Attention-awareness is a key topic for the upcoming generation of computer-human interaction. A human moves his or her eyes to visually attends to a particular region in a scene. Consequently, he or she can process visual information rapidly and efficiently without being overwhelmed by vast amount of information from the environment. Such a physiological function called visual attention provides a computer system with valuable information of the user to infer his or her activity and the surrounding environment. For example, a computer can infer whether the user is reading text or not by analyzing his or her eye movements. Furthermore, it can infer with which object he or she is interacting by recognizing the object the user is looking at. Recent developments of mobile eye tracking technologies enable us
to capture human visual attention in ubiquitous everyday environments. There are various types of applications where attention-aware systems may be effectively incorporated. Typical examples are augmented reality (AR) applications such as Wikitude which overlay virtual information onto physical objects. This type of AR application presents augmentative information of recognized objects to the user. However, if it presents information of all recognized objects at once, the over
ow of information could be obtrusive to the user. As a solution for such a problem, attention-awareness can be integrated into a system. If a
system knows to which object the user is attending, it can present only the information of
relevant objects to the user.
Towards attention-aware systems in everyday environments, this thesis presents approaches
for analysis of user attention to visual content. Using a state-of-the-art wearable eye tracking device, one can measure the user's eye movements in a mobile scenario. By capturing the user's eye gaze position in a scene and analyzing the image where the eyes focus, a computer can recognize the visual content the user is currently attending to. I propose several image analysis methods to recognize the user-attended visual content in a scene image. For example, I present an application called Museum Guide 2.0. In Museum Guide 2.0, image-based object recognition and eye gaze analysis are combined together to recognize user-attended objects in a museum scenario. Similarly, optical character recognition
(OCR), face recognition, and document image retrieval are also combined with eye gaze analysis to identify the user-attended visual content in respective scenarios. In addition to Museum Guide 2.0, I present other applications in which these combined frameworks are effectively used. The proposed applications show that the user can benefit from active information presentation which augments the attended content in a virtual environment with
a see-through head-mounted display (HMD).
In addition to the individual attention-aware applications mentioned above, this thesis
Furthermore, I present novel interaction methodologies for a see-through HMD using eye gaze input. A see-through HMD is a suitable device for a wearable attention-aware system for everyday environments because the user can also view his or her physical environment
through the display. I propose methods for the user's attention engagement estimation with the display, eye gaze-driven proactive user assistance functions, and a method for interacting
with a multi-focal see-through display.
Contributions of this thesis include:
• An overview of the state-of-the-art in attention-aware computer-human interaction
and attention-integrated image analysis.
• Methods for the analysis of user-attended visual content in various scenarios.
• Demonstration of the feasibilities and the benefits of the proposed user-attended visual content analysis methods with practical user-supportive applications.
• Methods for interaction with a see-through HMD using eye gaze.
• A comprehensive framework for recognition of user-attended visual content in a complex
scene where multiple visual information resources are present.
This thesis opens a novel field of wearable computer systems where computers can understand the user attention in everyday environments and provide with what the user wants. I will show the potential of such wearable attention-aware systems for everyday
environments for the next generation of pervasive computer-human interaction.
The central topic of this thesis is Alperin's weight conjecture, a problem concerning the representation theory of finite groups.
This conjecture, which was first proposed by J. L. Alperin in 1986, asserts that for any finite group the number of its irreducible Brauer characters coincides with the number of conjugacy classes of its weights. The blockwise version of Alperin's conjecture partitions this problem into a question concerning the number of irreducible Brauer characters and weights belonging to the blocks of finite groups.
A proof for this conjecture has not (yet) been found. However, the problem has been reduced to a question on non-abelian finite (quasi-) simple groups in the sense that there is a set of conditions, the so-called inductive blockwise Alperin weight condition, whose verification for all non-abelian finite simple groups implies the blockwise Alperin weight conjecture. Now the objective is to prove this condition for all non-abelian finite simple groups, all of which are known via the classification of finite simple groups.
In this thesis we establish the inductive blockwise Alperin weight condition for three infinite series of finite groups of Lie type: the special linear groups \(SL_3(q)\) in the case \(q>2\) and \(q \not\equiv 1 \bmod 3\), the Chevalley groups \(G_2(q)\) for \(q \geqslant 5\), and Steinberg's triality groups \(^3D_4(q)\).
