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Prof. Dr. Thomas Ott

Prof. Dr. Thomas Ott

Prof. Dr. Thomas Ott
ZHAW School of Life Sciences and Facility Management
Fachstelle Bio-Inspired Modeling & Learning Systems
Einsiedlerstrasse 31a
8820 Wädenswil

+41 (0) 58 934 56 84

Personal profile

Management role

  • Deputy Director of Institute, Deputy Head of the Institute of Applied Simulation
  • Head, Bio-Inspired Modeling & Learning Systems

Position at the ZHAW


Physik für Umweltingenieure II (BSc UI)
D3: Modelling and Exploration of Multivariate Data (Module Coordinator, MSc Life Sciences)
Neural Networks and Deep Learning (Module Coordinator, MSc Applied Computational Life Sciences)

Professional development teaching

CAS in Digital Life Science

Expertise and research interests

Bio-inspired Computing, Applied Neuroinformatics (Pattern Recognition, Machine Learning), Modelling of Complex Systems
Forecast methodologies for traffic and logistics

Educational background

PhD at ETH Zurich
Physics Diploma at ETH Zurich
Certificate: International PhD program in neuroscience
Certificate of Advanced Studies in Management & Leadership
Certificate of Advanced Studies in university didactics

Membership of networks



Articles in scientific journal, peer-reviewed Book parts, peer-reviewed Conference contributions, peer-reviewed Other publications Oral conference contributions and abstracts Publications before appointment at the ZHAW

Publication List (Thomas Ott)

Peer-reviewed Journals:

Ott, Thomas; Schüle, Martin; Held, Jenny; Albert, Carlo; Stoop, Ruedi (2016).
Clustered Multidimensional Scaling with Rulkov Neurons.
Proceedings of NOLTA (International Symposium of Nonlinear Theory and Its Applications) 389-392

Christen M, Narvaez D, Tanner C, Ott T: Mapping Values: Using Thesauruses to Reveal Semantic Structures of Cultural Moral Differences. Cognitive Systems Research, 40 59-74 (2016).


Peer-reviewed Journals:

Christen, Markus; Niederberger, Thomas; Ott, Thomas; Aryobsei, Suleiman; Hofstetter, Reto (2015). Micro-text Classification between Small and Big Data.Nonlinear Theory and Its Applications, IEICE, Vol.E6-N, 4.

Schwendner, Peter; Schüle, Martin; Ott, Thomas; Hillebrand, Martin (2015).
European government bond dynamics and stability policies: taming contagion risks.
Journal of Network Theory in Finance, 1, 4


Kauf, Peter; Ott, Thomas; Dorndorf, Ulrich (2015). Bessere Absatzprognosen: Eine Frage der Faktoren. Logistics Innovation


Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings:

Ott, Thomas; Eggel, Thomas; Christen, Markus (2014). Generating Low-Dimensional Denoised Representations of Nonlinear Data with Superparamagnetic Agents. Proceedings of NOLTA 2014, pp. 180-183.

Nef, Annina; Glüge Stefan; Ott, Thomas; Kauf, Peter (2014). Causality Detection in Complex Time Dependent Systems Examplified in Financial Time Series. Proceedings of NOLTA 2014, pp. 176-179.

Glüge, Stefan; Pomati, Francesco; Albert, Carlo; Kauf, Peter; Ott, Thomas (2014). The Challenge of Clustering Flow Cytometry Data from Phytoplankton in Lakes. In: Mladenov, V. M.; Ivanov, P. C. (Hg.). CCIS 438. NDES 2014. (379 - 386). Cham: Springer International Publishing Switzerland .

Jackson , Clare; Bruckmann, Dirk; Ott, Thomas; Weidmann, Ulrich (2014). Improving the Forecast of Freight Transport Demand Using Machine Learning and Time Series Analysis. Conference Paper, 14th Swiss Transport Research Conference


Burkhard, Marcel; Ott, Thomas; Stoop, Norbert; Kauf, Peter; Jackson, Clare Estelle; Frei, Simone; Ruesch, Martin; Hegi, Philipp; Moreni, Gianni; Koy, Thorsten (2014). Stauprognoseverfahren und -systeme: Forschungsprojekt ASTRA 2011/010. Bezug: VSS .

Peer-reviewed Journals:

Savi, Daniel; Kasser, Ueli; Ott, Thomas (2013). Depollution benchmarks for capacitors, batteries and printed wiring boards from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Waste Management, 33 2737-2743.

Christen M, Ott T, Schwarz D: A new measure for party coherence: applying a physics-based concept to the swiss party system, 2003-2008. Advances in Complex Systems (in press).

Christen M, Ott T: Quantified coherence of moral beliefs as a predictive factor for moral agency. In: Musschenga B et al.: What makes us moral?. Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy, Springer (in press).

