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“Hybrid Decision Support in Product Creation” (SPP 2443)

Mittwoch 15. November 2023

Deadline: 15. November 2024

In March 2023, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “Hybrid decision support in product creation” (SPP 2443). The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call invites proposals for the first three-year funding period.

Technical systems are characterised by increasing interdisciplinarity, complexity and ever stronger interconnections. Product and supporting production system require cross-disciplinary multi-objective optimisation. Due to the demand for sustainability and circularity, the complexity in engineering technical systems with mechanical structures increases even further. In these systems, on which the Priority Programme concentrates, sustainability is significantly shaped by the use of materials as well as operational energy consumption in production and product life.

Many of the requirements for such systems only become apparent later in product life: during product use, decommissioning or material return. Technical systems must be designed to meet the requirements of future markets but must also be designed for production, maintenance and recycling technologies. In such cases, the performance of established engineering methods, such as heuristics, methods, modelling and simulation, reaches its limits. The challenges of circularity, global dependencies and aspects of digital transformation force an increase in the performance of interdisciplinary product creation.

The existing performance limits can only be overcome by “hybrid decision support”, which means combining established engineering methods with methods of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (DS/AI) systematically including extreme data. Extreme data subsumes data with characteristics like increasing volume, speed and variety, high complexity, diversity and multilinguality, dispersed sources, sparse, missing and insufficient data or extreme variations in values. Relevant aspects and correlations from product use or return of product components are thereby mapped to the material cycle. New concepts are required in order to deal with extreme data in different formats in product and production system development and to prepare future data situations early on.

The objective of the Priority Programme is gaining insights into how processes and methods of DS/AI can be used to complement human capabilities in conjunction with established heuristics, methods, modelling and simulation. This combination aims at increasing the performance of product creation. Combined with established engineering methods, DS/AI have to be used for hybrid decision support.

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Illustration: Kalenderblatt mit Einträgen zur Forschungsförderung