Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cebit '17: Saarbrücken Computer Linguists Are Developing An Intelligent System Aid For Air Traffic

07.03.2017

Human lives depend on their decisions, and psychological stress levels are high. An average radio contact takes 3.5 to 11.3 seconds, during which the air traffic controller checks in with the pilot, examines the radar screens and gives out new instructions. The current technical support systems typically lack the ability to understand and process these brief radio exchanges. Together with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), computer scientists from Saarland University have now developed a new system that listens in to these conversations and engages with the controllers. The scientists are presenting their prototype at the Cebit computer fair in Hannover, Germany (Hall 6, Stand E28).

Air traffic controllers are responsible for keeping aircraft at a safe distance to one other in the air and on runways and airstrips. Their most important tool is the radar, which uses radio waves to pinpoint the positions of the airplanes and measure their relative distances. The so-called system aid that air traffic controllers use for planning proposes an optimal order for the airplanes in that particular airspace. These automated suggestions are based on radar data.


Intelligent system aid

Oliver Dietze


With a simulated air traffic controller station, Marc Schulder and Dietrich Klakow are testing their intelligent system aid.

Oliver Dietze

The controller then radioes in with the individual pilots to communicate the correct order. So far, the system aid has been excluded from these short and often terse dialogues between controller and pilot. This lowers the quality of the system aid's automated suggestions, which is particularly dangerous in critical situations.

“The more stressful the situation is, the less you can rely on the system aid,” Youssef Oualil points out. Oualil is a researcher in the Department of Language Science and Technology at Saarland University. Together with his colleague Marc Schulder, the professor of Spoken Language Systems at Saarland University, Dietrich Klakow, as well as Hartmut Helmke from the German Aerospace Center DLR, Oualil developed a software system named “AcListant”, which listens in to air controllers' radio conversations and makes more informed suggestions for their current situation.

The researchers relied entirely on automatic speech recognition, so that controllers do not have to enter any new commands themselves by keyboard or mouse. As the speech recognition system is supposed to filter nonsensical or unsuitable commands out immediately, the computer scientists incorporated additional information from the system aid, so that the controllers' display will only include commands that actually match the current situation. The software system only filters such basic information that is actually relevant to controllers.

“This means that verbal padding like Hello or Good morning will be edited out, but identification numbers, altitudes and commands stay in,” Marc Schulder explains. The system also performs a kind of reality check in which it incorporates current information from the radar. Data from the radar is used to generate probable word sequences, and then only such pieces of information that are most similar to the generated phrases are subsequently forwarded to the system aid. The flight controller is then shown these filtered items as suggested instructions for the pilot.

The researchers have already tested their prototype in various simulations for major airports at the DLR Research Airport in Braunschweig. “With AcListant, we have not just reduced the number of incorrect commands that are processed by a factor of four, compared to less sophisticated systems. The flight controllers are also able to communicate a lot better with pilots who talk very fast or with an accent,” says Dietrich Klakow. The German Aerospace Center is now trying to promote the commercialization of the system.

AcListant is not the only research project that Klakow and his colleagues are working on. One focus of their work is teaching computers to understand ambiguous statements, and learning to recognize the dominant sentiment – in future even in ambiguous expressions like “damn good” or “pretty bad”. Users will be able to ask their computer intuitive questions, and receive answers like from a human respondent. The Saarbrücken scientists also developed a special software for the computer game “Sonar Silence”, which automatically understands in-game questions of players of different nationalities, and responds with the according information in the appropriate language. The core elements of this technology can be used both in medicine, for instance for the early diagnosis and detection of depressive episodes, and in online retail, for instance for automatic responses to customer requests.

Media Inquiries:
Dietrich Klakow
Professor of Spoken Language Systems
Saarland University
Phone: +49 681 302-58122
E-Mail: dietrich.klakow@lsv.uni-saarland.de

Editor:
Gordon Bolduan
Competence Center Computer Science Saarland
Saarland Informatics Campus E1.7
Saarland University
Phone: +49 681 302-70741
E-Mail: gbolduan@mmci.uni-saarland.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.aclistant.de

Friederike Meyer zu Tittingdorf | Universität des Saarlandes
Further information:
http://www.uni-saarland.de

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht Hannover Messe 2018: Cognitive system for predictive acoustic maintenance
19.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht ILA 2018: Cost-effective carbon fibers for light-weight construction
18.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>