Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Process Management and Information Systems

Bachelor and Master Thesis

Our team continuously offers bachelor and master thesis topics. For the current topic list, see below. Furthermore, find here a summary of guidelines for working on your thesis with us.

 

Formatting

Please consider the following hints and guidelines for working on your thesis:

  • The thesis has to be written using the \documentclass[preprint,review,12pt]{elsarticle} Latex template. You can use the overleaf template for writing your thesis.
  • A bachelor thesis has a page limit of 40 pages text (not including cover, table of content, references, appendices).

  • A master thesis has a page limit of 80 pages text (not including cover, table of content, references, appendices).

 

Prerequisites

The candidate is expected to be familiar with the general rules of writing a scientific paper. Some general references are helpful for framing any thesis, no matter which topic:

In agreement with the supervisor an individual list of expected readings should be studied by the student in preparation of the actual work on the thesis.

 

Grading

The grading of the thesis takes various criteria into account, relating both to the thesis as a product and the process of establishing its content. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Correctness of spelling and grammar

  • Aesthetic appeal of document and figures

  • Compliance with formal rules

  • Appropriateness of thesis structure

  • Coverage of relevant literature

  • Appropriateness of research question and method

  • Diligence of own research work

  • Significance of research results

  • Punctuality of work progress

  • Proactiveness of handling research progress

 

Recent Topics

If you are interested in one of the following topics, please send an email expressing your interest to Prof. Dr. Jan Mendling. Please explain why this topic is interesting for you and how it fits your prior studies. Also explain what are your strengths in your studies and in which semester of your studies you are.

The next deadline is 15 January 2022.

 

Topic 1: Review of Process Models before the end of World War I

Process modeling has its roots in the scientific management of the late 19th and the early 20th century. So far, research publications around that time has never been analyzed systematically for process models and related visualizations. The goal of this thesis is to conduct a systematic review of the literature, identify different categories of models and visualizations, and compare them with contemporary concepts.

References:

 

Topic 2: Visual Analytics of Waiting Times for Process Mining

Process mining is a family of analysis techniques that takes event sequence data as input and generates meaningful visual representations for analysts. So far, the analysis of waiting times has been limited in prior research. The goal of this thesis is to review contributions that explicitly show the timeline of event, identify opportunities for improvement and implement and evaluate a new visualization technique.

References:

 

Topic 3: Process Automation with Jira versus Camunda

Various systems are available for supporting process automation. Jira and Camunda are among the most prominent ones. Camunda builds on the idea to model processes using BPMN, then to enrich them with execution information, such that they can be deployed and executed on a web server. Jira does not natively support BPMN, but also provides facilities to design and execute processes. The goal of this thesis is to design a set of example study-related processes of HU and implement them using both systems. The evaluation is meant to shed light on the question, which technology offers a faster and simpler design of executable business processes.

References:

 

Topic 4: Developing Organizational Capabilities with Intelligent Automation

In our fast changing world, organizations need to adapt their underlying business processes fast and efficient in order to keep up with the pace of change. Intelligent Automation is defined as ‘the application of AI in ways that can learn, adapt and improve over time to automate tasks that were formally undertaken by a human’ (Coombs et al., 2020). Turing Intelligent Automation into an organizational capability can be a solution to cope with this challenge – but only if it is executed and managed correctly. The goal of this thesis is to conduct a systematic review of the literature by looking at Intelligent Automation with regard to how organizations are implementing it as well as the effect it has on their competitiveness.

References:

  • Leitner, Maria, and Stefanie Rinderle-Ma. "A systematic review on security in Process-Aware Information Systems–Constitution, challenges, and future directions." Information and Software Technology 56.3 (2014): 273-293.
  • Ng, Kam KH, et al. "A systematic literature review on intelligent automation: Aligning concepts from theory, practice, and future perspectives." Advanced Engineering Informatics 47 (2021): 101246.
  • Coombs, Crispin. "Will COVID-19 be the tipping point for the intelligent automation of work? A review of the debate and implications for research." International journal of information management 55 (2020): 102182.
  • Pfahlsberger, Lukas. "Intelligent-Automation wird zur Strategiekomponente für ambidextre Organisationen". ManagerWissen Ad Special des Harvard Business manager (2021).

 

Topic 5: Alternatives for addressing Challenges in Agile Software Development Projects

Agile software development methodologies and frameworks have changed the way software is created, and are widely used and supported. However, this does not mean there are no challenges that jeopardize the principles of agile methodologies, and with it, increase the failure rate on agile software development projects. Various studies focus on describing and analyzing these challenges, but what about alternatives to avoid or mitigate them? The goal of this thesis is to conduct a systematic review of the literature, identify alternatives to address these challenges, categorize and prioritize them, and propose a framework to support agile software development projects based on this.

  • Korkala, M., & Maurer, F. (2014). Waste identification as the means for improving communication in globally distributed agile software development. Journal of Systems and Software, 95, 122-140.
  • Behutiye, W., Karhapää, P., Costal, D., Oivo, M., & Franch, X. (2017, November). Non-functional requirements documentation in agile software development: challenges and solution proposal. In International conference on product-focused software process improvement (pp. 515-522). Springer, Cham.
  • Shameem, M., Kumar, R. R., Kumar, C., Chandra, B., & Khan, A. A. (2018). Prioritizing challenges of agile process in a distributed software development environment using analytic hierarchy process. