## Doctoral Thesis

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- Interactive Visual Support for Understanding the Structural and Behavioural Aspects of Embedded Systems (2015)
- Information Visualization (InfoVis) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) have strong ties with each other. Visualization supports the human cognitive system by providing interactive and meaningful images of the underlying data. On the other side, the HCI domain cares about the usability of the designed visualization from the human perspectives. Thus, designing a visualization system requires considering many factors in order to achieve the desired functionality and the system usability. Achieving these goals will help these people in understanding the inside behavior of complex data sets in less time. Graphs are widely used data structures to represent the relations between the data elements in complex applications. Due to the diversity of this data type, graphs have been applied in numerous information visualization applications (e.g., state transition diagrams, social networks, etc.). Therefore, many graph layout algorithms have been proposed in the literature to help in visualizing this rich data type. Some of these algorithms are used to visualize large graphs, while others handle the medium sized graphs. Regardless of the graph size, the resulting layout should be understandable from the users’ perspective and at the same time it should fulfill a list of aesthetic criteria to increase the representation readability. Respecting these two principles leads to produce a resulting graph visualization that helps the users in understanding and exploring the complex behavior of critical systems. In this thesis, we utilize the graph visualization techniques in modeling the structural and behavioral aspects of embedded systems. Furthermore, we focus on evaluating the resulting representations from the users’ perspectives. The core contribution of this thesis is a framework, called ESSAVis (Embedded Systems Safety Aspect Visualizer). This framework visualizes not only some of the safety aspects (e.g. CFT models) of embedded systems, but also helps the engineers and experts in analyzing the system safety critical situations. For this, the framework provides a 2Dplus3D environment in which the 2D represents the graph representation of the abstract data about the safety aspects of the underlying embedded system while the 3D represents the underlying system 3D model. Both views are integrated smoothly together in the 3D world fashion. In order to check the effectiveness and feasibility of the framework and its sub-components, we conducted many studies with real end users as well as with general users. Results of the main study that targeted the overall ESSAVis framework show high acceptance ratio and higher accuracy with better performance using the provided visual support of the framework. The ESSAVis framework has been designed to be compatible with different 3D technologies. This enabled us to use the 3D stereoscopic depth of such technologies to encode nodes attributes in node-link diagrams. In this regard, we conducted an evaluation study to measure the usability of the stereoscopic depth cue approach, called the stereoscopic highlighting technique, against other selected visual cues (i.e., color, shape, and sizes). Based on the results, the thesis proposes the Reflection Layer extension to the stereoscopic highlighting technique, which was also evaluated from the users’ perspectives. Additionally, we present a new technique, called ExpanD (Expand in Depth), that utilizes the depth cue to show the structural relations between different levels of details in node-link diagrams. Results of this part opens a promising direction of the research in which visualization designers can get benefits from the richness of the 3D technologies in visualizing abstract data in the information visualization domain. Finally, this thesis proposes the application of the ESSAVis frame- work as a visual tool in the educational training process of engineers for understanding the complex concepts. In this regard, we conducted an evaluation study with computer engineering students in which we used the visual representations produced by ESSAVis to teach the principle of the fault detection and the failure scenarios in embedded systems. Our work opens the directions to investigate many challenges about the design of visualization for educational purposes.

- Large Display Interaction Using Mobile Devices (2015)
- Large displays become more and more popular, due to dropping prices. Their size and high resolution leverages collaboration and they are capable of dis- playing even large datasets in one view. This becomes even more interesting as the number of big data applications increases. The increased screen size and other properties of large displays pose new challenges to the Human- Computer-Interaction with these screens. This includes issues such as limited scalability to the number of users, diversity of input devices in general, leading to increased learning efforts for users, and more. Using smart phones and tablets as interaction devices for large displays can solve many of these issues. Since they are almost ubiquitous today, users can bring their own device. This approach scales well with the number of users. These mobile devices are easy and intuitive to use and allow for new interaction metaphors, as they feature a wide array of input and output capabilities, such as touch screens, cameras, accelerometers, microphones, speakers, Near-Field Communication, WiFi, etc. This thesis will present a concept to solve the issues posed by large displays. We will show proofs-of-concept, with specialized approaches showing the via- bility of the concept. A generalized, eyes-free technique using smart phones or tablets to interact with any kind of large display, regardless of hardware or software then overcomes the limitations of the specialized approaches. This is implemented in a large display application that is designed to run under a multitude of environments, including both 2D and 3D display setups. A special visualization method is used to combine 2D and 3D data in a single visualization. Additionally the thesis will present several approaches to solve common is- sues with large display interaction, such as target sizes on large display getting too small, expensive tracking hardware, and eyes-free interaction through vir- tual buttons. These methods provide alternatives and context for the main contribution.

- Interactive Visual Analysis of Software Structures (2015)
- 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.

- Socially Enhanced Access to Digital Resources (2015)
- 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.

- Distributed Real-time Systems - Deterministic Protocols for Wireless Networks and Model-Driven Development with SDL (2015)
- 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.

