Maintaining complex software systems tends to be a costly activity where software engineers spend a significant amount of time trying to understand the system's structure and behavior. As early as the 1980s, operation and maintenance costs were already twice as expensive as the initial development costs incurred. Since then these costs have steadily increased. The focus of this thesis is to reduce these costs through novel interactive exploratory visualization concepts and to apply these modern techniques in the context of services offered by software quality analysis.
Costs associated with the understanding of software are governed by specific features of the system in terms of different domains, including re-engineering, maintenance, and evolution. These features are reflected in software measurements or inner qualities such as extensibility, reusability, modifiability, testability, compatability, or adatability. The presence or absence of these qualities determines how easily a software system can conform or be customized to meet new requirements. Consequently, the need arises to monitor and evaluate the qualitative state of a software system in terms of these qualities. Using metrics-based analysis, production costs and quality defects of the software can be recorded objectively and analyzed.
In practice, there exist a number of free and commercial tools that analyze the inner quality of a software system through the use of software metrics. However, most of these tools focus on software data mining and metrics (computational analysis) and only a few support visual analytical reasoning. Typically, computational analysis tools generate data and software visualization tools facilitate the exploration and explanation of this data through static or interactive visual representations. Tools that combine these two approaches focus only on well-known metrics and lack the ability to examine user defined metrics. Further, they are often confined to simple visualization methods and metaphors, including charts, histograms, scatter plots, and node-link diagrams.
The goal of this thesis is to develop methodologies that combine computational analysis methods together with sophisticated visualization methods and metaphors through an interactive visual analysis approach. This approach promotes an iterative knowledge discovery process through multiple views of the data where analysts select features of interest in one of the views and inspect data items of the select subset in all of the views. On the one hand, we introduce a novel approach for the visual analysis of software measurement data that captures complete facts of the system, employs a flow-based visual paradigm for the specification of software measurement queries, and presents measurement results through integrated software visualizations. This approach facilitates the on-demand computation of desired features and supports interactive knowledge discovery - the analyst can gain more insight into the data through activities that involve: building a mental model of the system; exploring expected and unexpected features and relations; and generating, verifying, or rejecting hypothesis with visual tools. On the other hand, we have also extended existing tools with additional views of the data for the presentation and interactive exploration of system artifacts and their inter-relations.
Contributions of this thesis have been integrated into two different prototype tools. First evaluations of these tools show that they can indeed improve the understanding of large and complex software systems.
In the digital era we live in, users can access an abundance of digital resources in their daily life. These digital resources can be located on the user's devices, in traditional repositories such as intranets or digital libraries, but also in open environments such as the World Wide Web.
To be able to efficiently work with this abundance of information, users need support to get access to the resources that are relevant to them. Access to digital resources can be supported in various ways. Whether we talk about technologies for browsing, searching, filtering, ranking, or recommending resources: what they all have in common is that they depend on the available information (i.e., resources and metadata). The accessibility of digital resources that meet a user's information need, and the existence and quality of metadata is crucial for the success of any information system.
This work focuses on how social media technologies can support the access to digital resources. In contrast to closed and controlled environments where only selected users have the rights to contribute digital resources and metadata, and where this contribution involves a social process of formal agreement of the relevant stakeholders, potentially any user can easily create and provide information in social media environments. This usually leads to a larger variety of resources and metadata, and allows for dynamics that would otherwise hardly be possible.
Most information systems still mainly rely on traditional top-down approaches where only selected stakeholders can contribute information. The main idea of this thesis is an approach that allows for introducing the characteristics of social media environments in such traditional contexts. The requirements for such an approach are being examined, as well as the benefits and potentials it can provide.
The ALOE infrastructure was developed according to the identified requirements and realises a Social Resource and Metadata Hub. Case studies and evaluation results are provided to show the impact of the approach on the user's behaviours and the creation of digital resources and metadata, and to justify the presented approach.
We study an online flow shop scheduling problem where each job consists of several tasks that have to be completed in t different stages and the goal is to maximize the total weight of accepted jobs.
The set of tasks of a job contains one task for each stage and each stage has a dedicated set of identical parallel machines corresponding to it that can only process tasks of this stage. In order to gain the weight (profit) associated with a job j, each of its tasks has to be executed between a task-specific release date and deadline subject to the constraint that all tasks of job j from stages 1, …, i-1 have to be completed before the task of the ith stage can be started. In the online version, jobs arrive over time and all information about the tasks of a job becomes available at the release date of its first task. This model can be used to describe production processes in supply chains when customer orders arrive online.
We show that even the basic version of the offline problem with a single machine in each stage, unit weights, unit processing times, and fixed execution times for all tasks (i.e., deadline minus release date equals processing time) is APX-hard. Moreover, we show that the approximation ratio of any polynomial-time approximation algorithm for this basic version of the problem must depend on the number t of stages.
For the online version of the basic problem, we provide a (2t-1)-competitive deterministic online algorithm and a matching lower bound. Moreover, we provide several (sometimes tight) upper and lower bounds on the competitive ratio of online algorithms for several generalizations of the basic problem involving different weights, arbitrary release dates and deadlines, different processing times of tasks, and several identical machines per stage.
