CRC 248

From International Center for Computational Logic
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CRC 248

Foundations of Perspicuous Software Systems

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.

The key to enable comprehension in a cyber-physical world is a science of perspicuous computing.