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See detailThe Social Construction of Self-Sovereign Identity: An Extended Model of Interpretive Flexibility
Weigl, Linda UL; Barbereau, Tom Josua UL; Rieger, Alexander UL et al

in Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2022 (2022, January)

User-centric identity management systems are gaining momentum as concerns about Big Tech and Big Government rise. Many of these systems are framed as offering Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI). Yet, competing ... [more ▼]

User-centric identity management systems are gaining momentum as concerns about Big Tech and Big Government rise. Many of these systems are framed as offering Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI). Yet, competing appropriation and the social embedding of SSI have resulted in diverging interpretations. These vague and value-laden interpretations can damage the public discourse and risk misrepresenting values and affordances that technology offers to users. To unpack the various social and technical understandings of SSI, we adopt an ‘interpretive flexibility’ lens. Based on a qualitative inductive interview study, we find that SSI’s interpretation is strongly mediated by surrounding institutional properties. Our study helps to better navigate these different perceptions and highlights the need for a multidimensional framework that can improve the understanding of complex socio-technical systems for digital government practitioners, researchers, and policy-makers. [less ▲]

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See detailDeFi, Not So Decentralized: The Measured Distribution of Voting Rights
Barbereau, Tom Josua UL; Smethurst, Reilly UL; Papageorgiou, Orestis UL et al

in Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2022 (2022, January)

Bitcoin and Ethereum are frequently promoted as decentralized, but developers and academics question their actual decentralization. This motivates further experiments with public permissionless ... [more ▼]

Bitcoin and Ethereum are frequently promoted as decentralized, but developers and academics question their actual decentralization. This motivates further experiments with public permissionless blockchains to achieve decentralization along technical, economic, and political lines. The distribution of tokenized voting rights aims for political decentralization. Tokenized voting rights achieved notoriety within the nascent field of decentralized finance (DeFi) in 2020. As an alternative to centralized crypto-asset exchanges and lending platforms (owned by companies like Coinbase and Celsius), DeFi developers typically create non-custodial projects that are not majority-owned or managed by legal entities. Holders of tokenized voting rights can instead govern DeFi projects. To scrutinize DeFi’s distributed governance strategies, we conducted a multiple-case study of non-custodial, Ethereum-based DeFi projects: Uniswap, Maker, SushiSwap, Yearn Finance, and UMA. Our findings are novel and surprising: quantitative evaluations of DeFi’s distributed governance strategies reveal a failure to achieve political decentralization. [less ▲]

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See detailWith or Without Blockchain? Towards a Decentralized, SSI-based eRoaming Architecture
Höß, Alexandra UL; Roth, Tamara UL; Sedlmeir, Johannes UL et al

in Proceedings of the 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) (2022)

Fragmentation and limited accessibility of charging infrastructure impede the adoption of electric vehicles. To improve the availability of charging infrastructure independent of providers, eRoaming ... [more ▼]

Fragmentation and limited accessibility of charging infrastructure impede the adoption of electric vehicles. To improve the availability of charging infrastructure independent of providers, eRoaming offers a promising solution. Yet, current eRoaming systems are typically centralized, which raises concerns of market power concentration. While the use of blockchain technology can obviate such concerns, it comes with significant privacy challenges. To address these challenges, we explore a combination of blockchain with self-sovereign identity. Specifically, we apply a design science research approach, which helps us to identify requirements, derive a conceptual architecture, and deduce design principles for decentralized eRoaming and beyond. We find that blockchain may best leverage its benefits when it takes a backseat as a public registry for legal entities. Moreover, we find that the use of self-sovereign identities could improve compliance with privacy regulations, but they should not be overused. [less ▲]

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See detailAggregating Energy Flexibility for Demand-Side Management in Manufacturing Companies – A Two-Step Method
Lindner, M; Wenninger, Simon; Fridgen, Gilbert UL et al

in Production at the Leading Edge of Technology (2022)

