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Theses

Bachelor

ifgicopterUAV / UAS (Drohnen) Remote Sensing/GIS: Vegetationsspezifische Geodatenanalyse/Workflows

Thema: Im Rahmen der gemeinsamen IFGIcopter und ILÖK UAV Initiative werden  kontinuierlich vegetationsspezifische Fernerkundungsdaten unterschiedlichster UAV-Sensoren (Drohnen) aufgenommen und ausgewertet. Besondere Schwerpunkte sind die Erfassung und Analyse von Vegetationsmustern, Vitalitätsparametern und inversiver Arten mittels multispektraler UAS Daten. In diesem Kontext spielen die Datenverarbeitung und Visualisierung (auch 3D) mittels verschiedenster geoinformatischer Werkzeuge (GIS, kommerzielle Software, Web-Tools und Eigenprogrammierungen etc.) eine große Rolle. Wer Interesse an einer interdisziplinären Fragestellung in diesem Bereich hat, wende sich an die beiden Ansprechpartner [2017].

Ansprechpartner: Torsten Prinz / Jan Lehmann

Contact: Torsten Prinz

SITCOMImplementierung eines Online-Lernspiels ("Reflectories")

Ziel dieser Arbeit ist die technische Umsetzung eines Lernspiels für den Geographieunterricht, das am Institut für Didaktik der Geographie (IfDG) entwickelt wurde. In diesen sogenannten „Reflectories“ werden User in kurzen Audio-Beiträgen vor komplexe geographische Entscheidungen gestellt, die mithilfe von unterschiedlichen Zusatzmaterialien getroffen werden müssen. Je nach gewählter Entscheidungsoption nimmt die Handlung einen anderen Verlauf, sodass sich die User mit den entsprechenden Konsequenzen ihrer Entscheidungen konfrontiert sehen und aufgefordert sind, über ihr Handeln zu reflektieren.

Aufgabe der Arbeit ist die Umsetzung der erarbeiteten Inhalte (hauptsächlich Audio-Dateien, einige PDF und Bilddateien) in eine systemunabhängige (Web-)App. Dazu gehört u. a. die Erstellung und Evaluation einer für die Zielgruppe geeignete Benutzeroberfläche sowie eine robuste Implementation des Backends.

Die Arbeit ist in Zusammenarbeit mit dem IfDG (Gabriele Schrüfer, Nina Brendel) geplant.

Contact: Christian Kray

ifgicopterCrowd Managment, Geodaten Fusion und Dronen-Technologie: Mglichkeiten und Perspektiven

Thema: Im Rahmen von aktuellen IFGIcopter-Aktivitäten bietet das Spannungsfeld Drohnen/UAV und Geodatenfusion' interessante Schnittstellen hinsichtlich geoinformatischer Datenanalyse und Werkzeugentwicklung. Fernerkundungsdaten unterschiedlichster UAV-Sensoren können z.B. unterschiedlichste zeitabhängige Momentaufnahmen von 'Geo-Objektverlagerungen' erfassen und mittels Fusion mit Sekundärdaten zu Modellen einer dynamischen Entwicklung führen. In diesem Kontext spielen die Datenverarbeitung und Visualisierung (auch 3D) mittels verschiedenster geoinformatischer Werkzeuge (GIS, kommerzielle Software, Web-Tools und Eigenprogrammierungen etc.) eine große Rolle. Wer Interesse an einer interdisziplinären Fragestellung in diesem Bereich hat, wende sich an die beiden Ansprechpartner [2017].

Ansprechpartner: Torsten Prinz / Florian Hillen

Contact: Torsten Prinz

STMLEstimating population at risk in small areas using the EEA Fast Track Service Precursor on Land Monitoring dataset

Background

Many disciplines need detailed information data about the number of inhabitants residing in small geographic areas, e.g. for interventional/ preventional public health studies or in the field of disaster risk management. The aim of this BSc thesis is to disaggregate the population data at community level (LAU 2) from the Regierungsbezirk Münster (study area) with the EEA Fast Track Service Precursor on Land Monitoring raster data for spatial cancer surveillance. The epidemiological cancer registry of NRW supplies data of geocoded cancer cases with the aim of modeling a spatial cancer incidence surface. However, there is a lack of an appropriate spatial representation of the population at risk (or background population) from which the cancer cases arise. Therefore more precise estimates of the population in the Regierungsbezirk Münster should obtained with the approach of Steinnocher et al. (2011).

Methods

The EEA raster dataset is for built-up areas with a continuous degree of imperviousness ranging from 0-100% in spatial resolution of 1 ha (Aubrecht et al. 2013). Steinnocher et al. (2011) developed a method to estimate the population density based on the housing density from this raster data. The method is based on the assumption that the population density is proportional to housing density. In a first step all sealed surface areas without residential function must mask out with additional data (e.g. open street map and Corine Land cover data). The remaining areas are used together with the population data as input for Steinnocher’s disaggregating approach. Afterwards the obtained population estimates should be evaluated with population reference data (e.g. population data at census tract level).

This BSc thesis should implement and evaluate the approach of Steinnocher at al. (2011) in R. It is an interdisciplinary project between the Institute of Geoinformatics and the Institute for Epidemiology and Social Medicine (Medical Faculty).

Contact

Dorothea Lemke (dorothea.lemke@uni-muenster.de)

Edzer Pebesma (edzer.pebesma@uni-muenster.de)

References

Aubrecht C, Ozceylan D, Steinnocher K, Freire S: Multi-level geospatial modelling of human exposure patterns and vulnerability indicators. Nat Hazards 2013, 68(1):147-163.

Steinnocher K., Köstl M., Weichselbaum J. (2011): Kleinräumige Bevölkerungsmodellierung für Europa – Räumliche Disaggregation auf Basis des Versiegelungsgrades. Strobl J., Blaschke T., Griesebner G. (Hrsg): Angewandte Geoinformatik 2011, Beiträge zum 23. AGIT-Symposium, 6.-8. Juli 2011.

CORINE land cover data: http://www.epa.ie/soilandbiodiversity/soils/land/corine/ (last access 09/20/13)

Fast Track Service Precursor on Land monitoring: http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/eea-fast-track-service-precursor-on-land-monitoring-degree-of-soil-sealing (last access 09/20/13)


 

Contact: Edzer Pebesma

SITCOMDepth layers for realistic overlays in videos

The sitcom lab has developed and launched the second prototype of its Immersive Video Environment (IVE). The new, light-weight architecture [1] allows for extending the system in a flexible way. Thus, previous bachelor and master theses were able to provide valuable and palpable results in research areas such as voice control or gesture recognition. One feature that is very characteristic for sitcom's IVE are virtual overlays. Such overlays allow any kind of content to be placed on top of existing video material. This way, any kind of system (e.g., an indoor navigation system) can be designed, prototyped, and evaluated in the lab at various development stages (e.g., early mock-ups based on PowerPoint slides or actual prototypes).

Currently, overlays can be placed on top of the video footage in a three dimensional space. This allows for visually aligning the overlays with the filmed environment, e.g., walls or sign posts, in order to create a quite convincing visual experience. In some situations, however, these superimposed overlays may disturb the immersive experience, i.e., when objects that should appear in front of the overlay are actually covered by it. The aim of this bachelor/master thesis is thus to develop and evaluate different ways of foreground/background extraction in the IVE video material (cf., e.g. [2]) that allows for a more realistic placement of overlays. 

 

[1] Ostkamp, M., Kray, C. Supporting Design, Prototyping, and Evaluation of Public Display Systems. Proc. EICS ’14, ACM (2014).

[2] Wang et al., TofCut: Towards Robust Real-time Foreground Extraction Using a Time-of-Flight Camera, http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/chazhang/publications/3dpvt10_chazhang.pdf

Contact: Morin Ostkamp

SILRepresenting orientation instructions with gestures.

When giving directions, we often use gestures to communicate changes in orientation. We rotate our bodies, wave our hands, and shift our heads. Seeing these gestures helps the person receiving the instruction to keep his/her orientation in the newly constructed mental map of the environment. They are intuitively given and intuitively understood. Many, even across distinct cultures. Navigational systems could potentially build on these gestures to represent changes in direction, or point to an important landmark lying along the route.

 

Bachelor students will run user studies to pick an interesting gesture potentially helpful during navigation. They will propose a modification to the existing navigational systems which utilises the gesture to support the navigation.

 

Master students will first run user studies to explore and classify the variety of relevant gestures used during direction-giving. Based on this classification, students will develop a concept of a navigational system which utilises some of those gestures.

 

Some reading:

Hirtle, Stephen C. "The use of maps, images and “gestures” for navigation." Spatial Cognition II. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2000. 31-40.

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SITCOMGesture Control for the Runner's devices

Sports activities are often supported by devices such as watches and phones, which require explicit input to request specific information such as having to perform a swipe gesture on a touch screen. These tasks can result in the user having to stop their motion in order to further interact.
 
Hand or head gestures can be recognised by computer devices and show promise in the potential to improve the device's usability during sports activities, being unobtrusive and thus minimising the effects of computer interaction on the sport.
 
The thesis will define suitable gestures that the user will wish to execute on smart devices and then find methods of detecting and classifying the gestures such as by using the devices' internal sensors or using worn external sensors. The developed system should then perform stably in running conditions, such that the gestural interaction is unobtrusive to the running activity.
 
The scope will be defined according to the candidate’s planned degree.
 
 

Contact: Matthias Seuter

SITCOMBenutzerschnittschnittstellen fr Raumzeitliche Suche

Zunehmend spielen bei der Suche nach Informationen Raum und Zeit eine wichtige Rolle.  Aktuelle Nutzerschnittstellen unterstützen dies jedoch oft nur per Schlüsselwort anfrage ("Finde ein Restaurant in meiner Nähe", "Finde ein Hotel in Paris"). Es sind jedoch deutlich mächtigere Schnittstellen denkbar, wo räumliche und zeitliche Kriterien intuitiver und feingranularer spezifiziert werden können. Zum Beispiel könnte der Suchbereich auf einer Karte markiert werden oder mittels einer Zeitleiste festgelegt werden, aus welchem Zeitintervall Ergebnisse gewünscht sind.

Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, Anforderungen an solche Nutzerschnittstellen zu ermitteln, Ideen zur Realisierung zu erarbeiten und mittels einer prototypischen Implementierung die Eigenschaften der entwickelten Ideen zu evaluieren.

Ein Beispiel für eine solche Nutzerschnittstelle findet sich hier.

Contact: Christian Kray

SITCOMDialoge auf Karten: Die Dialog Map im Einsatz

In dieser Bachelorarbeit soll eine weiterführende Evaluation und kleinere Verbesserungen an der „Dialog Map“ vorgenommen werden. Die Dialog Map wird unter anderem als Karte der Nachhaltigkeit in Kooperation mit dem Institut für Soziologie im Rahmen des Arbeitskreises Gemeinschafts- und Nachhaltigkeitsforschung eingesetzt. Bis jetzt ist die Karte primär als Informationsplattform verwendet worden, auf der sich interessierte Bürger informieren konnten. In einem nächsten Schritt sollen die bereits vorhandenen Funktionen der Dialog Map genutzt werden, um im Rahmen einer Evaluation mit Studenten zu testen inwieweit Argumente ausgetauscht oder Diskussionen auf einer Karte geführt werden können. Die Dialog Map bietet dafür verschiedene bereits existierende Funktionen wie z.B. in ein räumliches Threadsystem, Suche, Kategorien, etc. .