Takamaru, Yuji; Uwate, Yoko; Ott, Thomas; Nishio, Yoshifumi (2013). Dependence of Clustering Patterns on Density of Chaotic Circuits in Networks. Journal of Signal Processing, 17, 4. 103-106.

Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings:

Uwate, Yoko; Ott, Thomas; Nishio, Yoshifumi (2013). Clustering phenomena in coupled chaotic circuits with different coupling strength. Circuit Theory and Design (ECCTD), 2013

Niederberger, Thomas; Ott, Thomas; Albert, Carlo; Pomati, Francesco (2013). A Sequential Classification Concept using Flawed Training Data - An Application to Flow Cytometry. NDES 2013 (Extended Abstract & Talk)

Ott, Thomas; Christen , Markus; Niederberger, Thomas; Aebersold, Reto; Suleiman, Aryobsei; Hofstetter, Reto (2013). A Semi-Supervised Learning System for Micro-Text Classification. NDES 13 (extended abstract & talk)

S. Köhler, T. Ott: Einflussfaktoren auf das Patientenaufkommen in Notfallstationen.Transfer 1 (2013)

Koller, Christoph; Ott, Thomas; Kellenberger, Remo; Meyer, Thalia (2013). PV-Tracking-System auf dem Skilift in Tenna: Eine erste Auswertung. In: Programm Photovoltaik Ausgabe 2013. Ueberblicksbericht, Liste der Projekte, Jahresberichte der Beauftragten 2012 (251-256). Programm Photovoltaik, Ausgabe 2013. Bern: BFE.


Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings:
T. Niederberger, N. Stoop, M. Christen, T. Ott; Hebbian Principal Component Clustering for Information Retrieval on a Crowdsourcing Platform. Proceedings of NDES2012.

Y. Takamaru, Y. Uwate, T. Ott, Y. Nishio; Clustering Phenomena of Coupled Chaotic Circuits for Large Scale Networks. Proceedings of NDES2012.

Y. Takamaru, Y. Uwate, T. Ott, Y. Nishio; Clustering phenomena considering the density of coupled chaotic circuits networks. APCCAS 2012: 647-650

T. Shima, Y. Uwate, T. Ott, Y. Nishio; Investigation of synchronization for social network with local bridge via coupled Rulkov maps. APCCAS 2012: 499-502


Krüsi, B.O.; Lustenberger, P.I.; Hepenstrick, D.; Ott, T. (2012). iGräser - das innovative und benutzerfreundliche mobile Gräserbestimmungs-Tool fürs iPhone. Ingenieurbiologie, 2012, 3. 61-71.

U. Mürset, T. Ott, C. Wäfler; Objektive Beurteilung von Wein mit NIR-Spektroskopie. Newsletter Transfer 1, 2012

T. Ott, B.O. Krüsi; Zukünftige Bestimmungsschlüssel denken mit. TRANSFER, 2012, 3. 6

M. Christen, T. Ott, D. Schwarz; Spaltpilz in den Parteien.
NZZ-Beitrag zu Parteienanalyse mittels natur-inspirierter Methoden,
NZZ am Sonntag, 5.6. 2011

Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings:

T.Ott, T. Niederberger, O. Merlo; Predator-Prey Dynamics in Hopfield-type Networks.
Proceedings of NOLTA (Nonlinear Theory and Applications) 2011

R.L. Stoop, T. Ott, F. Gomez, R. Stoop; Biased Clustering Due to Intrinsic Nonlinear Dynamics Structures. Proceedings of NOLTA (Nonlinear Theory and Applications) 2011

Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings:

T. Ott and M. Mürset; Data Clustering based on Hebbian Learning in Inhomogeneous Coupled Map Lattices.
Proceedings of NDES Dresden, 2010.

T. Ott; Clusteranalysen - vielseitig und interdisziplinär. In
Transfer 2, 2010.

Peer-reviewed Journals:
F. Landis, T.Ott and R.Stoop; Self-organizing Integrate-and-Fire Networks for Data Clustering and Image Segmentation.
Journal of Neural Computation 2009.

Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings:

T. Ott and M. Mürset; Semi-Supervised Classifiaction with Single-Layer Isingtrons.
Proceedings of NDES 2009.

M.Schüle, T.Ott and R.Stoop; Computing with Probabilistic Cellular Automata.
Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks (ICANN 2009).

M. Christen, T. Starostina, D. Schwarz and T. Ott; A spin-based measure of the coherence of belief-systems - Theory and Application.
Proceedings of NDES 2009.

