Center for
Perspicuous Computing

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.

From autonomous vehicles to Industry 4.0, from smart homes to smart cities – increasingly computer programs participate in actions and decisions that affect humans. However, our understanding of how these applications interact and what is the cause of a specific automated decision is lagging far behind. With the increase in cyber-physical technology impacting our lives, the consequences of this gradual loss in understanding are becoming severe. Systems lack support for making their behaviour plausible to their users. And even for technology experts it is nowadays virtually impossible to provide scientifically well-founded answers to questions about the exact reasons that lead to a particular decision, or about the responsibility for a malfunctioning. The root cause of the problem is that contemporary systems do not have any built-in concepts to explicate their behaviour. They calculate and propagate outcomes of computations, but are not designed to provide explanations. They are not perspicuous.

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perspicuous /pəˈspɪkjʊəs/
adjective formal
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 Informatics, and Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, jointly with experts from University of Tübingen and CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security.

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.

What next?

Who we are

This is us, on the first kick-off event, looking forward to the challenges and opportunities our research will surface.