Die Aufgabe des/r Bachelorkandidat/in liegt darin die vorhandene & bereits fertige Implementierung leicht zu verbessern und im Anschluss eine Nutzerstudie mit Studenten durchzuführen, die die Dialog Map nutzen um einen räumlichen Dialog zu führen. Die Implementierung der Dialog Map ist auf Github zu finden und basiert auf Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL & PostGIS mit Leaflet / mapbox.js.

 

Contact: Chris Kray

SIIA metadata label for the semantic sensor web

The semantic sensor web publishes sensor metadata and observations using linked data technologies, e.g. the Semantic Sensor Network Ontology (SSNO). The GEO label is a visual and interactive metadata summary to make complex standardized metadata (i.e. ISO 19xxx-based) more accessible to users by visualizing the most important aspects of metadata for discovering suitable datasets. Examples for these so called facets are producer information, quality information, and expert reviews.

This thesis will evaluate SSNO and related ontologies to create a mapping between data encoded in linked data documents and the facets of the GEO label. This mapping will be used to implement a partial prototype of the GEO label API that supports the generation of visual GEO labels based on references to sensor (meta-) data encoded in SSNO.

Contact: Daniel Nst

SIIAssisted editing for geospatial metadata

Metadata editing is a cumbersome task. Editors of standardized metadata documents (such as ISO 19xxx or OGC standards) need in depth knowledge of the available possibilities, and often enough the standards are designed in a flexible manner so that there is more than one way to model the same piece of information. In practice, metadata are often copy and pasted based on existing datasets, or simple templates are used. Naturally, errors and bad practices are also copied this way. Thefore a common practice is to create subsets of the generic data models and standards, so called "profiles", which are suitable to specific user domains.

This thesis will assist the editor of geospatial metadata in new and more intuitive ways and show alternatives to the template-based approach and using profiles, because these are yet another standard document that users have to read.

Instead the student will create a concept for assited editing for geospatial metadata based on existing metadata records as well as a prototpye for a highly interactive user interface based on an existing open source metadata editor. The new UI will integrate a editing form and existing records in different ways, such as

  • displaying existing documents which are "related" or "similar" side by side so that users are always aware of them and can even take over parts of the information, or
  • a powerful and fast "autocomplete" functionality for every form field based on existing records (potentially using a document index database).

Based on the prototype, the new visualisation and interaction patterns are evaluated and requirements are derived for metadata manegement systems to answer the question: How can editors of complex geospatial metadata be supported based on existing metadata documents?

Contact: Daniel Nst

STML100 Euro Reproducible Research Box

Kleinstcomputer wie der Raspberry Pi haben im Bereich der Bastler und Bildung eine enorme Verbreitung gefunden. Dank der konstengünstigen Produktion von Platinen hat sich ein Ökosystem verschiedener Anbieter (zum Beispiel Odroid) auf Basis unterschiedlicher ARM-basierten Prozessoren mit mehr oder weniger Leistung oder Steckanschlüssen entwickelt (zum Beispiel eMMC Massenspeicheranschluss).

Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit soll der Student auf Basis eines solchen Systems einen Prototypen entwickeln, der in der Lage ist, eine reproduzierbare wissenschaftliche Analyse durchzuführen und das Ergbnis mit der Ursprünglichen Analyse zu vergleichen. Eine solche reproduzierbare Publikation ist mitsamt Daten und Analyseskripten in R in Form eines Docker Containers vorhanden. Da Docker aber die ARM-Architektur offiziell nicht unterstützt müssen die verschiedenen Community-Projekte gesichtet werden um eine Basis für das reproduzieren einer wissenschaftlichen Analyse zu schaffen. Auch die Docker Images für R müssen für ARM-Architekturen erstellt werden.

Wie kann so ein abgeschlossener Kasten für geowissenschaftliche Analysen, der in 30 Jahren nur an einen Bildschirm und Stromanschluss angeschlossen werden kann, funktionieren?

Die Arbeit kann auf Deutsch oder Englisch verfasst werden.

Contact: Daniel Nst

STMLR as an orchestration engine for the model web

The model web envisions the publication of standardized processes as web services. These services can be combined, i.e. chained or orchestrated, to integrate distributed resources, such as specific knowledge, data, or computing infrastructure. The most common standard for executing processes operating on geospatial data is the OGC Web Processing Service (http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/wps). Besides being a language for statistical computing an graphics, i.e. a GIS, R (http://r-project.org/) can also be used as a programming environment for scripting and data mangement. Therefore in this thesis, a concept shall be created how to integrate a WPS client application into R to call server-based WPS processes from R scripts. This task comprises a mapping of WPS concepts to R. These concepts at least comprise the WPS operations for process description and control as well as the input and output data structures, which have to be represented by appropritate R objects and functions. The concept is implemented in a prototypical R extension package (http://cran.r-project.org/doc/manuals/r-release/R-exts.html) and demonstrated with two partially WPS-based orchestrated workflows: (i) a classical GIS algorithm for vector data manipulation (e.g. buffering three non-overlapping polygons, creating the intersection, calculating the center of the created intersection) of at least three steps, where the first and last are executed via a WPS and the second within R; and (ii) a raster-based hydrological model based on locally available netCDF files. The workflows serve both for the formulation of the requirements and the evaluation of the concept for a WPS client in R.

 
Supervisors: Daniel Nüst (daniel.nuest@wwu.de), Edzer Pebesma (edzer.pebesma@wwu.de), Wouter Buytaert (w.buytaert@imperial.ac.uk)
 

Contact: Daniel Nst

SILQuerying, Analysing, and Visualising Semantically-rich 3D Models of Subsurface Utilities

Subsurface utility construction work often involves repositioning of, and working between, existing buried networks (cables, water pipes, and so on). While the amount of utilities in modern cities grows, excavation work becomes more prone to incidents.

To prevent such incidents, excavation workers request existing 2D utility maps and dig test trenches to validate their accuracy and completeness. However, information about subsurface utilities is typically only available in abstract (sometimes even out-dated) 2D schematic drawings, which often miss crucial 3D information about the reality of subsurface infrastructure.

We are currently working on this topic in collaboration with experts in the Construction Management and Engineering department, University of Twente. In this project you will:

  • develop tools and methods from artificial intelligence for capturing and formalising real expert knowledge about subsurface utilities
  • develop software for querying, analysing, and visualising semantically-rich 3D models of subsurface utilities - your research will take us beyond simple "drawings" of utilities, into real interactive 3D models of subsurface utilities e.g. to automatically identify regions of potential risk
  • develop case studies to evaluate your software systems based on real-world subsurface utility data


Through this application-based research project you will develop skills and experience in methods from artificial intelligence (AI). You will be introduced to the necessary tools and existing projects to build on. No prior experience with methods in AI is necessary (you will be given considerable support in this area). Some basic programming experience in an object-oriented programming language is recommended e.g. Java, C++, Python, etc.
 

Contact: Carl Peter Leslie Schultz

GeoSimSensitivity analysis of a land use change model

Land use change is the result of complex interactions between socio-economic and environmental processes. Land use change models are used to simulate potential pathways in a land use system, aiding decision makers to develop effective policies. Because these policies can have large environmental, economic and social impacts, it is important to clearly understand the working of land use change models.
 
Sensitivity analysis (SA) is a method to assess how the variation in the output of a model can be related to different sources of variation in the model structure, input data and parameter values. This is key information to, for example, prioritize additional data collection for one of the model inputs. While SA can be very straightforward and is recognized as a key step in environmental modelling, it is more often than not omitted in environmental model evaluation exercises (Shin et al., 2013). For land use change models, SA has almost never been applied.
 
The aim of this BSc thesis is to perform a sensitivity analysis for the land use change model PLUC, for a case study in Brazil or Mozambique (Verstegen et al., 2012). The code of the land use change model (in python) will be provided. Depending on the interests of the student, the analysis can have a further focus on comparing two different SA methods (see Shin et al., 2013 for an overview of methods), on the dependence of the sensitivities on selected parameter ranges, on sensitivities at different spatial scales, on visualization methods for sensitivities, or an own idea. 
 
References: 
Shin, Guillaume, Croke and Jakeman, 2013, Addressing ten questions about conceptual rainfall–runoff models with global sensitivity analyses in R. Journal of Hydrology 503, 135-152.
Verstegen, Karssenberg, Van der Hilst and Faaij, 2012, Spatio-temporal uncertainty in Spatial Decision Support Systems: A case study of changing land availability for bioenergy crops in Mozambique. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 36, 30-42.
 

Contact: Judith Verstegen

SITCOMUser interfaces for figure comparison

Reproducibility of research results is a key topic in science. Research is considered to be reproducible if people other than the author are able to rerun the analysis and to achieve the same results that are reported in the paper. An important aspect in this context is to make sure that figures are the same before/after recomputation.

The goal of this thesis is to develop a user interface facilitating readers to compare similar figures by an optical approach (both figures are placed next to each other) and/or by an automatic approach (perceptual hashes). The prototypical implementation is followed up by a user-based or technical evaluation.

The thesis can be written in German or English language.

Contact: Markus Konkol

GeoSimWeb-based education in programming

A few years ago, all computer practicals at the university were taught at university-owned desktop computers. Nowadays, many students prefer to work on their own laptops. The installation of all required software and packages, and the setting of environment variables can be cumbersome for some of them.

In this project, you will test a solution for this problem by developing web tutorials in which the programming exercises can implemented, run, and stored, without any installation on the part of the user. The idea is to implement Jupyter Notebooks (http://jupyter.org/index.html) with a server running JupyterHub. For an example on how Jupyter is used in education, see https://developer.rackspace.com/blog/deploying-jupyterhub-for-education/. You can use existing IFGI course material for programming in R and PCRaster Python as test data. If successful, your solution will be implemented in the curriculum.

Contact: Judith Verstegen

SILEnhancing Artificial Intelligence with Kinetic Data Structures: Applications in Medicine and GIS

Powerful methods in an area called "kinetic data structures" provide a rapid way of solving a wide range of spatial reasoning problems. For example, as a user manipulates some shapes (polygons, points) in an "intelligent" sketch, the sketch automatically updates itself to maintain certain spatial constraints (e.g. one polygon remains "inside" another polygon).

In medicine these shapes could represent different types of cells that have been automatically recognised from images of a tissue section, and the task could be to "bring the image to life" by allowing users to interact with the cells (move, resize), and to reason about the image to determine whether the cells are cancerous (histopathology). In geographic information systems these shapes could represent streets, buildings, and landmarks recognised from satellite images or directly from a hand-drawn sketch.

In this thesis project you will be:

  • learning about kinetic data structures
  • investigating how these can be used to support artificial intelligence, particularly "common sense" spatial reasoning

 
This project has a strong application focus: medicine (histopathology) and GIS. You will use this enhanced technology for a range of exciting tasks, such as:

  • providing new ways of interacting with complex spatial data using "intelligent" diagrams
  • improving computer-based image recognition by automatically correcting errors based on knowledge about objects in the domain

Through this research project you will develop skills and experience in the application of methods in artificial intelligence (AI). You will be introduced to the necessary tools and existing projects to build on. No prior experience with methods in AI is necessary (you will be given considerable support in this area).
 

Contact: Carl Schultz

STMLVorbereitung eines rumlichen Evaluierungsdesigns fr das Brustkrebs-Screening Programm im Raum Essen

Seit Ende 2005 gibt es in Deutschland ein bundesweites, organisiertes und bevölkerungsbezogenes Brustkrebes-Screening-Programm (MSP). Jede Frau im Alter zwischen 50 und 69 Jahren erhält dabei alle zwei Jahre eine Einladung zum Screening, mit dem Ziel, Brustkrebs in einem frühen Stadium der Erkrankung zu entdecken, um die Heilungschancen zu erhöhen und idealerweise die Brustkrebs-
Sterblichkeit zu senken. Dennoch erreichen die bundesweiten Teilnehmerraten nur 50 bis 55% und variieren dabei erheblich zwischen Bevölkerungssubgruppen. Für eine räumliche/intra-urbane Evaluierung der Teilnahme am MSP wird daher eine BSc-KandidatIn gesucht, die im Vorfeld die Datenbeschaffung und das Datenmanagement übernimmt. Dabei sollen epidemiologische, demographische und sozioökonomische Daten im Zeitraum 2006-2014 für den Raum Essen zusammengestellt werden.
 
