Today, computer systems are essential for the development and operation of innumerable high-quality services and technical facilities which some few years ago seemed to be inconceivable. An established example for this ongoing trend are advances in supporting driving safety of automobiles by computerized control systems. Also, current commercial aircrafts can't be flown without computerized control systems in the cockpit. These components are intended to enable pilots to fly reliably and securely through a cramped and restricted airspace.
The demands concerning absence of error in and reliability of such tremendously complex components are very high because their failure can endanger human life. Consequently, there is a great necessity for research and development activities in the field of safety-critical systems. The scientific and economic perspectives are impressive, and must be judged as an important contribution to strengthen the business location Germany: Research in the domain of safety-critical embedded systems is cutting-edge research with direct impact on industrial applications.
In order to meet these scientific challenges and to realize these perspectives, the Interdisciplinary Research Center Safety-Critical Systems was established at the University of Oldenburg. Represented in this center are researchers from different disciplines - computer science, physics, psychology and law - from the university and the R&D-institute OFFIS, in order to jointly investigate specific and interdisciplinary questions from the topic of safety-critical embedded systems. Main research topics of this center are Human Centered Engineering, Formal Verification, and the investigation and validation of non-functional requirements. This focus is reflected by the definition of interdisciplinary research projects, which for example investigate the interface between embedded systems and their users, the effects of the working environment on the behavior of the users and the correctness of collision avoidance systems. Furthermore the current research topics of the participating scientists integrate into this focus: Fundamental research in the area of formal verification and analysis of complex embedded systems is performed by professors of the center in cooperation with scientists from the universities of Freiburg and Saarbrücken as well as the Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik in Saarbrücken in the Transregional Collaborative Research Center AVACS , whereas in the IMoST (Integrated Modelling for Safe Transportation) project, for example, researchers from the OFFIS institute for Computer Science, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Braunschweig and from the Interdisciplinary Research Center Safety-Critical Systems are investigating an integrated modelling approach of systems (e.g., new driver assistance systems in cars), operators (e.g., human drivers) and the environment (e.g., car on highway) and the analysis of such models. Integrated into the research center is the Graduate School TrustSoft where methods for the development of trustworthy software systems are developed.