The digitalisation of practically all areas of society is a key area of research at HAW Hamburg. This is reflected in the central importance of digitalisation within the university’s current structural and development plan.
In the IT, Communication and Media research programme, scholars from the Department of Computer Science (Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science) as well as the Department of Information and the Department of Media Technology (Faculty of Design, Media and Information) focus on questions related to digitalisation.
The projects cover topics such as virtual and augmented reality, the economics and public value of radio in cyberspace, and the development of a model for decisions on the relevance of search results based on individual user criteria.
The research group develops and applies industry- and research-relevant technologies in the field of distributed real-time systems. Model and trial vehicles serve as technology platforms and make it possible to work on problems and tasks in an industry-like setting. They provide a testing ground for development techniques and the verification and validation of state-of-the-art design methods. The work is concretised in the fields of sensor technology, image processing, algorithms, system simulations, time-triggered systems, software modelling, and hardware-software co-design.
The ‘Internet of things’ has been freed from its niche as a specialised term used by a few experts and is now familiar to a broader public. But this doesn’t mean that all the open questions surrounding it have been answered. What does it mean when things become smart? What are the challenges involved when thousands upon thousands of devices communicate with one another, and what decision-making capacity does a smart object have? What might sensors and actuators look like in future, and what constitutes a ‘cyber-physical system’? How should the tension between adaptivity and predictability be addressed from a developer’s point of view? In various projects, we seek the answers to these and related questions.
The Internet Technologies (iNET) research group has worked within the Department of Computer Science for 15 years on topics related to new technologies and applications, Internet protocols and standards, Internet security, and the measurement and analysis of the use and dissemination of technologies on the Internet. Within both national and international projects and consortiums, the iNet group has researched, developed and published numerous communications solutions and systems as open source software that is now used regularly on every continent in the world.
The most well-known outputs of the Internet technologists are RIOT, the friendly operating system for the Internet of things; the C++ actor framework for highly scalable distributed applications; and RTRlib, the secure heart of Internet routing. Several dozen PhD, Master’s and undergraduate students regularly work within the iNET group, under the direction of Prof. Thomas C. Schmidt. They are supported by ongoing third-party funding in the millions of euros.
The CoRE – Communication via Real-Time Ethernet – research group works on communications solutions for time-critical applications using ethernet technology. Real-time extensions for standard switched ethernet have expanded the field of computer networks for security-critical applications. This technology was established as part of process automatisation, but its use as an intelligent in-car backbone is a novel approach.
HAWAI is a project supported by the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science that aims to analyse typical IT application landscapes for companies and reconstruct them in a laboratory setting. Our goal is to create a tool kit that will enable companies to understand, visualise and improve their architectures. Our virtual application landscapes are also available to students for practicums, projects and final theses, so that they can work on tasks and problems and thus gain experience dealing with such large and complex environments during their studies.
Later, the laboratory environment will also be used for research work – for example, in the fields of software architecture and company architecture. This public WIKI area provides an opportunity for the exchange of knowledge between students, staff and professors in the HAWAI project.
The Big Data Lab at HAW Hamburg develops and studies application-oriented big data systems. The findings flow into the computer science degree courses.
Digitalisation is changing many aspects of our daily life. This process can also be referred to as disruption – a change that makes traditional actions obsolete and permanently alters our interactions with one another and with so-called smart systems and cyber-physical systems. In the area of software engineering, we focus on development approaches that allow us to constructively produce correct and reliable software. These approaches serve to establish a systematic and less error-prone procedure.
To effectively meet these challenges, extensive automation of development and analysis is required in this area. Increasingly, technical applications in particular do not just have significant demands in terms of correctness; the interplay between safety and security properties in connection with so-called smart systems also has to be considered.
It is out of this situation that our challenges at TeSSA arise: to develop methods for securing these applications. This refers on the one hand to approaches for automatised, dynamic testing – that is, for test case generation, test data generation, test execution and test evaluation. On the other hand, we also address the analysis area, from the code level to the system level. Analyses of safety and security requirements play a special role here. Another area of analysis is human-machine interaction. With the available and still to be acquired knowledge we also support other areas of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science. The goal for the middle term is to also expand cooperation on this topic beyond HAW Hamburg.
The research group focuses on the requirements of distributed systems as they can be identified in today’s Internet. The high degree of complexity of the smart home, the smart city, or the Internet-of-things environment generally should be addressed in precisely the same way as the requirements of modern, distributed AR/VR applications. The group works particularly on the development of open standards and platform technologies. Committee and standardisation tasks can also be generated as a result.
