optimal ones.

We consider some continuous-time Markowitz type portfolio problems that consist of maximizing expected terminal wealth under the constraint of an upper bound for the Capital-at-Risk. In a Black-Scholes setting we obtain closed form explicit solutions and compare their form and implications to those of the classical continuous-time mean-variance problem. We also consider more general price processes which allow for larger uctuations in the returns.

In this paper we deal with single facility location problems in a general normed space where the existing facilities are represented by sets. The criterion to be satis ed by the service facility is the minimization of an increasing function of the distances from the service to the closest point ofeach demand set. We obtain a geometrical characterization of the set of optimal solutions for this problem. Two remarkable cases - the classical Weber problem and the minmax problem with demand sets - are studied as particular instances of our problem. Finally, for the planar polyhedral case we give an algorithmic description of the solution set of the considered problems.

The balance space approach (introduced by Galperin in 1990) provides a new view on multicriteria optimization. Looking at deviations from global optimality of the different objectives, balance points and balance numbers are defined when either different or equal deviations for each objective are allowed. Apportioned balance numbers allow the specification of proportions among the deviations. Through this concept the decision maker can be involved in the decision process. In this paper we prove that the apportioned balance number can be formulated by a min-max operator. Furthermore we prove some relations between apportioned balance numbers and the balance set, and see the representation of balance numbers in the balance set. The main results are necessary and sufficient conditions for the balance set to be exhaustive, which means that by multiplying a vector of weights (proportions of deviation) with its corresponding apportioned balance number a balance point is attained. The results are used to formulate an interactive procedure for multicriteria optimization. All results are illustrated by examples.

In this paper we investigate the problem offending the Nadir point for multicriteria optimization problems (MOP). The Nadir point is characterized by the component wise maximal values of efficient points for (MOP). It can be easily computed in the bicriteria case. However, in general this problem is very difficult. We review some existing methods and heuristics and propose some new ones. We propose a general method to compute Nadir values for the case of three objectives, based on theoretical results valid for any number of criteria. We also investigate the use of the Nadir point for compromise programming, when the goal is to be as far away as possible from the worst outcomes. We prove some results about (weak) Pareto optimality of the resulting solutions. The results are illustrated by examples.

In this paper we address the question of how many objective functions are needed to decide whether a given point is a Pareto optimal solution for a multicriteria optimization problem. We extend earlier results showing that the set of weakly Pareto optimal points is the union of Pareto optimal sets of subproblems and show their limitations. We prove that for strictly quasi-convex problems in two variables Pareto optimality can be decided by consideration of at most three objectives at a time. Our results are based on a geometric characterization of Pareto, strict Pareto and weak Pareto solutions and Helly's Theorem. We also show that a generalization to quasi-convex objectives is not possible, and state a weaker result for this case. Furthermore, we show that a generalization to strictly Pareto optimal solutions is impossible, even in the convex case.

This paper provides an annotated bibliography of multiple objective combinatorial optimization, MOCO. We present a general formulation of MOCO problems, describe the main characteristics of MOCO problems, and review the main properties and theoretical results for these problems. One section is devoted to a brief description of the available solution methodology, both exact and heuristic. The main part of the paper is devoted to an annotation of the existing literature in the field organized problem by problem. We conclude the paper by stating open questions and areas of future research. The list of references comprises more than 350 entries.

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