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Topic Overview (tentative)

1. A Study on Communication between Task Requesters and Workers via Crowdsourcing Platforms

Contact: Zahra Nouri

Crowdsourcing platforms provide the connection among task requesters and a huge crowd in crowdsourcing domain and intermediate the process. Many types of communication in various levels need to be established by platforms in such a huge network of people.


In this seminar topic, we study how platforms manage the communication between task requesters and workers and what are the existing challenges in this regard.


  • Salehi, Niloufar, et al. "Communicating context to the crowd for complex writing tasks." Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing. ACM, 2017.

  • Yin, Ming, et al. "The communication network within the crowd." Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on World Wide Web. International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee, 2016.

  • Grudin, Jonathan. "Computer-supported cooperative work: History and focus." Computer 27.5 (1994): 19-26.

2. Anticipating a Social System’s Future Progression with System Dynamics Modeling

Contact: Dennis Wolters

A System Dynamics Model allows researchers to capture the dynamics of a complex (social) system with respect to flows between the system’s resources as well as reinforcing or attenuating causal loops. By changing parameters of the model according to their anticipated future development, researchers can try to understand how the system will behave in the future.


The questions to be answered in the context of this seminar topic include:

  • What building blocks make up a System Dynamics Model?
  • How is a System Dynamics Model derived and validated?
  • What are alternatives to System Dynamics Models?
  • How can System Dynamics Models support foresight techniques such as Scenario Analysis?


  • Forrester, Jay W. (1994). System dynamics, systems thinking, and soft OR. System Dynamics Review, 10(2-3), 245-256. DOI: 10.1002/sdr.4260100211

  • Bala, B., Arshad, F., & Noh, K. (2017). System dynamics: Modelling and simulation. Singapore: Springer Nature. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-10-2045-2

  • Karikoski, J., Heikkinen, M., & Hämmäinen, H. (2009). Scenario Analysis and System Dynamics in New Emerging Technology Research: Case Mobile Peer-to-Peer Content Distribution. In A. Liotta, N. Antonopoulos, G. Exarchakos, T. Hara. First International Conference on Advances in P2P Systems, Malta. IEEE. DOI: 10.1109/AP2PS.2009.18

  • Brose A., Fügenschuh, A., Gausemeier, P., Vierhaus, I., & Seliger, G. (2014). A System Dynamic Enhancement for the Scenario Technique. AMOS 4. Available at:

3. Dynamic Value Exchange in Business Models

Contact: Sebastian Gottschalk

The main idea of a business model is to describe how a company generates, delivers and captures values. Many approaches have been developed in recent years, most of them are visual languages (John et al., 2017). One of the most frequently used methods is the Business Model Canvas (Osterwalder et al. 2010; BMC), which consists of nine building blocks.

While many approaches describe a business model statically, there is an increasing number of approaches to describe also the dynamics of a business model. A relatively new approach is the DBM Framework (Cosenz et al., 2018), which is based on the BMC. The framework makes use of the idea of connecting resources using flow variables. Some years older is the idea of modeling this exchange of values using Casual Loop Diagrams (Kiani et al., 2009). 


The aim of this seminar topic is to summarize both approaches and compare them with each other in terms of their modeling capabilities. The possibilities of the BMC could be chosen as a basis for comparison. A good point example point could be the modeling of a third-party app in a mobile ecosystem.


  • Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business model generation: A handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers

  • Cosenz, F. & Noto, G. (2018). A dynamic business modelling approach to design and experiment new business venture strategies. Long Range Planning. Volume 51. Issue 1. February 2018. Pages 127-140

  • Kiani B., Gholamian R. , Hamzehei, A. (2009). Using Causal Loop Diagram to Achieve a Better Understanding of E-Business Models, International Journal of Electronic Business Management. Volume 7. Issue 3. Pages 159-167

  • John, T., Kundisch D. & Szopinski, D. (2017). Visual Languages for Modeling Business Models: A Critical Review and Future Research Directions. Proceedings of the Thirty Eighth International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS). Seoul. South Korea

4. Foundations of Bidirectional Transformations

Contact: Nils Weidmann, Anthony Anjorin

Bidirectional transformations (bx) are required for a wide range of applications, including synchronising different models (abstractions) of the same system.


