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Partnership with Ulm University

Youth, science, artificial intelligence: Ulm-Krasnoyarsk, 30 years together

The beginning
In 1990, E. S. Semenkin, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Department of Higher Mathematics, Krasnoyarsk Institute of Space Technology, CICT (hereinafter – Siberian Aerospace Academy, SAA, Siberian State Aerospace University, Siberian State University of Science and Technology) took part in the 11th annual conference ‘Mathematical Programming’ at Sellin-am-Ruegen in the German Democratic Republic. The paper was: Semenkin E., Semenkina O. Ein Suchalgorithmus fuer Optimierung der pseudoboolean Funktionen. In XI. Jahrestagung “Mathematische Programmierung”, Sellin-am-Ruegen, 1990. (A search algorithm for optimization of pseudoboolean functions).

At this conference, he met Dr. Dirk Solte from the Research Institute for Applied Knowledge Processing at the University of Ulm (Forschungsinstitut fuer anwendyngsorientierte Wissensverarbeitung an der Universitaet Ulm, FAW,,

The partnership between the two universities began with this meeting and continues today.

In 1992, Professor Franz-Josef Radermacher and Dr. Dirk Solte invited E. Semenkin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the Department of System Analysis and Operations Research (SAOR) at the SAA to FAW for joint research and participation in the scientific conference ‘Optimization-based computer-aided modelling and design’. As a result of the work, comprehensive studies were conducted on the basis of adaptive algorithms for discrete and combinatorial optimization. At the conference, three papers of the researchers from Krasnoyarsk have been presented. Papers devoted to modelling and optimization for computer-aided control system design and planning processes.

In 1993, FAW invited E. Semenkin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of the SAOR Department at the SAA, and O. Semenkina, PhD student at the SAA, to Ulm to carry out research in the field of developing a decision support system for the modelling of scheduling tasks and algorithms with the developed operational modelling language (OML-based modelling and optimization of job-shop scheduling). This work was continued remotely in 1994. Based on the research results, a paper was presented at the IFIP scientific conference in Prague – Mueller R., Semenkin E., Semenkina O. Modelling Job-Shop Scheduling with the Operational Modelling Language // The 3rd IFIP WG-7.6 Working Conference on Optimization-Based Computer-Aided Modelling and Design, Prague, Czech Republic, May 24-26, 1994. – Pp. 326-333.

At the same time, students of the SAOR Department Sergey Vakhtel, Valery Garipov and Evgeny Dyakov underwent a scientific internship at FAW.

In collaboration with the head of the International Relations Department of the University of Ulm, Dr. Reinhold Luecker, a meeting of the rectors of both universities was organized to sign an agreement on friendship and cooperation.

Between 1995 and 2002, cooperation between the SAOR department of SibSAU (formerly the SAA) and FAW was successfully continued with the support of the FAW’s industrial partners, research grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and grants from the Airport Frankfurt Main Fund (Flughafen Frankfurt Main Stiftung). The joint research involved K. Yu. Abramovich, S. A. Vakhtel, V. R. Garipov, E. N. Dyakov, T. R. Ilyina, E. S. Semenkin, O. E. Semenkina and V. A. Terskov. The scientific results of the studies were then used in defended dissertations: four Candidate of Science (PhD) – O. E. Semenkina, 1995, K. Yu. Abramovich, 1997, V. R. Garipov, 1999, and T. R. Ilyina, 2001, and three Dr. Sci. (Dr. Habil.) – E. S. Semenkin, 1997, V. A. Terskov, 2001 and O. E. Semenkina, 2002.

In the following years, many graduates of the Department of SAOR continued their studies on the English-language Master degree programmes of the University of Ulm – Elvira Drozhzhina, Dmitry Zaikovsky, Alexey Ivanov, Irina Ivanova, Andrey Indiryakov, Irina Krasnoshtanova, Nikolai Shkulepov and others.

Under supervision of Professor H. Schumacher, students of SibSAU (K. Tokmin, S. Kuzin) completed a project in the field of constrained multi-objective optimization for designing analogue microcircuits with coevolutionary algorithms.