In this thesis, we investigate several upcoming issues occurring in the context of conceiving and building a decision support system. We elaborate new algorithms for computing representative systems with special quality guarantees, provide concepts for supporting the decision makers after a representative system was computed, and consider a methodology of combining two optimization problems.
We review the original Box-Algorithm for two objectives by Hamacher et al. (2007) and discuss several extensions regarding coverage, uniformity, the enumeration of the whole nondominated set, and necessary modifications if the underlying scalarization problem cannot be solved to optimality. In a next step, the original Box-Algorithm is extended to the case of three objective functions to compute a representative system with desired coverage error. Besides the investigation of several theoretical properties, we prove the correctness of the algorithm, derive a bound on the number of iterations needed by the algorithm to meet the desired coverage error, and propose some ideas for possible extensions.
Furthermore, we investigate the problem of selecting a subset with desired cardinality from the computed representative system, the Hypervolume Subset Selection Problem (HSSP). We provide two new formulations for the bicriteria HSSP, a linear programming formulation and a \(k\)-link shortest path formulation. For the latter formulation, we propose an algorithm for which we obtain the currently best known complexity bound for solving the bicriteria HSSP. For the tricriteria HSSP, we propose an integer programming formulation with a corresponding branch-and-bound scheme.
Moreover, we address the issue of how to present the whole set of computed representative points to the decision makers. Based on common illustration methods, we elaborate an algorithm guiding the decision makers in choosing their preferred solution.
Finally, we step back and look from a meta-level on the issue of how to combine two given optimization problems and how the resulting combinations can be related to each other. We come up with several different combined formulations and give some ideas for the practical approach.
The Event Segmentation Theory (Kurby & Zacks, 2008; Zacks, Speer, Swallow, Braver, & Reynolds, 2007) explains the perceptual organization of an ongoing activity into meaningful events. The classical event segmentation task (Newtson, 1973) involves watching an online video and indicating with key presses the event boundaries, i.e., when one event ends and the next one begins. The resulting hierarchical organization of object-based coarse events and action-based fine events gives insight into various cognitive processes. I used the Event Segmentation Theory to develop assistance and training systems for assembly workers in industrial settings at various levels - experts, new hires, and intellectually disabled people. Therefore, the first scientific question I asked was whether online and offline event segmentation result in the same event boundaries. This is important because assembly work requires not only watching activities online but processing the information offline, e.g., while performing the assembly task. By developing a special software tool that enables assessment of offline event boundaries, I established that online perception and offline elaboration lead to similar event boundaries. This study supports prior work suggesting that instructions should be structured around event boundaries.
Secondly, I investigated the importance of fine versus coarse event boundaries when learning the sequence of steps in virtual training, both for novices and experts in car door assembly. I found memory, tested by ability to predict the next frame, to be enhanced for object-based coarse events from the nearest fine event boundary. However, virtual training did not improve memory for action-based fine events from the nearest coarse event boundary. I conjecture that trainees primarily acquire the sequence of object-based coarse events in an initial training. Based on differences found in memory performance between experts and novices, I conclude that memory for action-based fine events is dependent on expertise.
Thirdly, I used the Event Segmentation Theory to investigate whether the simple and repetitive assembly tasks offered at workshops for intellectually disabled persons utilize their full cognitive potential. I analyzed event segmentation performance of 32 intellectually disabled persons compared to 30 controls using a variety of event segmentation measures. I found specific deficits in event boundary detection and hierarchical organization of events for the intellectually disabled group. However, results suggest that hierarchical organization is task-dependent. Because the event segmentation task accounted for differences in general cognitive ability, I propose the event segmentation task as diagnostic method for the need for support in executing assembly tasks.
Based on these three studies, I argue that the Event Segmentation Theory offers a framework for assessment and assistance of important attentional, perceptual, and memory processes related to assembly tasks. I demonstrate how practical applications can make use of this framework for the development of new computer-based assistance and training systems that are tailored to the users’ need for support and improve their quality of life.
Industrial design has a long history. With the introduction of Computer-Aided Engineering, industrial design was revolutionised. Due to the newly found support, the design workflow changed, and with the introduction of virtual prototyping, new challenges arose. These new engineering problems have triggered
new basic research questions in computer science.
