SM 453/IS 722/IS 918 Bachelor and Master Seminar

Course Information
Lecturer Prof. Dr. Christian Becker
Type Seminar (SM 453 for Bachelor & IS 722 for Master & IS 918 for MMBR)
Credit Points 6 ECTS (MMM & MMBR), 5 ECTS (B.Sc. WI since HWS 2013), 4 ECTS (M.Sc. WI since HWS 2013 and B.Sc. WI before HWS 2013)
Prerequisites Basic knowledge in information technology
Course Language English
Form of assessment Conference style seminar (see details below)
Registration Please see information below!
Martin Breitbach, M.Sc.

Martin Breitbach, M.Sc.

Contact person for Seminar

For further information please contact Martin Breitbach.

  • Schedule

    Registration January 20 - February 28
    Confirmation until March 3
    De-Registration possible until March 4
    Kick-Off Meeting March 8
    First paper draft deadline May 14
    Review deadline May 25
    Camera ready (final) paper deadline May 31
    Conference (final presentations) June 7/8
  • Conference style seminar

    This seminar is organized in a scientific conference style. All accepted participants must write a scientific paper about the assigned topics and submit those papers until the first draft deadline. After that, the paper review phase starts and each paper will be assigned to at least two other participants who have to review the papers of two or three other authors. After the review phase, the reviews must be submitted to the supervisors, which distribute them to the paper authors. After that, the authors have time to improve their papers based on the feedback from the reviews, before they need to hand in their camera-ready (final) version of the paper. At the end of the semester, the “conference” (final presentations) will take place.

    The grading is divided into different parts: The first part is the camera ready version of the seminar paper. This is the most important part and it is weighted with 50% of the overall grade. Second, the reviews for the other authors  are weighted with 20%. It is crucial to look at the work of others with a critical eye and to give constructive feedback. The last grading criterion is the presentation at the “conference” and the participation during the discussions (30%). 

    If the assigned topic contains an implementation part, students do not need to participate in the review phase. For these topics, the grading is divided into 70% for the implementation and 30% for the presentation and participation during the discussions.

    Attendance at the kick-off session and the final presentation session is mandatory.

    All papers must use the IEEE manuscript template. We offer a customized version of the template here.

  • Registration

    Please apply via our online registration tool only (accessible inside the university network via VPN) . Registration is possible from January 20 until February 28.


    • CV
    • Transcript of records

    We will not consider registrations via e-mail or incomplete registrations in the registration tool.


  • Topics

    01 – Eye Tracking or Mind Reading? A Survey on Gaze-based User Profiling.

    Supervisor: Melanie Heck

    Amazon recommends products based on previous searches and purchases, and Facebook and Instagram try to find out what posts and profiles might interest us based on our browsing behavior within the application. Massive amount of data that are gathered this way have made these platforms impressively good at showing content that we actually find interesting. They are, however, still struggling in responding to the users’ state of mind while using the application. Characteristics such as stress or emotions cannot be derived from past data, and are difficult to infer from click behavior.

    While industry applications have not yet arrived at a point where such snapshots of a user’s state of mind can be created, research has explored the use of eye tracking for dynamic user profiling. Eye movements reveal not only what objects a person looks at, but can also be used to derive emotions and cognitive state (e.g., stress, boredom), or cognitive abilities.

    The objective of this seminar paper is to provide an overview of the user characteristics that can be derived from gaze. Three basic questions should be investigated: First, during what kind of tasks/ user actions is gaze data collected? Second, what gaze features are used, and how are they translated into the user characteristic? Third, what is the underlying intention (i.e., use case) of the profile?


    02 – Adapting E-Learning to the Individual Learner: Opportunities and Challenges.

    Supervisor: Melanie Heck

    While schools worldwide are struggling with home schooling, e-learning platforms exist and have been improved for years now. They have not only learned how to prepare the content so that it best fits the online format, but have also started to provide personalized learning schedules and methods for each student.

    The objective of this seminar paper is to analyze how existing commercial and free e-learning platforms adapt to the student’s individual learning style, knowledge, etc. Two questions should be investigated: (1) How and with regard to what characteristics are students profiled? (2) How is the learning material adapted to the student’s profile? Additionally, research on innovative adaptation approaches should be reviewed. The result of the investigation should show the unexploited potentials for adaptation that have so far been neglected by popular existing platforms. Also, the challenges that need to be overcome in order to implement these approaches should be discussed.


    03 – Supporting learning through online platforms: A requirements analysis.

    Supervisor: Melanie Heck

    E-learning platforms are supposed to assist students in their learning process. But if too many functionalities are available, it can take students more time to understand the platform than to study the actual learning content. Moreover, dynamic features may improve usability, but can lead to undue device and network requirements if use excessively. A good platform should therefore only offer those functionalities that are appreciated by students and contribute to a more beneficial learning experience.

    The objective of this seminar paper is to present the most relevant requirements with regard to usability and available technology that should be met by e-learning platforms. In a first step, a literature research should be conducted to identify both static and adaptive requirements. In a second step, the importance of the identified requirements should be validated in a user survey.


