The MARS Group at the ITS Hackathon 2020

This year’s ITS Hackathon took place from 1:00pm on October 30th through 3:00pm on October 31st. This is an event at which computer scientists, data analysts, and people from other related disciplines get together to solve current challenges in the areas of urban mobility and logistics through the use of data, models, and IT tools in an interactive and creative setting. For information on the event, please click here.

The MARS Group contributed to the event by providing two MARS model scenarios. The first scenario simulates ferry traffic and dock workers in the central area of Hamburg; the second scenario simulates travel by bike (depending on the placement and availability of bike sharing stations) in the central part of the district of Harburg, Hamburg. In addition, Thomas Clemen provided an introductory kick-off speech for the event and Ulfia Lenfers server on the team of jurors to rank the teams’ performances.

Despite this year’s restrictive measures due to Covid-19, it was a fun, insightful, and successful two days of problem-solving and engaged discussion. For more information, check out this post by the HAW Hamburg (in German).

© Logistik-Initiative Hamburg

Mission Accomplished: Ulfia Lenfers, PhD

We are delighted to inform you that Ulfia Lenfers has acquired her PhD! In her thesis, she describes her in-depth study of current and future tree distribution in the Savannah Lowveld – at the hands of negative impact by elephants and firewood collectors – using a digital twin of the Kruger National Park (KNP) designed by MARS. The study took place as part of a joing project between the MARS Group and Prof. Dr. R. Duttmann at the the Geographic Institute at the Christian-Albrechts-University (CAU) in Kiel. The thesis defense was on 13 July 2020.

Cheers and congratulations, Dr. rer. nat. Ulfia A Lenfers!

Playing LaserTag with MARS

During the summer semester 2020, the MARS DSL (click here to download the modeling handbook) was used in a course named Artificial Intelligence and Software Agents taught by Thomas Clemen at the HAW Hamburg. For the final project of the course, a multiagent-based game framework was created to simulate a LaserTag game in MARS. In each game, four teams of agents compete against each other for the highest score. Here is a visual representation of what a MARS LaserTag arena might look like.

The challenge for the students was to program their agents’ behavior – in a way that they think is strategically best to bring them victory. In a tournament setup, eight teams ot students had to let their agents compete against each other for first place. It was a fun event which provided great insight into artificial intelligence and agent behavior.

To check out the LaserTag framework, please contact us here.

Congratulations to Florian Ocker for completing his Master’s degree!

Florian Ocker, a long-time MARS Group member, has completed his Master’s degree. For his thesis, he used the MARS modeling system to develop a multimodal traffic model (which enables agents to travel on foot, by bicycle, and by car) for the district Altona in Hamburg, Germany. The overarching goals of the study were to examine a) the general feasibility of mapping multimodal travel behavior onto a multiagent model in MARS and b) the extent to which different configurations and combinations of multimodal travel might impact travel time.

Congratulations, Flo!