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Topic Info Meeting

If you plan on doing your Bachelor's or Master's thesis/P1/P2 with COSY , 

please attend the topic discussion session for WiSe 2021/22:

When: Monday   13:00
Where: online at https://bbb.cosy.univie.ac.at/b/pet-0bl-zus-jjk

Important note: You must come prepared for this session! Read the topic descriptions. Pick at least two topics that interest you. Write down your associations and assumptions about the topics (e.g. regarding research questions, methods, and your personal interest in the field). Ideally search for literature as well. The better your preparation, the greater the likelihood that we can supervise you.


1. COSY Research Areas

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)

Networks and Network Security

  • Human Factors and Interaction Design of ICTs
  • Usability, Usable Security, User Research, (Participatory) ideation and iterative prototyping
  • Social Computing, Technology and the cultural domain - “Culture over IP”
  • Ubiquitous and mobile HCI
  • Computer Supported Cooperative World - Social Computing/Social Informatics, Cooperative Systems
  • Internet of Things / Internet of People
  • AAA - Authentication, Authorization, Accounting in IoT ecosystems
  • Decentralized security mechanisms (blockchain, trust, transparency, privacy)
  • (Computer) Networks --- design, operation, and use
  • Federated Online Social Networks (Fediverse and Mastodon)
If you are interested in "Praktika" or Bachelor/Master-Theses in the Area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), please contact: Oliver Hödl (oliver.hoedl@univie.ac.at)!

If you are interested in "Praktika" or Bachelor/Master-Theses in the Area of Networks and Network Security, please contact: Albert Rafetseder (albert.rafetseder(at)univie.ac.at) or Kaspar Lebloch (kaspar.lebloch(at)univie.ac.at) or Paul Fuxjäger (paul.fuxjaeger(at)univie.ac.at).



2. Current COSY-Thesis/Praktikum-Topics


a. Topics with an HCI-related focus

Smart Subtitles App: Opera.Guru

Opera.Guru is an application suite to provide subtitles for live opera performances. (see www.opera.guru for details) The existing application contains a smartphone app (Android/iOS) and a web-based CMS. The task of this thesis is to develop a new web app in addition to the existing smartphone app. The goal of this extension is to use the Opera.Guru application suite for events other than opera and to access new user groups as well as new application scenarios. Basic programming skills and knowledge with mobile, web and server applications (Xamarin for Android/iOS apps, IIS) are recommended. The work for this thesis will include a user study to evaluate the web app.

See the project's website for further information and finished theses about opera.guru.

If you're interested, please contact Oliver Hödl (oliver.hoedl@univie.ac.at) and Peter Reichl (peter.reichl@univie.ac.at) and describe why you are interested in the project and your prior experience.
Neue digitale Musikinstrumente und musikalische Interaktionsformen

Die Elektrifizierung der Gitarre und der Synthesizer haben vor hundert bzw. fünfzig Jahren die Musik drastisch verändert. Heute sind es digitale und mobile Technologien aller Art von Smartphones, über Mikrocomputer bis hin zur Sensortechnik und künstlicher Intelligenz, die Musik, das Musikmachen und den Musikkonsum verändern. Dazu gehören neue digitale Musikinstrumente und Klangwelten genauso wie neue Interaktionsformen in der Live-Musik, die das Publikum mit den Musikern "vernetzen". Aufbauend auf unsere Forschungsprojekte Breaking The Wall (https://www.piglab.org/breakingthewall) und Sparkling Instruments (http://www.piglab.org/sparkling-instruments) sowie Music Participation (http://www.musicparticipation.com/) bieten sich viele Möglichkeiten für Bachelor- und Masterarbeiten sowie Praktika (P1 und P2) für alle Musik- und Computer-Interessierten.