With its technologies and protocols, the Internet is today potentially one of the most critical infrastructures of all. It is also the largest technical system that humankind has built. Without the global online presence and communication available everywhere and at all times, successful digitalisation would not be possible. We bear responsibility for the data and information and the integrity of the systems used. The Internet must be controllable!
In various courses (IT Security, Network Security, Risk Management), the theoretical and practical foundations for the creation of security concepts are covered with the students: the systematic analysis of threats and the targeted use of complex security measures. This knowledge is then applied in the final theses to solve special security problems (partly in cooperation with companies).
The current problems of communicating multimedia systems are as diverse as their applications, which range from mobile real-time processing – for example, in a phone – to sound and image analysis and knowledge management. The research group develops and analyses solutions for mobile real-time and group communication on the Internet, sound analyses in real-time processing, the self-organisation of multi-agent systems, virtual and augmented reality, e-learning with mobile content, and component reliability analyses.
Computer games are a driving force in the development of digital media technologies. They are changing our media-reception and consumption behaviour dramatically. The Games research group focuses on this still relatively new cultural and entertainment medium.
The Information and the Development of the Internet research group studies questions regarding the technological, social and economic consequences of the Internet’s development for communication, information needs, information distribution and information consumption.
This research group focuses on the development and realisation of high-quality, sustainable design processes and products in cooperation with a rapidly changing work infrastructure in publishing houses, agencies, studios and companies.
The research includes the concrete development of designs in cooperation with companies and institutions, their documentation, and accompanying research in the form of theoretical analyses and technical development services for the realisation of the designs.
Intelligent and autonomous systems require sensors to capture the surroundings, as well as the ability to interpret this data. Similarly to the eyes, cameras produce data with a particularly large amount of information. In many cases, however, it is not possible to evaluate the data using purely algorithmic or rule-based approaches. This necessitates procedures that use learning examples to establish the behaviour of the classifying system. Such procedures are categorised under the name ‘machine learning’.
In recent years, the ‘machine learning’ area has developed particularly rapidly. With methods from the so-called ‘deep learning’ field, the classic approaches of image recognition, scene analysis, speech recognition and speech construction have frequently been displaced and significantly outperformed. Complex recognition tasks, such as the identification of traffic signs or pedestrians in traffic settings, the realisation of which was a long way off just a few years ago, are now possible with ‘convolutional neural networks’. Such procedures and applications are developed within the Computer Vision and Machine Learning research group as part of Bachelor’s and Master’s thesis projects.
The Search Studies research group studies how people use search machines to find information online. We investigate how individuals utilise search machines, what search strategies they apply and what consequences these actions have for knowledge acquisition in society.
The Sound Analysis and Design research group brings together various projects on musical acoustics, psychoacoustics and audio signal processing. It aims to construct an interdisciplinary analytical platform as a tool for the improved understanding of sound generation, sound perception and sound quality in musical instruments. Topics include the calculation of melodious sound, the virtual violin, and measurement techniques for musical acoustics.
The research group studies human-machine interaction in virtual environments and with generic and flexible frameworks. The work environment is also used to create immersive and interactive audio content, to generate rendering techniques for spatial audio reproduction in connection with hardware acceleration (FPGA, GPU), and for the analysis of musical instruments’ sounds.
The Ambient Intelligence research group is the outcome of the Department of Computer Science’s work in the area of ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence. It focuses on, among other things, localisation-based services, wearable computing, interactive rooms, and frameworks for the development of indoor and outdoor games, as well as the usability and user-centred development of such systems.
The MARS Group is a modelling and simulation research group within the Department of Computer Science. It addresses complex questions and problems of everyday life – for example, the impacts of global climate change, the spread of infectious diseases, and human behaviour in extreme situations. It aims to work together with the relevant experts to develop efficient software tools for modelling, simulation, evaluation and visualisation. The emphasis is on practical relevance and academic excellence.
The group currently focuses on the following computer science research topics: modelling and simulation as a cloud service, distributed simulation in a virtual environment, the application of games-programming methods, the decomposition of a simulation environment into a micro-service architecture, and the evaluation and visualisation of simulation results (‘real big data’).
Among other things, digitalisation leads to complexity. Many people react to this complexity with incomprehension or even rejection. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) offer new communication and visualisation channels that can enable immersive and intuitive access to information. From a technical perspective, we investigate the possibilities for reducing information complexity through the use of AR and VR. Our focus is on the fields of computer graphics and visualisation.