Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Prof Alois C Knoll

Visiting Professor, School of Computer Science and Engineering

Prof Alois C Knoll

Prof Alois C Knoll plays an integral role in the NTU-TUM large scale research project called TUMCREATE, working closely together with Prof Wentong Cai of SCSE.

They jointly develop innovative algorithms for simulating traffic systems and "city brains" for real time control of megacities and this pertains to the architecture of large scale, software systems to be run on distributed cloud computing systems, the optimization of parallel multi core servers, the integration of AI methodology, such as deep learning, as well as advanced immersive visualization technologies.

Their fundamental computer science work is applied to novel questions arising, for example, from multimodal traffic flow optimization, running and operating advanced infrastructures for traffic flow, real time passenger information systems, and the like.

This translational approach finds its applications in the whole of TUMCREATE, but Prof Knoll is also the program PI of the research unit AIDA (Area Interlinking Design Analysis within TUMCREATE) with Prof Cai
as co-program-PI.

In this research unit, computer simulations are made to profoundly explore the elements of future transport systems, e.g., new vehicle types, such as platooning buses or autonomous taxis before they even get to the prototype stage. This work will potentially have massive impact on the way traffic systems will be designed in the future, in a holistic manner. This very successful NTU-TUM cooperation is funded by Singapore’s NSF.
Beyond the direct work in TUMCREATE, the cooperation between Profs. Cai and Knoll has resulted in a number of additional smaller research projects and joint PhD dissertations, as well as cooperations between NTU-TUM with other CREATE universities including MIT, UC Berkeley and ETH Zürich.

Prof Knoll received the diploma (M.Sc.) degree in Electrical/Communications Engineering from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, in 1985 and his Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in computer science from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, in 1988. He served on the faculty of the computer science department of TU Berlin until 1993, when he qualified for teaching computer science at a university (habilitation). He then joined the Technical Faculty of the University of Bielefeld, where he was a full professor and the director of the research group Technical Informatics until 2001. Between May 2001 and April 2004 he was a member of the board of directors of the Fraunhofer-Institute for Autonomous Intelligent Systems. Since autumn 2001 he has been a professor of Computer Science at the Computer Science Department of the Technische Universität München.
His research interests include cognitive, medical and sensor-based robotics, multi-agent systems, data fusion, adaptive systems and multimedia information retrieval. He initiated and was the program chairman of the First IEEE/RAS Conference on Humanoid Robots (IEEE-RAS/RSJ Humanoids2000), he was general chair of IEEE Humanoids2003 and general chair of Robotik 2004, the largest German conference on robotics, and he served on several other organising committees. Prof. Knoll is a member of the German Society for Computer Science and the IEEE.
Major Research projects include:

EU-Flagship Human Brain Project HBP: 2013 – 2023 with planned follow-up phase as a European research infrastructure. Coordinator of the subproject on Neurorobotics and a member of the directorate, responsible for software development project-wide

EU-Innovation Action RobMoSys: 2017 – 2020. Composable Models and Software for Robotics Systems, work package leader

EU-Integrated projects ECHORD and ECHORD++: 2008 – 2019. Pioneering technology transfer funding for robotics, the developed processes and project formats are now being used in more and more EU projects, coordinator of both projects
Research Interests
Due to the major involvement in the Human Brain Project HBP, a European flagship project, over the last years his research focus has shifted more and more towards neurorobotics. With the neurorobotics platform, a sophisticated tool has been created that will allow both basic researchers in neuroscience and engineers in robotics to integrate their latest insights in theory and practice into fully operational applications for research and development. It can be expected that this platform will serve as a productivity booster both for virtual neuroscience and robotics.

• Multimodal human-robot interaction
• Neurorobotics
• Sensor, sensor data processing, sensor fusion
• Medical robotics
• Natural-Language based retrieval and fusion of multimedia information
• Intelligent/Autonomous vehicles and multimodal mobility concepts
Selected Publications
  • Boyi Su, Philipp Andelfinger, David Eckhoff, Henriette Cornet, Goran Marinkovic, Cai Wentong, and Alois Knoll. (2019). An Agent-Based Model for Evaluating the Boarding and Alighting Efficiency of Autonomous Public Transport Vehicles. Proceedings of the International Conference on Computational Science, ICCS.
  • Philipp Andelfinger, Jordan Ivanchev, David Eckhoff, Wentong Cai, and Alois Knoll. (2019). From Effects to Causes: Reversible Simulation and Reverse Exploration of Microscopic Traffic Models. ACM SIGSIM Conference on Principles of Advanced Discrete Simulation (SIGSIM-PADS).
  • Quang Anh Pham Nguyen, Philipp Andelfinger, Wentong Cai, and Alois Knoll. (2019). Transitioning Spiking Neural Network Simulators to Heterogeneous Hardware. Proceedings of the ACM SIGSIM Conference on Principles of Advanced Discrete Simulation, SIGSIM-PADS.
  • Jiajian Xiao, Philipp Andelfinger, David Eckhoff, Wentong Cai, Alois Knoll. (2019). A Survey on Agent-based Simulation using Hardware Accelerators. ACM Computing Surveys , 51(6), 131:1--131:35.
  • Philipp Andelfinger, Sajeev Udayakumar, David Eckhoff, Wentong Cai, and Alois Knoll. (2018). Model Preemption Based On Dynamic Analysis Of Simulation Data To Accelerate Traffic Light Timing Optimisation. 2018 Winter Simulation Conference (WSC).

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