    04 - A Review of Code Offloading Approaches for the Internet of Things

    Supervisor: Martin Breitbach

    Modern applications in the areas of machine learning, augmented reality, or mobile gaming require running computationally intensive tasks on resource-constrained devices such as smartphones or smartwatches. One approach to overcome the limitations of the hardware is to offload tasks to more powerful remote devices such as laptops, desktop PCs, edge servers, or the cloud. Internet of Things (IoT) devices in smart homes, smart clothing, or Industry 4.0 often cannot apply code offloading as they are not able to run the software that performs code offloading itself or are only able to communicate via distinct communication channels such as Bluetooth Low Energy. However, recently, approaches emerge which bridge the gap between the IoT and the cloud and enable IoT devices to perform code offloading.

    The goal of this seminar thesis is to identify and evaluate code offloading approaches for IoT devices with a thorough literature review. How do these approaches connect the IoT to edge and cloud? What are the differences between approaches? How does an ideal offloading approach for the IoT look like? 


    05 – Comparison of Proactive Data Placement Strategies for Edge Computing

    Supervisor: Martin Breitbach

    Code Offloading enables resource-constrained devices such as smartphones or wearables to execute tasks remotely on other end-user devices, edge servers, or cloud resources. Especially modern applications in areas such as machine learning or image editing require a substantial amount of input data (e.g., a data set for classification). Offloading such tasks to other devices therefore necessitates the transfer of the input data to the computational resource provider. Especially for short tasks with large input data, offloading is in these cases less attractive due to the long data transfer.

    As a solution, proactive data placement strategies distribute the input data on certain devices in the system in advance. Thus, the data is already present and the computation later on may start immediately. The objective of this seminar paper is to compare approaches for (proactive) data placement in edge, cloud, or mobile ad-hoc computing environments along several dimensions including goals, devices, proactivity, and offloading mechanism.


    06 – ***IMPLEMENTATION*** Energy-Aware Code Offloading in Practice

    Supervisor: Martin Breitbach

    The limited battery capacity of smartphones, wearables, or Internet of Things devices is a major challenge in research and industry. A potential solution is code offloading. Instead of executing computationally intensive tasks locally, the battery-constrained devices offload them via the network to devices with constant power supply (e.g., desktop PCs) or the cloud. This saves CPU time and thus energy. In recent years, many approaches for energy-aware code offloading emerged.

    This seminar topic is an implementation topic. The goal is to deploy, evaluate, and compare two or more frameworks for energy-aware code offloading frameworks that are available as open source. Please note: The topic requires programming skills and some curiosity. It is, however, a good preparation for a Bachelor/Master thesis and might be a suitable option for everyone interested in something more hands-on than a literature review. If you have questions, whether this fits for you, contact Martin Breitbach.


    07 – It’s all about rules – (Dynamic) rule-based self-adaptation

    Supervisor: Melanie Brinkschulte

    The complexity of information systems is increasing in recent years, leading to greater effort for design, operation, optimization and maintenance of such systems. As a result, self-adaptation is an increasingly important capability for many systems, especially for those deployed in dynamically changing environments. Thereby, the system needs a metric in order to decide how to adapt themselves: e.g. rules.  Often such rules are defined at design time, which leads to non-dynamic adaptation approaches. Therefore, one of the challenges in self-adaptative systems concerns how to make adaptation at runtime in response to possible and even unexpected changes in the environment and user requirements.

    The objective of this seminar paper is to provide a survey about rule-based self-adaptation in systems which are deployed in dynamically changing environments. Thereby, a special focus will lie on adaptation during runtime.


    08 – How to simulate – Advantages and disadvantages of monolithic & co-simulation in complex mixed-critical distributed systems

    Supervisor: Melanie Brinkschulte

    Nowadays, many distributed systems are mixed critical. Thereby, the systems task can be divided into tasks with different criticality levels. Each of those level has different characteristics in terms of performance, reliability and fault tolerance. Also, real-time capability and predictability plays an important role. As a result, the development of task scheduling policies in mixed-critical distributed systems is rather complex. One way to design, analyze and evaluate different policies is the use of a simulator but the development of such a simulator for complex distributed systems is a nontrivial task.

    The objective of this seminar paper is to evaluate which simulation approach (monolithic or co-simulation) is better suited for the simulation of complex mixed-critical distributed systems.


    09 – Dealing with the Split-Incentive

    Supervisor: Sonja Klingert

    As split incentive is a situation of conflict between two parties with different roles in the context of investment or management, mostly with regards to investment into energy management: the party that incurs the investment cost is not the same as the party that receives the benefit. 

    The goal of this seminar paper is to review existing models that aim at overcoming the split incentive.


    10 – The Transposition of the European Clean Energy Package in Germany and Austria    

    Supervisor: Sonja Klingert

    In order to spur the energy turnaround targets set by the Paris Agreement in 2015, the EU has issued the European Clean Energy Package that defines guidelines for two different versions of energy communities: the Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) and the Citizen Energy Communities (CECs). They form the legal and economic framework that determine the opportunities of energy communities in Europe and thus limit the scope for the realization of technically viable energy district solutions. These new institutional settings will need to be transposed into national law in 2020/21.

    The goal of this seminar paper is to research the current status of transposition of RECs and CECs in Germany and Austria and compare their potential impact on setting up energy communities in these two countries.