Towards greener production, manufacturing companies face several challenges, for example peak load shaving or flexible production planning as parts of demand-side management (DSM). DSM uses processes that ... [more ▼]

Towards greener production, manufacturing companies face several challenges, for example peak load shaving or flexible production planning as parts of demand-side management (DSM). DSM uses processes that can be shut down, shifted, or controlled. Advances in digitalization in the energy sector and manufacturing systems create transparency which in turn offers new opportunities to commercialize energy flexibility potentials as optimally and automatically as possible. The variety of flexibilities in manufacturing systems and various dependencies of different kinds of complex manufacturing processes complicate the modelling and aggregation of flexibility. To overcome this challenge, we developed a method for the aggregation of energy flexibilities that is based on a generic energy flexibility data model. The method proposes a two-step approach to aggregate flexibilities cost efficiently and considers manufacturing specific limitations. For cost-efficient aggregation, we use in the first step the merit-order model known from the energy industry and in the second step the bin-packing problem originating from combinatorial optimization, adapted according to the generic data model. The two-step approach allows energy flexibilities to be aggregated across industries, facilities, and systems, thus ensuring broad applicability. [less ▲]

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See detailNot yet another digital identity
Rieger, Alexander UL; Roth, Tamara UL; Sedlmeir, Johannes UL et al

in Nature Human Behaviour (2021)

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See detailDigital Identities and Verifiable Credentials
Sedlmeir, Johannes UL; Smethurst, Reilly UL; Rieger, Alexander UL et al

in Business and Information Systems Engineering (2021), 63(5), 603-613

Public institutions and companies typically employ physical credentials (such as passports, social security cards, and employee badges) to identify individuals. Individuals can choose where to store their ... [more ▼]

Public institutions and companies typically employ physical credentials (such as passports, social security cards, and employee badges) to identify individuals. Individuals can choose where to store their physical credentials, and sometimes, they can decide to whom their credentials are disclosed. These familiar privileges inspired a new type of digital credential called a verifiable credential (VC). Similar to physical credentials, individuals can store their verifiable credentials in a so-called digital wallet on their mobile phone, on another edge device, or in the cloud, and they can use verifiable credentials for identification, authentication, and authorization. [less ▲]

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See detailEnergy Efficiency of Blockchain Technologies
Papageorgiou, Orestis UL; Sedlmeir, Johannes; Fridgen, Gilbert UL et al

Report (2021)

The purpose of this thematic report is to present an updated view of the aspects related to the energy efficiency of blockchain technologies. The topic of energy consumption of blockchains and especially ... [more ▼]

The purpose of this thematic report is to present an updated view of the aspects related to the energy efficiency of blockchain technologies. The topic of energy consumption of blockchains and especially of the Bitcoin blockchain has recently triggered a lot of discussions and a debate has started on the topic of making Bitcoin a sustainable ecosystem. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Evolution of an Architectural Paradigm - Using Blockchain to Build a Cross-Organizational Enterprise Service Bus
Amend, Julia; Fridgen, Gilbert UL; Rieger, Alexander UL et al

in 54th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Maui, Hawaii (Virtual) (2021, April)

Cross-organizational collaboration and the exchange of process data are indispensable for many processes in federally organized governments. Conventional IT solutions, such as cross-organizational ... [more ▼]

Cross-organizational collaboration and the exchange of process data are indispensable for many processes in federally organized governments. Conventional IT solutions, such as cross-organizational workflow management systems, address these requirements through centralized process management and architectures. However, such centralization is difficult and often undesirable in federal contexts. One alternative solution that emphasizes decentralized process management and a decentralized architecture is the blockchain solution of Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Here, we investigate the architecture of this solution and examine how it addresses the requirements of federal contexts. We find that the solution’s architecture resembles an improvement and cross-organizational adaption of an old architectural paradigm, the enterprise service bus. [less ▲]