Die Aufgaben umfassen:
-
-
Aufbau einer Geo-Datenbank mit den Daten:
o Räumliche Verknüpfung der Brustkrebsdaten mit den Stadtteilen
o Datenbeschaffung und Bereinigung demographischer und
sozioökonomischer Daten auf Stadtteil-Ebene
Deskriptive Auswertungen der Daten
 
Diese Arbeit findet in Kooperation mit der Hochschule für Gesundheit in Bochum statt. Vom Kandidaten wird erwartet, dass er/sie Treffen mit Hochschule für Gesundheit wahrnimmt und teilweise „vor Ort“ in Bochum arbeitet. Weiterhin wird von dem/r KandidatIN erwartet, dass eine Datenschutzerklärung unterschrieben wird zur Wahrung des Datenschutzes. Des Weiteren wird ein routinierter Umgang mit GIS, R und den Office-Programmen vorausgesetzt.
 
Ansprechpartner:
FB 14/WWU
Dr. Dorothea Lemke
Tel: 83 30003
dorothea.lemke@wwu.de
 
Dept. of Community Health/ hsg-Bochum
Dr. Shoma Berkemeyer
Tel: 0234 77727-720
shoma.berkemeyer@hs-gesundheit.de

Contact: Edzer Pebesma

SITCOMNovel Interaction Techniques for the Runner's devices

Runners can use devices to support their activities such as MP3 players, watches and smartphones. However, these devices can be hard to use while running and lead to consequences such as the runner having to stop or deciding not to interact despite needing information. Thus, we wish to investigate novel and unobtrusive interaction techniques that have not yet been tested in the running context.
 
The thesis will propose novel interaction techniques which would then be evaluated and compared against the typical standard techniques used by current devices. The goal is to discover the appropriate senses and behaviours to utilise for interaction techniques for runners, and to find what specific techniques are most unobtrusive to running.
 
The scope will be defined according to the candidate’s planned degree.
 

Contact: Matthias Seuter

STMLMonitoring Violent Conflicts: Web-mapping platform to combine automatic and manual image analysis

Deutsch:

Die große Zahl gewaltsamer Konflikte weltweit und das Ausmaß, zu dem Menschenrechte hierbei verletzt werden, machen eine genaue Überwachung und Dokumentation von Konflikten unabdingbar. Da eine ausführliche bodengebundene Überwachung des Kriegsverlaufes und seiner Auswirkungen jedoch -insbesondere in abgelegenen Regionen- häufig kaum möglich ist, werden Fernerkundungsmethoden und GI-Technologien immer häufiger dazu eingesetzt, Kampfhandlungen in Kriegsgebieten zu dokumentieren. Satellitenbilder können zum Beispiel visuellen Zugang zu schwer erreichbaren Regionen ermöglichen und lokale Berichte über Gewalt und Zerstörung bestätigen. Die meisten praktischen Anwendungen verlassen sich dabei bisher vor allem auf die manuelle Bildanalyse und Identifikation von verdächtigen Objekten (z.B. zerstörte Gebäude). Der Zeit- und Kostenaufwand solcher Analysen ist jedoch erheblich. Eine Möglichkeit, mit dem immensen Aufwand umzugehen, ist die Verteilung der Arbeit auf verschiedene Analysten in sogenannten crowd-sourcing Netzwerken (mit Hilfe von micro-tasking Anwendungen, siehe z. B. http://www.tomnod.com/). Hierbei werden die Fernerkundungsdaten in kleinere Ausschnitte eingeteilt und individuell von Freiwilligen auf z.B. zerstörte Gebäude untersucht. Eine andere Strategie ist die Verwendung (semi-) automatischer Bildanalyse- und Klassifikationsmethoden zur Identifikation von Zerstörungen, um den manuellen Aufwand zu verringern. Momentan konzentrieren sich die verschiedenen Ansätze entweder auf die web-mapping/crowd-sourcing Ansätze oder die Methoden zur automatischen Bildanalyse.

Ziel der Bachelorarbeit ist es, ein prototypisches web-mapping/crowd-sourcing Werkzeug zu entwickeln, dass beide genannten Strategien verbindet. Hierbei sollen bereits vorhandene Ergebnisse aus automatischen Bildanalysen integriert werden, indem sie als Basis für die Erstellung und Priorisierung der Bildausschnitte für die manuelle Analyse dienen. Bildausschnitte mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit/Dichte von Zerstörungen (gemäß der Ergebnisse der automatischen Methoden) sollen automatisch höhere Priorität im folgenden manuellen Analyseprozess bekommen. Die zu verarbeitenden Eingabedaten können dabei in unterschiedlichem Detaillierungsgrad vorliegen, z.B. Polygone mit unterschiedlichen Wahrscheinlichkeiten/Dichten von Zerstörung oder einzelne Punkte, die die Position von zerstörten Gebäuden anzeigen. Das zu entwickelnde Werkzeug sollte eine Methode enthalten, um mit Hilfe dieser Daten sinnvoll kleinere Ausschnitte aus den vorliegenden Fernerkundungsbildern zu erstellen und diese zu priorisieren. Zusätzlich sollten Werkzeuge bereitstehen, um Nutzer/innen eine sinnvolle Visualisierung bi-temporaler Daten (vor und nach angeblicher Attacken)  und das Markieren von Zerstörungen zu ermöglichen. Optional können natürlich weitere Methoden oder Schnittstellen für die Kombination automatischer und manueller Analyse erdacht und entwickelt werden.

English:

The high number of violent conflicts worldwide and the extent to which human rights are abused during acts of war stress the need for close monitoring and documentation of conflict areas to strengthen public international law. As a comprehensive ground‐level documentation of combat impacts is often hardly possible in conflict areas, satellite imagery and geospatial technology are increasingly being used to document and communicate human rights issues. Satellite images can for example provide visual access to remote or insecure areas as well as visual evidence to corroborate on-the-ground reports on human rights violations. Most of the practical applications rely on the manual image interpretation and identification of objects of interest. However, the time consumption of such analyses is substantial. One strategy to cope with the immense workload is to make use of a decentralized approach and distribute the work among several analysts e.g. within crowd-sourcing networks (by use of micro tasking tools, see e.g. http://www.tomnod.com/). Here the images are divided into subsets and individually investigated by volunteers. Another strategy is to use computer assisted methods for (semi-) automatic information extraction to reduce the analysis workload. Current approaches focus on either web-mapping for collaborative monitoring of violence or on image analysis and classification methods for automatically detecting structural damage in conflict areas.

The aim of this thesis is to develop a prototypical web-mapping and micro-tasking tool for collaborative conflict monitoring which combines both abovementioned fields. It should integrate existing results from automatic classification methods by using them as a basis for the automatic creation and prioritization of areas of interest. Areas with a high probability/density of destruction get a higher priority for the subsequent manual analysis by volunteers. The input data can be in different levels of detail, e.g. polygons of areas with different probabilities of destruction or even point data indicating the location of destructed buildings. The web application should include a method to create and prioritize image subsets based on this input data and contain tools for a meaningful visualization of bi-temporal image data (pre- and post-conflict image) as well as for manually tagging destructed buildings. Optionally, further methods and interfaces combining automatic and manual image analysis can be developed.

Contact: Christian Knoth

SIIRich Data Interface for Copernicus Data

Copernicus is a European Earth observation programme with the goal “to provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and en-sure civil security” (ESA 2015). Within Copernicus, a series of new satellite mis-sions will be executed to gather new satellite data. The first mission acquiring ra-dar data, called Sentinel-1, and the second mission gathering multi-spectral high-resolution data have already been launched.
In order to derive higher-level information products, the data needs to be pro-cessed, e.g. by using segmentation algorithms. In former times, the workflow in-cluded downloading the data, pre-processing it by selecting the spatial and/or temporal extent, and then running the actual segmentation process. The idea of rich data interfaces is that these processing facillities for deriving new information products are directly provided with the data in order to avoid downloading large raw datasets.
The aim of this bachelor thesis is to investigate how the OGC Web Processing Service (WPS) standard (Mueller & Pross, 2015), which defines a web service in-terface for geoprocessing functionality, can be utilized for such a rich data inter-face for the Copernicus. The expected outcomes are
(i) architecture patterns for coupling WPSs with copernicus data interfaces (ii) a prototypical implementation (iii) an evaluation of the concepts developed.
In order to successfully work on the thesis, good knowledge in Web technologies and Java programming is required as well as interest in remote sensing and EO-analysis. The work will be done in cooperation with the 52°North Open Source ini-tiative.
Literature:
Mueller, Matthias, and B. Pross. “OGC WPS 2.0 Interface Standard”. OpenGIS Implementation Standard, Version 2.0, OGC 14-065. (2014).
ESA. “Overview/Copernicus”. Available online at http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Copernicus/Overview3. (2015) Accessed 29/05/2015.
Contact:
Prof. Dr. Albert Remke (a.remke@52north.org) Dr. Christoph Stasch (c.stasch@52north.org)

Contact: Prof. Dr. Albert Remke

STMLDas knnte Sie auch interessieren

Im Arbeitsfeld der reproduzierbaren Forschung werden wissenschaftliche Artikel gemeinsam mit Daten und Programmcode in Form von Kompendien organisiert. Ziel solcher Kompendien ist es, die Daten oder die Analysen austauschbar zu gestalten, sowie den Zugang zu Daten und Software langfristig zu sicherzustellen. Für ein gutes Benutzererlebnis sollte der Austausch von Daten und Analysen zwischen Kompendien einfach und stabil sein, die einen Daten also kompatibel mit dem anderen Code.

Suchdatenbanken, wie zum Beispiel Elasticsearch, spielen beim Auffinden von Dokumenten im Web eine zentrale Rolle. Eine typische Funktion einer Suche ist das Vorschlagen ähnlicher Dokumente auf Basis hochperformanter invertierter Indizes.

Einen ersten Schritt hin zur Kompabilitätanalyse stellen direkte und mittelbare Metadaten dar die in Suchdatenbanken gesammelt werden. Diese Metadaten werden heute meist vom Autor erstellt (abstract, keywords) und nicht umfassend. Auf der Basis von Kompendien können diese und weitere Informationen aus den Sekundärdateien (Daten, Quellcode) abgeleitet werden. Zum Beispiel könnten ähnliche genutzte Softwarekomponenten oder Datenausschnitte einen Hinweis darauf geben, dass zwei gegebene Kompendien so weit kompatibel sind, dass die Daten des einen mit der Analyse des anderen kombiniert werden können.

Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, die möglichen Quellen von Metadaten wissenschaftlicher Publikationen zu sichten und mit den Anforderungen des Anwendungsfalls zusammen zu führen. Es sollen neue Wege zur Erweiterung, Integration und Vergleich der Metadatensätze entworfen und mittels einer prototypischen Implementierung evaluiert werden.

Die Arbeit kann auf Deutsch oder Englisch verfasst werden.