T. Ott; Simulation: Ein vielseitiges Werkzeug. In
Technische Rundschau online, 2009.

T. Ott and M. Mürset; Das Isingtron: Ein neuartiges Klassifikationswerkzeug. In
Transfer 2, 2009.

Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings:

M. Schuele, T. Ott and R. Stoop; Global Dynamics of Finite Cellular Automata.
Springer LNCS proceedings of ICANN, 2008.

T. Jasa, T. Lanz, T. Ott and R. Stoop; Sequential Superparamagnetic Clustering
as a Predictor of Visual Fixations. Proc. of NOLTA ’08 Budapest, 2008.

T. Ott; Statistische Studie zum Elektroschrott-Recycling in der Schweiz. In
Transfer 2, 2008.


Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings:

T. Ott, M. Schuele and R. Stoop; Message Passing in Neural Networks. Proc.
of NDES’07, 2007.

T. Ott; Self-organised Clustering as a Basis for Cognition and Machine Intelligence. Dissertation ETH , 2007 .


Peer-reviewed Journals:

T. Ott and R. Stoop; Benefits and Pitfalls of Belief Propagation-mediated Superparamagnetic Clustering. Physical Review E 74 (4): 042103, 2006.

M. Christen, A. Nicol, K. Kendrick, T. Ott and R. Stoop; Odour Encoding
in Olfactory Neuronal Networks Beyond Synchronisation. Neuroreport, 17 (14):
1499-1503, 2006.

M. Christen, A. Kohn, T. Ott and R. Stoop; Measuring Spike Pattern Reliability
with the Lempel-Ziv Distance. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 156: 342-350,

Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings:

T. Ott and R. Stoop; The Neurodynamics of Belief Propagation on Binary Markov
Random Fields. Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems NIPS
’06, 2006.

R. Stoop and T. Ott; Towards a Quantitative Theory of Biocomputation. Proc.
of NOLTA ’06 Bologna, 2006.

N. Stoop, T. Ott and R. Stoop; Loopy Belief Propagation: Benefits and Pitfalls
on Ising-like Systems. Proc. of NOLTA ’06 Bologna, 2006.

T. Ott, A. Kern and R. Stoop; Faster Spike Sorting with Belief Propagation.
Proc. of NOLTA ’06 Bologna, 2006.

A. Kern, T. Ott and R. Stoop; Acoustic Source Separation by Atomic Signal
Decomposition. Proceedings of NOLTA ’06 Bologna, 2006.

A. Kern, T. Ott and R. Stoop; Source Separation by Atomic Signal Decomposition.
Proc. of NDES’06, p. 77-80, 2006.

T. Ott, M. Christen and R. Stoop; An Unbiased Clustering Algorithm Based
on Self-organisation processes in Spiking Neural Networks. Proc. of NDES’06,
p. 143-146, 2006.

Y. Uwate, T. Ott, R. Stoop and Y. Nishio; Performance of Feedforward Neural
Network with External Influence Function for Back Propagation Learning. RISP
InternationalWorkshop on Nonlinear Circuits and Signal Processing (NCSP’06), 2006.


Peer-reviewed Journals:

T. Ott, A. Kern, W.-H. Steeb and R. Stoop; Sequential Clustering: Tracking
Down the Most Natural Clusters. Journal of Statistical Mechanics: theory and
experiment: P11014, 2005.

M. Christen, T. Ott, A. Kern, N. Stoop and R. Stoop; Periodic Economic Cycles:
The Effect of Evolution and Control. Journal of Statistical Mechanics: theory
and experiment: P11013, 2005.

Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings:

T. Ott, M. Frey, R. Stoop; Criticality and Computation in Random Threshold
Networks with Noise. Proc. of NOLTA 2005 Bruges, 2005.

T. Ott, J. Dauwels and R. Stoop; Sequential Clustering by Loopy Belief Propagation.
Proc. of ECCTD 2005 Cork, 2005.


Peer-reviewed Journals:

T. Ott, A. Kern, A. Schuffenhauer, M. Popov, P. Acklin, E. Jacoby and R.
Stoop; Sequential Superparamagnetic Clustering for Unbiased Classification of
High-dimensional Chemical Data. Journal of Chemical Information and Computer
Sciences, 44 (4): 1358-1364, 2004.

J.-J. van der Vyver, M. Christen, N. Stoop, T. Ott, W.-H. Steeb and R. Stoop;
Towards Genuine Machine Autonomy. Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 46
(3): 151-157, 2004.

Peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings:

T. Ott and R. Stoop; Human-like Perception Using Sequential Superparamagnetic
Clustering. Proceedings of NOLTA’04 Fukuoka, 2004.

T. Ott, W.-H. Steeb and R. Stoop; The Stochastic Network Approach to Clustering.
Proc. of NOLTA’04 Fukuoka, 2004.

M. Christen, T. Ott and R. Stoop; Spike Train Clustering Using a Lempel-Ziv
Complexity-based Distance Measure. Proc. of NOLTA’04 Fukuoka, 2004.