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See detailSmart Retail Banking: Potentiale und Herausforderungen Künstlicher Intelligenz
Fridgen, Gilbert UL; Körner, Marc-Fabian; Rägo, Vadim et al

Report (2021)

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See detailRenewable electricity business models in a post feed-in tariff era
Rövekamp, Patrick; Schöpf, Michael; Wagon, Felix et al

in Energy (2021), 216

To expand intermittent renewable electricity sources (RESs), worldwide energy policy makers have introduced fixed feed-in tariffs (FITs). However, FITs typically expire after a limited time period. Due to ... [more ▼]

To expand intermittent renewable electricity sources (RESs), worldwide energy policy makers have introduced fixed feed-in tariffs (FITs). However, FITs typically expire after a limited time period. Due to the intermittent electricity supply of RES, market distortions, and insufficient flexibility options, exclusive participation in wholesale electricity markets might not be a viable business model for RES that no longer receive a FIT. Thus, it remains unclear which RES business models (RBMs) ensure a viable operation of RES in the post FIT era. To close this research gap, we present a typology encompassing five RBM archetypes: wholesale electricity market (1), physical power purchase agreements (2), nonphysical power purchase agreements (3), self-consumption (4), and on-site power-2-X (5). The typology includes three additional service layers, which may enhance the profitability of RBM archetypes by opening up additional revenue streams: infrastructure services (1), electricity storage services (2), and ancillary services (3). We highlight the need for new approaches to quantify the viability of RBM archetypes and services layers under different regulatory, technological, and market conditions. To prevent the imminent decommissioning of existing RESs, policy makers must shape the next era of the energy transition, weighting the implications of market-based and intervention-based energy policy approaches. [less ▲]

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See detailBlockchain Won’t Kill the Banks: Why Disintermediation Doesn’t Work in International Trade Finance
Fridgen, Gilbert UL; Radszuwill, Sven; Schweizer, André et al

in Communications of the Association for Information Systems (2021), 49

In the financial services industry, many people assume blockchain to have significant impacts. From research and practice, we observe two main paradigms of how organizations interact with blockchain ... [more ▼]

In the financial services industry, many people assume blockchain to have significant impacts. From research and practice, we observe two main paradigms of how organizations interact with blockchain. First, organizations use blockchain to optimize existing processes (blockchain-based business process optimization (BPO)). Second, organizations use blockchain to disrupt existing processes, foster disintermediation, and enable disruptive business models (blockchain-based business process disruption (BPD)). However, we lack scientific research that evaluates its de facto potential. We bridge this gap by following a design science research approach to design blockchain-based business process re-engineering (BPRE) for a letter of credit that combines the advantages of BPO and BPD. We conduct three design cycles and develop three artefacts: a BPO, a BPD, and a BPRE approach. Our BPRE approach combines the advantages of partial disintermediation (i.e., increased efficiency and transparency) with the advantages of intermediaries (i.e., process flexibility, liquidity provision, and dispute mediation). [less ▲]

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See detailThe Cost of No Reform: Assessing the Impact of Different Electricity Pricing Regimes on Indonesia\textquoterights Energy Trilemma
Heffron, Raphael; Körner, Marc Fabian; Sumarno, Theresia et al

E-print/Working paper (2021)

Many countries have a clear policy objective of increasing their share of renewable energy sources (RESs). However, a major impediment to higher RES penetration often lies in the historically grown ... [more ▼]

