Artificial Intelligence Makes Robust Decisions



On October 18, 2021, the official opening ceremony of the Josef Ressel Center for Robust Decisions was held in the auditorium of the Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (FHV) by representatives from politics, academia and business. The Josef Ressel Center at the FHV, which is already the fifth of its kind, is concerned with the targeted use of artificial intelligence for process automation.

Injection molding machine from Hirschmann Automotive. (c)Hirschmann Automotive

As digitization increases, many companies are striving to derive precise conclusions for their own business processes from the data they collect. The identification of new relationships in the data and the targeted use of this knowledge (beyond mere visualization) requires tailored processes from the field of artificial intelligence. In particular, robust solutions are required to ensure feasible decisions even under uncertain conditions.  
In the Josef Ressel Center for Robust Decisions, an interdisciplinary team will develop those robust algorithms over the next five years that reduce process uncertainties and enable stable decisions. The concrete questions come from the production as well as the financial sector. The partner companies involved are

  • Hirschmann Automotive GmbH,
  • Hypo Vorarlberg Bank AG
  • proTASK Consulting GmbH and
  • myPEX

The Josef Ressel Centre is incorporated in the research centre Business Informatics of the FHV and currently comprises ten employees, headed by Dr. Michael Hellwig. The research funding of about 1.2 million euros comes from the Federal Ministry for Digitization and Business Location (BMDW), the National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development and the participating companies.
Initial results of the research, which started in July, have already been published at the "Smart Service Summit 2021" and "ISDA 2021: 21st International Conference on Intelligent Systems Design and Applications"



Examples of use cases within the JR Center for Robust Decisions include:

Learning and predicting individual maintenance times

In a production line, product quality is highly dependent on material and machine condition. To prevent machine breakdowns and respond in a timely manner to quality degradation caused by wear and tear, companies are interested in adding data-based insights to maintenance plans.
The JR Center, in collaboration with Hirschmann Automotive and proTASK, is developing supporting early warning systems that are capable of robustly flagging maintenance timings beyond use on one machine and at different company locations.  

Measurement and Evaluation of Sustainable Business and Management

The increasing impacts of climate change require societal and economic shifts toward more sustainable lifestyles. With this comes the need for Business and Management to measure the economic risks of failing to make sustainability adjustments for companies in order to hedge against default. Conversely, such assessments can serve the financial industry as an incentive for companies to implement innovative sustainability strategies.
Together with Hypo Vorarlberg and myPEX, the JR Center is working on procedures and strategies for a robust database and for valuation models regarding regional sustainability risks.


Dr.rer.nat. Michael HELLWIG
Head Josef Ressel Center for Robust Decisions, Senior Researcher