In this dissertation, I present a range of methods which support different components of the virtual design cycle, from modifications of a virtual prototype and optimisation of said prototype, to analysis of simulation results.
Starting with a virtual prototype, I support engineers by supplying intuitive discrete normal vectors which can be used to interactively deform the control mesh of a surface. I provide and compare a variety of different normal definitions which have different strengths and weaknesses. The best choice depends on
the specific model and on an engineer’s priorities. Some methods have higher accuracy, whereas other methods are faster.
I further provide an automatic means of surface optimisation in the form of minimising total curvature. This minimisation reduces surface bending, and therefore, it reduces material expenses. The best results can be obtained for analytic surfaces, however, the technique can also be applied to real-world examples.
Moreover, I provide engineers with a curvature-aware technique to optimise mesh quality. This helps to avoid degenerated triangles which can cause numerical issues. It can be applied to any component of the virtual design cycle: as a direct modification of the virtual prototype (depending on the surface defini-
tion), during optimisation, or dynamically during simulation.
Finally, I have developed two different particle relaxation techniques that both support two components of the virtual design cycle. The first component for which they can be used is discretisation. To run computer simulations on a model, it has to be discretised. Particle relaxation uses an initial sampling,
and it improves it with the goal of uniform distances or curvature-awareness. The second component for which they can be used is the analysis of simulation results. Flow visualisation is a powerful tool in supporting the analysis of flow fields through the insertion of particles into the flow, and through tracing their movements. The particle seeding is usually uniform, e.g. for an integral surface, one could seed on a square. Integral surfaces undergo strong deformations, and they can have highly varying curvature. Particle relaxation redistributes the seeds on the surface depending on surface properties like local deformation or curvature.
Today’s pervasive availability of computing devices enabled with wireless communication and location- or inertial sensing capabilities is unprecedented. The number of smartphones sold worldwide are still growing and increasing numbers of sensor enabled accessories are available which a user can wear in the shoe or at the wrist for fitness tracking, or just temporarily puts on to measure vital signs. Despite this availability of computing and sensing hardware the merit of application seems rather limited regarding the full potential of information inherent to such senor deployments. Most applications build upon a vertical design which encloses a narrowly defined sensor setup and algorithms specifically tailored to suit the application’s purpose. Successful technologies, however, such as the OSI model, which serves as base for internet communication, have used a horizontal design that allows high level communication protocols to be run independently from the actual lower-level protocols and physical medium access. This thesis contributes to a more horizontal design of human activity recognition systems at two stages. First, it introduces an integrated toolchain to facilitate the entire process of building activity recognition systems and to foster sharing and reusing of individual components. At a second stage, a novel method for automatic integration of new sensors to increase a system’s performance is presented and discussed in detail.
The integrated toolchain is built around an efficient toolbox of parametrizable components for interfacing sensor hardware, synchronization and arrangement of data streams, filtering and extraction of features, classification of feature vectors, and interfacing output devices and applications. The toolbox emerged as open-source project through several research projects and is actively used by research groups. Furthermore, the toolchain supports recording, monitoring, annotation, and sharing of large multi-modal data sets for activity recognition through a set of integrated software tools and a web-enabled database.
The method for automatically integrating a new sensor into an existing system is, at its core, a variation of well-established principles of semi-supervised learning: (1) unsupervised clustering to discover structure in data, (2) assumption that cluster membership is correlated with class membership, and (3) obtaining at a small number of labeled data points for each cluster, from which the cluster labels are inferred. In most semi-supervised approaches, however, the labels are the ground truth provided by the user. By contrast, the approach presented in this thesis uses a classifier trained on an N-dimensional feature space (old classifier) to provide labels for a few points in an (N+1)-dimensional feature space which are used to generate a new, (N+1)-dimensional classifier. The different factors that make a distribution difficult to handle are discussed, a detailed description of heuristics designed to mitigate the influences of such factors is provided, and a detailed evaluation on a set of over 3000 sensor combinations from 3 multi-user experiments that have been used by a variety of previous studies of different activity recognition methods is presented.
The overall goal of the work is to simulate rarefied flows inside geometries with moving boundaries. The behavior of a rarefied flow is characterized through the Knudsen number \(Kn\), which can be very small (\(Kn < 0.01\) continuum flow) or larger (\(Kn > 1\) molecular flow). The transition region (\(0.01 < Kn < 1\)) is referred to as the transition flow regime.