 

Contact: Daniel Nst

SITCOMAutomatische Erstellung interaktiver Benutzeroberflchen von wissenschaftlichen Publikation

Die klassische wissenschaftliche Publikation entspricht nicht mehr dem heutigen Standard der Technik. Statische PDFs werden daher immer mehr abgelöst von dynamischen HTML-Seiten. Aber auch diese liefern nur rudimentäre Möglichkeiten zur Interaktion: Diagramme können vergrößert, Zeitreihen oder Karten können gepant und gezoomt werden. Ein Anpassen der ursprünglichen Annahme für diese Darstellungen ist nicht möglich. Publikationen die dem Paradigma von “literate programming” folgen beinhalten den Quellcode der in ihnen enthaltenen Diagramme und öffnen so den Weg zu einem neuen Level an Interaktion für den Betrachter, welches nun erschlossen werden soll. Eingabeparameter im Quellcode müssen dafür mit geeigneten Interaktionsmöglichkeiten (z.B. Schalter, Schieberegler) verbunden werden und eine Manipulation dieser Eingaben zu einer Neuerstellung einer Darstellung führen.

Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, neue Wege zur manuellen, halb-automatischen oder vollautomatischen Ableitung von Benutzerschnittstellen auf Basis von zur Verfügung gestellten R-Skripten und Sweave/RMarkdown-Dokumente zu untersuchen, prototypisch umzusetzen und zu evaluieren. Mögliche Ansätze können zum Bespiel vom ursprünglichen Autor erstellte Anmerkungen im Quellcode, eine Analyse des Quelltextes von Funktionen sowie ihrer Dokumentationen (erlaubte Eingaben, Hilfetexte), oder eine Überwachung des R-Interpretierers sein. Die Studentin soll diese verschiedenen Ansätze im Hinblick auf ein zu wählendes UI-Widget betrachten.

Die Arbeit kann auf Deutsch oder Englisch verfasst werden. Es ist sowohl ein Schwerpunkt in HCI als auch Programmanalyse/Softwarearchitektur möglich.

 

Contact: Daniel Nst, Markus Konkol

SITCOMAssistenten zur Erstellung reproduzierbarer wissenschaftlicher Publikationen

Reproduzierbarkeit ist eine Kerneigenschaft von Forschung, die Wissenschaftler bei virtuellen “in silico” Experimenten vor besondere Herausforderungen stellt. Um abgeschlossene Analysen auch langfristig wiederholbar gestalten, können Daten, Analysesoftware und Textdokumente zusammen in Form von ausführbaren Kompendien archiviert werden.

Die Erstellung solchen Kompendien erfordert zusätzliches Wissen auf Seiten der Forscher. Zur Vereinfachung soll ihnen ein interaktives Werkzeug an die Hand gegeben werden, dass sie durch den Erstellungsprozess begleitet. Idealerweise ist ein solcher Assistent in ihre bekannte Analyseumgebung integriert und bietet Funktionen zum Erstellen und Überprüfen von Kompendien.

Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, für die statistische Analyseumgebung R ein Konzept für interaktive Assistenten in existierenden R-Entwicklungsumgebungen zu entwickeln. Dieses Konzept soll insbesondere raum-zeitliche Aspekte der zu verpackenden Analyse berücksichten (z.B. halb-automatische Auswahl des analysierten Raumausschnittes). Das Konzept ist prototypisch umzusetzen und zu evaluieren. Mögliche Basisumgebungen sind RStudio/Shiny (Shiny Gadgets/Addins) oder ein text-basiertes CLI innerhalb von R.

Die Arbeit kann auf Deutsch oder Englisch verfasst werden.

 

Contact: Daniel Nst

Utilising crowdsourcing approaches to derive crowd pattern / crowd context from aerial images of major events

Crowd context is an information that goes beyond crowd / people density information. During major events (like music festivals or football games) a high crowd density does not necessarily indicate high risk for dangerous situations (e.g. mass panic). In contrary, a high people density might result from queues in front of refreshment stand, from a group of friends talking or dancing as well as other – more or less – harmless situations.

The major goal of this thesis is to develop new crowdsourcing approaches to derive crowd context information (or different crowd patterns) from aerial images of major events. Test data (from Wacken, Rock am Ring and a football match of Borussia Mönchengladbach) is available and can be used for testing and development. The information gathered with the new crowdsourcing approach should be used as training data for automatic classification algorithms (e.g. machine learning approaches / neural networks).

Contact: Florian Hillen

SITCOMNavigation Instructions for Running in the Unknown

Navigation applications typically support walking and driving. Well researched are navigation for car driving, cycling, and walking in urban environments or nature. As a special use case of navigation apps for pedestrians, we should also consider navigation for running sports. A navigation application that provides turn-by-turn instructions to stay on track makes sense for anyone who experienced running in an area, unknown to him or her, e.g. when traveling or after relocating.
 
On the one hand, there is evidence that runners prefer other navigation cues over explicit instructions (McGookin and Brewster, 2013; McGookin et al., 2015). Furthermore, routing, such as turn-by-turn instructions, could force the runner to stop the activity (Marshall and Tennent, 2013). From this view, navigation support should help to support the exploratory nature of a run. On the other hand, not every run or part of a run is of exploratory nature. A simple contrasting example to the mentioned findings is: when being told a route, a runner may want to stay on track exactly. This seemingly opposing requirement makes still sense with McGookin’s concept because running the dedicated/planned route may serve the personal knowledge resulting in a repertoire of favorite tracks. However, there is a need to provide exact routing with navigation applications. The challenge remains the design of the instructions.
 
An open question is, upfront, how is navigating while running different from common pedestrian navigation? One difference may be the area in which running takes place. Here, some differences between navigating urban districts and nature are clear, including structural features of the environment such as streets versus forests and landmarks such as rocks or trees versus buildings. Another difference makes the purpose of the navigation application. In the running context, as opposed to finding the shopping center, the run itself is the purpose.
 
Thus, how should we design navigation instructions for running sports? There are different modalities one might want to use for presenting navigation instructions. Possible modalities include visual cues, vibration or speech and sound in general. However, the sports domain challenges what we think we know about navigation systems. Navigation support for running activities is out of the scope of the well-developed navigation apps for driving scenarios. While it is possible, that concepts apply, it is equally possible, that certain concepts need adjustments.
 
A thesis would contribute by mapping out how navigation instructions should be designed.
 
The scope of the thesis will be defined according to the candidate’s planned degree. The work should contribute to a follow-up publication.
 
1st Supervisor: Matthias Seuter
2nd Supervisor: t.b.a.
 
Literature:
 
Joe Marshall and Paul Tennent. 2013. Mobile Interaction Does Not Exist. In CHI ’13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’13), 2069–2078. https://doi.org/10.1145/2468356.2468725
 
David McGookin, Dimitra Gkatzia, and Helen Hastie. 2015. Exploratory Navigation for Runners Through Geographic Area Classification with Crowd-Sourced Data. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI ’15), 357–361. https://doi.org/10.1145/2785830.2785879
 
David K. McGookin and Stephen A. Brewster. 2013. Investigating and Supporting Undirected Navigation for Runners. In CHI ’13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’13), 1395–1400. https://doi.org/10.1145/2468356.2468605
 

Contact: Matthias Seuter

SITCOMUnderstanding Interference of Interactions with Running Movement

Devices that can be used by runners to support their activities include MP3 players, watches, and smartphones. However, these devices can be hard to use while running. As a consequence, the runner must stop to perform more complicated interactions (Marshall and Tennent, 2013), or decide to not interact despite having an information need.
 
The broader research theme is the understanding of computer use while running. Recent work in this area include (Tholander and Nylander, 2014) and (Jensen and Muller, 2014) focusing on new technology use and the user’s needs, (Knaving et al., 2015) focusing on motivational themes, and (Woźniak et al., 2015) focusing on the runners’ social context and support.
 
In contrast to research into motivation and needs, this thesis aims at the interaction with devices during running. Specifically, this thesis aims at the interference between the two movements required: the movement for the interaction and the running movement. The general question we aim to address is: What does interference with the running activity mean? For instance, how can we say that pressing a button interferes more with the running movement than performing a head gesture? Such a comparison is currently subject to unknown factors, especially when judging “every day” or “in the wild” uses.
 
Fortunately, different methods allow for observing interferences with running movement due to interacting: Online surveys, interviews, and focus groups offer a qualitative approach. Experimental settings may be set up in a fitness center using a treadmill or in the field using wearable cameras and geo-tagging. A candidate will choose a suitable combination of the available methods for addressing the research problem. The successful thesis will provide a profound answer, based on the user’s feelings and opinions.
 
The particular contributions of this thesis are namely, (1) the identifications of the factors that determine how disruptive an interaction while running feels to the user, and (2) the understanding of the meaning of these factors, resulting in a formal description of interference of interactions with running movement.
 
The scope of the thesis will be defined according to the candidate’s planned degree. The work should contribute to a follow-up publication.
 
1st Supervisor: Matthias Seuter
2nd Supervisor: t.b.a.
 
Literature:
 
Mads Møller Jensen and Florian “Floyd” Mueller. 2014. Running with Technology: Where Are We Heading? In Proceedings of the 26th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference on Designing Futures: The Future of Design (OzCHI ’14), 527–530. https://doi.org/10.1145/2686612.2686696
 
Kristina Knaving, Pawe\l Wo\lniak, Morten Fjeld, and Staffan Björk. 2015. Flow is Not Enough: Understanding the Needs of Advanced Amateur Runners to Design Motivation Technology. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15), 2013–2022. https://doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702542
 
Joe Marshall and Paul Tennent. 2013. Mobile Interaction Does Not Exist. In CHI ’13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’13), 2069–2078. https://doi.org/10.1145/2468356.2468725
 
Stina Nylander and Jakob Tholander. 2014. Designing for Movement: the Case of Sports. 130–135. https://doi.org/10.1145/2617995.2618018
 
Pawe\l Woźniak, Kristina Knaving, Staffan Björk, and Morten Fjeld. 2015. Untangling Running: Designing for Real-life Runner Experiences. interactions 22, 2: 40–43. https://doi.org/10.1145/2724584
 

Contact: Matthias Seuter

SITCOMTouch-ings

Touch input is a major input technology in modern devices. For example, devices can sense the user’s finger when touching an input field. The capacitive sensing approach exploits the capacitance of the human body: Aluminum foil, copper or silver thread are materials that, together with the human body, form a capacitor. The signal runtime from a source to a target changes with "touching" the wire because the human body needs to be charged additionally. The Arduino CapacitiveSensor library helps to measure the change in the time to load a signal from one pin to another.
 
While instrumentalizing a couch or lamp (for input or sensing) is a straightforward task, it is a challenge to implement an experiment in highly dynamic contexts (e.g. human movement). The goal of this thesis is to design and implement a wearable system that has many body attached touch targets. The system allows for measuring touch events on these targets reliable and accurate. A successful Thesis demonstrates the potential for using the developed wearable system for measuring input timing while moving. The candidate's study design should include a measure of the degree of movement as an independent variable.
 
The “Project 13 - Touchy-feely Lamp” of the “Arduino Projects Book” may be a rocket start into the proposed thesis project. A candidate may start using Arduino connected targets made of aluminum foil to detect and log events of touch interactions.
 
The scope of the thesis will be defined according to the candidate’s planned degree. The work should contribute to a follow-up publication.
 
1st Supervisor: Matthias Seuter
2nd Supervisor: t.b.a.
 