Wenn Sie sich für dieses Thema im Rahmen Ihrer Bachelor- oder Masterarbeit oder auch Praktika (P1, P2) interessieren, informieren Sie sich bitte über die beiden oben genannten Projekte auf den jeweiligen Seiten und kontaktieren Sie Oliver Hödl (oliver.hoedl@univie.ac.at). Ergänzen Sie bitte in Ihrer Anfrage warum Sie dieses Thema interessiert, welchen Bereich Sie konkret untersuchen möchten und welche fachlichen Kenntnisse Sie dabei mitbringen.
STEAM Learning - Using music instruments for new learning concepts in STEM education
STEAM is an acronym that combines STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) with arts and humanities (the "A" in STEAM). The topics around STEAM learning can be hardware-focused such as in the research project Sparkling Instruments (http://www.piglab.org/sparkling-instruments) or software-based. In any way you are working on the development and evaluation of novel concepts for STEAM learning in the context of our research project in this area.
If you're interested, please contact Oliver Hödl (oliver.hoedl@univie.ac.at) and describe why you are interested in the project and your prior experience.
Digitalisierung im Ballsaal

Die Wiener Ballsaison ist nicht nur einzigartig und ein besonderes Erlebnis für alle Besucher, sondern auch ein wichtiger Faktor für den Tourismus, die Wirtschaft und das Image der Stadt Wien. Egal ob auf großen oder kleinen Bällen, im Vordergrund stehen Musik, Tanz und Unterhaltung in eleganter Atmosphäre. Doch auch in den Ballsaal hat auch nach über hundert Jahren die digitale Technik Einzug gehalten. Seien es die Smartphones der Besucher, große Bildschirme auf den Gängen, komplexe Lichtshows oder Barcode-Scanner am Eingang statt der herkömmlichen Eintrittskarte. Die Ballbesucher tanzen und unterhalten sich nicht mehr ausschließlich, sondern posten die schönsten Eindrücke online in diversen sozialen Medien. Am Charakter eines Balles selbst hat sich nun nicht viel geändert. Aber die Möglichkeiten zur Kommunikation, Interaktion und letztendlich Unterhaltung in diesem Rahmen sind mehr geworden. Das wirft unmittelbar Fragen auf: Wie können digitale Systeme im Rahmen eines Balles genutzt oder weiterentwickelt werden und welchen Bedarf gibt es? Die konkreten Fragestellungen für eine Abschlussarbeit in diesem Themenkomplex sind vielseitig und können sowohl technischer als auch gestalterischer Natur sein.

Wenn Sie sich für dieses Thema im Rahmen Ihrer Bachelor- oder Masterarbeit oder auch Praktika interessieren, kontaktieren Sie bitte Oliver Hödl (oliver.hoedl@univie.ac.at) und ergänzen Sie warum Sie dieses Thema interessiert, welchen Bereich Sie konkret untersuchen möchten und welche fachlichen Kenntnisse Sie dabei mitbringen.
SANDRA - Das sprechende Schlagzeug (vergeben)

The current prototype of the SANDRA project is implemented as a display mounted inside a real bass drum. The display is powered by a Raspberry Pi mini computer that runs a Python program for the visualization. It is connected to the drum kit controller via an Arduino microcontroller that handles the communication using the MIDI standard. Several “sets” containing different visualizations can be selected using a custom interface that is also showing the current set number to the drummer. The visualizations are hard coded into the software at this point.

Further work will include making the software more modular to enable the drummer to easily create new visualizations and sets. A communication form between the Raspberry Pi and the microcontroller will be needed to update its functionalities without having to flash the ROM for every change in the sets. The hardware may also be updated to be redundant as a measure of fault tolerance.

To work within this project is possible as theses (bachelor or master) or praktika (P1 or P2) which can be discussed with the supervisor. Further information is available on the project's website.

If you're interested, please contact Oliver Hödl (oliver.hoedl@univie.ac.at) and describe why you are interested in the project and your prior experience.


Beyond the "Moral Machine" (vergeben)

Die am MIT betriebene "Moral Machine" (http://moralmachine.mit.edu/) ist eine Plattform zur publikumswirksamen Diskussion ethischer Dilemmata in der IKT, z.B. im Kontext von autonomen Fahrzeugen. Im Rahmen des Projekts PANDORA (https://cosy.cs.univie.ac.at/research/projects/project/271/) werden verwandte Fragestellungen vor dem erweiterten Horizont der langfristigen gesellschaftlichen Entwicklung und im Hinblick auf das zugrundeliegende Menschenbild erforscht, um so aus der Disziplin der Informatik heraus den Diskurs über eine nachhaltige IKT aktiv zu gestalten. In dieser Arbeit soll, basierend auf einer detaillierten Analyse der Moral Machine, hierzu eine web-basierte Plattform entstehen, die deren Konzept im Hinblick auf Fragestellungen aus der philosophischen Anthropologie erweitert.

