Prof. Dr. Bernt Schiele

Bernt Schiele is Max-Planck-Director at MPI Informatics and Professor at Saarland University since 2010.
 He studied computer science at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany. He worked on his master's thesis in the field of robotics in Grenoble, France, where he also obtained the diplome d'etudes approfondies d'informatique. In 1994, he worked in the field of multimodal human-computer interfaces at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA in the group of Alex Waibel. In 1997 he obtained his PhD from INP Grenoble, France under the supervision of Prof. James L. Crowley in the field of computer vision.
The long-term goal of his research is to make progress on questions of how to process, structure, access and truly understand multisensory data both for online use as well as for large-scale databases.

Research Interests

Understanding sensor information is a fundamental problem in computer science. Scientific challenges cover the entire pipeline from single-sensor processing, through spatial and temporal fusion of multiple and divergent sensor modalities to the complete description of large-scale multimodal sensor streams. At the same time, we observe a tremendous increase in both the quantity as well as the diversity of sensor information due to the increasing number of sensors (such as cameras, GPS, or inertial sensors) embedded in a wide variety of digital devices and environments, as well as due to the increasing storage of multimodal sensor data (such as surveillance data, personal storage of digital information, multimedia databases, or simply the Internet). While storing and indexing large amounts of sensor data has made tremendous progress, understanding of this multimodal sensor data still lags far behind. Therefore, the long-term goal of our research is to make progress on questions of how to process, structure, access and truly understand multi-sensory data both for online use as well as for large-scale databases.
The group currently focuses on two main areas of the broader field, namely computer vision and multimodal sensor processing. In the area of computer vision, we address some of the most basic functionalities of image and video understanding, such as 3D object class recognition or 3D people detection and tracking. We also look at the problem of 3D scene understanding of traffic scenes as a case study for complete scene understanding. In the area of multimodal computing, we currently focus on the problem of human activity recognition as a means to study how ubiquitous or wearable computing may benefit from better sensor understanding. As a final cross-cutting theme for both areas, we also work in the area of machine learning. It is clear that advanced machine learning techniques will be needed to infer higher-level information from noisy sensor data and to deal with the large-scale nature of current and future multimodal databases and sensor-streams.


Prof. Dr. Bernt  Schiele

Prof. Dr. Bernt Schiele

Max-Planck-Institut for Informatik

Campus E1.4, Room 601
66123 Saarbrücken

Fon: +49 681 9325 2000



Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Saarbrücken Computer Science Department, Saarland University Saarland University Cluster of Excellence