 

Contact: Matthias Seuter

SITCOMGeoCollages

Für traditionelle Karten existiert das Schichtenmodell (Layer), das den Nutzern von GIS, WebGIS und anderen kartenbasierten Diensten viele Funktionen an die Hand gibt. Damit ist es beispielsweise möglich selektiv nur bestimmte Aspekte zu visualisieren, unterschiedliche Versionen der selben Geo-Daten vorzuhalten und verschieden Szenarien zu vergleichen.  Terrestrische Bildinformation wie Panoramabilder oder 360 Grad Videos sind eine alternative Möglichkeiten zu Karten um die Welt darzustellen, die für Nicht-Experten möglicherweise einfacher zu verstehen ist als Karten.  Allerdings gibt es für Photos oder Videos von räumlichen Featuren kein klar definiertes Konzept ähnlich den Layern bei Karten, dass eine vergleichbare Menge von Funktionen unterstützen würden.  Ziel dieses Projektes ist es daher ein solches Konzept von “GeoCollagen” zu entwickeln, zu implementieren und zu evaluieren.  Dabei kann das Thema von verschiedenen Richtungen angegangen werden und das Bearbeiten unterschiedlicher Forschungsfragen ist möglich:

 

  • Datenmodelle und grundlegende Operation für GeoCollagen
  • Benutzerschnittstellen für das Erstellen von GeoCollagen
  • Interaktionsmechanismen und Benutzerschnittstellen für die Exploration von GeoCollagen
  • Entwicklung und Evaluierung einer prototypischen Anwendung von GeoCollagen für die Stadtplanung

 

Die grundlegende Infrastruktur für die Darstellung, das Speichern und Verwalten von Videos, Photos und Overlays existiert bereits, so dass Arbeiten an diesem Thema nicht von Null starten würden.  Dieser Themenbereich bietet die Option für mehrere Personen parallel an unterschiedlichen aber komplementären Teilthemen zu arbeiten.

Contact: Christian Kray

SILInferring Spatial Knowledge

Studies in psychology and spatial technologies traditionally assume that people (participants, users) do or do not have knowledge of particular parts of space (e.g. buildings or cities). But in our everyday life we don't really need exact spatial knowledge in order to make correct spatial choices. We turn into streets we haven't visited before because we infer where they might lead us. This process is also known as spatial reasoning but has rarely been studied in the applied navigational setting.

In this work, you will explore what we know about what people don't know (!). Few different ways of completing this thesis are possible, such as desiging a research tool for studying real-time inference of spatial knowledge, or user studies documenting such process.

 

Some reading (not necessary to have an informal chat with me):

Tversky, “Spatial cognition: Embodied and situated,” in The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition, M. Aydede and P. Robbins, Eds. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp. 201–216. (important is the 'situated' part)

Tversky, “Cognitive maps, cognitive collages, and spatial mental models,” in Spatial Information Theory A Theoretical Basis for GIS: European Conference, COSIT’93 Marciana Marina, Elba Island, Italy September 19--22, 1993 Proceedings, A. U. Frank and I. Campari, Eds. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 1993, pp. 14–24.

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SITCOMInteractive Design Space of Positioning Systems

Positioning systems are used to obtain positioning information such as location, orientation, speed, etc of a person. Thus, they provide an essential service for Location Based Systems (LBS). Over the years, different types of positioning systems have been built, with different capabilities. We analyzed these existing positioning systems and created a design space as a systematic approach for representing positioning systems in general.

 

This thesis will develop and evaluate an application to represent this design space. This application will,

 

  • Let users to input information about the positioning systems they develop (Technology, Measurements used, Accuracy, etc.)
  • Let users to input metadata about the positioning systems they develop (year, authors, paper title, link to source code, etc.)
  • Generate summaries/ valuable information from existing data (eg. what are the positioning systems with accuracy > 1m?, percentage of systems that use WiFi, etc.)
  • Visualize the design space
  • etc.

 

Contact: Champika Manel Epa Ranasinghe


Master

SITCOMAdaptive visualisation of directions

Various sensors are available to determine where a person is located (GPS, GSM, WiFi, Beacons etc.) but in practice it is rarely the case that information about the user's location is perfectly precise, accurate and recent.  Various interfere with location sensing, for example, reflections might cause problems for GPS and the presence of many people might cause issues for WiFi-based positioning.  When the location (and orientation) of a person is subject to these problems, then it becomes difficult for a system to provide good navigation support, i.e. to give directions that a user can easily follow

The goal of this MSc thesis is thus to design and evaluate different visualisation strategies for giving directions depending on the quality of the location information available.  Based on an existing classification of typical problems and errors, this thesis will identify existing means to visualise directions, analyse their dependency on the quality of location information and develop new visualisation strategies.  In order to evaluate these strategies, they need to be tested with actual users.

Contact: Christian Kray

ifgicopterUAV / UAS (Drohnen) Remote Sensing/GIS: Vegetationsspezifische Geodatenanalyse/Workflows

Thema: Im Rahmen der gemeinsamen IFGIcopter und ILÖK UAV Initiative werden  kontinuierlich vegetationsspezifische Fernerkundungsdaten unterschiedlichster UAV-Sensoren (Drohnen) aufgenommen und ausgewertet. Besondere Schwerpunkte sind die Erfassung und Analyse von Vegetationsmustern, Vitalitätsparametern und inversiver Arten mittels multispektraler UAS Daten. In diesem Kontext spielen die Datenverarbeitung und Visualisierung (auch 3D) mittels verschiedenster geoinformatischer Werkzeuge (GIS, kommerzielle Software, Web-Tools und Eigenprogrammierungen etc.) eine große Rolle. Wer Interesse an einer interdisziplinären Fragestellung in diesem Bereich hat, wende sich an die beiden Ansprechpartner [2017].

Ansprechpartner: Torsten Prinz / Jan Lehmann

Contact: Torsten Prinz

ifgicopterCrowd Managment, Geodaten Fusion und Dronen-Technologie: Mglichkeiten und Perspektiven

Thema: Im Rahmen von aktuellen IFGIcopter-Aktivitäten bietet das Spannungsfeld Drohnen/UAV und Geodatenfusion' interessante Schnittstellen hinsichtlich geoinformatischer Datenanalyse und Werkzeugentwicklung. Fernerkundungsdaten unterschiedlichster UAV-Sensoren können z.B. unterschiedlichste zeitabhängige Momentaufnahmen von 'Geo-Objektverlagerungen' erfassen und mittels Fusion mit Sekundärdaten zu Modellen einer dynamischen Entwicklung führen. In diesem Kontext spielen die Datenverarbeitung und Visualisierung (auch 3D) mittels verschiedenster geoinformatischer Werkzeuge (GIS, kommerzielle Software, Web-Tools und Eigenprogrammierungen etc.) eine große Rolle. Wer Interesse an einer interdisziplinären Fragestellung in diesem Bereich hat, wende sich an die beiden Ansprechpartner [2017].

Ansprechpartner: Torsten Prinz / Florian Hillen

Contact: Torsten Prinz

MUSILExploring spatial cause-effect relationships in cancer research

The goal of the work (jointly conducted with the ‘Institut für Epidemiologie und Sozialmedizin’ (IES) at the University of Münster) is to develop a spatial recommender system which assists in exploring cause-effect relationships of significant incidence elevations of selected cancer types in a predefined geographic region. The system should draw on Linked Data techniques to answer two types of queries:

  • Q1: given a significant elevation of the cancer risk (parameterized through the standardized incidence ratio) for a certain tumour and at a certain spatial unit (e.g. community level), what are possible (spatial) cancer causes and cancer risk factors?
  • Q2: given an elevated cancer cause/risk factor in a geographic region, what are types of cancer likely to occur?

The tasks of the student include both a modelling component and an implementation component. The modelling aspect involves:

  • The specification of a use case (together with the IES);
  • Identify useful taxonomies for cancer research as well as known causes and risk factors for selected cancer types in the monographies of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

The implementation aspect includes:

  • The encoding of data from the use case using Linked Data techniques;
  • The development of a Web Interface.

The successful candidate is expected to write the Master’s thesis in the Summer Semester 2014. S/he should have epidemiological background knowledge about cancer etiologies or willingness to learn about them. Programming knowledge (HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript) as well as knowledge of Semantic Web Technologies such as RDF, SPARQL is desirable but not mandatory.

Contact: Auriol Degbelo

SILExploring orientation information in human wayfinding instruction (+ External Semester)

Maps are the fundamental source of providing configurational knowledge, while sketch maps reduce the complexity of map information and maintain a cognitively sufficient resource of spatial knowledge for wayfinding. In this study, sketch maps are cooperated with landmarks to achieve the goal of facilitating wayfinding and acquisition of spatial knowledge.

Tasks in this study include, but not limited:

1. Drawing from literature and previous research, an ideal level of details/complexity of sketch maps shall be derived;

2. Choosing landmarks at both local and global scales that could be integrated in the derived sketch maps;

3. Evaluating the effectiveness of integrated sketch maps.

This master thesis topic is intended to be combined with an external semester at the University of Albany (Prof. Rui Li).

 

Contact: Angela Schwering

STMLOne-Click-Reproduce

Researchers face an increasing need to share the input data, data created, and analysis steps along with published papers, in order to allow readers to reproduce their analysis. This MSc thesis will explain to journals how they can enable this, with focus on the R environment (http://www.r-project.org/).

Reproducibility is an important aspect of geoscientific research, because the credibility of science is at stake when research is not reproducible.  A mature and growing community relies on the R software environment for carrying out geoscientific research, and numerous R extension packages have been published for geoscientific analysis. Geoscientific data often have complex structures (variety in reference systems for space and time, high dimensionality, complex phenomena need be represented by appropriate data structures), and concensus on data file formats is lacking. R Data files can represent data of arbitrary complexity in a direct-to-use form.  To reproduce the work presented in scientific publications, the open source  R environment only requires R Data files and R analysis scripts. The One-Click-Reproduce button makes reproducing research simple.

Most papers describe analysis procedures but do not allow readers to reproduce the results (numbers, tables, figures) presented exactly the way the researchers did this. Data repositories such as PANGAEA encourage users to publish data in simple form (ascii, table), which makes it time-consuming to import and analyse --
analysis scripts or software are usually not posted.  By publishing data and procedures in a simple-to-reproduce form alongside the  paper, readers are more motivated to carry out reproduction, and are more inclined to adopt a similar approach and/or cite the paper. Besides transparency, increasing citation is an
incentive for researchers to provide reproducibility.
 
The One-Click-Reproduce application enables readers of the paper to reproduce the analysis done in the paper by a single mouse click, and see the results, tables and figures being generated. In addition, readers get access to the R Data file and R script needed for the reproduction. Initial output as generated by the authors documents the software versions used, permitting differences arising as the underlying software is updated to be highlighted. A solution that requires no software installation from the reader runs the reproduction on the server side or in a cloud, and returns an html document. Readers that have R installed can opt for reproducing on their own computer, making it easier to study and modify the
analysis and data, and checking the robustness of the results. The application contains a link to a document explaining how all this works. Author instructions explain researchers how to write readable scripts that work on different operating systems.
 
At the right hand side of the paper web site, a box is added with a button called "Click-To-Reproduce", which visually hints at the R logo (http://www.r-project.org/Rlogo.jpg). Clicking this button gives access to the options: "One-Click-Reproduce" reproduces the analysis in the cloud and returns an html page (see
e.g. http://rpubs.com/edzer/ for examples), "Reproduce locally" gives access to the R Data file and R script that allow reproduction on a local computer (Windows, Mac, Linux, other). For those unfamiliar with R, a link is added to a document explaining how remote and local reproduction work. A link for authors explains how R Data
files and R Scripts are created cleanly.
 
 
 
 

Contact: Edzer Pebesma

MUSILCampus navigation and accessibility in LIFE

We are looking for a highly motivated Master’s student to develop an campus navigation tool for the University of Muenster. 