Continuum flows are mainly simulated by using commercial CFD methods, which are used to solve the Euler equations. In the case of molecular flows one uses statistical methods, such as the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method. In the transition region Euler equations are not adequate to model gas flows. Because of the rapid increase of particle collisions the DSMC method tends to fail, as well
Therefore, we develop a deterministic method, which is suitable to simulate problems of rarefied gases for any Knudsen number and is appropriate to simulate flows inside geometries with moving boundaries. Thus, the method we use is the Finite Pointset Method (FPM), which is a mesh-free numerical method developed at the ITWM Kaiserslautern and is mainly used to solve fluid dynamical problems.
More precisely, we develop a method in the FPM framework to solve the BGK model equation, which is a simplification of the Boltzmann equation. This equation is mainly used to describe rarefied flows.
The FPM based method is implemented for one and two dimensional physical and velocity space and different ranges of the Knudsen number. Numerical examples are shown for problems with moving boundaries. It is seen, that our method is superior to regular grid methods with respect to the implementation of boundary conditions. Furthermore, our results are comparable to reference solutions gained through CFD- and DSMC methods, respectevly.
Since their invention in the 1980s, behaviour-based systems have become very popular among roboticists. Their component-based nature facilitates the distributed implementation of systems, fosters reuse, and allows for early testing and integration. However, the distributed approach necessitates the interconnection of many components into a network in order to realise complex functionalities. This network is crucial to the correct operation of the robotic system. There are few sound design techniques for behaviour networks, especially if the systems shall realise task sequences. Therefore, the quality of the resulting behaviour-based systems is often highly dependant on the experience of their developers.
This dissertation presents a novel integrated concept for the design and verification of behaviour-based systems that realise task sequences. Part of this concept is a technique for encoding task sequences in behaviour networks. Furthermore, the concept provides guidance to developers of such networks. Based on a thorough analysis of methods for defining sequences, Moore machines have been selected for representing complex tasks. With the help of the structured workflow proposed in this work and the developed accompanying tool support, Moore machines defining task sequences can be transferred automatically into corresponding behaviour networks, resulting in less work for the developer and a lower risk of failure.
Due to the common integration of automatically and manually created behaviour-based components, a formal analysis of the final behaviour network is reasonable. For this purpose, the dissertation at hand presents two verification techniques and justifies the selection of model checking. A novel concept for applying model checking to behaviour-based systems is proposed according to which behaviour networks are modelled as synchronised automata. Based on such automata, properties of behaviour networks that realise task sequences can be verified or falsified. Extensive graphical tool support has been developed in order to assist the developer during the verification process.
Several examples are provided in order to illustrate the soundness of the presented design and verification techniques. The applicability of the integrated overall concept to real-world tasks is demonstrated using the control system of an autonomous bucket excavator. It can be shown that the proposed design concept is suitable for developing complex sophisticated behaviour networks and that the presented verification technique allows for verifying real-world behaviour-based systems.
The current procedures for achieving industrial process surveillance, waste reduction, and prognosis of critical process states are still insufficient in some parts of the manufacturing industry. Increasing competitive pressure, falling margins, increasing cost, just-in-time production, environmental protection requirements, and guidelines concerning energy savings pose new challenges to manufacturing companies, from the semiconductor to the pharmaceutical industry.
New, more intelligent technologies adapted to the current technical standards provide companies with improved options to tackle these situations. Here, knowledge-based approaches open up pathways that have not yet been exploited to their full extent. The Knowledge-Discovery-Process for knowledge generation describes such a concept. Based on an understanding of the problems arising during production, it derives conclusions from real data, processes these data, transfers them into evaluated models and, by this open-loop approach, reiteratively reflects the results in order to resolve the production problems. Here, the generation of data through control units, their transfer via field bus for storage in database systems, their formatting, and the immediate querying of these data, their analysis and their subsequent presentation with its ensuing benefits play a decisive role.
The aims of this work result from the lack of systematic approaches to the above-mentioned issues, such as process visualization, the generation of recommendations, the prediction of unknown sensor und production states, and statements on energy cost.