Many countries have a clear policy objective of increasing their share of renewable energy sources (RESs). However, a major impediment to higher RES penetration often lies in the historically grown structures of a country\textquoterights electricity sector. In Indonesia, policy makers have relied on cheap fossil fuels and state control to provide the population with access to both reliable and affordable electricity. However, this focus on only two of the three horns of the energy trilemma, namely energy security and energy equity (and not sustainability), may put Indonesia at risk of missing its ambitious RES targets. In this context, a number of small-scale reform attempts to promote RES integration in recent years have proved to be relatively unsuccessful. Like many other countries, Indonesia needs clear policy directions to avoid an unsustainable lock-in into a fossil fuel future. In the last decades, several other countries have successfully restructured their electricity sectors, for example by introducing a wholesale market for electricity under different electricity pricing systems, including nodal, zonal, or uniform pricing. These countries may hold valuable experiences of overcoming the historically grown barriers to successful RES integration through a greater role for market mechanisms. We develop three generic models that allow policy makers to analyze the impact of introducing either a nodal, a zonal, or a uniform pricing system on the three horns of the energy trilemma in their country. We evaluate our model using a simplified network representation of the Indonesian electricity sector. Our results indicate that each of the pricing systems is able to foster specific horns of the energy trilemma. Considering that any major reform intended to improve energy sustainability in Indonesia will only be a success if it also addresses energy security and energy equity, we also discuss our results from the perspective of energy justice and the need to balance the country\textquoterights energy trilemma. Ultimately, we illustrate a transformation pathway for a more sustainable and just transition to a low-carbon economy in Indonesia. [less ▲]

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See detailElectricity Spot Market Design 2030-2050
Novirdoust, Amir Ashour; Bichler, Martin; Bojung, Caroline UL et al

Report (2021)

Driven by the climate conference in Paris in December 2015 countries worldwide are confronted with the question of how to shape their power system and how to establish alternative technologies to reduce ... [more ▼]

Driven by the climate conference in Paris in December 2015 countries worldwide are confronted with the question of how to shape their power system and how to establish alternative technologies to reduce harmful CO2 emissions. The German government plans that even before the year 2050, all electricity generated and consumed in Germany should be greenhouse gas neutral [1]. To successfully integrate renewable energies, a future energy system must be able to handle the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. One important means to address such electricity production variability is demand-side flexibility. Here, industry plays a major role in responding to variable electricity supply with adequate flexibility. This is where the Kopernikus project SynErgie comes in with more than 80 project partners from academia, industry, governmental, and non-governmental organizations as well as energy suppliers and network operators. The Kopernikus project SynErgie investigates how to best leverage demand-side flexibility in the German industry. The current electricity market design in Germany is not well suited to deal with increasing levels of re- newable energy, and it does not embrace demand-side flexibility. Almost 6 GW of curtailed power in 2019 provide evidence that changes are needed with respect to the rules governing electricity markets. These rules were designed at a time when electricity generation was concentrated on a few large and dispatchable conventional power plants and demand was considered inelastic. The SynErgie Cluster IV investigates how a future-proof electricity market design should be organized. The corresponding Work Package IV.3.1 more specifically deals with analyzing and designing allocation and pricing rules on electricity spot markets. The resulting design must be well suited to accommodate demand-side flexibility and address the intermittent nature of important renewable energy sources. This whitepaper is the result of a fruitful collaboration among the partners involved in SynErgie Cluster IV which include Germany’s leading research organizations and practitioners in the field. The collaboration led to an expert workshop in October 2020 with participation from a number of international energy market experts such as Mette Bjørndal (NHH), Endre Bjørndal (NHH), Peter Cramton (University of Maryland and University of Cologne), and Raphael Heffron (University of Dundee). The whitepaper details the key recommendations from this workshop. In particular, the whitepaper recommends a move to a locational, marginal price-based system together with new bidding formats allowing to better express flexibility. We argue in favor of a one-step introduction of locational, marginal prices instead of repeatedly splitting existing zones. Frequent zone splitting involves recurring political debates as well as short- and long-run instabilities affecting the basis for financial con- tracts, for example. Importantly, the definition of stable prize zones is very challenging with increasing levels of distributed and renewable energy sources. The recommendation is the outcome of an intense debate about advantages and downsides of different policy alternatives. However, such a transition to locational, marginal prices is not without challenges, and it is a call to arms for the research community, policymak- ers, and practitioners to develop concepts on how to best facilitate the transition and ensure a reliable and efficient electricity market of the future. We’d like to thank all the project partners and are grateful for the financial support from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as well as the Project Management Jülich. Hans Ulrich Buhl (Cluster Lead) Martin Bichler (Work Package Lead) [less ▲]