- Coercive functions from a topological viewpoint and properties of minimizing sets of convex functions appearing in image restoration (2015)
- Many tasks in image processing can be tackled by modeling an appropriate data fidelity term \(\Phi: \mathbb{R}^n \rightarrow \mathbb{R} \cup \{+\infty\}\) and then solve one of the regularized minimization problems \begin{align*} &{}(P_{1,\tau}) \qquad \mathop{\rm argmin}_{x \in \mathbb R^n} \big\{ \Phi(x) \;{\rm s.t.}\; \Psi(x) \leq \tau \big\} \\ &{}(P_{2,\lambda}) \qquad \mathop{\rm argmin}_{x \in \mathbb R^n} \{ \Phi(x) + \lambda \Psi(x) \}, \; \lambda > 0 \end{align*} with some function \(\Psi: \mathbb{R}^n \rightarrow \mathbb{R} \cup \{+\infty\}\) and a good choice of the parameter(s). Two tasks arise naturally here: \begin{align*} {}& \text{1. Study the solver sets \({\rm SOL}(P_{1,\tau})\) and \({\rm SOL}(P_{2,\lambda})\) of the minimization problems.} \\ {}& \text{2. Ensure that the minimization problems have solutions.} \end{align*} This thesis provides contributions to both tasks: Regarding the first task for a more special setting we prove that there are intervals \((0,c)\) and \((0,d)\) such that the setvalued curves \begin{align*} \tau \mapsto {}& {\rm SOL}(P_{1,\tau}), \; \tau \in (0,c) \\ {} \lambda \mapsto {}& {\rm SOL}(P_{2,\lambda}), \; \lambda \in (0,d) \end{align*} are the same, besides an order reversing parameter change \(g: (0,c) \rightarrow (0,d)\). Moreover we show that the solver sets are changing all the time while \(\tau\) runs from \(0\) to \(c\) and \(\lambda\) runs from \(d\) to \(0\). In the presence of lower semicontinuity the second task is done if we have additionally coercivity. We regard lower semicontinuity and coercivity from a topological point of view and develop a new technique for proving lower semicontinuity plus coercivity. Dropping any lower semicontinuity assumption we also prove a theorem on the coercivity of a sum of functions.

- Exploration and Design of DC MEMS Switches for Integrated Self-x Sensory Systems (2015)
- The advances in sensor technology have introduced smart electronic products with high integration of multi-sensor elements, sensor electronics and sophisticated signal processing algorithms, resulting in intelligent sensor systems with a significant level of complexity. This complexity leads to higher vulnerability in performing their respective functions in a dynamic environment. The system dependability can be improved via the implementation of self-x features in reconfigurable systems. The reconfiguration capability requires capable switching elements, typically in the form of a CMOS switch or miniaturized electromagnetic relay. The emerging DC-MEMS switch has the potential to complement the CMOS switch in System-in-Package as well as integrated circuits solutions. The aim of this thesis is to study the feasibility of using DC-MEMS switches to enable the self-x functionality at system level. The self-x implementation is also extended to the component level, in which the ISE-DC-MEMS switch is equipped with self-monitoring and self-repairing features. The MEMS electrical behavioural model generated by the design tool is inadequate, so additional electrical models have been proposed, simulated and validated. The simplification of the mechanical MEMS model has produced inaccurate simulation results that lead to the occurrence of stiction in the actual device. A stiction conformity test has been proposed, implemented, and successfully validated to compensate the inaccurate mechanical model. Four different system simulations of representative applications were carried out using the improved behavioural MEMS model, to show the aptness and the performances of the ISE-DC-MEMS switch in sensitive reconfiguration tasks in the application and to compare it with transmission gates. The current design of the ISE-DC-MEMS switch needs further optimization in terms of size, driving voltage, and the robustness of the design to guarantee high output yield in order to match the performance of commercial DC MEMS switches.