In this topic we'll work through a lecture and exercises from a recent summer school on bx.  The focus will be on (formal) foundations for bx, identifying general structures and properties that characterise the setting and goals of bx tools and applications. Such a foundation is important to systematise what different approaches are doing, and identify general principles and fundamental similarities and differences.


Ideally listened to Model-based Software Engineering (Bachelor's course) and/or Fundamentals of Model-Driven Engineering (Master's course). A mathematical background would be beneficial.


5. Information Extraction from the Web

Contact: Stefan Heindorf

With the ever growing amount of information on the internet, the importance of enabling computers to make sense of this knowledge becomes higher and higher. One way of doing so, is to create a model of the world in form of a knowledge base. Popular examples of knowledge bases include Wikidata, DBpedia and Yago. These knowledge bases store information as subject-predicate-object triples and are used, for example, by web search engines to present ‘quick answer boxes’ and by questions answering systems to answer questions. However, creating large-scale knowledge bases is a challenging task and requires to automatically extract subject-predicate-object triples from web pages and natural language texts.


Describe and compare different approaches to extract subject-predicate-object triples from websites.


Previous knowledge about natural language processing, machine learning and knowledge bases would be beneficial.


  • [1] F. Wu and D. S. Weld, “Open Information Extraction Using Wikipedia,” in Proceedings of the 48th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Stroudsburg, PA, USA, 2010, pp. 118–127.

  • [2] O. Etzioni, M. Banko, S. Soderland, and D. S. Weld, “Open Information Extraction from the Web,” Commun. ACM, vol. 51, no. 12, pp. 68–74, Dec. 2008.

  • [3] M. Banko and O. Etzioni, “The tradeoffs between open and traditional relation extraction,” Proceedings of ACL-08: HLT, pp. 28–36, 2008.

6. Liquid Software

Contact: Dennis Wolters

Nowadays, end users have many different computing devices at the disposal, e.g. PCs, smartphones, tablets, wearables, or other smart devices. Throughout the day, it changes which device is being used and this means that software is accessed from different devices, too. This requires liquid software, which seamlessly runs across multiple devices.


In this seminar topic, it shall be described what liquid software is, what the challenges w.r.t. to the software architecture are, what kind of liquid software is already available and what approaches exist to create liquid software.


7. Search-based Software Engineering

Contact: Florian Kraus

Search Based Software Engineering (SBSE) is the name given to a body of work in which Search Based Optimisation is applied to Software Engineering. SBSE seeks to reformulate Software Engineering problems as ‘search problems’. A search problem is one in which optimal or near optimal solutions are sought in a search space of candidate solutions, guided by a fitness function that distinguishes between better and worse solutions.


The goal of this seminar topic is to describe what SBSE is and which benefits it adds to software engineering. To illustrate this example SBSE approaches shall be presented and discussed.


  • Harman M., McMinn P., de Souza J.T., Yoo S. (2012) Search Based Software Engineering: Techniques, Taxonomy, Tutorial. In: Meyer B., Nordio M. (eds) Empirical Software Engineering and Verification. LASER 2010, LASER 2009, LASER 2008. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 7007. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

8. Weakness Detection in Business Processes

Contact: Florian Rittmeier

One of the main tasks of Business Process Management is to identify weaknesses in business processes that can cause monetary or quality-related disadvantages and then eliminate them. A common way to identify weaknesses is to analyze process models. Traditionally this has been done manually, but more recently it has been suggested to use automatic model query approaches that promise time and cost savings.


Summarize both papers. Relate the knowledge acquisition concept presented in [2] to [1].