Graduates from the Department of System Analysis and Operations Research at the Siberian State University and participants in the partnership with Ulm who defended their dissertations are: Konstantin Abramovich (1997), Valery Garipov (1999), Evgenii Sopov (2004), Marina Zhukova (2004), Sergey Bezhitsky (2006), Leonid Lipinsky (2006), Ilya Panfilov (2006), Alexandra Gumennikova (2006), Anton Vorozheikin (2008), Vladimir Bukhtoyarov (2010), Roman Sergienko (2010), Pavel Galushin (2012), Andrey Shabalov (2012), Maria Semenkina (2012), Shakhnaz Akhmedova (2016), Kristina Brester (2016), Ivan Ryzhikov (2016), Vladimir Stanovov (2016), Dmitry Khritonenko (2017), Vladislav Branishti (2018), Anastasia Polyakova (2019), Ilya Ivanov (2019), and Sergey Vakhtel (2019). The majority of them were between the ages of 23 and 25.

The publication (2013) about the partnership on the website of the University of Ulm: “Deutsch-russischer Austausch seit 20 Jahren erfolgreich”.

The Siberian State Aerospace University and Ulm University took part in joint research projects and student exchanges within the framework of the strategic partnership U5 (DAAD).

Link to the publication on the website of the University of Ulm.

For several years, work was carried out in cooperation with the research group Dialogue Systems of the University of Ulm, engaged in the design of speech dialogue systems under the guidance of Professor W. Minker. The results of the work are:

  • Dozens of joint papers were published in conference proceedings and peer-reviewed journals.
  • Graduates of the SAOR Department of the Siberian State University of Science and Technology are in 2020 PhD students of Ulm University and assistants of Dialogue Systems:
    • Oleg Akhtyamov, Denis Dresvyansky, Danila Mamontov and Dmitry Fedotov.
  • Graduates of SibSU, former members of the Dialogue Systems group who defended the degree of Dr. Ing. at the University of Ulm:
    • Tatyana Gasanova (Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Sydney, Australia), Sergey Zablotsky (Schindler Ahead, Berlin, Germany), Ksenia Zablotskaya (Best Secret GmbH, Munich, Germany), Dmitry Zaykovsky (Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG, Munich, Germany), Roman Sergienko (Gini GmbH, Munich, Germany), Maxim Sidorov (BMW, Munich, Germany), and Anastasia Spirina (OJSC ‘Krastsvetmet’, Krasnoyarsk, Russia).
  • The list of joint research projects:
    • Federal Target Program ‘Research and Development in Priority Directions for the Development of the Russian Science and Technology Complex for 2007-2013’: Russian-German project ‘Distributed Intelligent Information Systems for the Processing and Analysis of Multilingual Information in Dialogue Information and Communication Systems’, state contract No. 1.519.11.4002 (2011-2013). Project leader – E. S. Semenkin (14.0 million roubles (~452 thousand Euros)).
    • Federal Target Program ‘Scientific and Scientific-Pedagogical Personnel of Innovative Russia for 2009-2013’: Russian-German project ‘Mathematical and Algorithmic Support for the Computer-Aided Design of Hardware-Software Complexes for the Intelligent Processing of Multilingual Information in Distributed High-Performance Systems of Space Assignment”, state contract No. 16.740.11.0742 (2011-2013). Project leader – E. S. Semenkin (7.0 million roubles (~226 thousand Euros)).
    • Federal Target Program ‘Scientific and Scientific-Pedagogical Personnel of Innovative Russia for 2009-2013’: Russian-German project: ‘Development of Effective Algorithmic Support for the Computer-aided Design of Distributed Multilingual Systems for Supporting Electronic Document Management on Cloud Computing’, state contract N14.740.12.1341 (2011- 2013). Project leader – E. A. Sopov (4.8 million roubles (~155 thousand Euros)).

Currently, the cooperation between SibSU and Ulm University is continuing to develop actively. The partnership has expanded to include the Faculty of Economics and Mathematics (Prof. E. Spodarev) and the Institute of Neuroinformatics (Dr. F. Schwenker).

