Seminars on Advanced and Mobile Internet Technology

Block seminar on recent advances in Advanced Internet and Mobile Internet technology. The seminar will cover a large variety of topics, including cyber-physical/industrial communication systems, large-scale/data center networks, security and privacy, and system/protocol modeling and evaluation.

Organizational Information

  • Lecturer: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Wehrle
  • Coordinating teaching assistant: René Glebke
  • 2 SWS (several deadlines spread throughout the semester; block presentations in lecture-free time)
  • ECTS Credits: 4
  • Study programs: Bachelor Informatik, Master Informatik (Software und Kommunikation), Master Software Systems Engineering (Communication), Master Media Informatics
  • Registration: During central registration process in June / July 2017. See our notes below on the selection process!
  • Language: English

Also see our FAQ section below!

Important Dates

  • Kick-off Meeting: Not fixed yet - most likely mid-August 2017. Details are announced to the participants via e-mail.
  • Deadlines for submission of papers, reviews and presentations (all hard deadlines) are spread over the lecture period and announced during the kick-off meeting.
  • Your presentations take place in a block seminar-style, most likely on one or two days during the lecture-free time (no fixed date(s) yet). Please take this into account when planning your semester and/or holidays.

Topics

Several members of the COMSYS team will propose topics from their respective current research areas, such as:

  • Cyber-Physical Systems: Delay-tolerant networks, industrial communication systems, localization, low-latency systems, mobile devices for health care, systems engineering and tool development (simulation, ...), wireless networks, ...
  • Network Architectures: Internet measurements, light-weight security, low-latency stacks, peer-to-peer systems, programmable networks (Cloud, NFV, SDN, ...), protocol offloading, quality of experience, ...
  • Security and Privacy: Network security (and task delegation) for resource-constrained (IoT) devices, security and privacy in Cloud-based systems (including raising awareness of Cloud usage), privacy enhancing techniques (quantitative modeling, two- and multi-party computation, participatory sensing, ...), privacy -preserving protocols (Bitcoin, ...), ...
  • Systems Analysis: Dynamic symbolic and concolic execution of programs, hunting bugs in programs and protocols, testability and verification of (software and) distributed systems, ...

The topics will be distributed during the kick-off meeting in a semi-random process (participants can choose from the open offered topics but in a random order).

Seminar Details

The seminar provides a broad overview on existing distributed systems and current research topics in advanced areas of Internet technology. It is our paramount interest to see that you gain a thorough understanding of your seminar topic and that you are able to convey this understanding to the other participants. For you to benefit from the presented knowledge, we encourage active participation and interaction between students. You will both synchronize with each other while preparing your talk as some topics overlap and discuss the contents after the talks themselves.

Your contribution to the seminar is twofold: you present your topic concisely in a 20-minute talk to the other seminar students and you supply a paper providing more detail than the talk on the topic. Furthermore, you are expected to engage in discussions about each talk. Plagiarism of any form is unacceptable and will lead to your immediate suspension from the seminar. The recommendations at www.i4.de -> Teaching -> Seminars are a good starting point for designing and writing your slides and your paper. Please adhere to them to avoid disappointment when discussing your work with your supervisor.

In production of the seminar paper, we follow a "conference organization style". That means: After the assignment of topics during the kick-off meeting, you first do a literature survey and then you prepare a paper about the topic. You are submitting your paper in the same way as you would submit it for a conference: It will be reviewed and you will get back comments for improvement of your paper. The reviewing process will also be done by the seminar participants, i.e. you have to write a review about two or three other seminar papers (and you also get feedback from two or three other students). Basing on the comments, you have to prepare the final version of your seminar paper and finally the presentation of your topic.

Papers

While the talk focuses on the overview and details of interest, the paper allows you to discuss your topic in its full breadth and depth. It covers all aspects of the talk and provides additional insights to related work and specifics. For example, source code snippets or interface descriptions would not go into your talk but may well show up in your paper where applicable.

The papers are based on the official IEEE conference style and are expected to be between eight and ten pages in length (hard limits). You will be provided with the required LaTeX template via L2P (non-TeXed papers (e.g., Word, ...) will not be accepted).

Talks

The goal of the talk is to give the audience a good understanding of the whole topic and to dive into a few interesting details of the subject matter. The ratio of one to the other depends on the topic and needs to be determined with your supervisor. Each talk is scheduled to be 20 minutes, followed by 5 to 10 minutes of discussion.

Prerequisites

Note that despite the name, topics are not necessarily aligned with the contents of the Advanced Internet Technology or Mobile Internet Technology lectures. Still, to participate in the seminar, you should have some previous knowledge on Internet technology. That is, you should have attended a lecture on data communications and/or one of the lectures "Advanced Internet Technology" / "Mobile Internet Technology" / "Communication Systems Engineering" / "Internet Architecture and Performance". In case you have not attended one of these lectures but nevertheless some knowledge about Internet technology from other sources, participation is also possible.

