Workshop 18

Date: Nov 10, 2016
Time: 10:00 – 11:15am
Location: Lakeside Park, Building B04b, Level 1, Klagenfurt (Lakeside Labs)


  • W. Elmenreich (NES) and A. Kercek (Lakeside Labs): will introduce a new Horizon 2020 project: CPSwarm — Swarms of Cyberphysical Systems.

Workshop 17

Date: October 06, 2016 at 09:30 – 10:45 am.
Location: Lakeside Park, Building B04b, Level 1, Klagenfurt (Lakeside Labs)

Paul Schweinzer (Professor for Economics, Klagenfurt) will talk about:

Optimal Team Composition and the Apollo Syndrome

We model leadership, competition, and decision making in teams with heterogeneous membership composition. We show that if the choice of leadership in a team is imprecise or noisy — which is arguably the case if appointment decisions are made not only by experts but also by less well-informed executives — then it is not necessarily the case that the best individuals should be selected into a single team.  On the contrary, and in line with what has been called the “Apollo effect,” a team consisting of unambiguously higher performing individuals may perform worse in terms of team output than a group composed of lower performers.  We characterize the properties of the leadership selection process which lead to the Apollo effect and clarify when the opposite effect — in which supertalent teams perform better than comparatively less qualified groups — takes place.

Joint work with Alex Gershkov.


Achieving Consensus in Networks with Disturbances

Networked Systems

The problem of finding a consensus in a group of people occurs in many social contexts. In a similar way, distributed algorithms for consensus play an important role in networked computing and communication systems if centralized decision making is difficult or impossible. Each entity in such a system processes only local information obtained from its neighbors and ideally performs only simple computations. Despite this simplicity, the process of consensus building should be robust against different types of disturbance, such as faulty entities, noise, and communication errors.

A research team with members from Klagenfurt and Genoa has now analyzed the robustness of a special class of consensus algorithms, namely binary consensus, in which all entities must eventually agree on one out of two possible values. The motivation for their study is as follows: Some binary consensus algorithms that work well in noiseless and error-free networks?such as the well-known Gacs-Kurdyumov-Levin algorithm?show…

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Synchronization in networks with stochastic interactions

Networked Systems

Synchronization emerges in a variety of systems ranging from fireflies and neural networks in biology, to coupled lasers, wireless communication, and Josephson junctions in physics and engineering. Sometimes the goal is to avoid synchrony, e.g., during Parkinson tremor or epileptic seizures, sometimes to achieve synchrony, e.g., in heart pacemakers, lasers, electric power grids and communication technologies. In the growing field of wireless embedded systems, a self-organizing approach to achieve synchrony seems to be a promising way of arranging slots and frames for data packet transmission without reference to a central unit. Such self-organized dynamics should quickly adjust to changes and be scalable to large networks.

Researchers from Göttingen and Klagenfurt have now developed a novel method of self-organizing synchronization and have delivered mathematical proof of the systems’ guaranteed ability to achieve synchrony autonomously. According to their article in the New Journal of Physics, synchrony emerges across the entire network…

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Job selection in a network of UAVs for delivery of goods

Networked Systems

Aerial delivery services using small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been proposed by major online retailers, logistics companies, and startups. An interdisciplinary project team at the University of Klagenfurt aims at contributing to the architectural setup and distributed control of such future systems.

Small UAVs have found their way to civil applications. A broad variety of UAV models has been developed and commercialized in the past few years and is available today for end users. UAVs fly routes in an autonomous manner, carry cameras for aerial photography, and may transport goods from one place to another. The range of applications is broad, including aerial monitoring of industrial plants and agriculture fields as well as support for first time responders in case of disasters.

Delivering goods via a network of UAVs becomes an option if classical means of transportation, like trucks, trains, and planes are inappropriate. First, this comes about…

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Pulse-coupled oscillator synchronization on FPGA radios

Networked Systems

The mathematical modeling of pulse-coupled biological oscillators offers a fully decentralized and scalable approach for time synchronization. There is a broad spectrum of work on pulse-coupled oscillators in physics, biology, neuroscience, and other disciplines. The communications engineering community has been interested to transfer these results to the synchronization of nodes in wireless networks. A one-to-one transfer is infeasible due to the differences between wireless and biological communications. Several extensions and modifications are required with respect to delays, noise, multihop communications, and sync words.

Despite the conceptional and theoretical advances in the design of pulse-coupled oscillator synchronization for wireless networks, real-world performance studies and proofs of concepts are largely missing. There only exist a few implementations on low-cost wireless sensor platforms, whose results are of interest, but their synchronization precision is limited by hardware capabilities.

Günther Brandner, a researcher in Bettstetter’s team, implemented algorithms based on pulse-coupled oscillators on FPGA-based programmable…

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Workshop 12

Date: January 28, 2015
Time: 11:45 – 15:00
Location: Lakeside Labs GmbH, Lakeside B04b/1


  • Introducing the selforg blog
  • Food for thoughts with TED talk on slime molds
  • Glenda Garcia Santos: A STELLA primer

Workshop 11

Date: December 10, 2014
Time: 11:45 – 15:00
Location: Lakeside Labs GmbH, Lakeside B04b/1


  • Joint lunch „Food for thoughts“ with TED talks
  • Talk: Why are ants so successful? (Norbert Reichmann)
  • Talk: A probabilistic approach to binary consensus (Andreas Kercek)
  • Talk: A self-organizing model for cell differentiation (Manfred Rabl-Pöchacker)
  • Report from the coordinator and next workshop
  • Launch of Website

Second Retreat: NetLogo

The second retreat of the research cluster “self-organizing systems” took place on October 6 and 7, 2014, in Pörtschach.


The main goals were as follows:

  • Familiarize with the software tool NetLogo for modeling self-organizing systems
  • Review the work done so far in selforg.aau and discuss and plan future activities.


Christian Bettstetter, Wilfried Elmenreich, Kirsten von Elverfeldt, Glenda Garcia-Santon, Pasquale Grippa, Mihnea Hristea, Andreas Kercek, Norbert Reichmann, Peter Mandl, Martina Umlauft, Vladimir Vukadinovic, Friederike Wall.


Software developed in the group work


09:30 Opening and overview (Bettstetter)
09:45 NetLogo Tutorial, Part 1 (Umlauft)
11:00 Break and Checkin
11:15 NetLogo Tutorial, Part 2 (Umlauft)
12:30 Lunch
14:00 NetLogo Group Work: Topic collection (Bettstetter)
14:30 NetLogo Group Work
17:30 Break
19:00 Dinner
21:00 Leisure activity: Walk (optional)


09:00 NetLogo Group Presentations:

  • Consensus (Kercek, Bettstetter, Grippa, Vukadinovic)
  • Debris flows (Elmenreich, von Elverfeldt)
  • BZ reaction (Reichmann, Hristea,Umlauft)
10:30 Checkout and Break
11:00 NetLogo Group Presentation:

  • Pesticides drift (Garcia-Santon, Mandl)
11:30 Feedback round
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Review and outlook of selforg.aau,
Planning of next workshops (Bettstetter)
14:30 End