Brückner, Sven: Return From The Ant Synthetic Ecosystems for Manufacturing Control

IX

Aknowledgements

At the end there is only my name showing on the cover of the thesis, claiming all faults of this work as mine. As for the contributions - research is not done in thin air and so there are many people I would like to thank here.

I would like to thank my supervisor and long-time supporter during my time at Humboldt University, Professor Hans-Dieter Burkhard. From early on when I just had my first encounters with Artificial Intelligence and Multi-Agent Systems he guided me to develop my own ideas and he challenged me to make them work. At the same time he helped me to achieve the scientific rigor required for a dissertation.

Thanks are also due to my second supervisor Dr. Kurt Sundermeyer at the DaimlerChrysler AG Research & Technology laboratories in Berlin. He gave me the opportunity to understand the complexity and the requirements of industrial manufacturing processes and then his trust encuraged me to leave conventional approaches behind and explore new paths.

The scientific work of Dr. Van Dyke Parunak had been one of my first inspirations when I decided on the subject of my dissertation research and so I was very happy to gain his support when we finally met. Since then we had many fruitful discussions and he helped me with his deep insights into the subject but also with his suggestions for the improvement of the style and the language of the dissertation.

Scientific research is teamwork and without my friends and colleaguages in the Multi-Agent Systems research department of DaimlerChrysler I would not have been able to write this dissertation. Together we created an interested, open-minded, and challenging environment that allows ideas to grow and to interact. So, I would like to thank Stefan Bussman, Dr. Klaus Schild, Dr. Afsaneh Haddadi, and especially Dr. Hartwig Baumgärtel who even believed in me when I did not.

Last, but definietly not least, there is my family with my parents Schlomith and Frank and my sister Aviva to thank for being there whenever I needed understanding and encuragement. They helped me to stay in touch with the real world at times when my head was up in the clouds.


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