Perspicuous Computing

— An Interactive Session of the DATE 2021 Special Initiative on Autonomous Systems Design

Friday, 5 February 2021 – 15:00-15:55

From autonomous vehicles to Industry 4.0, from smart homes to smart cities – cyber-physical technology increasingly participates 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. This comes with a gradual loss in understanding.

The root cause of this 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.

The key to enable comprehension in a cyber-physical world is a science of perspicuous computing. This session will discuss the foundational, the industrial and the societal dimensions of the perspicuous computing challenge. It is organized by the Center for Perspicuous Computing – TRR 248 – a Collaborative Research Center funded by the German Research Foundation DFG.

perspicuous /pəˈspɪkjʊəs/
adjective formal
clearly expressed and easily understood; lucid.
able to give an account or express an idea clearly.

Introduction: “Enabling comprehension in a cyber-physical world with the human in the loop”

Holger Hermanns, Universität des Saarlandes

Panel: “Is industry or society in need for systems that explicate their behaviour? Both? Or neither?”


Prof. Bernd Finkbeiner, Ph.D.

CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security

Prof. Christof Fetzer, Ph.D.

Technische Universität Dresden

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Raimund Dachselt

Technische Universität Dresden

Prof. Rupak Majumdar, Ph.D.

Max Planck Institute for Software Systems

JProf. Dr. Lena Kästner, Ph.D.

Universität des Saarlandes, representing EIS

Panel Moderator: Christel Baier, Technische Universität Dresden

Session Organizers

Dr. Maria Christakis

Max Planck Institute for Software Systems

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Hermanns

Universität des Saarlandes


To attend the session, you must register for DATE 2021 here. Please select “Delegate” as your participant type and make sure you check “Friday Workshop W05: Autonomous Systems Design (ASD) – Friday Interactive Day”. Registration for the workshop is free but should be completed well before the workshop day. You are entitled and invited to participate in all of the workshop!

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