Child pages
  • COSY Research Areas and Current Thesis/Praktikum-Topics
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Topic Info Meeting

If you plan on doing your thesis/P1/P2 with COSY , 
you have to attend the next general topic Q&A session:

When: Thursday, 19 September 2019, 16:00
Where: Research Group COSY (Sensengasse 6, 1st floor)

Please make sure to come prepared, i.e. you have read and reflected on the topic descriptions regarding the topics you are interested in.


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
If you are interested in "Praktika" or Bachelor/Master-Theses in the Area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), please contact: Oliver Hödl (, Svenja Schröder (, Christian Löw (!If you are interested in "Praktika" or Bachelor/Master-Theses in the Area of Networks and Network Security, please contact: Nemanja Ignjatov (nemanja.ignjatov(at), Albert Rafetseder (albert.rafetseder(at), Stephan Wirsing (stephan.wirsing(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 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

If you're interested, please contact Oliver Hödl ( and Peter Reichl ( and describe why you are interested in the project and your prior experience.
SANDRA - Das sprechende Schlagzeug

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 ( and describe why you are interested in the project and your prior experience.
The Broadband Well – Exploration and prototypical implementation of use cases for lokal very-high speed broadband access points - vergeben / already taken

This project explores the practical value and importance of publicly accessible, very-high speed broadband access points (reaching or exceeding 10 Gbps symmetric) in comparison to today's private, home broadband coverage and lower-speed public access points which are asymmetric and slower by 2 to 4 orders of magnitude.

To start, explore the user's view on the private and business values of such a service. Second, design and realize a prototype access point (e.g. in cooperation with FunkFeuer, Vienna's community network) including the supporting software. For example, implement a Web-based map tool that visualizes whether a user should perform a Web download using their (slower) home connection or rather spend the time traveling to the Broadband Well and back, and perform the download there much more quickly.

Other use case scenarios may include using Internet services other than the Web, to be determined by the concept phase of your thesis. Depending on the specific use cases that should be supported, different technical and conceptual (e.g. legal) challenges arise and must be addressed by the thesis project.

This project is available as a Bachelor's thesis. The COSY research group provides a very-high speed broadband access point (10 Gbps symmetric) on our premises; please note that this access point is only accessible for research (e.g. testing) purposes.

If you are interested, please contact Albert Rafetseder ( and Christian Löw (
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 ( und ergänzen Sie warum Sie dieses Thema interessiert, welchen Bereich Sie konkret untersuchen möchten und welche fachlichen Kenntnisse Sie dabei mitbringen.
Beyond the "Moral Machine" (vergeben)

Die am MIT betriebene "Moral Machine" ( ist eine Plattform zur publikumswirksamen Diskussion ethischer Dilemmata in der IKT, z.B. im Kontext von autonomen Fahrzeugen. Im Rahmen des Projekts PANDORA ( 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 ( and Christian Löw ( and describe why you are interested in the project and your related technical and philosophical experience.
Chat-bots as the (chat) window to your Smart-Home environment - vergeben

This topic aims at utilizing a chatbot-type agent to interact with users of a Smart-Home environment. A conversation-based interaction/service design is to be designed to support Smart-Home-related tasks, such as (1) adding and removing IoT-devices to the Smart Home, (2) effective management of access and security policies (ABAC), (3) everyday usage.

Your task is to create a chat-bot interaction/service design with regard to usability-related qualities (simplicity, usable and understandable security features) and meaningful features, and make use of the existing Smart-Home setting of COSY:Lab to develop a chat-bot prototype for this context. A small user trial should then collect feedback and test for conceptual feasibility and usability.

If you're interested, please contact Christian Löw ( and Nemanja Ignjatov (
Social Computing meets the Smart Environment: COSY Healthy-Living Bot: Supporting users with pursuing meaningful fitness goals - vergeben

This thesis is about interaction design and prototypical implementation of a chat-bot which supports a healthy lifestyle. A prototype exists already, and your core job is to incorporate motivational design, e.g. by means of gamification, in order to support the user with finding meaningful fitness goals. To achieve this, you can make full use of the existing prototype feature-set (already integrated APIs: Google Calendar, Fitbit, Recipe API, Work-Out API) and extend it if necessary.

If you're interested, please contact Christian Löw (
Social Software meets the Internet of Things (IoT): Sensors and/or displays for a Smart Grätzel community platform - vergeben

This thesis is about interaction design and prototyping of a community platform ("Smart Grätzel") that incorporates IoT devices. This thesis comprises (1) defining a social software concept that supports a given community by incorporating software (e.g. a web-platform, a chat-bot) and IoT devices (e.g sensors or displays), (2) creating a prototype, (3) conducting a small user trial to explore/validate meaning from a user perspective.

If you're interested, please contact Christian Löw (
Social Software for Computer-Supported Community-Building - vergeben

This topic is about computer-supported community building. Social networks emanate from purposeful social mingling and interaction and can bring about significant positive social change, a process that can be specifically supported and nurtured, e.g. as described by Plastrik and Taylor (1). While the authors have created their framework before there were social networks like Facebook on the Internet, it seems clear that today's technology can add a lot to this effort.

This thesis is about (1) creating a social software concept that supports the building of ad-hoc social communities, following Plastrik and Taylors approach, and investigating how the specific network goals defined by them can be supported by ICT, (2) prototyping this concept and (3) conducting a small user trial to test for conceptual feasibility.


