A Belated “Welcome” to Dr. Rebecca Sarku, a New Postdoc Member of the MARS Group from Ghana

The MARS Group is delighted to welcome Dr. Rebecca Sarku to the team! Rebecca is a postdoc researcher from Ghana with a background in geography and resource management. She joined the University of Applied Sciences (HAW) Hamburg via a prestigious scholarship awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt foundation. Her current research is focused on how artificial intelligence (specifically agent-based modelling) can be used to make grain and crop farming in West Africa more sustainable in the face of climate change.

An interview with Rebecca was published in German on the HAW website and can be read here.

ESIDA Kickoff Meeting in Arusha, Tanzania

The ESIDA kickoff meeting finally took place. With a delay of more than one year, nine ESIDA team members from Germany  (University of Applied Sciences (HAW) Hamburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), University of Hamburg (UHH), and the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM)) made their way to the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) to present first results and discuss next steps.

This image shows a participatory mapping with the PhD candidates Ummul-Khair Mustafa (center) and Luba Pascoe (right) from the NM-AIST, both of whom work with the MARS Group and the MARS framework as part of their research work.

Interdisciplinary Short Course on Social-Ecological Modelling and Agent-based Simulation in Gqeberha / Port Elizabeth

The MARS Group held yet another interdisciplinary short course on agent-based modelling. This time, the focus was on the use of agent-based modelling to address social-ecological problems and research questions. The five-day course was held in Gqeberha/Port Elizabeth, South Africa, from September 12–16, 2022.

Twelve participants from various disciplinary backgrounds within the social and ecological sciences attended the short course. Most of them were PhD candidates or postdocs who wanted to explore the possibility of integrating agent-based modelling into their research. The short course included the following topics, among others:

  • Multi-agent modelling and simulation using MARS
  • Formulating and sharpening a research question
  • Developing conceptual models to base an implementation on
  • Working with temporal and spatial data
  • Visualizing and analyzing simulation results

We look forward to further collaborations with the attendees and to holding more short courses in the future!

Focused on Climate Change: The MARS Group at the Klimakongress 2022

How can we understand climate change better and find ways to respond to its impact? The Scientific Congress for High School Students is involved in research on all matters related to climate change. This year, the Klimakongress 2022 was hosted at the Technical University of Hamburg (TUH).
With more than 600 students, faculty members, and guests from the Hamburg metropolitan area, the event was a true success and gave an insightful glimpse into the possible responses to climate change from the scientific community.
The MARS Group was also represented at the event and held a workshop on agent-based modelling for traffic simulations as part of the presentation of the Computer Science for Future (CS4F) initiative.
For more information, please visit the Klimakongress website here.
Copyright Initiative NAT, Claudia Höhne

Karibu sana! A visit from Tanzania

Karibu sana! Finally, in-person contact is becoming possible and easier again. The MARS Group has a visitor from Tanzania.

Can we help develop a better understanding of the spread of viral infections in Tanzania and prevent future spreads? This is what the ESIDA project is about.

Our PhD student, Luba Pascoe, from the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) in Arusha, Tanzania presents her research results to us and is working with us at the HAM Hamburg for two weeks. In September, we will be delighted to Luba in her lab in Arusha.

Feature: Digital Twin Research by the MARS Group in the campushunter Career Magazine

The MARS Group is featured in the current issue of the campushunter career magazine. The SmartopenHamburg (SOHH) model is a digital twin of the city of Hamburg, designed to enable the study of multimodal traffic and movement in an urban system. The article explores the challenges of developing representative and trustworthy models of complex multivariate systems. Specifically, the ability to predict future states relies on an accurate understanding of present states, from which the model starts its projection into the future. During the process, the course of the projection can be corrected by realigning parts of the model with real-time data from the real. Such course corrections can increase the validity of the final model output. The MARS Group actively explores this approach and other ways to increase the acceptance of predictive models.

A PDF version of the full campushunter issue is available for download here.

A Call for Papers for the Special Issue “Digital Twin with Model Driven Systems Engineering”

We would like to draw your attention to a call for papers issued by MDPI Open Access Journals for an upcoming Systems special issue titled “Digital Twin with Model Driven Systems Engineering”. The call for papers and all pertinent information can be found here.

This special issue is focused on the design and development of digital twins for practical purposes and applications in domains such as manufacturing, urban planning, healthcare, robotics, and logistics. Research and application of digital twins is very near and dear to the MARS Group (see, for example, this and this recent publication). Therefore, we are particularly please that our very own project leader Prof. Dr. Thomas Clemen is among the special issue editors.

We look forward to learning from any contributions to this and other journal issues that contribute to the body of knowledge surrounding digital twins development and application.

Acceptance Research With Digital Twin

We are pleased to inform you that the MARS research group was able to make a further contribution to the analysis and decision-making in urban road traffic with its SmartOpenHamburg project. In order to cope with the ever-increasing traffic in big cities, different solution strategies are simultaneously considered and also operated by many cities. In Hamburg, one of these strategies is the provision of all available means of transport at so-called HVV switch points (transport nodes where the load on the transport infrastructure is very high). One of these switch points is the underground station Kellinghusenstraße. As part of this work, HAW Hamburg has published an interesting article. Feel free to have a look at it here.

MARS at the ITS World Congress 2021

This year, the MARS Group took part in the ITS World Congress, an annual international event focused on technological innovation and policy initiatives around smart mobility and the digitalization of transport. The five-day event features a vast assortment of program sessions, live demonstrations, and an exhibition hall.

Multi-modality in urban traffic is becoming an increasingly important issue in modern traffic infrastructures. Ease of access and the ability to choose between multiple travel modalities can lower traffic volume on the streets and be conducive to meeting sustainability goals. To study multi-modality in an urban setting, the MARS Group developed a model in which agents travel from a subway station in Hamburg, Germany (U Kellinghusenstraße) to a nearby point of interest. They can do so using a number of owned and shared travel modalities, enabling the model to be used in the context of both behavior-related and traffic-related studies. The publication is available for download here.

This video was prepared for the ITS World Congress and showcases a visualization of a simulation output.

It has been a while: MARS BBQ 2021!

After roughly 18 months of self-isolation, and social distancing, the MARS Team finally reunited for their annual tradition at the MARS BBQ 2021. While we have been busy as ever during the pandemic, many of us haven’t seen each other in person since early 2020. Needless to say, it was pure joy to be back together, eating, drinking, talking, discussing, and enjoying (mostly) pleasant Hamburg summer weather.

We wish all of our friends, colleagues, collaborators, and everyone else similar opportunities in the very near future. While the end of Covid-19 is still not ubiquitously in sight, our hope is that all of us can enjoy the physical presence and company of those we care for much more regularly again. Cheers!