- Upscaling Approaches for Nonlinear Processes in Lithium-Ion Batteries (2015)
- Lithium-ion batteries are broadly used nowadays in all kinds of portable electronics, such as laptops, cell phones, tablets, e-book readers, digital cameras, etc. They are preferred to other types of rechargeable batteries due to their superior characteristics, such as light weight and high energy density, no memory effect, and a big number of charge/discharge cycles. The high demand and applicability of Li-ion batteries naturally give rise to the unceasing necessity of developing better batteries in terms of performance and lifetime. The aim of the mathematical modelling of Li-ion batteries is to help engineers test different battery configurations and electrode materials faster and cheaper. Lithium-ion batteries are multiscale systems. A typical Li-ion battery consists of multiple connected electrochemical battery cells. Each cell has two electrodes - anode and cathode, as well as a separator between them that prevents a short circuit. Both electrodes have porous structure composed of two phases - solid and electrolyte. We call macroscale the lengthscale of the whole electrode and microscale - the lengthscale at which we can distinguish the complex porous structure of the electrodes. We start from a Li-ion battery model derived on the microscale. The model is based on nonlinear diffusion type of equations for the transport of Lithium ions and charges in the electrolyte and in the active material. Electrochemical reactions on the solid-electrolyte interface couple the two phases. The interface kinetics is modelled by the highly nonlinear Butler-Volmer interface conditions. Direct numerical simulations with standard methods, such as the Finite Element Method or Finite Volume Method, lead to ill-conditioned problems with a huge number of degrees of freedom which are difficult to solve. Therefore, the aim of this work is to derive upscaled models on the lengthscale of the whole electrode so that we do not have to resolve all the small-scale features of the porous microstructure thus reducing the computational time and cost. We do this by applying two different upscaling techniques - the Asymptotic Homogenization Method and the Multiscale Finite Element Method (MsFEM). We consider the electrolyte and the solid as two self-complementary perforated domains and we exploit this idea with both upscaling methods. The first method is restricted only to periodic media and periodically oscillating solutions while the second method can be applied to randomly oscillating solutions and is based on the Finite Element Method framework. We apply the Asymptotic Homogenization Method to derive a coupled macro-micro upscaled model under the assumption of periodic electrode microstructure. A crucial step in the homogenization procedure is the upscaling of the Butler-Volmer interface conditions. We rigorously determine the asymptotic order of the interface exchange current densities and we perform a comprehensive numerical study in order to validate the derived homogenized Li-ion battery model. In order to upscale the microscale battery problem in the case of random electrode microstructure we apply the MsFEM, extended to problems in perforated domains with Neumann boundary conditions on the holes. We conduct a detailed numerical investigation of the proposed algorithm and we show numerical convergence of the method that we design. We also apply the developed technique to a simplified two-dimensional Li-ion battery problem and we show numerical convergence of the solution obtained with the MsFEM to the reference microscale one.

- Simulation of Degradation Processes in Lithium-Ion Batteries (2015)
- Lithium-ion batteries are increasingly becoming an ubiquitous part of our everyday life - they are present in mobile phones, laptops, tools, cars, etc. However, there are still many concerns about their longevity and their safety. In this work we focus on the simulation of several degradation mechanisms on the microscopic scale, where one can resolve the active materials inside the electrodes of the lithium-ion batteries as porous structures. We mainly study two aspects - heat generation and mechanical stress. For the former we consider an electrochemical non-isothermal model on the spatially resolved porous scale to observe the temperature increase inside a battery cell, as well as to observe the individual heat sources to assess their contributions to the total heat generation. As a result from our experiments, we determined that the temperature has very small spatial variance for our test cases and thus allows for an ODE formulation of the heat equation. The second aspect that we consider is the generation of mechanical stress as a result of the insertion of lithium ions in the electrode materials. We study two approaches - using small strain models and finite strain models. For the small strain models, the initial geometry and the current geometry coincide. The model considers a diffusion equation for the lithium ions and equilibrium equation for the mechanical stress. First, we test a single perforated cylindrical particle using different boundary conditions for the displacement and with Neumann boundary conditions for the diffusion equation. We also test for cylindrical particles, but with boundary conditions for the diffusion equation in the electrodes coming from an isothermal electrochemical model for the whole battery cell. For the finite strain models we take in consideration the deformation of the initial geometry as a result of the intercalation and the mechanical stress. We compare two elastic models to study the sensitivity of the predicted elastic behavior on the specific model used. We also consider a softening of the active material dependent on the concentration of the lithium ions and using data for silicon electrodes. We recover the general behavior of the stress from known physical experiments. Some models, like the mechanical models we use, depend on the local values of the concentration to predict the mechanical stress. In that sense we perform a short comparative study between the Finite Element Method with tetrahedral elements and the Finite Volume Method with voxel volumes for an isothermal electrochemical model. The spatial discretizations of the PDEs are done using the Finite Element Method. For some models we have discontinuous quantities where we adapt the FEM accordingly. The time derivatives are discretized using the implicit Backward Euler method. The nonlinear systems are linearized using the Newton method. All of the discretized models are implemented in a C++ framework developed during the thesis.

- Isogeometric Finite Element Analysis of Nonlinear Structural Vibrations (2015)
- In this thesis we present a new method for nonlinear frequency response analysis of mechanical vibrations. For an efficient spatial discretization of nonlinear partial differential equations of continuum mechanics we employ the concept of isogeometric analysis. Isogeometric finite element methods have already been shown to possess advantages over classical finite element discretizations in terms of exact geometry representation and higher accuracy of numerical approximations using spline functions. For computing nonlinear frequency response to periodic external excitations, we rely on the well-established harmonic balance method. It expands the solution of the nonlinear ordinary differential equation system resulting from spatial discretization as a truncated Fourier series in the frequency domain. A fundamental aspect for enabling large-scale and industrial application of the method is model order reduction of the spatial discretization of the equation of motion. Therefore we propose the utilization of a modal projection method enhanced with modal derivatives, providing second-order information. We investigate the concept of modal derivatives theoretically and using computational examples we demonstrate the applicability and accuracy of the reduction method for nonlinear static computations and vibration analysis. Furthermore, we extend nonlinear vibration analysis to incompressible elasticity using isogeometric mixed finite element methods.