The Transregional Collaborative Research Centre 248 “Foundations of Perspicuous Software Systems” aims at enabling comprehension in a cyber-physical world with the human in the loop. It was established in January 2019, comprises about 80 researchers (50 of which are PhD students), and is now in its second funding period, financed through 2026.
From autonomous vehicles to smart assisted living – increasingly, computer programs participate in actions and decisions that affect humans. However, the explosion of opportunities for software-driven innovations comes with an implosion of human opportunities to understand and control these innovations. The root of the problem is that contemporary IT- and AI-based systems do not have any built-in concepts to explicate their behaviour. They generate and propagate outcomes of computations, but are not meant to provide explications, justifications, or plausibilisations of the outcomes. They are not perspicuous.
The Center for Perspicuous Computing, CPEC, takes up this challenge in a transregional collaborative research initiative. CPEC lays the scientific foundations for designing, analysing and interacting with computerised systems that explicate their functioning. We call them perspicuous systems, and our mission is to conduct foundational research on the seamless support for perspicuity across the entire system lifecycle, spanning design-time, run-time, and, in case of a malfunctioning or an optimisation effort, inspection-time.
clearly expressed and easily understood; lucid.
able to give an account or express an idea clearly.
“The key to enable comprehension in a cyber-physical
world is a science of perspicuous computing.”
Saarbrücken & Dresden
Two excellent locations
CRC 248 joins the scientific forces at Saarland Informatics Campus and Dresden to master the perspicuity challenge. It is a cooperation of Saarland University, Technische Universität Dresden, Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, and CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security jointly with experts from TU Wien.
With CRC 248, the participating institutions establish a transregional network of experts in perspicuous cyber-physical systems. It will serve our society in its need to stay in well-informed control over the computerised systems we all interact with. It enables comprehension in a cyber-physical world.