If you're interested, please contact Peter Reichl (peter.reichl@univie.ac.at) and describe why you are interested in the project and your related technical and philosophical experience.


"Breaking up with Online Dating" - What is wrong with Online Dating and how to fix it  VERGEBEN

Online dating is a pervasive mass phenomenon of computer-aided mediation of intimate relationships and human sexuality. Users are offered a low-threshold opportunity to make initial contacts and the technology has the potential for emancipatory empowerment. However, online dating has a variety of questionable dimensions, implications and side effects, such as discriminatory matching algorithms, chat bot scam or sexual harassment.

Your task in this project is three-fold: (1) After an initial literature research, (2) conduct user research among users of online dating platforms and investigate their lived experiences with this sociotechnical system and how their experiences relate to their pursuit of intimate relationships. (3) Formulate implications for design of technology that supports users in forming intimate relationships, create and evaluate a prototype that supports the formation of intimate relationships.

Please note that this topic requires good command of human-centered design approaches as taught in related courses (VU Human-Computer Interaction, VU Cooperative Systems).

Further reading (available via u:access):
Alexopoulos et al (2020) Swiping more, committing less. 
Tong et al (2016) The Influence of Technology on Romantic Relationships. 
Masden et al (2015) Understanding the Role of Community in Online Dating.

If you're interested, please contact Christian Löw (christian.loew@univie.ac.at) and Albert Rafetseder (albert.rafetseder@univie.ac.at).

b. Topics with a Network-related Focus

Behavior-based Access Control management - vergeben

"Smartify Access Control in the IoT environment by analysing user behaviour patterns"

Make use of the collected data from sensors in a Smart-Home and define events that could be of interest to assigning Access Rights to the users in the system.

This topic requires analysis of the user behavior patterns(waking up time, leaving to work, bed time) in the IoT environment, description of the patterns through system events and application of these events to the composition of access rights.

This solution will be integrated with an already existing Smart-Home management framework, present on COSY:Lab.

Note: This topic is only available as P1/P2 or Master's Thesis.

If you're interested, please contact Nemanja Ignjatov (nemanja.ignjatov@univie.ac.at)
IoT Identity Management performance simulator - vergeben

Implement tool that can evaluate the compliance of automatic identity management solution in IoT environment.

Goal of this thesis is to build simulation tool that takes into consideration computational effort factors(CPU, memory usage, network delay) for various Identity Management solutions(e.g. PKI, Web of Trust, OpenPGP)

This solution will be further used for long term testing of particular Identity Management systems, with special analysis of adaptability on resource-constrained devices (IoT sensors)

If you're interested, please contact Nemanja Ignjatov (nemanja.ignjatov@univie.ac.at)
Blockchain-based Smart Home device registry - vergeben

"Use blockchain to make services, features and bugs of IoT devices transparent to all users!"

Implement blockchain-based storage for all types of sensors, which are used inside of Smart Home framework.

This storage should contain information on supported functionalities on the devices, combined with firmware versions of sensors. Moreover, this registry should support option of providing client-side feedback on some sensor services and whether they work properly, so that other Smart Home framework users can become more aware of possible malfunctions and/or security breaches inside their Smart Homes.

Ultimate goal is to achieve trust reputation network, which would make perfect match with blochain properties, such as : backward traceability, immutability and transparency.

If you're interested, please contact Nemanja Ignjatov (nemanja.ignjatov@univie.ac.at)
Fuzz The OLSR2 Routing Daemon - available

The Optimized Link State Routing protocol version 2 (OLSR2 on GitHub, RFC 7188) is a routing protocol for wireless mesh networks. Your task is to automate tests against OLSR2 that try its functionality and check its correct functioning for a variety of valid and invalid inputs, both from the network and from local configuration. Vectors include the syntax and semantics of OLSR2's RFC 5444-encoded messages, but also any config files that the deamon uses, or the operating system's routing tables (see e.g. Routing Tables of Death). Since OLSR2 aims to run on low-power embedded hardware platforms such as WiFi routers, DoS scenarios (memory / CPU / storage exhaustion) are in scope as well. Additionally, glitches should be analysed for their effect on a practical mesh network of ~10 devices. Since OLSR2 is Free, Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS), you should also disclose responsibly and fix any bugs you may find!

