Max Planck Institute for Informatics

Max Planck Institute for Informatics

Computers, as well as the programs that run on them and the networks they form – with the worldwide Internet leading the way – are the most complex structures ever made by the human beings. This makes computer systems both powerful and mysterious tools. Today's world is a digital world. Ten years ago, data consisted mostly of text; today, however, there is also audio, image and video data. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics are concerned with the issue of how we can come to grips with computer systems, and how we can avoid information overload in the modern-day flood of data. The scientists basically want to understand how algorithms and programs work, how complex processes can be simplified, and how we can use the abundance of available data to receive automatic answers from computers to the diverse questions we face.

Contact

Campus E1 4
66123 Saarbrücken
Phone: +49 681 9325-0
Fax: +49 681 9325-5719

PhD opportunities

This institute has an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS):

IMPRS on Trustworthy Computing

In addition, there is the possibility of individual doctoral research. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

Department Internet Architecture

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Department Algorithms and Complexity

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Department Computer Vision and Multimodal Computing

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Department Visual Computing and Artificial Intelligence

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Department Databases and Information Systems

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Department Research Group Computational Biology

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Many publications by Max Planck scientists in 2023 were of great social relevance or met with a great media response. We have selected 12 articles to present you with an overview of some noteworthy research of the year

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3D printed pill

Special shapes can release active substances in a controlled manner

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Christian Theobalt (wearing a light green shirt an jeans) is standig on an upper floor of the Max Planck Institute for Informatics which is open to inside. His hand rests on the steel banister of a rectangular gallery.

Max Planck Institute for Informatics and Google engage in a strategic research partnership

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a side-face stone sculpture of Minerva (roughly five meters high) on the left side of the glass entrance of an office building

The cooperation strengthens application-related research on artificial intelligence in Germany

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A new approach enables search engines to describe objects with negative statements

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Logical processes help computers crack complex mathematical problems, thus making them smarter and faster. Logic can even take human-machine communications to a whole new level. Christoph Weidenbach from the Max Planck Institute for Informatics has been developing such promising logical algorithms for thirty years, and is even testing them on his own race car.

Our eyes are our window on the world, but they also reveal a lot about us. Andreas Bulling and his team at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbruecken and at the University of Stuttgart exploit this by teaching computers to interpret our gaze. Ultimately, their aim is to enable robots or avatars to communicate with us eye to eye.

Today, the Internet is just as much a part of our everyday life as our refrigerator. Yet researchers are constantly working to develop it further so that it can continue to function despite all the innovations. Anja Feldmann, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbruecken, is one of them. However, there are some problems that she can only solve when she focuses her entire attention on her hobby.

He was one of the first computer science students in Germany. Today, Kurt Mehlhorn, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbruecken, can look back on the many problems he has solved – with solutions that are also applicable to navigation systems and search engines. At least as important to him, however, are the numerous academic careers that began in his group. And he still has ideas for new research projects.

Researchers normally formulate a hypothesis before beginning an experiment and collecting data. Pauli Miettinen from the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken is turning this scientific principle on its head with a new procedure for analyzing data – redescription mining. The software can analyze existing datasets and retrospectively extract hypotheses and unexpected correlations. These, in turn, give scientists important clues for asking new questions – for example, when the task is to capture the political mood among the population.

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The visual representation of the world

2023 Leimkühler, Thomas

Computer Science

Virtual worlds are a central component for visual communication in the future. But how can these worlds be built so that they look photorealistic and can be explored smoothly? How do we create models that are flexible enough so that users can actively influence them? These questions targeting the fundamentals of computer graphics are being investigated at the MPI for Informatics. The application of artificial intelligence also plays a crucial role in this process.

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Along with the inventions of new computing devices, a growing number of new computing paradigms emerges that lead to new challenges in designing computer algorithms. Researchers at MPI for Informatics see these challenges as a new way to think about algorithms and develop a research program that provides answers to questions that computer scientists could not figure out for decades and at the same time provides new generations of network algorithms for future computing devices and data.

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The optical data center network is a cutting-edge technology to build network infrastructure for cloud computing. It has great potential as well as challenges to adoption. At the MPI for Informatics, we develop practical ways of implementing optical data center networks to serve ever-increasing user demands for cloud applications in the future.

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Learning and Forgetting

2020 Weidenbach, Christoph

Computer Science

Learning new insights is a key technology in solving hard problems with a computer. The systematic generation of new insights also implies the forgetting of insights in order to meet space and time restrictions.

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Search Engines from the day after tomorrow

2019 Weikum, Gerhard

Computer Science

Next-generation search engines should understand quantitative measures of entities. For example, it should be easily possible to retrieve all entrepreneurs worth between 1 and 10 billion Euros, and a query for electric cars with CO2 footprint below 5kg/100km should be answered precisely and concisely. We are developing algorithmic and machine-learning methods towards this goal. Our Qsearch prototype supports searching for financial, technical and physical quantities. Ultimately, we aim to support analysts in effortlessly tapping Internet contents for advanced studies.

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