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

If you're interested, please contact Christian Löw (
A youth perspective on social networks - co-designing a social network with children - vergeben

While social networks are very popular among younger people, none of them have been designed from their perspective, putting them first. This topic is about designing a social network from the perspective of youth/young persons. The thesis comprises (1) the participatory design of a social network concept that is based in the interests, wishes and needs of young persons, (2) the prototypical realization of this concept, (3) conducting a small user trial to validate the prototype.

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

If you're interested, please contact Christian Löw (
ScoutApp - A social smartphone application for scouting - vergeben

This thesis is about designing and creating a smart phone application that supports activities undertaken by the scouts, a worldwide youth movement. The functionality can focus around different areas: (1) An outdoor, location-based gaming application, (2) a social diary aimed at collecting experiences, (3) an application that supports connecting scouts worldwide, ..

The thesis comprises (1) the design of an application concept (2) the prototypical realization of this concept, (3) conducting a small user trial with members of the scout movement to validate the prototype.

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

If you're interested, please contact Christian Löw (

b. Topics with a Network-related Focus

Access Control decentralisation in the IoT environment - open

Goal of this topic is to decentralise/distribute access control mechanisms across a local IoT network.

Currently, Access Control in IoT environment is rather centralised, meaning that Access Control gateways aren't neccesarily near IoT devices, which leaves a big attack plane for hackers.

In this topic, the ultimate goal will be to bring Access Control mechanisms as close as possible to sensors in an IoT system. In order to achieve that, multiple challeges arise - access rights synchronisation, building trust between modules in a distributed system, etc.

Your solution will be developed and integrated as part of COSYLab Smart Home framework.

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

If you're interested, please contact Nemanja Ignjatov (
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 (
Internet connectivity based Access Control management - open

Goal of this topic is to embeed internet connectivity as a building block for access control management, leading to the automation of access rights in an existing Smart Home IoT platform.

In order to develop required solution, technical knowledge in networking as well as Java/SpringBoot is expected.

Final goal of this topic is to develop and integrate the software module which enables management of access rights based on existence of internet connection in a Smart Home.

Moreover, attention will be also given to the performances of the solution - minimum delay, access policies reevaluation time, etc.

If you're interested, please contact Nemanja Ignjatov (
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 (
  • Indoor localization Access Control management - vergeben

"Manage Access Control policies based on presence of users in the Smart-Home"

Integrate some of the existing technologies for localization and presence detection(RDIF, BLE) with ABAC-enabled Smart-Home management system.

Goal of this thesis is to enable definition and validation of the access policies in Smart-Home that required users' presence events as input and allow/forbid particular actions in Smart-Home based on those events.

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

If you're interested, please contact Nemanja Ignjatov (
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 (

Traffic And Load Models For ISM- And SRD-Band LoRa - open
LoRa is an emerging proprietary physical-layer modulation technology for IoT WANs; LoRaWAN adds gateways and network uplink to bridge Things to the Internet. This project proposes to investigate traffic on the frequency bands locally used for LoRa (see for example ) and suggest spatial, spectral, and traffic load models for this new type of data communication. Collaboration with Vienna's community-driven, participatory LoRaWAN installation by is welcome.
If you're interested, please contact Albert Rafetseder (
Fuzz The OLSR2 Routing Daemon - open

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 (
A Configurable Études Generator - open
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 (
Multimedia Coding Efficiency Under Scaling - open
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 (
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 (
Network Packet Trace Anonymization - vergeben / already taken

Recordings of network traffic play an important role in studying the network behavior of nodes, applications, and users. Unfortunately, these traces also contain quasi-personally identifiable information (PII) which makes sharing or publishing traces problematic. Develop a tool or extend existing ones (libpcap, Wireshark) to anonymize traces to various degrees. For this, identify types of PII found in traces, and evaluate methods to pseudonymize or otherwise scrub the records.

Note: This project is a great start into the world of Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS)!

If you're interested, please contact Albert Rafetseder (
Radio Interference Modeling - open

Transmissions over radio may suffer interference both from out-of-band and in-band transmissions. Your task is to choose modulation schemes and develop models for interference for them, both within the same modulation scheme and across schemes. Target metrics focus on the demodulated signal and thus the disturbance that interferences cause in the demodulator: effects on the spectral content, noise floor, transmitter/receiver synchronization, etc. You evaluate your models both in theory and in practice, i.e. mathematically and through an implementation in GNU Radio.

If you're interested, please contact Albert Rafetseder (
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 (paper).

If you're interested, please contact Albert Rafetseder (
Load Based Resource Allocation and Licensing in Wireless Networks - open

Radio channel capacity is a key resource to operate wireless networks. Mobile operators spend a lot of money (typically in the range above 1 bn EUR) to obtain spectrum licenses, which give them exclusive rights to use particular frequency bands. In reality, these frequencies are utilitzed to the full extend only in densely populated areas. In other regions (e.g. rural areas) operators do not need their entire licensed spectrum. Instead of static licenses, the proposed topic focuses on load based licensing schemes: Your task is to create a simple simulation of a dynamic "licensing process" which takes into account the current network load. It is expected to implement a simple assignment algorithm, e.g. a license broker in Matlab. The model should be agent based and object orientated.

If you're interested, please contact Stephan Wirsing (
  • No labels