If you're interested, please contact Albert Rafetseder (albert.rafetseder@univie.ac.at)
A Configurable Études Generator - available
Études are musical pieces designed as practice materials for perfecting particular musical skills (Wikipedia). The skills to be perfected can differ (in difficulty and category) from étude to étude, and are different between instruments, players, and also dimensions of musical content (melody, harmony, rhythm). Develop a sufficiently generic, configurable generator for études that outputs études of choosable difficulty. For this, define a system that encodes the difficulty of a task to be studied, and transformations that assess the difficulty of combinations of study tasks appropriately.
If you're interested, please contact Albert Rafetseder (albert.rafetseder@univie.ac.at)
Multimedia Coding Efficiency Under Scaling - available
This topic concerns the efficiency of encoders for visual media (JPEG, H.26[45]) when scaling the source media. Your aim is to model how the storage requirements change as the resolution and framerate of the source media changes. The investigation uses source media with extremely high spatial and temporal resolution. Using resampling/pulldown, versions with lower resolutions are created and encoded in order to study the parameter space. Different visual contents provide a further dimension to investigate. Furthermore, you study upsampling methods (such as linear and cubic interpolation) and their impact on encoding efficiency.
If you're interested, please contact Albert Rafetseder (albert.rafetseder@univie.ac.at)
Routing and upstream/downstream traffic flows in IP networks have certain protocol and time constraints for working correctly. This project investigates challenges and opportunities opened up by making the network's uplink change dynamically, e.g. attach to a different address block while traffic flows are still active. What happens to current-day applications in situations like these? What protocol adaptations are required to lessen the impact of uplink dynamics? What timescales are reasonable for reconvergence? (Etc.)
If you're interested, please contact Albert Rafetseder (albert.rafetseder@univie.ac.at)
Promiscuous Mode for the ESP8266 - vergeben / already taken

The ESP8266 offers an interesting WiFi-enabled small-scale embedded platform. Your task is to extend the MicroPython firmware available for it to enable its wireless interface's promiscuous mode. This lets an ESP8266 act as a passive WiFi sensing and measurement device. Based on your implementation, you design a distributed experiment with multiple devices that makes use of your new feature, e.g. track WiFi beacons from smartphones across geographical areas in a privacy-preserving manner.

If you're interested, please contact Albert Rafetseder (albert.rafetseder@univie.ac.at)
Informatics For A Good Cause: Mindestsicherung (Web) App - vergeben / already taken

Mindestsicherung is a monetary social welfare service that is granted to individuals under specific economic circumstances. Your task is to design a (Web) app that supports users in the somewhat cumbersome application process.

You translate the requirements prescribed by the legal framework into a user-oriented (Web) app that calculates the approximate amount to which the user is entitled. The user interface should consider literacy perspectives (both general and ICT-focused). The business logic should be easily adaptable as the legal framework is different between Austrian Bundesländer and changes frequently.

FULL DISCLOSURE: The practical focus on Mindestsicherung / Sozialhilfe in this topic is motivated by a preliminary, voluntary cooperation between the supervisor, Arbeiterkammer Wien, and Diakonie Eine Welt gemeinnützige GmbH. For your project you may, but absolutely do not have to, consider this focus or these partners' expertise in social work.

Furter reading: https://www.wien.gv.at/gesundheit/leistungen/mindestsicherung/ , https://sozialberatungwien.at/web-app/

If you're interested, please contact Albert Rafetseder (albert.rafetseder@univie.ac.at) and Kaspar Lebloch (kaspar.lebloch(at)univie.ac.at)
A Calls-for-Papers Metadata System - available

Academic work includes presenting one's research results to the community at conferences and in printed publications. Unfortunately, the dissemination of conference dates, times, places etc. through calls-for-papers happens in an ad-hoc manner, e.g. by e-mail or on websites.

