Major Research Projects

The explanations below will give you an overview over some major research projects our chair is or has been part of.

BEST Energy

BEST Energy is a project to improve the energy efficiency in buildings, which project belongs to the ICT Policy Support Programme. The main objective of this project was to improve the energy efficiency in public buildings and street public lighting, by the ICT-based centralized monitoring and management of the energy consumption and production, and to provide decision makers with the necessary tools to be able to plan energy saving measures. To achieve this objective BEST Energy project did implement and validate four pilots, two related to energy efficiency in public buildings (one in a Sports centre in Spain and one in a University building in Germany), and another two regarding energy efficiency in public street lighting. The pilots implement innovative advanced control mechanisms allowing to substantially improve the energy efficiency in the respective buildings and spaces.

The Synavision GmbH is an offspring of these activities.

The CarOLO Project on Autonomous Driving

In the context of the CarOLO project, the SE chair developed Caroline, a fully autonomous car, which allowed us to take part in the Darpa Urban Challenge. Caroline managed to win 7th place, was the best newcomer in the competition and our chair became the best non-american team (see also Darpa Grand Challenge).

Selected publications

Collaborative Embedded Systems (CrESt)

In the CrESt research project, 23 partners from industry and research investigate how to reliably engineer the software of the future's smart, distributed CPS. We investigate modeling techniques, methods, and processes to manage the complexity of engineering software for dynamically coupled, automated CPS. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).

Selected publications


EmbeddedMontiArc is an architecture-centric component-based modeling methodology focusing on automotive software and cyber-physical systems engineering. Its elaborate type system, a math oriented behaviour description language, as well as compact syntax for the instantiation and interconnection of large systems enables developers to focus on functionality rather than on annoying technical details. The EmbeddedMontiArc compiler produces high-performance executable code and generates interfaces to middleware solutions such as ROS. What's more, EmbeddedMontiArcDL supports the design of intelligent systems by providing a dedicated and easy-to-learn neural network modeling language. The models can be executed and validated in MontiSim, our distributed simulator for autonomous, interactively collaborative vehicles.

Selected publications EmbeddedMontiArc

Selected Publications MontiSim

SensorCloud, a BMBF Trusted Cloud Computing project

In Cloud Computing the user no longer owns all the devices which process personal data. To lower scepticism, the project SensorCloud investigates techniques to understand and compensate all adoption barriers in a scenario consisting of cloud applications that utilize sensors and actuators in private places. This project adresse the interdisciplinary, i.e. social and technical research challenges for the trustworthy integration of sensor and actuator devices with the Cloud Computing paradigm. Most importantly, these challenges include ease of development, security and privacy, and social dimensions of a cloud-based system which integrates into private life.

Selected publications

Human Brain Project (HBP)

The Human Brain Project is a H2020 FET flagship project that strives to accelerate the fields of neuroscience, computing and brain-related medicine. In this project, conceive and contributed the NESTML modelling language for neuronal behavior.

Selected publications

Intelligente modulare Serviceroboter-Funktionalitäten im menschlichen Umfeld am Beispiel von Krankenhäusern (iserveU)

In iserveU, we explore model-driven engineering methods for service robotics applications in dynamic environments with a consortium of three companies and four universities. We develop a family of integrated MontiCore modeling languages to describe, plan, and execute robotics tasks without in-depth programming expertise. Models of these languages are used by a MontiArc software architecture which integrated robotics middlewares to, ultimately, operate service robots in a German hospital. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Additional materials can be found at our iserveU Materials Website.

Selected publications

Management Cockpit for University Chair Controlling (MaCoCo)

Within the MaCoCo (Management Cockpit for Controlling) project we realize a multi-user web-application for the decentralized management and controlling of organizational processes within the chairs or institutes of a university. The key elements of the project focus on finance, staff and project organization.

Large parts of the code are generated with the MontiCore language workbench and code generation framework to ensure a highly adaptable system. Lead users are involved actively in the development process to be able to provide a useful solution.

The MaCoCo project is funded by the RWTH Aachen University and jointly realized by the chairs of Controlling and Software Engineering.

Modelling Solution for Complex Software Systems (ModelPlex)

The three major objectives of ModelPlex are to develop an open solution for complex systems engineering improving quality and productivity, lead its industrialisation and ensure its successful adoption by the industry.

The MontiCore Language Workbench

MontiCore is a full-fledged language workbench for the design and realization of textual domain-specific languages (DSL). It enables the research of model-based software development methods employing a variety of DSLs and modeling languages. On top of this, MontiCore and its DSL products are successfully in use in academic and industrial research projects in various domains such as automotive software modeling, cloud architecture and security modeling, model-based robotics, smart energy management, neural network modeling. The design rationale of MontiCore is to provide a powerful and efficient workbench for the agile creation of DSLs along with their accompanying infrastructure such as analyses, transformations, and code generators. MontiCore features a functional and highly extensible architecture which allows to even further customize the DSL development process itself. A couple of noteworthy features of MontiCore are listed below:
  • MontiCore features:
    • Combined specification of concrete and abstract syntax in a context-free grammar
    • Customizable generation of parser and abstract syntax tree
    • Generation of analysis infrastructure including visitors
    • Adaptable grammar processing via interpreted Groovy scripts
    • Configurable logging and process reporting
    • Freemarker Template Engine for easy code generation
  • DSLs created with MontiCore:
    • Unified Modeling Language for Programming (UML/P)
    • MontiArc Architecture Description Language (ADL)
    • clArc - Cloud ADL Family
    • MontiArcAutomaton - ADL with automaton behavior specification
    • Airospace Constraint Specification Language - DSL for the specification of significant air traffic scenarios
    • MontiSecArc - ADL with security constraints
    • MontiTrans - Generator and Infrastructure for domain-specific transformation languages
    • Java
    • and many more

There are many publications about MontiCore (see e.g. here). Especially the MontiCore Reference Manual contains a good summary of how to use MontiCore.

Software Plattform Embedded Systems (SPES 2020 / SPES XT)

SPES 2020 and SPES XT are two research project sponsored by the BMBF that aim to develop a methodology to realize a consistent modelbased development of embedded systems.

Selected publications

A Semantic Approach to Evolution Analysis in Model-Based Software Development (Semantic Diff)

The semantic difference from one model to another model contains the elements in the semantics of the former model that are no elements in the semantics of the latter model. Revealing the semantic differences from one model version to a successor model version facilitates to understand the semantic impact of the syntactic changes that have been applied to the original model version to obtain the successor model version. In this project, we develop
  • semantic differencing methods for various concrete modeling languages and
  • concrete modeling language-independent methods that facilitate solving semantic model evolution analysis problems.

Selected publications