Both science and commerce offer mature statistical tools for data preprocessing, analysis and modeling, and for the final reporting step. Since their creation, the insurance business, the world of banking, market analysis, and marketing have been the application fields of these software types; they are now expanding to the production environment.
Appropriate modeling can be achieved via specific machine learning procedures, which have been established in various industrial areas, e.g., in process surveillance by optical control systems. Here, State-of-the-art classification methods are used, with multiple applications comprising sensor technology, process areas, and production site data. Manufacturing companies now intend to establish a more holistic surveillance of process data, such as, e.g., sensor failures or process deviations, to identify dependencies. The causes of quality problems must be recognized and selected in real time from about 500 attributes of a highly complex production machine. Based on these identified causes, recommendations for improvement must then be generated for the operator at the machine, in order to enable timely measures to avoid these quality deviations.
Unfortunately, the ability to meet the required increases in efficiency – with simultaneous consumption and waste minimization – still depends on data that are, for the most part, not available. There is an overrepresentation of positive examples whereas the number of definite negative examples is too low.
The acquired information can be influenced by sensor drift effects and the occurrence of quality degradation may not be adequately recognized. Sensorless diagnostic procedures with dual use of actuators can be of help here.
Moreover, in the course of a process, critical states with sometimes unexplained behavior can occur. Also in these cases, deviations could be reduced by early countermeasures.
The generation of data models using appropriate statistical methods is of advantage here.
Conventional classification methods sometimes reach their limits. Supervised learning methods are mostly used in areas of high information density with sufficient data available for the classes under examination. However, there is a growing trend (e.g., spam filtering) to apply supervised learning methods to underrepresented classes, the datasets of which are, at best, outliers or not at all existent.
The application field of One-Class Classification (OCC) deals with this issue. Standard classification procedures (e.g., k-nearest-neighbor classifier, support vector machines) can be modified in adjustment to such problems. Thereby, a control system is able to classify statements on changing process states or sensor deviations. The above-described knowledge discovery process was employed in a case study from the polymer film industry, at the Mondi Gronau GmbH, taken as an example, and accomplished by a real-data survey at the production site and subsequent data preprocessing, modeling, evaluation, and deployment as a system for the generation of recommendations. To this end, questions regarding the following topics had to be clarified: data sources, datasets and their formatting, transfer pathways, storage media, query sequences, the employed methods of classification, their adjustment to the problems at hand, evaluation of the results, construction of a dynamic cycle, and the final implementation in the production process, along with its surplus value for the company.
Pivotal options for optimization with respect to ecological and economical aspects can be found here. Capacity for improvement is given in the reduction of energy consumption, CO\(_2\) emissions, and waste at all machines. At this one site, savings of several million euros per month can be achieved.
One major difficulty so far has been hardly accessible process data which, distributed on various data sources and unconnected, in some areas led to an increased analysis effort and a lack of holistic real-time quality surveillance. Monitoring of specifications and the thus obtained support for the operator at the installation resulted in a clear disadvantage with regard to cost minimization.
The data of the case study, captured according to their purposes and in coordination with process experts, amounted to 21,900 process datasets from cast film extrusion during 2 years’ time, including sensor data from dosing facilities and 300 site-specific energy datasets from the years 2002–2014.
In the following, the investigation sequence is displayed:
1. In the first step, industrial approaches according to Industrie 4.0 and related to Big Data were investigated. The applied statistical software suites and their functions were compared with a focus on real-time data acquisition from database systems, different data formats, their sensor locations at the machines, and the data processing part. The linkage of datasets from various data sources for, e.g., labeling and downstream exploration according to the knowledge discovery process is of high importance for polymer manufacturing applications.
2. In the second step, the aims were defined according to the industrial requirements, i.e. the critical production problem called “cut-off” as the main selection, and with regard to their investigation with machine learning methods. Therefore, a system architecture corresponding to the polymer industry was developed, containing the following processing steps: data acquisition, monitoring \& recommendation, and self-configuration.
3. The novel sensor datasets, with 160–2,500 real and synthetic attributes, were acquired within 1-min intervals via PLC and field bus from an Oracle database. The 160 features were reduced to 6 dimensions with feature reduction methods. Due to underrepresentation of the critical class, the learning approaches had to be modified and optimized for one-class classification, which achieved 99% accuracy after training, testing and evaluation with real datasets.