The aim of the thesis is to develop a tool (mobile/web) that will enable navigation through the buildings of the University of Muenster, based on a linked open data graph. One idea is to select a building of the university (e.g. the library) and create an indoor navigation graph that accommodates the navigation abilities of different people. The tool should automatically suggest possible navigation paths to a person, based on his or her navigation abilities encoded as Linked Open Data. It is developed within the ongoing LIFE (Linked Data for eScience Services) project at the Institute for Geoinformatics.   

The LIFE project publishes resources as Linked Open Data, addressing all kinds of resources ranging from raw data to articles and books through maps. The goal of the project is to improve interdisciplinary collaboration in science and education through the sharing of research data. LIFE is funded by the German Research Foundation, and is jointly carried out by the Muenster Semantic Interoperability Lab (MUSIL) at Institute for Geoinformatics (http://ifgi.uni-muenster.de) and the University Library at University of Muenster.

The student is expected to start soon and finish the thesis in the SS 2014. Programming experience (desktop, mobile or web) is desirable. Familiarity with Semantic Web Technologies (RDF and SPARQL) is not mandatory. 

Interested? Please get in touch with us per e-mail at simonscheider@web.de  or degbelo@uni-muenster.de .

Contact: Auriol Degbelo

SITCOMDepth layers for realistic overlays in videos

The sitcom lab has developed and launched the second prototype of its Immersive Video Environment (IVE). The new, light-weight architecture [1] allows for extending the system in a flexible way. Thus, previous bachelor and master theses were able to provide valuable and palpable results in research areas such as voice control or gesture recognition. One feature that is very characteristic for sitcom's IVE are virtual overlays. Such overlays allow any kind of content to be placed on top of existing video material. This way, any kind of system (e.g., an indoor navigation system) can be designed, prototyped, and evaluated in the lab at various development stages (e.g., early mock-ups based on PowerPoint slides or actual prototypes).

Currently, overlays can be placed on top of the video footage in a three dimensional space. This allows for visually aligning the overlays with the filmed environment, e.g., walls or sign posts, in order to create a quite convincing visual experience. In some situations, however, these superimposed overlays may disturb the immersive experience, i.e., when objects that should appear in front of the overlay are actually covered by it. The aim of this bachelor/master thesis is thus to develop and evaluate different ways of foreground/background extraction in the IVE video material (cf., e.g. [2]) that allows for a more realistic placement of overlays. 

 

[1] Ostkamp, M., Kray, C. Supporting Design, Prototyping, and Evaluation of Public Display Systems. Proc. EICS ’14, ACM (2014).

[2] Wang et al., TofCut: Towards Robust Real-time Foreground Extraction Using a Time-of-Flight Camera, http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/chazhang/publications/3dpvt10_chazhang.pdf

Contact: Morin Ostkamp

SILRepresenting orientation instructions with gestures.

When giving directions, we often use gestures to communicate changes in orientation. We rotate our bodies, wave our hands, and shift our heads. Seeing these gestures helps the person receiving the instruction to keep his/her orientation in the newly constructed mental map of the environment. They are intuitively given and intuitively understood. Many, even across distinct cultures. Navigational systems could potentially build on these gestures to represent changes in direction, or point to an important landmark lying along the route.

 

Bachelor students will run user studies to pick an interesting gesture potentially helpful during navigation. They will propose a modification to the existing navigational systems which utilises the gesture to support the navigation.

 

Master students will first run user studies to explore and classify the variety of relevant gestures used during direction-giving. Based on this classification, students will develop a concept of a navigational system which utilises some of those gestures.

 

Some reading:

Hirtle, Stephen C. "The use of maps, images and “gestures” for navigation." Spatial Cognition II. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2000. 31-40.

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SITCOMGesture Control for the Runner's devices

Sports activities are often supported by devices such as watches and phones, which require explicit input to request specific information such as having to perform a swipe gesture on a touch screen. These tasks can result in the user having to stop their motion in order to further interact.
 
Hand or head gestures can be recognised by computer devices and show promise in the potential to improve the device's usability during sports activities, being unobtrusive and thus minimising the effects of computer interaction on the sport.
 
The thesis will define suitable gestures that the user will wish to execute on smart devices and then find methods of detecting and classifying the gestures such as by using the devices' internal sensors or using worn external sensors. The developed system should then perform stably in running conditions, such that the gestural interaction is unobtrusive to the running activity.
 
The scope will be defined according to the candidate’s planned degree.
 
 

Contact: Matthias Seuter

SITCOMInteraction with research papers in Geoinformatics

Currently, the outcomes of research in Geoinformatics are usually reported in papers that are published in journals or conferences. These papers are inherently static, i.e. they only afford reading.  In particular, it is not possible to question the assumptions underlying the results (e.g. the thresholds or constraints used in a simulation study).  However, the research often is the result of applying well-defined procedures (or programs) to a particular dataset. In principle, it would be easy to change the value of threshold variables or constants in such a program to see what the result of this change would be.  If this was realised, new opportunities for interaction with research 'papers' would open up.

This thesis will investigate these new opportunities.  The topic could be approached from different directions, e.g. identifying and prototyping functionality that reasearchers would want, developing a model and system to enable novel interactions, or focussing on a specific paper to explore what would be possible.

Contact: Christian Kray

SITCOMBenutzerschnittschnittstellen fr Raumzeitliche Suche

Zunehmend spielen bei der Suche nach Informationen Raum und Zeit eine wichtige Rolle.  Aktuelle Nutzerschnittstellen unterstützen dies jedoch oft nur per Schlüsselwort anfrage ("Finde ein Restaurant in meiner Nähe", "Finde ein Hotel in Paris"). Es sind jedoch deutlich mächtigere Schnittstellen denkbar, wo räumliche und zeitliche Kriterien intuitiver und feingranularer spezifiziert werden können. Zum Beispiel könnte der Suchbereich auf einer Karte markiert werden oder mittels einer Zeitleiste festgelegt werden, aus welchem Zeitintervall Ergebnisse gewünscht sind.

Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, Anforderungen an solche Nutzerschnittstellen zu ermitteln, Ideen zur Realisierung zu erarbeiten und mittels einer prototypischen Implementierung die Eigenschaften der entwickelten Ideen zu evaluieren.

Ein Beispiel für eine solche Nutzerschnittstelle findet sich hier.

Contact: Christian Kray

STML100 Euro Reproducible Research Box

Kleinstcomputer wie der Raspberry Pi haben im Bereich der Bastler und Bildung eine enorme Verbreitung gefunden. Dank der konstengünstigen Produktion von Platinen hat sich ein Ökosystem verschiedener Anbieter (zum Beispiel Odroid) auf Basis unterschiedlicher ARM-basierten Prozessoren mit mehr oder weniger Leistung oder Steckanschlüssen entwickelt (zum Beispiel eMMC Massenspeicheranschluss).

Im Rahmen dieser Arbeit soll der Student auf Basis eines solchen Systems einen Prototypen entwickeln, der in der Lage ist, eine reproduzierbare wissenschaftliche Analyse durchzuführen und das Ergbnis mit der Ursprünglichen Analyse zu vergleichen. Eine solche reproduzierbare Publikation ist mitsamt Daten und Analyseskripten in R in Form eines Docker Containers vorhanden. Da Docker aber die ARM-Architektur offiziell nicht unterstützt müssen die verschiedenen Community-Projekte gesichtet werden um eine Basis für das reproduzieren einer wissenschaftlichen Analyse zu schaffen. Auch die Docker Images für R müssen für ARM-Architekturen erstellt werden.

Wie kann so ein abgeschlossener Kasten für geowissenschaftliche Analysen, der in 30 Jahren nur an einen Bildschirm und Stromanschluss angeschlossen werden kann, funktionieren?

Die Arbeit kann auf Deutsch oder Englisch verfasst werden.

Contact: Daniel Nst

GeoSimModelling land use change in Brazil

The use of biomass for energy (bioenergy) is stimulated in many countries, with the aim to promote environmental sustainability, socio-economic development, and energy security. Yet, without proper land use planning for the biomass feedstocks, increased land degradation and deforestation, loss of carbon sinks and biodiversity, job losses and displacement of people can occur, potentially leading to overall negative environmental and socio-economic impacts.

The impacts of a particular land use planning policy can be assessed with a land use change model. In this project, we will use the GLOBIOM-Brasil model, a global recursive dynamic partial equilibrium model that includes the main sectors competing for land (agriculture, forestry and bioenergy). The goal is to capture the land use change effects of the expansion of bioenergy production in Brazil. We will address two main scientific questions:

  1. What could be the land use effects of increased bioethanol production from sugarcane in Brazil?
  2. What could be the land use effects of increased biodiesel production from soy in Brazil?

However, the GLOBIOM-Brasil model has room for improvement, such as:

  • Creation of an adequate representation of the initial (current) land use, by combining information from different sources (imagery, census data);
  • Abstraction of the sugar cane and soy policies currently in place in Brazil to turn them into model rules;
  • Implementation of a routine to quantify the uncertainty in future projections; and
  • Implementation of a method to keep track of indirect land use changes (cascading effects of land use change, e.g., crops replace pasture with the effect of pasture causing deforestation elsewhere).

The master thesis topic will focus on one or more of these (or other) improvements and on the scenario runs to answer the research questions. The research is carried out in cooperation with the Brazilian Space Agency (INPE), optionally as an external semester. The master student will work together with a PhD student from INPE, either at location in Brazil or from Germany.

Contact: Judith Verstegen

SILQuerying, Analysing, and Visualising Semantically-rich 3D Models of Subsurface Utilities

Subsurface utility construction work often involves repositioning of, and working between, existing buried networks (cables, water pipes, and so on). While the amount of utilities in modern cities grows, excavation work becomes more prone to incidents.

To prevent such incidents, excavation workers request existing 2D utility maps and dig test trenches to validate their accuracy and completeness. However, information about subsurface utilities is typically only available in abstract (sometimes even out-dated) 2D schematic drawings, which often miss crucial 3D information about the reality of subsurface infrastructure.

We are currently working on this topic in collaboration with experts in the Construction Management and Engineering department, University of Twente. In this project you will:

  • develop tools and methods from artificial intelligence for capturing and formalising real expert knowledge about subsurface utilities
  • develop software for querying, analysing, and visualising semantically-rich 3D models of subsurface utilities - your research will take us beyond simple "drawings" of utilities, into real interactive 3D models of subsurface utilities e.g. to automatically identify regions of potential risk
  • develop case studies to evaluate your software systems based on real-world subsurface utility data


Through this application-based research project you will develop skills and experience in methods from artificial intelligence (AI). You will be introduced to the necessary tools and existing projects to build on. No prior experience with methods in AI is necessary (you will be given considerable support in this area). Some basic programming experience in an object-oriented programming language is recommended e.g. Java, C++, Python, etc.
 

Contact: Carl Peter Leslie Schultz

SILDeveloping a Collaborative GeoGame

OriGami is a GeoGame fostering spatial literacy: The player has to solve several wayfinding tasks to various locations and answer questions at these locations. At the current state, it is a single-player game.

As part of this thesis, you would have to extend the concept of OriGami for a multi-player version, where players can compete or work together to solve tasks. After the conceptual development, you should implement a user management + implement the collaborative games and evaluate your game.

More information on OriGami can be found on our project website http://enable-project.eu/origami/.

Requirements:

You should have some experience in android programming and interest in location-based games.

Contact: Thomas Bartoschek, Angela Schwering

SITCOMUser interfaces for figure comparison

Reproducibility of research results is a key topic in science. Research is considered to be reproducible if people other than the author are able to rerun the analysis and to achieve the same results that are reported in the paper. An important aspect in this context is to make sure that figures are the same before/after recomputation.