Das Arbeitspapier erörtert die Regionsdefinition im Rahmen des Verbundprojekt „Bildung als Exponent individueller und regionaler Entwicklung - Evidenzbasierte Bedarfserschließung und vernetzte Kompetenzentwicklung“ (kurz: E-hoch-B). Da das Forschungs- und Entwicklungsprojekt darauf abzielt, auf regionale Bedarfe abgestimmte wissenschaftliche (Weiter-)Bildungsangebote zu entwickeln, ist eine Auseinandersetzung mit der Frage konstitutiv, wie eine Region für das Projekt definiert und räumlich abgrenzt werden kann. Aus den Förderrichtlinien des Wettbewerbs „Aufstieg durch Bildung: offene Hochschulen“ sowie aus den Prämissen des Projektantrags ergibt sich Bildung als das zentrale inhaltliche Kriterium, um zu bestimmen, um welche Region es sich handelt. Als Prinzip zur Herstellung eines regionalen Zusammenhangs dient die Erreichbarkeit der Hochschulen für die Bildungsinteressierten, die auf der Grundlage empirischer Daten zum bisherigen Einzugsgebiet der Technischen Universität Kaiserslautern sowie über Studien zur Mobilität auf einen maximalen Radius von 60 Minuten Anfahrtszeit festgelegt wird. Die sich aus diesen Prämissen ergebende Region des Projekts wird letztlich kartografisch dargestellt.
In a networked system, the communication system is indispensable but often the weakest link w.r.t. performance and reliability. This, particularly, holds for wireless communication systems, where the error- and interference-prone medium and the character of network topologies implicate special challenges. However, there are many scenarios of wireless networks, in which a certain quality-of-service has to be provided despite these conditions. In this regard, distributed real-time systems, whose realization by wireless multi-hop networks becomes increasingly popular, are a particular challenge. For such systems, it is of crucial importance that communication protocols are deterministic and come with the required amount of efficiency and predictability, while additionally considering scarce hardware resources that are a major limiting factor of wireless sensor nodes. This, in turn, does not only place demands on the behavior of a protocol but also on its implementation, which has to comply with timing and resource constraints.
The first part of this thesis presents a deterministic protocol for wireless multi-hop networks with time-critical behavior. The protocol is referred to as Arbitrating and Cooperative Transfer Protocol (ACTP), and is an instance of a binary countdown protocol. It enables the reliable transfer of bit sequences of adjustable length and deterministically resolves contest among nodes based on a flexible priority assignment, with constant delays, and within configurable arbitration radii. The protocol's key requirement is the collision-resistant encoding of bits, which is achieved by the incorporation of black bursts. Besides revisiting black bursts and proposing measures to optimize their detection, robustness, and implementation on wireless sensor nodes, the first part of this thesis presents the mode of operation and time behavior of ACTP. In addition, possible applications of ACTP are illustrated, presenting solutions to well-known problems of distributed systems like leader election and data dissemination. Furthermore, results of experimental evaluations with customary wireless transceivers are outlined to provide evidence of the protocol's implementability and benefits.
In the second part of this thesis, the focus is shifted from concrete deterministic protocols to their model-driven development with the Specification and Description Language (SDL). Though SDL is well-established in the domain of telecommunication and distributed systems, the predictability of its implementations is often insufficient as previous projects have shown. To increase this predictability and to improve SDL's applicability to time-critical systems, real-time tasks, an approved concept in the design of real-time systems, are transferred to SDL and extended to cover node-spanning system tasks. In this regard, a priority-based execution and suspension model is introduced in SDL, which enables task-specific priority assignments in the SDL specification that are orthogonal to the static structure of SDL systems and control transition execution orders on design as well as on implementation level. Both the formal incorporation of real-time tasks into SDL and their implementation in a novel scheduling strategy are discussed in this context. By means of evaluations on wireless sensor nodes, evidence is provided that these extensions reduce worst-case execution times substantially, and improve the predictability of SDL implementations and the language's applicability to real-time systems.
To write about the history of a subject is a challenge that grows with the number of pages as the original goal of completeness is turning more and more into an impossibility. With this in mind, the present article takes a very narrow approach and uses personal side trips and memories on conferences,
workshops, and summer schools as the stage for some of the most important protagonists and their contributions to the field of Differential-Algebraic Equations (DAEs).
A nonlocal stochastic model for intra- and extracellular proton dynamics in a tumor is proposed.
The intracellular dynamics is governed by an SDE coupled to a reaction-diffusion
equation for the extracellular proton concentration on the macroscale. In a more general context
the existence and uniqueness of solutions for local and nonlocal
SDE-PDE systems are established allowing, in particular, to analyze the proton dynamics model both,
in its local version and the case with nonlocal path dependence.
Numerical simulations are performed
to illustrate the behavior of solutions, providing some insights into the effects of randomness on tumor acidity.