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  • Research

    human with eeg cap interacting with robot hand
    human with eeg cap interacting with robot hand
    © Universität Bielefeld

Research at CITEC

The overarching research theme of CITEC is Human-Aware Cognitive Systems in Open Worlds.

Our research is centered around the development, understanding and analysis of A.I. and intelligent systems that can act in an open world that is dynamic, unbounded, and which they cannot be fully prepared for at design time. We target systems that are able to perform tasks even in environments and situations they have not encountered before. For this, they need to bring cognitive abilities to an open world that allow them to flexibly adapt to new situations, partners, roles, tasks, needs and learn and acquire missing skills and concepts on demand. An important focus lies on cognitive systems that can cooperate with humans in such environments, being “aware” of them as human beings and with deep reciprocal modeling of the abilities, goals, needs, emotions or values of interaction partners, as well as the co-adaptive nature of successful interaction processes.

We pursue this vision through high-profile projects and interdisciplinary collaboration of researchers from Bielefeld University and international partners in five core research areas: (1) learning in interaction, (2) multimodal cognition and communication, (3) socially intelligent agents, (4) trustwortyh and sustainable AI, (5) embodied cooperative systems.



  • A schematic drawing of the five research areas grouped under the main topic of human-aware cognitive systems in open worlds.
    © Universität Bielefeld

    Research Areas

    Five core areas covered by our interdisciplinary research.

  • A woman gesticulates towards two men as they are sitting at a table with a notebook.
    © Universität Bielefeld


    More than 20 research groups from 5 Faculties of Bielefeld University.

  • A small humanoid robot holds hands with a human as they walk down an aisle.
    © Universität Bielefeld


    Research projects funded by DFG, EU, BMBF, the Federal State of NRW, and others.

  • Many papers with printed text.
    © Patrick Tomasso/Unsplash


    Papers on our research in journals and at key international venues.

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