CAIRO NEWSLETTER

(December 2023)

Season's Greetings


Dear CAIRO friends,



Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

As 2023 draws to a close, we wish to give you a little insight into our journey through the year and share with you a couple of achievements that make us proud and happy:

  1. CAIRO Team is Growing:

    CAIRO team is getting bigger and stronger. In addition to Magda (representation learning) and Pascal (robotics), Ivan has joined in 2023 as a new professor for semantic data processing with focus on natural language, semantics, stylistics and verbal cognition. Together with Frank and Frank who have been here before CAIRO even existed. The team has a solid coverage in the main areas of machine learning and data science. The group of junior researchers has been also evolving. Max, Manu and Philipp have been joined by Alex, David, Lars, Philipp #2 and Steffen. Markus and Toni have moved on and we keep our fingers crossed for the PhD defence of Toni soon to come. We must not forget Ursel who has quickly become indispensable for CAIRO daily operations, Franzi who keeps all of you updated with CAIRO news and of course Pino, who keeps us sane. 

There are many more changes to come in 2024. We hope to fill in four more professor positions in 2024 and the PhDs shall follow suit. We will release the new openings on our career site and we would be thankful for spreading the word to help us get the right talent.

  2. Research in CAIRO
:
    In 2023 our team has published a total of 18 papers on topics covering intelligent robotics, language models, kernel methods, federated learning, deep generative models or indoor positioning. These have been presented at ICRA, ECML, IPIN, ESANN and other conferences and venues and document the research strength of our team. Obviously, these would not be possible without our PhDs: Manu, Markus, Max, Philipp, Steffen and Toni. Good work guys. But as you can see in the full list of publications, there are many more authors who contributed to our publications and we herby thank to all our research collaborators and friends for their amazing work.

  3. CAIRO International:
    
It is no secret that CAIRO is very active in maintaining and growing its international research network. In addition to participating in the above mentioned research collaborations and visiting the well-known conferences and our partner labs abroad (the list would be too long to put here), we have also hosted several international researchers and AI practitioners in CAIRO. If you haven't yet attended any of our regular Thursday morning sessions of the CAIRO Invited Speakers Series be advised that you have just missed the 2023 edition of the event. But do not despair, we have already started the prepwork on the next edition and we shall be back in October 2024. Not sure if this thing is for you? A teaser: Marko Grgurovič, CEO of Triternion shall kick it of on the 10th of October 2024 (ever heard of Mordhau?).
 But we should not forget the young generation. Two junior visiting researchers spent several months in CAIRO in 2023: Ana Muñoz from ITAM, Mexico developed her Master thesis and Lukas Veverka from the University of Economics Prague worked on several contributions to his PhD. Both were warmly welcomed by the CAIRO team and we trust their stay with us has been a worthy international experience. We hope to welcome more visitors in 2024.


  4. CAIRO Connecting Research: 

    Research work can be very rewarding but it can also get very stressful and frustrating. CAIRO knows this and it also knows that being alone does not help. We try to tackle this by providing our researchers the opportunity to exchange ideas and experience, but also share their worries and difficulties. We hold regular PhD research meetings on Thursday afternoons where these discussions take place in a more structured manner. Our good experience from these has led us to to open them up to interested researchers from around THWS (or elsewhere). We have welcomed quite a few colleagues in CAIRO over the year, we have learned a lot from them and we hope they could also learn something from us. But most importantly, we have made the connection and there is nothing that stands in the way for building closer collaborations. If you are interested in connecting more closely, just knock on our doors. Do not worry, we know we are all nerds here (have you seen our glass walls ?) but we do our best to welcome you in CAIRO warmly.

With this, we wish you all lovely Christmas, happy new year, and stay friends with CAIRO also in 2024!
The CAIRO Team


IPIN Conference and Competition: Indoor Localization Team Celebrates Major Success

We are very happy and proud to announce that our Indoor Localization team won both Track 1 and Track 3 of the competition at the International Conference on Indoor Positioning and Navigation (IPIN).

Track 1:

The competition took place at the museum for industrial culture in Nürnberg, where participating teams were challenged to set up their indoor localization systems within a single day. 
Note: the building has a total of roughly 7000 square metres and is spread over 2 floors, this made the radio situation in the building very challenging.

The following day, the systems were put to the test – The result? 
An outstanding 1st place out of 3 competitors, bringing a prize of 1000€. Even more impressive is the small margin of error of only 2.8 meters deviation. With this performance, they set a new record and left the next-placed team with a deviation of 6.2 meters behind.
 

Track 3: 

In Track3, our team tackled a competition where they operated their system on recorded data provided by the organizers. Despite the challenges of this approach, they again won the 1st place (with an error rate of 5.27 meters) out of 9 competitors and a prize of 500€. 
 
We warmly congratulate the team on these great achievements!


More News

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Local Newspaper Mainpost Interviews CAIRO Research Professor on the Potential of Cobots in Crafts

In a recent interview with the Mainpost, our research professor Dr Pascal Meißner, shed light on the untapped potential of small robots known as cobots in the world of crafts. Contrary to the common belief that robots are primarily suited for large industrial enterprises.

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CAIRO Invited Speakers Series as part of the Wuerzburg Web Week

The 6th edition of the Wuerzburg Web Week (WueWW) took place and the CAIRO Invited Speakers Series was part of it. Gustavo Lopez, Market Access Manager at Septentrio (Belgium) delighted all participants with insights into the role of AI in the evolution of positioning techniques and GNSS security.

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Research Outcomes and Paper Publications

One-Shot Learning for Task-Oriented Grasping

Task-oriented grasping models aim to predict a suitable grasp pose on an object to fulfill a task. These systems have limited generalization capabilities to new tasks, but have shown the ability to generalize to novel objects by recognizing affordances.

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Advancing Robotic Intelligence

OS-TOG Framework Recognizes Novel Objects and Tasks Effectively: Task-oriented grasping models aim to predict a suitable grasp pose on an object to fulfill a task. These systems have limited generalization capabilities to new tasks, but have shown the ability to generalize to novel objects by recognizing affordances.

Read more

Post Turing: Mapping the landscape of LLM Evaluation

In the rapidly evolving landscape of Large Language Models (LLMs), introduction of well-defined and standardized evaluation methodologies remains a crucial challenge. This paper traces the historical trajectory of LLM evaluations, from the foundational questions posed by Alan Turing to the modern era of AI research.

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Efficient Cross-Domain Federated Learning by MixStyle Approximation

With the advent of interconnected and sensor-equipped edge devices, Federated Learning (FL) has gained significant attention, enabling decentralized learning while maintaining data privacy. However, FL faces two challenges in real-world tasks: expensive data labeling and domain shift between source and target samples.

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Implicit Shape Model Trees

Recognition of 3-D Indoor Scenes and Prediction of Object Poses for Mobile Robots: This article describes an approach for mobile robots to identify scenes in configurations of objects spread across dense environments. This identification is enabled by intertwining the robotic object search and the scene recognition on already detected objects.

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More Papers:

See all CAIRO papers from 2023.

News From The Master's Degree Programme Artificial Intelligence

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New student batch 2024


The application deadline for the summer semester 2024 has passed and with more than 1000 applications, our degree programme team had been very busy in recent weeks. We are very much looking forward to welcoming the new first-semester students who will start their studies at THWS on 15 March 2024.

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