In 2018 and 2019 students of the Siberian State University Danila Mamontov, Yana Polonskaya and Alina Skorokhod completed an internship at the University of Ulm. Based on the results of their research, they published together with their scientific supervisors (E. Semenkin, F. Schwenker F. and V. Kessler) an article in the proceedings of the MPRSS 2018 conference: Multimodal Pattern Recognition of Social Signals in Human-Computer-Interaction:
Evolutionary Algorithms for the Design of Neural Network Classifiers for the Classification of Pain Intensity.

Based on the results of their internship at the University of Ulm, Master degree students of SibSU have published the following article in the journal ‘Statistics and Computing’ (2020) (Q1 WoS): Detecting anomalies in fibre systems using 3-dimensional image data / Denis Dresvyanskiy, · Tatiana Karaseva, · Vitalii Makogin, · Sergei Mitrofanov, · Claudia Redenbach, Evgeny Spodarev.

Since 2012, Ulm University and the Siberian State University have been jointly organizing the International Workshop on Mathematical Models and their Applications (IWMMA). To date, the conference has reached a high level, and the organizing committee of the conference consists of representatives of science, education, business and industry from 14 countries – Australia, Austria, Canada, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Montenegro, New Zealand, Russia and Vietnam. Furthermore, conference papers are published as articles in peer-reviewed European scientific journals: International Journal on Information Technologies and Security (Sofia, Bulgaria) and Algorithms (Basel, Switzerland).

Selected papers from the IWMMA’2019 conference were published in a special issue of the journal ‘Algorithms’ (Basel, Switzerland): Special Issue “Mathematical Models and Their Applications” (Guest Editors were E. Semenkin, F. Schwenker and A Skraba).

In 2020, two graduate students of SibSU applied for a grant from the President of the Russian Federation for a one-year research stay at the University of Ulm. Four graduate students from the SAOR Department are graduate students of Ulm University.

In 2020, the Siberian State University of Science and Technology and Ulm University took part in the open Russian-German competition “Russia and Germany: scientific and educational bridges.”

The long-term productive partnership between universities is associated with the comprehensive support of young scientists thanks to a well-built system of exchanges, internships and two-sided scientific supervision that allows new points of growth and centres of excellence to be created in highly promising areas of artificial intelligence.

The goals of the cooperation are

the strengthening of friendship and mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries by increasing contact between young people, and by the mutual enrichment of scientists with ideas and the exchange of knowledge.

The tasks of the cooperation are:

  • comprehensive development of the direction of ubiquitous and affective artificial intelligence;
  • highly effective training of young professionals who are able to optimally solve problems in the field of artificial intelligence for today and in the future.

30 Years Partnership Results:

  • 75 internships supported by DAAD and German industrial partners, grants from the President of the Russian Federation, RFBR and other foundations. 10 Master’s theses and 7 Dr.-Ing. theses were defended in Ulm by students of the Siberian State University. In Krasnoyarsk, 3 Dr.Sci. and 43 PhD theses were defended (22 of them between the ages of 23 and 25). Currently, 16 graduates of SibSU work in Europe, 11 of them in Germany. All the others work in Russia.
  • Since 2012, the annual international scientific conference IWMMA has been held, the proceedings of which are published in scientific journals in Europe.
  • A promising new approach in the field of AI has been conceived and is developing: ‘Artificial Intelligence in Action: Self-adaptive Bio-inspired Algorithms for the Synthesis of Neuro-computing Models of Ubiquitous Affective AI’.
  • The Siberian Institute of Applied System Analysis consisting of 8 laboratories has been created and is developing. Its employees are former, current and promising participants of the partnership.

Promising results:

  • In the medium term – expanding cooperation to other organizations and countries to develop technologies for the automated design of all-purpose AI systems for a wide range of assignments.
  • In the long term – promoting the idea of creating a European centre for the automation of the design of AI systems and a consortium of universities for training professionals in this area.

Link to the website of the Institute of Neuroinformatics, University of Ulm.