High Performance Center LZSiS – Pooled expertise for secure intelligent systems

The Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS is part of the High Performance Center “Secure Intelligent Systems” (LZSiS). The LZSiS pools interdisciplinary expertise from university and extra-university research to make digitalization usable in Bavaria.

Strong partners in helping to shape digital transformations

The High Performance Center “Secure Intelligent Systems” (LZSiS) is a platform shared by the Fraunhofer Institutes AISEC, EMFT, IBP, IGCV, IKS and IVV, as well as the Technical University of Munich and the Universität der Bundeswehr München. The High Performance Center pools the interdisciplinary expertise and wide-ranging knowledge of the institutes and makes them available to companies. The independent institutions form a powerful network and serve as neutral partners in digital transformation processes.

The LZSiS – safe and secure, custom-tailored systems for partners from industry

The LZSiS aims to highlight the potential of digitalization in a wide variety of sectors and translate it into practice. Transformation processes in industrial sectors and individual companies are supported by the LZSiS end to end – from the design of system solutions to their implementation. In this process, the independent partners of the LZSiS tailor the solutions to the company-specific requirements.

Developing safe and secure solutions is the special focus of the High Performance Center and the Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS in all development steps up to realization. The different partners create valuable synergies in the LZSiS for securing system solutions end-to-end. Their expertise encompasses cybersecurity and hardware security, innovative intelligent sensor systems, and even the safeguarding of unavoidable security issues in system components such as AI applications.

Resilient end-to-end architectures

Cognitive systems should not only be considered as isolated, standalone systems or individual machines. The availability and reliability of the interfaces between these connected systems also have to be taken into account. Where distributed systems are involved, this approach is called end-to-end (E2E) architectures. The extended software architecture outside of the machine makes it possible to transfer computing capacity to a cloud or via edge/fog.

In industrial automation, entire logistics chains or connected production facilities are designed as end-to-end architectures. In automated vehicles, end-to-end architectures arise when services like updates or software enhancements are offloaded, as well as in cooperative transportation systems such as platooning in freight transport.

End-to-end architectures enable service-oriented service models and greater customizability of the systems, but they place high demands on availability and require that the system be safeguarded reliably in every configuration. The Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS focuses particularly on safety-critical functions. This involves the braking system and acceleration in motor vehicles, for example. At the present time, E2E architectures are not permitted due to safety considerations if safety-critical functions are offloaded.

The scientists at Fraunhofer IKS conduct research in two fields at the LZSiS:

Fail-operational architectures and graceful degradation mechanisms

The distribution in this area is optimized so that safety-critical functions always remain available, even if less important components can no longer be served due to a weak network connection, for example. Under graceful degradation, the system ensures that these functions at least remain available in a limited form. The optimized distribution of the functions increases the resilience of the system to communication problems.

Monitoring, anomaly detection and QoS prediction

Fraunhofer IKS develops tools to identify incorrect interaction behavior in a distributed system. Quality-of-service prediction makes it possible to analyze the communication behavior of the system and even predict it for the next seconds.

Hands-on safety and security in the LZSiS showroom

Demonstrators in the LZSiS showroom visualize these research topics and show how the different solution modules interact. Customers can have these solutions explained based on their own systems as examples. The LZSiS showroom in Munich opened in July 2019 to give greater visibility to the safe, secure and intelligent solutions developed by the High Performance Center. Its members’ expertise is exhibited and visualized by tangible demonstrators. In the medium term, there are plans to institutionalize the LZSiS in its own building on the Garching research campus.