The goal of this thesis is to develop a user interface facilitating readers to compare similar figures by an optical approach (both figures are placed next to each other) and/or by an automatic approach (perceptual hashes). The prototypical implementation is followed up by a user-based or technical evaluation.

The thesis can be written in German or English language.

Contact: Markus Konkol

SILEnhancing Artificial Intelligence with Kinetic Data Structures: Applications in Medicine and GIS

Powerful methods in an area called "kinetic data structures" provide a rapid way of solving a wide range of spatial reasoning problems. For example, as a user manipulates some shapes (polygons, points) in an "intelligent" sketch, the sketch automatically updates itself to maintain certain spatial constraints (e.g. one polygon remains "inside" another polygon).

In medicine these shapes could represent different types of cells that have been automatically recognised from images of a tissue section, and the task could be to "bring the image to life" by allowing users to interact with the cells (move, resize), and to reason about the image to determine whether the cells are cancerous (histopathology). In geographic information systems these shapes could represent streets, buildings, and landmarks recognised from satellite images or directly from a hand-drawn sketch.

In this thesis project you will be:

  • learning about kinetic data structures
  • investigating how these can be used to support artificial intelligence, particularly "common sense" spatial reasoning

 
This project has a strong application focus: medicine (histopathology) and GIS. You will use this enhanced technology for a range of exciting tasks, such as:

  • providing new ways of interacting with complex spatial data using "intelligent" diagrams
  • improving computer-based image recognition by automatically correcting errors based on knowledge about objects in the domain

Through this research project you will develop skills and experience in the application of methods in artificial intelligence (AI). You will be introduced to the necessary tools and existing projects to build on. No prior experience with methods in AI is necessary (you will be given considerable support in this area).
 

Contact: Carl Schultz

SITCOMNovel Interaction Techniques for the Runner's devices

Runners can use devices to support their activities such as MP3 players, watches and smartphones. However, these devices can be hard to use while running and lead to consequences such as the runner having to stop or deciding not to interact despite needing information. Thus, we wish to investigate novel and unobtrusive interaction techniques that have not yet been tested in the running context.
 
The thesis will propose novel interaction techniques which would then be evaluated and compared against the typical standard techniques used by current devices. The goal is to discover the appropriate senses and behaviours to utilise for interaction techniques for runners, and to find what specific techniques are most unobtrusive to running.
 
The scope will be defined according to the candidate’s planned degree.
 

Contact: Matthias Seuter

SIIEvaluating WPS Interoperability

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has published the Web Processing Ser-vices (WPS) specification, which defines a standard interface to geoprocessing re-sources.
A typical WPS use case is to provide functional views on very large data sets such as filter algorithms or aggregations. I.e. in those cases it is not necessary to download large data volumes and to do the processing locally but to invoke the processing capabilities of the data store remotely and to download just the re-sults, which are typically of smaller size.
Aim is to achieve plug-and-play interoperability between Client software and re-mote processing engines, as to ease access to arbitrary geocomputing capabili-ties.
The standard is intentionally kept generic to cover a variety of geoprocessing functionality ranging from simple geometric operators, such as buffering, to com-plex environmental models. But this generic nature also imposes challenges to achieving full interoperability between client and server software implementing the WPS standard.
A comprehensive study that evaluates the interoperabilty between different WPS software components is currently missing and is the core aim of this thesis. Therefore, a survey of related literature and projects on WPS should be done, in-cluding a review of the software available. Afterwards, concepts and methods for testing the pragmatic interoperability between geoprocessing web services and clients need to be developed. In a third step, the test environment has to be set up and tests have to be executed. Finally, the test results have to be evaluated.
The student will cooperate with 52°North staff, who is also active in the WPS standardization activities at OGC. Results of the thesis will be presented at an in-ternational conference and should help to improve the interoperability of geopro-cessing services. Interested students should have at least basic knowledge of Web technologies and OGC standards (SII lecture) as well as basic knowledge about testing methods (e.g. as taught in software engineering lectures).
Contact:
Prof. Dr. Albert Remke (a.remke@52north.org) Dr. Christoph Stasch (c.stasch@52north.org)

Contact: Prof. Dr. Albert Remke

STMLDas knnte Sie auch interessieren

Im Arbeitsfeld der reproduzierbaren Forschung werden wissenschaftliche Artikel gemeinsam mit Daten und Programmcode in Form von Kompendien organisiert. Ziel solcher Kompendien ist es, die Daten oder die Analysen austauschbar zu gestalten, sowie den Zugang zu Daten und Software langfristig zu sicherzustellen. Für ein gutes Benutzererlebnis sollte der Austausch von Daten und Analysen zwischen Kompendien einfach und stabil sein, die einen Daten also kompatibel mit dem anderen Code.

Suchdatenbanken, wie zum Beispiel Elasticsearch, spielen beim Auffinden von Dokumenten im Web eine zentrale Rolle. Eine typische Funktion einer Suche ist das Vorschlagen ähnlicher Dokumente auf Basis hochperformanter invertierter Indizes.

Einen ersten Schritt hin zur Kompabilitätanalyse stellen direkte und mittelbare Metadaten dar die in Suchdatenbanken gesammelt werden. Diese Metadaten werden heute meist vom Autor erstellt (abstract, keywords) und nicht umfassend. Auf der Basis von Kompendien können diese und weitere Informationen aus den Sekundärdateien (Daten, Quellcode) abgeleitet werden. Zum Beispiel könnten ähnliche genutzte Softwarekomponenten oder Datenausschnitte einen Hinweis darauf geben, dass zwei gegebene Kompendien so weit kompatibel sind, dass die Daten des einen mit der Analyse des anderen kombiniert werden können.

Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, die möglichen Quellen von Metadaten wissenschaftlicher Publikationen zu sichten und mit den Anforderungen des Anwendungsfalls zusammen zu führen. Es sollen neue Wege zur Erweiterung, Integration und Vergleich der Metadatensätze entworfen und mittels einer prototypischen Implementierung evaluiert werden.

Die Arbeit kann auf Deutsch oder Englisch verfasst werden.

 

Contact: Daniel Nst

SITCOMAutomatische Erstellung interaktiver Benutzeroberflchen von wissenschaftlichen Publikation

Die klassische wissenschaftliche Publikation entspricht nicht mehr dem heutigen Standard der Technik. Statische PDFs werden daher immer mehr abgelöst von dynamischen HTML-Seiten. Aber auch diese liefern nur rudimentäre Möglichkeiten zur Interaktion: Diagramme können vergrößert, Zeitreihen oder Karten können gepant und gezoomt werden. Ein Anpassen der ursprünglichen Annahme für diese Darstellungen ist nicht möglich. Publikationen die dem Paradigma von “literate programming” folgen beinhalten den Quellcode der in ihnen enthaltenen Diagramme und öffnen so den Weg zu einem neuen Level an Interaktion für den Betrachter, welches nun erschlossen werden soll. Eingabeparameter im Quellcode müssen dafür mit geeigneten Interaktionsmöglichkeiten (z.B. Schalter, Schieberegler) verbunden werden und eine Manipulation dieser Eingaben zu einer Neuerstellung einer Darstellung führen.

Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, neue Wege zur manuellen, halb-automatischen oder vollautomatischen Ableitung von Benutzerschnittstellen auf Basis von zur Verfügung gestellten R-Skripten und Sweave/RMarkdown-Dokumente zu untersuchen, prototypisch umzusetzen und zu evaluieren. Mögliche Ansätze können zum Bespiel vom ursprünglichen Autor erstellte Anmerkungen im Quellcode, eine Analyse des Quelltextes von Funktionen sowie ihrer Dokumentationen (erlaubte Eingaben, Hilfetexte), oder eine Überwachung des R-Interpretierers sein. Die Studentin soll diese verschiedenen Ansätze im Hinblick auf ein zu wählendes UI-Widget betrachten.

Die Arbeit kann auf Deutsch oder Englisch verfasst werden. Es ist sowohl ein Schwerpunkt in HCI als auch Programmanalyse/Softwarearchitektur möglich.

 

Contact: Daniel Nst, Markus Konkol

SITCOMAssistenten zur Erstellung reproduzierbarer wissenschaftlicher Publikationen

Reproduzierbarkeit ist eine Kerneigenschaft von Forschung, die Wissenschaftler bei virtuellen “in silico” Experimenten vor besondere Herausforderungen stellt. Um abgeschlossene Analysen auch langfristig wiederholbar gestalten, können Daten, Analysesoftware und Textdokumente zusammen in Form von ausführbaren Kompendien archiviert werden.

Die Erstellung solchen Kompendien erfordert zusätzliches Wissen auf Seiten der Forscher. Zur Vereinfachung soll ihnen ein interaktives Werkzeug an die Hand gegeben werden, dass sie durch den Erstellungsprozess begleitet. Idealerweise ist ein solcher Assistent in ihre bekannte Analyseumgebung integriert und bietet Funktionen zum Erstellen und Überprüfen von Kompendien.

Ziel dieser Arbeit ist es, für die statistische Analyseumgebung R ein Konzept für interaktive Assistenten in existierenden R-Entwicklungsumgebungen zu entwickeln. Dieses Konzept soll insbesondere raum-zeitliche Aspekte der zu verpackenden Analyse berücksichten (z.B. halb-automatische Auswahl des analysierten Raumausschnittes). Das Konzept ist prototypisch umzusetzen und zu evaluieren. Mögliche Basisumgebungen sind RStudio/Shiny (Shiny Gadgets/Addins) oder ein text-basiertes CLI innerhalb von R.

Die Arbeit kann auf Deutsch oder Englisch verfasst werden.

 

Contact: Daniel Nst

Deriving crowd patterns / crowd context from smartphone sensor data / trajectories

Crowd context is an information that goes beyond crowd / people density information. During major events (like music festivals or football games) a high crowd density does not necessarily indicate high risk for dangerous situations (e.g. mass panic). In contrary, a high people density might result from queues in front of refreshment stand, from a group of friends talking or dancing as well as other – more or less – harmless situations.

The major goal of this thesis is to develop new methods and algorithms to derive crowd context information (or different crowd patterns) from smartphone sensor data or trajectories. Therefore, experiments have to be conducted to identify the similarities in the data for different situations within the crowd (see above). Based on these findings, an automatic analysis methodology can be implemented. 

Contact: Florian Hillen

Utilising crowdsourcing approaches to derive crowd pattern / crowd context from aerial images of major events

Crowd context is an information that goes beyond crowd / people density information. During major events (like music festivals or football games) a high crowd density does not necessarily indicate high risk for dangerous situations (e.g. mass panic). In contrary, a high people density might result from queues in front of refreshment stand, from a group of friends talking or dancing as well as other – more or less – harmless situations.

The major goal of this thesis is to develop new crowdsourcing approaches to derive crowd context information (or different crowd patterns) from aerial images of major events. Test data (from Wacken, Rock am Ring and a football match of Borussia Mönchengladbach) is available and can be used for testing and development. The information gathered with the new crowdsourcing approach should be used as training data for automatic classification algorithms (e.g. machine learning approaches / neural networks).

Contact: Florian Hillen

GeoSimAn agent based model of taking pictures

The benefits that humans gain from ecosystems, are called ecosystem services. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) divides ecosystem services into four categories: provisioning, such as the production of food; regulating, such as the control of floods; supporting, such as the cycling of nutrients; and cultural, such as recreational benefits. 
 
In order to value ecosystem services in a particular area, the different service components have to be quantified or at least qualified. This is especially challenging for cultural services. One phenomenon implying that a location is of cultural (aesthetic, spiritual, or recreational) importance to someone, is when a picture is taken. For existing public spaces these locations can be extracted from spatial data, but for new or (to be) altered public spaces they cannot.
 
