In October 2016, the research cooperation “Data Integrated Simulation Science” with the University of Heidelberg was born of the work of the SimTech Excellence Cluster. The new project is part of the tender “Regional Research Alliances” issued by Baden-Wuerrtemberg’s Ministry for Science, Research and the Arts and represents a new research focus in the SimTech Cluster of Excellence.
The new capabilities for storing huge masses of data and analyzing them – described by the Big Data and Data Science concepts – open the way to new methods for gaining new scientific insights. The research alliance’s goal is to integrate aspects and methods of data science so deeply with simulation technology that it opens totally new areas of application and that simulation methods can be systematically advanced. Behind it is the vision for developing simulation technology from isolated approaches to a holistic systems science. It also makes possible the direct integration of data on all levels. To be developed are fundamental methods for building a bridge between data and simulation research. This research approach is essential for numerous socially and environmentally relevant areas, such as modern energy supply, which is subject to large fluctuations resulting from the use of renewable energy sources.
Through the reinforced integration of data and sensors, researchers intend to reach out from the virtual world of simulation and make possible a direct interaction with the real world, possibly even in real time. On the way to this looms a set of large challenges: determining the relevant system dimensions (e.g. materials characteristics) including the estimation of their uncertainties; embedding simulated processes and systems in their non-simulated environment; comparing simulation and observable reality, and the actual formulation of the generally multiscale processes on the scale of a current object of interest.
Taking on the role of Speaker for the research alliance will be Prof. Rainer Helmig of the Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems (Stuttgart Center for Simulation Sciences – SC SimTech); the Heidelberg representative is Prof. Peter Bastian of the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing. Peter Bastian is associate researcher in SimTech.