  • [1] Höhenberger, S., Delfmann, P.: Supporting Business Process Improvement through Business Process Weakness Pattern Collections. In: Thomas, O., Teuteberg, F. (eds.) Smart Enterprise Engineering: 12. Internationale Tagung Wirtschaftsinformatik, WI 2015, Osnabrück, Germany, March 4-6, 2015, pp. 378–392 (2015)

  • [2] Bögl, A., Kobler, M., Schrefl, M.: Knowledge Acquisition from EPC Models for Extraction of Process Patterns in Engineering Domains. In: Bichler, M., Hess, T., Krcmar, H., Lechner, U., Matthes, F., Picot, A., Speitkamp, B., Wolf, P. (eds.) Multikonferenz Wirtschaftsinformatik, MKWI 2008, München, 26.2.2008 - 28.2.2008, Proceedings. GITO-Verlag, Berlin (2008)Grudin, Jonathan. "Computer-supported cooperative work: History and focus." Computer 27.5 (1994): 19-26.

9. Bringing Natural Evolution to Software Engineering

Contact: David Schmelter

Effective and efficient engineering of complex software-intensive systems requires sophisticated tools and assistance systems, especially in early development phases. Evolutionary Computing promises to find nearly optimal solutions for difficult optimization problems that have a large search space. Especially in model-driven software development, the application of Evolutionary Computing promises great potential in the development of smart and efficient assistance systems.


  • Conduct a systematic literature review on the current state of applying Evolutionary Computing for Software Engineering problems
  • Identify potentials and challenges for a successful application of Evolutionary Computing in Software Engineering projects


  • Mark Harman. 2011. Software Engineering Meets Evolutionary Computation. Computer 44, 10 (October 2011), 31-39. DOI=
  • Eric Medvet. 2017. Hierarchical grammatical evolution. In Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference Companion (GECCO '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 249-250. DOI:
10. Evaluation of OSS for Host-based Intrusion Detection

Contact: David Schubert

“Intrusion detection is the process of monitoring […] a computer system or network […] for signs of possible incidents, which are violations or imminent threats of violation of computer security policies” [1]. There exist two main types of Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS):

  • Host-based IDS (HIDS) monitor and analyze events that occur on hosts.
  • Network-based IDS (NIDS) monitor and analyze network traffic

This topic focusses on HIDS, which are a well established area in IT-security research for years. There exist a number of open-source software (OSS) tools that encompass HIDS functionality [2-5]. However, it is hard to decide for a tool or a combination of tools as a clear classification is missing.


  • Get familiar with the concept of HIDS
  • Identify and classify current HIDS software with a focus on OSS (selection is supported by your supervisor; tools that are not OSS but available as free trials might also be added)
  • Initial Classification Criteria:
    • Architecture
    • In/Output data
    • Extensibility


11. Measuring Software Security

Contact: Sven Merschjohann

Security and privacy aspects need to be considered throughout the whole lifecycle of a software application, and as such, also at the architecture level. In order to automatically support software architects in designing secure architectures, metrics can to be used to automatically compare software architectures with each other and to propose changes. Hatzivasilis et al. created a metric called the SPD Multimetric, which considers security, privacy and dependability of a software.


  • Summarize and present the metric proposed by Hatzivasilis et al.
  • Research and identify related metrics
  • Assess the applicability of the approach for an architectural level without access to source code


  • Software Security, Privacy, and Dependability: Metrics and Measurement, Hatzivasilis et al., IEEE Software, Volume 33, Issue 4
  • Measuring a System’s Attack Surface, Manadhata, P. and Wing J., Technical Report CMU-CS-04-102, Carnegie Mellon University, 2004
12. Monitoring Feedback in the IDE

Contact: Goran Piskachev

Empirical studies have shown that software developers prefer direct feedback in their integrated development environments (IDEs) that indicate potential problems of their code rather than getting the reports after the build or even once the code is in production. Potential problems may be related to different aspects like performance, security, etc.

PerformanceHat is a performance prediction approach that uses dynamic traces to give feedback to developers for the average execution times of single statements, blocks or functions. The approach is implemented as an Eclipse plugin that provides the performance information directly in the editor.