4. In the next step, the 6-dimensional dataset was scaled into lower 1-, 2-, or 3-dimensional space with classical and non-classical mapping approaches for downstream visualization. The mapped view was separated into zones of normal and abnormal process conditions by threshold setting.
5. Afterwards, the boundary zone was investigated and an approach for trajectory extraction consisting of condition points in sequence was developed, to optimize the prediction behavior of the model. The extracted trajectories were trained, tested and evaluated by State-of-the-art classification methods, achieving a 99% recognition ratio.
6. In the last step, the best methods and processing parts were converted into a specifically developed domain-specific graphical user interface for real-time visualization of process condition changes. The requirements of such an interface were discussed with the operators with regard to intuitive handling, interactive visualization and recommendations (as e.g., messaging and traffic lights), and implemented.
The software prototype was tested at a laboratory machine. Correct recognition of abnormal process problems was achieved at a 90\% ratio. The software was afterwards transferred to a group of on-line production machines.
As demonstrated, the monthly amount of waste arising at machine M150 could be decreased from 20.96% to 12.44% during the application time. The frequency of occurrence of the specific problem was reduced by 30% related to monthly savings of 50,000 EUR.
In the approach pertaining to the energy prognosis of load profiles, monthly energy data from 2002 to 2014 (about 36 trajectories with three to eight real parameters each) were used as the basis, analyzed and modeled systematically. The prognosis quality increased with approaching target date. Thereby, the site-specific load profile for 2014 could be predicted with an accuracy of 99%.
The achievement of sustained cost reductions of several 100,000 euros, combined with additional savings of EUR 2.8 million, could be demonstrated.
The process improvements achieved while pursuing scientific targets could be successfully and permanently integrated at the case study plant. The increase in methodical and experimental knowledge was reflected by first economical results and could be verified numerically. The expectations of the company were more than fulfilled and further developments based on the new findings were initiated. Among the new finding are the transfer of the scientific findings onto more machines and even the initiation of further studies expanding into the diagnostics area.
Considering the size of the enterprise, future enhanced success should also be possible for other locations. In the course of the grid charge exemption according to EEG, the energy savings at further German locations can amount to 4–11% on a monetary basis and at least 5% based on energy. Up to 10% of materials and cost can be saved with regard to waste reduction related to specific problems. According to projections, material savings of 5–10 t per month and time savings of up to 50 person-hours are achievable. Important synergy effects can be created by the knowledge transfer.
Piezoelectric materials are electro-mechanically coupled materials. In these materials it is possible to produce an electric field by applying a mechanical load. This phenomenon is known as the piezoelectric effect. These materials also exhibit a mechanical deformation in response to an external electric loading, which is known as the inverse piezoelectric effect. By using these smart properties of piezoelectric materials, applications are possible in sensors and actuators. Ferroelectric or piezoelectric materials show switching behavior of the polarization in the material under an external loading. Due to this property, these materials are used to produce random access memory (RAM) for the non-volatile storage of data in computing devices. It is essential to understand the material responses of piezoelectric materials properly in order to use them in the engineering applications in innovative manners. Due to the growing interest in determining the material responses of smart material (e.g., piezoelectric material), computational methods are becoming increasingly important.
Many engineering materials possess inhomogeneities on the micro level. These inhomogeneities in the materials cause some difficulties in the determination of the material responses computationally as well as experimentally. But on the other hand, sometimes these inhomogeneities help the materials to render some good physical properties, e.g., glass or carbon fiber reinforced composites are light weight, but show higher strength. Piezoelectric materials also exhibit intense inhomogeneities on the micro level. These inhomogeneities are originating from the presence of domains, domain walls, grains, grain boundaries, micro cracks, etc. in the material. In order to capture the effects of the underlying microstructures on the macro quantities, it is essential to homogenize material parameters and the physical responses. There are several approaches to perform the homogenization. A two-scale classical (first-order) homogenization of electro-mechanically coupled materials using a FE²-approach is discussed in this work. The main objective of this work is to investigate the influences of the underlying micro structures on the macro Eshelby stress tensor and on the macro configurational forces. The configurational forces are determined in certain defect situations. These defect situations include the crack tip of a sharp crack in the macro specimen.