Your task is to design a metadata system for conference organizers that encodes deadlines, keywords, tracks, formats, roles and so on in a structured, machine- and human-readable form and includes interfaces for both professional conference management systems and end-user calendar software. You design both the format for data exchange, and the distributed, federated system architecture that provides a simple implementation path for interested parties (servers and clients).

Furter reading: https://github.com/rtholmes/conf-data (a system to encode data for use during conferences), http://www.rssboard.org/rss-specification, https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5545 (iCal)

If you're interested, please contact Albert Rafetseder (albert.rafetseder@univie.ac.at)
Computer Music between Applied Software Engineering and Pragmatic Tool-Building - vergeben / already taken

The creation of computer-based music (including composition, digital lutherie, and performance) is firmly rooted in informatics and its methods. Pure Data, one established tool for music creation, for instance is billed as "visual programming language", and borrows many typical software development paradigms. Consequently, Pure Data also poses software engineering challenges. However, its artist users rarely have corresponding backgrounds, and develop their own coding practices.

Your task is to join a group of composition students who develop computer instruments and musical pieces, and reflect on informatic software engineering practices they use (implicitly or explicitly).  There are two main points of focus: (1) The implementation of computer instruments (including the pragmatic coding practice of composers), and (2) how composers structure musical time in their compositions and how they structure their creative process.

This topic is an interdisciplinary cooperation with MDW (Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien / University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna).

Further reading: https://puredata.info/ , https://www.tdx.cat/handle/10803/575372#page=1

If you're interested, please contact Albert Rafetseder (albert.rafetseder@univie.ac.at)
Federated Online Social Network Monitoring - available

Currently, the Mastodon network - with its 3 Million accounts distributed over +3000 servers - is widely regarded as one of the most successful alternative online social network projects yet. Since its inception, the network keeps evolving rapidly, and its decentralized nature poses novel challenges to any statistical network health analysis.

Your task is to:

  1. Research the current SOTA in mastodon/fediverse network monitoring.
  2. Apply those insights and your ingenuity to improve the situation, e.g.
    1. implement a public monitoring service directory
    2. come up with alternative solutions to the current economic model for network health services

Network health monitoring is vital and needs to be done with ethical considerations in mind. And a thriving online social network that does not want to take money from surveillance capitalists needs at least free health care plan. (smile)

Further reading: https://fediverse.party/en/mastodon

Further watching: https://media.ccc.de/v/rc3-857362-die_rosarote_brille_des_fediverse

If you're interested, please contact Paul Fuxjäger (paul.fuxjaeger(at)univie.ac.at).
An IoT Retrofitting Proof of Concept - available

Household appliances are made to last longer than network or security standards. Most offer no support for network based communication and remote management, but provide serial ports for maintenance.

Your task is to:

  1. Research available interfaces and ports for maintenance on common household appliances such as coffee makers, dishwashers, HVAC systems,...
  2. select an appliance with an accessible serial port and connect to it using a WiFi-enabled micro controller or raspberry pi
  3. convince the appliance to disclose some internal data or react to some input in a meaningful way through protocol reverse engineering

Necessary hardware and access to a soldering station may be provided to you if needed and possible given current COVID-regulations.


If you're interested, please contact Kaspar Lebloch (kaspar.lebloch@univie.ac.at)

c. Further Topics

Reverse Engineering a Quantum Computing Educational Toolkit  - available
In unserer Forschungsgruppe entsteht derzeit ein neues Teaching Lab zum Thema "Quantum Computing", das in einem ersten Schritt mit Equipment des Startups https://phasespacecomputing.com/ betrieben wird. In dieser Arbeit soll untersucht werden, inwieweit der dort gewählte Ansatz, Quantengatter mit Hilfe klassischer Schaltungen zu emulieren, im Sinne eines "Reverse Engineering" reproduziert und ausgebaut werden kann. Hierzu benötigen Sie ein grundsätzliches Verständnis der Eigenschaften von Quantenschaltungen sowie ausgeprägte praktische Fähigkeiten und Geschick im Bereich Hardwarebau, ausserdem viel Selbständigkeit und Fantasie.


If you're interested, please contact Peter Reichl (peter.reichl@univie.ac.at)
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