  • Summarize and present the prediction model of PerformanceHat
  • Research and identify related works
  • Assess the applicability of the approach for data flow analysis and propose initial ideas on adapting the approach for the performance of data flow analysis (Optional: define requirements)


  • PerformanceHat: augmenting source code with runtime performance traces in the IDE, Cito J. et al., ICSE '18 Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Software Engineering: Companion Proceedings
  • Interactive Production Performance Feedback in the IDE, Cito et al., to appear at ICSE ‘19
  • Augmenting Static Source Views in IDEs with Dynamic Metrics, Röthlisberger D. et al.,  IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance ‘09
13. Reverse Engineering of Software Product Lines

Contact: Dr. Matthias Meyer

In many cases, software is developed in a copy and paste manner: The code of the past software project being most similar to the new project is copied, adapted and extended until it fits the new requirements (also called cloning-at-the-large or clone-and-run). Such an approach is still prevalent these days especially in many companies from mechanical engineering for the development of their control software. In such a way, they conduct reuse and, in principle, develop software product lines but in an unconscious and very unorganized way.

In research, approaches exist that try to support the reverse engineering of software product lines from concrete software products, which have been created in a clone-and-run fashion as described above. Such approaches use techniques for the automatic detection of code clones in order to detect variants and their commonalities and variabilities.


The goal of this seminar is to understand and explain how clone detection approaches can be used to detect reoccurring, potentially reuseable building blocks of software and ultimately of software product lines. The two references are meant as a starting point into this topic. The student is expected to summarize and explain the referenced approaches and to also search for further, more recent publications in the field.


  • R. Koschke, P. Frenzel, A. Breu, K. Angstmann. Extending the reflexion method for consolidating software variants into product lines. Software Quality Journal December 2009; 17(4):331–366.
  • T. Mende, F. Beckwermert, R. Koschke, G. Meier. Supporting the Grow-and-Prune Model in Software Product Lines Evolution Using Clone Detection. European Conference on Software Maintenance and Reengineering, IEEE Computer Society Press, 2008; 163–172.
14. Security Requirements Engineering: A Framework for Cyber-Physical Systems

Contact: Thorsten Koch

Due to the symbiotic interaction between different engineering disciplines, cyber-physical systems (CPS) have become very complex systems with large software parts. Furthermore, these systems are getting more and more interconnected and thus security becomes a major topic in their development. While there exist many approaches for the requirements engineering of classical software systems, most of them are not well suited for cyber-physical systems.

In their paper, Rehman et al. propose a framework for the security requirements engineering for cyber-physical systems. The proposed framework supports the elicitation of security requirements while considering hardware issues, along with software aspects.


  • Summarize and present the requirements engineering approach
  • Research and identify related works for cyber-physical systems


  • Rehman, Shafiq & Gruhn, Volker. (2018). An Effective Security Requirements Engineering Framework for Cyber-Physical Systems.
  • Rehman, Shafiq; Allgaier, Christopher and Gruhn, Volker. (2018) "Security Requirements Engineering: A Framework for Cyber-Physical Systems," 2018 International Conference on Frontiers of Information Technology (FIT), Islamabad, Pakistan, 2018, pp. 315-320.
15. Visual Analytics Approach for Condition Monitoring in Automation

Contact: Faruk Pasic

Monitoring equipment conditions is of great value in manufacturing, which can not only reduce unplanned downtime by early detection of anomalies of the equipment but also avoid unnecessary routine maintenance. With the coming era of Industry 4.0 (or industrial internet), more and more assets and machines in plants are equipped with various sensors and information systems, which brings an unprecedented opportunity to capture large-scale and fine-grained data for effective on-line equipment condition monitoring. However, due to the lack of systematic methods, analysts still find it challenging to carry out efficient analyses and extract valuable information from the mass volume of data collected, especially for process industry (e.g., a petrochemical plant) with complex manufacturing procedures.


The goal of this seminar topic is to analyze the state of the art literature and report on the design and implementation of an interactive visual analytics system, which helps managers and operators at manufacturing sites leverage their domain knowledge and apply substantial human judgements.


  • Wu, Wenchao, et al. "A visual analytics approach for equipment condition monitoring in smart factories of process industry." 2018 IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium (PacificVis). IEEE, 2018.
  • Zhou, Fangfang, et al. "A survey of visualization for smart manufacturing." Journal of Visualization (2018): 1-17.
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