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Research of the Software Engineering Research Group

The Software Engineering Research Group wants to deliver contributions to software engineering which are applicable to the real world and also used in the real world. At the same time we do not ask external partners to apply software engineering procedures we do not follow ourselves daily. Thus we are our own, not always successful, laboratory animals.

Scope of Work


  • Empirical software engineering
  • Software quality assurance and measurement
  • Requirements engineering
  • Software security and safety
  • Agile/continuous/lean software engineering
  • Behavioural software engineering


Projects of the Software Engineering Research Group

  • Research project PATRON (patronresearch.de, funded by the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung). Concealing Patterns - Privacy in Stream Processing
    • This research project focuses on the development of approaches for the concealing of information from datastreams of sensors of various devices from the internet of things (IoT). The goal is to find a balance between the protection of data and the quality of service (QoS). It is relevant as can be seen by a simple example. Activity trackers sense for example your heart rate which, if tracked over time and analyzed, can reveal very sensitive information about you.
  • Experimentelle Verbesserung des Lernens von Software Engineering, EVELIN (Subcontractor of HS Neu-ULM, founded by the BMBF)
  • Research topic by Dipl. Ing. Jan-Peter Ostberg: "Improvement of static code analysis"
    • Static code analysis is an inexpensive way to increase software quality. Todays tools can provide valid and helpful warnings to the developers. Still these tools are underused. One problem leading to this is the lack of usability. In my research I am focusing on the helping of an individual developer gaining the best experience from the tool. The underlaying concept is based on psychological models. Also I want to explorer the connections between removal of issues of static analysis and their impact on software metrics.
  • Research topic by Kai Mindermann M.Sc.: "Improvement of the usability of security in software engineering"
    • The realization of profound mathematical techniques through the modern cryptography is able to greatly improve information security. Many implementations lack easy usage; they are complicated to operate in general, their implementations are flawed and it is often hard to keep them up to date. In my research I want to reduce these problems within software technology by using software technology approaches themselves.
  • Research topic by Daniel Kulesz, M.Sc.: "Inspection and assessment of spreadsheet programs"
    • Today, a world without Spreadsheet programs is hard to imagine. Compared to traditional programs, spreadsheet programs provide a higher flexibility and allow end-users to develop the programs themselves. Unfortunately, anomalies in spreadsheet programs are very commong and can lead to severe damage. My research focuses on the inspection and assessment of spreadsheet programs.
  • Research topic by Ivan Bogicevic, Dipl.-Inf."Specification of Software Modules"
    • If a software is not subdivided into precisely delimited parts, it is hard to maintain. Therefore, it is both essential and common practice to break the system down into modules. A well-documented software design contains precise module specifications that are up-to-date. But in practice, the quality of documents on this level is insufficient. The documents are outdated, or their state is unknown. This work investigates how developers can specify and document modules effectively. It presents a new process model that helps to describe modules under real-life conditions. A catalogue of module specifications that describe the modules of a software is a key element of the technique.
  • Research topic by Asim Abdulkhaleq, M.Sc.: "STPA Swiss: Software Safety Engineering Approach based on STPA for Software-Intensive Systems"
    • Software’s safety becomes a critical aspect in the development process of modern systems. However, safety is a system property and, hence, needs to be analysed in a system context to identify all potential hazardous software behaviours. The complexity of software makes defining appropriate software safety requirements with traditional safety analysis techniques difficult. STPA (Systems-Theoretic Processes Analysis) is a unique safety analysis approach which has been developed to identify system hazards, including the software-related hazards as well. Formal verification and testing are complementary approaches which are used in the development process to verify the functional correctness of software. However, the correctness of software cannot ensure the safe operation of safety-critical software systems. The software must be verified against its safety requirements which are identified by safety analysis to ensure potential hazardous causes cannot occur. My research focuses on developing a comprehensive safety engineering approach based on STPA including software testing and model checking approaches for the purpose of developing a safe software. The proposed approach can be embedded within a defined software engineering process or applied on existing software systems to help software and safety engineers to recognize the software risks.
  • Research topic by Yang Wang: "Safety and Security Analysis in Agile development Processes"
    • Agile development methodologies are becoming a tendency in today’s changing software     development. However, due to a lack of quality assurance activities, especially safety and    security analysis, agile methods are criticized for being inadequate for the development of safe and security critical software. To apply agile methodologies into safety and security critical   systems, most research prefers combining agile methods with traditional development processes relying on standards. However, little emphysis is put on the nature of agile techniques. On the other side, safety and security are two interrelated quality aspects. Due to the growing trend of Internet of Things, more and more security vulnerabilities will also cause safety hazards. Thus, in my research, these two quality aspects would be taken into consideration in agile development processes.
  • Research topic by Dipl. math. oec. Erica Weilemann: "In which way is software quality influenced by the personality of a software engineer?"
    • During the whole software engineering process, human beings are involved and thus influence the software product, also concerning different aspects of software quality. In my research I investigate, in which way the personality of every single participant in a software engineering process has an influence on the quality of the product of this process – the software. In a first step, I focus on the influence of the personality of a programmer on the maintainability of the software.
  • Research topic by Rainer Niedermayr: "Evaluation and Improvement of Software Tests"
    • Automated and manual software tests are used in the quality assurance to discover faults in a software product at an early stage. In practice, code-coverage criteria are used to determine the effectiveness of the tests. However, code coverage only expresses which code chunks were executed by tests, but not, how effective the tests are in detecting faults. This work investigates, how the effectiveness of tests can be determined in a more meaningful way, and how ineffective tested areas can be prioritized.