The aim of this research is to develop an agent based model that predicts the locations where pictures are taken, under different conditions (e.g., weather, quiet/crowded, time of the day/year). Agent based modelling is a suitable modelling paradigm for this aim because it can include human behavior, interactions between humans, and interactions between humans and their environment. To my knowledge, a model of taking pictures does not exist yet. The model should be calibrated and validated with a dataset of picture locations for certain case study area, for example extracted from Flickr or Google Maps.
 

Contact: Judith Verstegen

Representing temporary and permanent features from LiDAR data

Laser scanning offers the possibility of recording space in its realistic, everyday messy nature - accounting for imperfect surfaces of sidewalks and walls, temporary objects, as well as the presence of other people. This offers novel possibilities for applications which work with (until now - static) representations of space, such as event planning and management. One of the methods used in such applications are Visibility Graphs - a model of space derived from visual properties of the space’s layout. To date, however, there is no direct link between dynamic, context-rich, up-to-date laser scans and those traditionally static representations of space.
 
In this thesis you will work on
a) building a 2-d, top-down layout of space based on laser scanning data that
b) allows for generating an isovist from any point in the scene.
The isovist-based model of space should differentiate between temporary and permanent features using the example of a festival gathering (e.g. shopping booths and fencing vs people and vehicles).
 
Laser scanning data is provided but you will be expected to learn how to manage and process the data under limited supervision. Extended supervision will be provided for the conceptual part of the isovist-based representation and visualisation of space (therefore no previous experience with isovists visibility graphs, or Space Syntax is required).
 
Jointly supervised by Jakub Krukar and Florian Hillen

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SITCOMNavigation Instructions for Running in the Unknown

Navigation applications typically support walking and driving. Well researched are navigation for car driving, cycling, and walking in urban environments or nature. As a special use case of navigation apps for pedestrians, we should also consider navigation for running sports. A navigation application that provides turn-by-turn instructions to stay on track makes sense for anyone who experienced running in an area, unknown to him or her, e.g. when traveling or after relocating.
 
On the one hand, there is evidence that runners prefer other navigation cues over explicit instructions (McGookin and Brewster, 2013; McGookin et al., 2015). Furthermore, routing, such as turn-by-turn instructions, could force the runner to stop the activity (Marshall and Tennent, 2013). From this view, navigation support should help to support the exploratory nature of a run. On the other hand, not every run or part of a run is of exploratory nature. A simple contrasting example to the mentioned findings is: when being told a route, a runner may want to stay on track exactly. This seemingly opposing requirement makes still sense with McGookin’s concept because running the dedicated/planned route may serve the personal knowledge resulting in a repertoire of favorite tracks. However, there is a need to provide exact routing with navigation applications. The challenge remains the design of the instructions.
 
An open question is, upfront, how is navigating while running different from common pedestrian navigation? One difference may be the area in which running takes place. Here, some differences between navigating urban districts and nature are clear, including structural features of the environment such as streets versus forests and landmarks such as rocks or trees versus buildings. Another difference makes the purpose of the navigation application. In the running context, as opposed to finding the shopping center, the run itself is the purpose.
 
Thus, how should we design navigation instructions for running sports? There are different modalities one might want to use for presenting navigation instructions. Possible modalities include visual cues, vibration or speech and sound in general. However, the sports domain challenges what we think we know about navigation systems. Navigation support for running activities is out of the scope of the well-developed navigation apps for driving scenarios. While it is possible, that concepts apply, it is equally possible, that certain concepts need adjustments.
 
A thesis would contribute by mapping out how navigation instructions should be designed.
 
The scope of the thesis will be defined according to the candidate’s planned degree. The work should contribute to a follow-up publication.
 
1st Supervisor: Matthias Seuter
2nd Supervisor: t.b.a.
 
Literature:
 
Joe Marshall and Paul Tennent. 2013. Mobile Interaction Does Not Exist. In CHI ’13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’13), 2069–2078. https://doi.org/10.1145/2468356.2468725
 
David McGookin, Dimitra Gkatzia, and Helen Hastie. 2015. Exploratory Navigation for Runners Through Geographic Area Classification with Crowd-Sourced Data. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI ’15), 357–361. https://doi.org/10.1145/2785830.2785879
 
David K. McGookin and Stephen A. Brewster. 2013. Investigating and Supporting Undirected Navigation for Runners. In CHI ’13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’13), 1395–1400. https://doi.org/10.1145/2468356.2468605
 

Contact: Matthias Seuter

SITCOMUnderstanding Interference of Interactions with Running Movement

Devices that can be used by runners to support their activities include MP3 players, watches, and smartphones. However, these devices can be hard to use while running. As a consequence, the runner must stop to perform more complicated interactions (Marshall and Tennent, 2013), or decide to not interact despite having an information need.
 
The broader research theme is the understanding of computer use while running. Recent work in this area include (Tholander and Nylander, 2014) and (Jensen and Muller, 2014) focusing on new technology use and the user’s needs, (Knaving et al., 2015) focusing on motivational themes, and (Woźniak et al., 2015) focusing on the runners’ social context and support.
 
In contrast to research into motivation and needs, this thesis aims at the interaction with devices during running. Specifically, this thesis aims at the interference between the two movements required: the movement for the interaction and the running movement. The general question we aim to address is: What does interference with the running activity mean? For instance, how can we say that pressing a button interferes more with the running movement than performing a head gesture? Such a comparison is currently subject to unknown factors, especially when judging “every day” or “in the wild” uses.
 
Fortunately, different methods allow for observing interferences with running movement due to interacting: Online surveys, interviews, and focus groups offer a qualitative approach. Experimental settings may be set up in a fitness center using a treadmill or in the field using wearable cameras and geo-tagging. A candidate will choose a suitable combination of the available methods for addressing the research problem. The successful thesis will provide a profound answer, based on the user’s feelings and opinions.
 
The particular contributions of this thesis are namely, (1) the identifications of the factors that determine how disruptive an interaction while running feels to the user, and (2) the understanding of the meaning of these factors, resulting in a formal description of interference of interactions with running movement.
 
The scope of the thesis will be defined according to the candidate’s planned degree. The work should contribute to a follow-up publication.
 
1st Supervisor: Matthias Seuter
2nd Supervisor: t.b.a.
 
Literature:
 
Mads Møller Jensen and Florian “Floyd” Mueller. 2014. Running with Technology: Where Are We Heading? In Proceedings of the 26th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference on Designing Futures: The Future of Design (OzCHI ’14), 527–530. https://doi.org/10.1145/2686612.2686696
 
Kristina Knaving, Pawe\l Wo\lniak, Morten Fjeld, and Staffan Björk. 2015. Flow is Not Enough: Understanding the Needs of Advanced Amateur Runners to Design Motivation Technology. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15), 2013–2022. https://doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702542
 
Joe Marshall and Paul Tennent. 2013. Mobile Interaction Does Not Exist. In CHI ’13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’13), 2069–2078. https://doi.org/10.1145/2468356.2468725
 
Stina Nylander and Jakob Tholander. 2014. Designing for Movement: the Case of Sports. 130–135. https://doi.org/10.1145/2617995.2618018
 
Pawe\l Woźniak, Kristina Knaving, Staffan Björk, and Morten Fjeld. 2015. Untangling Running: Designing for Real-life Runner Experiences. interactions 22, 2: 40–43. https://doi.org/10.1145/2724584
 

Contact: Matthias Seuter

SITCOMTouch-ings

Touch input is a major input technology in modern devices. For example, devices can sense the user’s finger when touching an input field. The capacitive sensing approach exploits the capacitance of the human body: Aluminum foil, copper or silver thread are materials that, together with the human body, form a capacitor. The signal runtime from a source to a target changes with "touching" the wire because the human body needs to be charged additionally. The Arduino CapacitiveSensor library helps to measure the change in the time to load a signal from one pin to another.
 
While instrumentalizing a couch or lamp (for input or sensing) is a straightforward task, it is a challenge to implement an experiment in highly dynamic contexts (e.g. human movement). The goal of this thesis is to design and implement a wearable system that has many body attached touch targets. The system allows for measuring touch events on these targets reliable and accurate. A successful Thesis demonstrates the potential for using the developed wearable system for measuring input timing while moving. The candidate's study design should include a measure of the degree of movement as an independent variable.
 
The “Project 13 - Touchy-feely Lamp” of the “Arduino Projects Book” may be a rocket start into the proposed thesis project. A candidate may start using Arduino connected targets made of aluminum foil to detect and log events of touch interactions.
 
The scope of the thesis will be defined according to the candidate’s planned degree. The work should contribute to a follow-up publication.
 
1st Supervisor: Matthias Seuter
2nd Supervisor: t.b.a.
 
 

Contact: Matthias Seuter

SITCOMGeoCollages

For traditional maps, the concept of layers enables many feature for the users of GIS, WebGIS and other map-based systems. For example, it allows for selectively visualising certain aspects, for managing different versions of the same geo-data and for comparing different scenarios. Terrestrial pictorial information (e.g. panoramic or 360 degree photographs or videos) is an alternative way to maps that facilitates depicting the world that is arguably more accessible to lay people.  For videos or photographs of spatial features there is however no well-defined concept of layers that would facilitate all the features that map layers support. This aim of this thesis project is thus to explore, develop and evaluate this concept (GeoCollages).  Different approaches and questions can be tackled in this area, including:

 

  • data models and basic operations for such GeoCollages
  • interfaces for the creation of GeoCollages
  • interactive and interaction mechanisms for exploring GeoCollages (single-user, multi-user)
  • developing and evaluating a prototypical application for urban planning based on GeoCollages

 

Basic infrastructure for displaying, storing and managing videos, photos and overlays already exists so that work would not have to start from scratch.  This topic also provides the opportunity for multiple people to work on complementary yet separate subtopics simultaneously.

 

Contact: Christian Kray

SILInferring Spatial Knowledge

Studies in psychology and spatial technologies traditionally assume that people (participants, users) do or do not have knowledge of particular parts of space (e.g. buildings or cities). But in our everyday life we don't really need exact spatial knowledge in order to make correct spatial choices. We turn into streets we haven't visited before because we infer where they might lead us. This process is also known as spatial reasoning but has rarely been studied in the applied navigational setting.

In this work, you will explore what we know about what people don't know (!). Few different ways of completing this thesis are possible, such as desiging a research tool for studying real-time inference of spatial knowledge, or user studies documenting such process.

 

Some reading (not necessary to have an informal chat with me):

Tversky, “Spatial cognition: Embodied and situated,” in The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition, M. Aydede and P. Robbins, Eds. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp. 201–216. (important is the 'situated' part)

Tversky, “Cognitive maps, cognitive collages, and spatial mental models,” in Spatial Information Theory A Theoretical Basis for GIS: European Conference, COSIT’93 Marciana Marina, Elba Island, Italy September 19--22, 1993 Proceedings, A. U. Frank and I. Campari, Eds. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 1993, pp. 14–24.

Contact: Jakub Krukar

SITCOMSimulating variations in the quality of location and orientation information

Variations of the quality of location and orientation information can greatly affect the mobile applications that rely on them. This affects user experience, e.g. when directions given by a mobile guide system are based on the measured location, which differs from their actual location in the real world. The objective of this thesis is to develop a system that could control the quality of location and orientation information in multiple dimensions to simulate quality variations in mobile applications (for example, a pedestrian navigation system). This enables conducting user studies to evaluate how the mobile application and its users behave in situations where the quality of location and orientation information vary. This thesis also includes running a user study to show the effectiveness of the system.

 

Contact: Champika Manel Epa Ranasinghe




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