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See detailReferenzarchitektur der Energiesynchronisationsplattform: Teil der Reihe Diskussionspapiere V4 Konzept der Energiesynchronisationsplattform
Fridgen, Gilbert UL; Potenciano Menci, Sergio UL; van Stiphoudt, Christine UL et al

Report (2021)

The Energy Synchronisation Platform (ESP) maps the entire process of information-automated energy flexibility trading from the machine to the energy market. The ESP is thus the overall concept that ... [more ▼]

The Energy Synchronisation Platform (ESP) maps the entire process of information-automated energy flexibility trading from the machine to the energy market. The ESP is thus the overall concept that enables industrial demand flexibility. This discussion paper on the ESP reference architecture is an update of an older version presented in Reinhart et al. (2020). Since then, the development of individual services has been discontinued and the market platform (MP) is no longer designed as a broker architecture. It now serves as the first point of contact between industrial companies and service providers and takes on an intermediary role. The Enterprise Platform (UP) thus takes on a more important role in terms of communication within ESP, as all communication with services now takes place via the UP. Furthermore, in this detailed discussion paper we provide a collection of the different services that have been developed within SynErgie for the MP and the UP. Each service presented includes a brief description, the relevant inputs and outputs, and other relevant comments. Furthermore, an overview of the primary reference processes considered for the operation and marketing of flexibility is provided. These are presented on the basis of three possible use cases. Thus, logic and interactions of the different processes within the ESP are shown [less ▲]

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See detailO'Dair, Marcus: Distributed Creativity
Smethurst, Reilly UL; Fridgen, Gilbert UL

in Zeitschrift für Urheber- und Medienrecht (2021), (11),

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See detailThe Blockchain Effect: From Inter-Ecosystem to Intra-Ecosystem Competition
Höß, Alexandra UL; Schlatt, Vincent; Rieger, Alexander UL et al

in Proceedings of the Twenty-Ninth European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) (2021)

Blockchains enable distributed operation, decentralized control, and token-based representations of tangible and intangible assets. Organizations commonly use blockchain technology to foster collaboration ... [more ▼]

Blockchains enable distributed operation, decentralized control, and token-based representations of tangible and intangible assets. Organizations commonly use blockchain technology to foster collaboration. In this paper, we investigate the use of blockchain to foster competition. We conduct a single-case study of Germany’s mobility-as-a-service community and its efforts to use blockchain as a technical backbone for mobility ecosystems. The community views blockchain as a technology that embodies organizing principles of empowerment and equality. These principles motivated the community to rethink ecosystem structure. In particular, the community began to question the exclusive, non-adversarial position of mobility service aggregators. We find that rethinking this position might shift their competitive focus from the inter- to the intra-ecosystem level and enables the creation of a larger ecosystem. As a second-order effect, the community began to rethink ecosystem governance. Specifically, it began to explore options for effectively distributed decision making while safeguarding efficiency. [less ▲]

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See detailEnergieflexibilitätsdatenmodell der Energiesynchronisationsplattform: Teil der Reihe Diskussionspapiere V4 Konzept der Energiesynchronisationsplattform
Buhl, Hans Ulrich; Duda, Sebastian; Schott, Paul et al

Report (2021)

The energy flexibility data model developed within the framework of SynErgie is used for the generic and standardised description and modelling of energy flexibility. The data model enables (partially ... [more ▼]