Please note that this is not the Bachelor Proseminar "Netzwerke und Internet" and that prior successful participation in a Proseminar may be mandatory depending on your "Prüfungsordnung" (ask your study supervisor or the examination board if in doubt).

Selection Process

Each semester there is a huge demand for places in our seminars. In order to increase your chances of being selected for our seminars, you should clearly state in your application how you would benefit from participating in the seminar and how the seminar (i.e., the other students) would benefit from your participation. Please also indicate any courses that you may have taken with us. Also note that students who previously dropped out of our seminars after the de-registration deadline (and thus prevented another student from participating) will be treated with lowest priority during the selection process.

FAQ

  • How do I register for the seminar?
    Use the central computer science seminar registration system. Students not applying via the centralized process (e.g., via e-mail after the process has finished) will only be accepted in exceptional cases.
  • I do not study Computer Science (Bachelor, Master, Lehramt, TK), Software Systems Engineering or Media Informatics. Can I still register for the seminar?
    If you are not enrolled in Computer Science-related programs (e.g., you study Electrical Engineering), please consult your respective academic advisers and/or examination boards before applying for a place in the seminar. They can tell you whether this seminar may count for your program as well. We cannot give authoritative answers on whether our seminar may count or not.
  • I have not yet taken a preseminar (Proseminar). Can I participate?
    When you are enrolled in the Computer Science Bachelor, you should take the preseminar first. If you are in an international Master's program like SSE or MI and have not yet written a (pre-)seminar paper either at RWTH or your prior universities, we advise taking a literature research course at the Computer Science Department Library in the first weeks of your seminar so you know the basics that are usually taught during the preseminars here at RWTH CS.
  • I have, maybe besides "Datenkommunikation und Sicherheit", not taken any other courses with COMSYS. Can I still apply?
    Yes! Although having heard additional courses offered by our chair is beneficial, specific courses (including Advanced Internet Technology and Mobile Internet Technology) are not strict prerequisites. However, due to the high demand, you need to convince us in your application that you are interested in our research area if we cannot infer that from your previous courses.
  • I missed the deadline of the central registration program. Can I still apply directly?
    Only if you missed the deadline for a valid reason (forgetting it is not one ;-)) or if your program (see above) does not enable you to use the central registration. Contact the teaching assistant listed above in these cases. Note, however, that the seminar is usually completely filled right after the registration deadline for the centralized process has passed.
  • But I need the seminar to finish my studies! Can you make an exception?
    Sorry, that is not possible, as it would be unfair to those using the central procedure. Contact the study adviser and/or examination board in exceptional cases.
  • Do you publish a list of available topics beforehand so I know whether there are interesting topics available?
    The topics are often decided on only a few weeks or days before the kick-off meeting to include bleeding-edge developments, so publishing them earlier, e.g., during the registration process, is not possible.
  • I really wanted to take your seminar but you didn't choose me. Can you explain to me why I did not get a place?
    We have so many applicants to our seminars that we unfortunately cannot give each student that did not get a place an explanation why. Usually, it is simply because we have only a very limited capacity as we try to advise you intensively. Other than that, always make sure that your application is interesting and convincing and that we are not the last option in your list for the seminar ;-)
  • Is there any chance of being assigned a specific topic or a topic from a specific research group?
    The exact topic distribution process depends on the organizing teaching assistant but usually, the answer is no, since we usually distribute the topics semi-randomly (participants can choose from the open offered topics but in a random order). That way, neither specific students nor specific topics/advisers are preferred.
  • I am planning to take holidays when the kick-off meeting and/or the lecture-free time are scheduled. Is it possible to move the kick-off meeting/my presentation to another date?
    We try to schedule our meetings and presentations so that all students can participate (especially regarding exams) but if you already know that you will likely not be available during the bulk of the lecture-free time, we cannot guarantee that we can reflect this in our schedule.
  • How strict are your deadlines? And how strict are your guidelines regarding submissions (e.g., length)?
    Strict (there are no grace periods, or grace "lengths"). Missing a deadline or not adhering to our submission standards without a good excuse will cause you to fail the course. Note that this is not a malevolence from our side; we have just realized that making too many small exceptions leads to ever more exceptions, ultimately rendering the seminar unfair to those who just adhere to rules in favor of those who don't. Please contact your advisers and/or the organizing teaching assistant right away should you run into any problems!
  • I have additional questions. Whom to contact?
    At the top of the page, there are one or more teaching assistants listed. Just send them an email.
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