A literature review shows that the macro strain tensor is used to determine the micro boundary condition for the FE²-based homogenization in a small strain setting. This approach is capable to determine the consistent homogenized physical quantities (e.g., stress, strain) and the homogenized material quantities (e.g., stiffness tensor). But the application of these type of micro boundaries for the homogenization does not generate physically consistent macro Eshelby stress tensor or the macro configurational forces. Even in the absence of the micro volume configurational forces, this approach of the homogenization of piezoelectric materials produces unphysical volume configurational forces on the macro level. After a thorough investigation of the boundary conditions on the representative volume elements (RVEs), it is found that a displacement gradient driven micro boundary conditions remedy this issue. The use of the displacement gradient driven micro boundary conditions also satisfies the Hill-Mandel condition. The macro Eshelby stress tensor of a pure mechanical problem in a small deformation setting can be determined in two possible ways: by using the homogenized mechanical quantities (displacement gradient and stress tensor), or by homogenizing the Eshelby stress tensor on the micro level by volume averaging. The first approach does not satisfy the Hill-Mandel condition incorporating the Eshelby stress tensor in the energy term, on the other hand, the Hill-Mandel condition is satisfied in the second approach. In the case of homogenized Eshelby stress tensor determined from the homogenized physical quantities, the Hill-Mandel condition gives an additional energy term. A body in a small deformation setting is deformed according to the displacement gradient. If the homogenization is done using strain driven micro boundary conditions, the micro domain is deformed according to the macro strain, but the tiny vicinity around the corresponding Gauß point is deformed according to the macro displacement gradient. This implies that some restrictions are imposed at every Gauß point on the macro level. This situation helps the macro system to produce nonphysical volume configurational forces.
A FE²-based computational homogenization technique is also considered for the homogenization of piezoelectric materials. In this technique a representative volume element, which comprises of the micro structural features in the material, is assigned to every Gauß point of the macro domain. The macro displacement gradient and the macro electric field, or the macro stress tensor and the macro electric displacement are passed to the RVEs at every macro Gauß point. After determining boundary conditions on the RVEs, the homogenization process is performed. The homogenized physical quantities and the homogenized material parameters are passed back to macro Gauß points. In this work numerical investigations are carried out for two distinct situations of the microstructures of the piezoelectric materials regarding the evolution on the micro level: a) homogenization by using stationary microstructures, and b) homogenization by using evolving microstructures.
For the first case, the domain walls remain at fixed positions through out the simulations for the homogenization of piezoelectric materials. For a considerably large external loading, the real situation is different. But to understand the effects of the underlying microstructures on the macro configurational forces, to some extent it is sufficient to do the homogenization with fixed or stationary microstructures. The homogenization process is carried out for different microstructures and for different loading conditions. If the mechanical load is applied in the direction of the polarization, a smaller crack tip configurational force is observed in comparison to the configurational force determined for a mechanical loading perpendicular to the polarization. If the polarizations in the microstructures are parallel or perpendicular to the applied electric field and the applied displacement, configurational forces parallel to the crack ligament of the macro crack are observed only. In the case of inclined polarizations in the microstructures, configurational forces inclined to the crack ligament are obtained. The simulation results also reveal that an application of an external electric field to the material reduces the value of the nodal configurational forces at the crack tip.
In the second case, the interfaces of the micro structures are allowed to move from their initial positions at every step of the applied incremental external loading. Thus, at every step of the application of the external loading, the microstructures are changed when the external loading is larger than the coercive field. The movement of the interfaces is realized through the nodal configurational forces on the micro level. At every step of the application of the external loading, the nodal configurational forces per unit length on the domain walls are determined in the post-processing of the FE-simulation on the micro domain. With the help of the domain wall kinetics, the new positions of the domain walls are determined. Numerical results show that the crack tip region is the most affected area in the macro domain. For that reason a very different distribution of the macro electric displacement is observed comparing the same produced by using fixed microstructures. Due to the movement of the domain walls, the energy is dissipated in the system. As a result, a smaller configurational force appears at the crack tip on the macro level in the case of the homogenization by using evolving microstructures. By using the homogenization technique involving the evolution of the microstructures, it is possible to produce the electric displacement vs. electric field hysteresis loop on the macro level. The shape of the hysteresis loop depends on the value of the rate of application of the external electric loading. A faster deployment of the external electric field widens the hysteresis loop.