The energy flexibility data model developed within the framework of SynErgie is used for the generic and standardised description and modelling of energy flexibility. The data model enables (partially) automated information technology processing of a wide variety of flexibility. The aim is to develop a comprehensive data model to map flexibility in a flexibility space and concrete flexibility measures. The aim is not to create a completely realistic representation of a flexibility. The focus is on mapping technically and energetically relevant information in a granularity that enables the communication of flexibility between industrial companies and energy markets. [less ▲]

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See detailUsing Blockchain to Coordinate Federal Processes: The Case of Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees
Amend, Julia; van Dun, Christopher; Fridgen, Gilbert UL et al

in Urbach, Nils; Röglinger, Maximilian; Kautz, Karlheinz (Eds.) et al Digitalization Cases Vol. 2: Mastering Digital Transformation for Global Business (2021)

(a)Situation faced: The German asylum procedure requires close cooperation and information exchange between various authorities at the municipal, state, and federal levels. Federal separation of ... [more ▼]

(a)Situation faced: The German asylum procedure requires close cooperation and information exchange between various authorities at the municipal, state, and federal levels. Federal separation of competencies inhibits the delegation of process governance to a central authority such as the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). This separation also leads to regional differences as federal laws govern the procedure's general steps, whereas state laws govern implementation. Moreover, existing solutions for cross-organizational collaboration are limited in terms of flexibility, security, and data quality. As a result, the exchange of certain data on asylum procedures still occurs using Excel spreadsheets and e-mails.(b)Action taken: Against this backdrop, the BAMF explored technological options that would support the decentralized governance of the asylum procedure. After a preliminary evaluation, the BAMF decided to explore a solution based on blockchain technology. Building upon a successful proof of concept, the BAMF initiated a pilot project with Saxony's central immigration authority. This project aims to develop a blockchain solution that supports the coordination of asylum procedures and can be easily adapted to local differences and functional requirements.(c)Results achieved: The use of the blockchain solution allows for efficient, secure, and timely distribution of status information. It supports communication and improves coordination between authorities. Despite an apparent conflict between blockchain principles and data privacy requirements, the BAMF's design complies with relevant regulation (notably the GDPR). As a first-of-its-kind project, it outlines best practices and provides valuable insights into opportunities and challenges arising from the use of blockchain in the public sector.(d)Lessons learned: The BAMF's case demonstrates that blockchain solutions can be promising alternatives when the delegation of process governance to a central party is not desirable and when federal principles of organization are to be reflected technologically. However, blockchain projects require special attention to managing know-how and capabilities, software development activities, stakeholders, the regulatory context, and cross-organizational governance. [less ▲]

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See detailDesigning Pareto optimal electricity retail rates when utility customers are prosumers
Saumweber, Andrea; Wederhake, Lars; Cardoso, Gonçalo et al

in Energy Policy (2021), 156

Electric retail rate design is relevant to utilities, customers, and regulators as retail rates impact the utility's revenue as well as the customers' electricity bills. In California, regulators approve ... [more ▼]

Electric retail rate design is relevant to utilities, customers, and regulators as retail rates impact the utility's revenue as well as the customers' electricity bills. In California, regulators approve rate proposals by privately owned vertical integrated utilities. Approval, however, is subject to compliance with multiple, potentially conflicting objectives such as economic or environmental objectives. Additionally, retail rates are price signals that affect how customers use electricity services. When utility customers change their usage, they also impact the ratemaking objectives to which rates have been designed. This suggests a feedback loop, which is particularly pronounced with prosumers, as they can systematically optimize their interactions with the electricity system. Prevalent ratemaking methods may not deliver retail rates that are optimal for multiple objectives when customers are prosumers. We propose a novel ratemaking method that formalizes the problem of designing retail rates as a multi-criteria optimization problem and accounts for prosumer reactions through a simulation-based optimization approach. Through a fictive case study, we found that the resulting Pareto frontiers are useful in recognizing and balancing tradeoffs among conflicting ratemaking objectives. Additionally, our results indicate that prevailing retail rates in California are not Pareto optimal. [less ▲]

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