Infofusion Program Vision

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Our vision is to build an internationally renowned program that covers the entire spectrum from sensors to decision support, i.e., from technical to cognitive/human aspects. Such a program is of extreme interest to all organizations where decisions need to be based on different sources of information or where time is a critical factor and the decision needs to be of the highest possible quality, given the available information.

The nature of the program is such that the scope of the research questions it addresses is wide. The expected results are increased ability to provide regional and national industry with competent personnel, the creation of a number new businesses in the local science park, a number of scientific degrees within the area of information fusion, a number of research results that are directly applicable for our industrial partners, and international recognition of our work through research publications and collaboration at the international level.

Information Fusion

Information fusion is the synergistic integration of information from different sources about the behavior of a particular system, to support decisions and actions relating to the system. Information fusion includes theory, techniques and tools for exploiting the synergy in the information acquired from multiple sources, for example sensors observing system behavior, databases storing knowledge about previous behavior, simulations predicting future behavior and information gathered by humans. The resulting decision or action is in some sense better, qualitatively or quantitatively, in terms of accuracy, robustness and comprehensibility, than would be possible if any of these sources were used individually without synergy exploitation. Note that information fusion not only deals with actual fusion processes, but also with how the results of these processes can be used to improve decision-making. In other words, the generic context of information fusion is the process of gathering relevant information, fusing different information sources and interpreting the result, making decisions based on the interpretation and acting according to those decisions. This is a process taking place at different levels of abstraction in a system, either fully automatic, semiautomatic, or manual.

Research Collaboration

The Information Fusion Research Program covers different application areas of information fusion, for example intelligent automation and manufacturing, bioinformatics and health care. Technology areas important to information fusion are artificial intelligence (fusion algorithms and decision support) information systems development (methodological questions for software development) simulation and distributed real-time and database systems (infrastructures for information systems). The profile also covers related theoretical areas such as cognitive science, and has the opportunity to consult with competent researchers from other areas of research closely connected to aspects of information fusion, e.g. computer linguistics, human-computer interaction, decision-making and e-logistics.

Previous research in Mechatronic Systems has resulted in increased external cooperation, primarily with Volvo Powertrain, Euromation, Electrolux, Delfoi, Volvo Cars Engine, AP&T, B4Industry, Arla and the Industrial District of Skaraborg. This cooperation has resulted in two projects funded by the Knowledge Foundation, Massive (2002/0242) and SimPlan (2992/0243). These projects will initially overlap with the profile, which means that there is a natural transition from the research platform to the research profile.

Similarly, research in Learning Systems has resulted in a project in Bioinformatics, funded by the Knowledge Foundation for 2004-2006. There is also an application for an information fusion project within the National Aeronautics Research Program, aiming to integrate sensor information from various sources to achieve ground-situation awareness. Situation awareness is central to the interest of Ericsson Microwave Systems in the proposed profile.

The focus on information technology at the University of Skövde has resulted in local establishment of several companies with a focus on technology development. One example is Ericsson Microwave Systems, with main office in Gothenburg, which in 1998 opened a branch office for software development in Skövde in order to get closer to the competence of the University. Ericsson Microwave Systems is an important part of the information fusion profile development, which further increases the regional ability to attract additional companies with focus on technology development.

The importance of the University to the development of the local industrial region is increased by Gothia Science Park. The Technology Park is located on the University Campus, with a mission to support commercialization of results and ideas generated at the University. The applied nature of the research profile increases opportunities for research collaboration with industry and organizations, including the recruitment of additional graduate students funded by industry, making local industry more knowledge intensive and diverse in nature.

The profile is complemented by a number of funded application projects. This ensures that the profile can exploit results from a number of concrete projects from the onset, in order to support the overall research vision. Members of the profile participate in cooperation with important key individuals in the armed forces and defense industry, within the area of Modeling and Simulation for Decision Support. A letter of intent has been signed with Ericsson Microwave Systems and commanders of local army regiments (the 4th armored tank regiment, the 3rd cavalry regiment, the 2nd transport and logistics regiment), and with a simulation facility for ground force combat.

Uppdaterad: 2009-08-11
Sidansvarig: Marcus Brohede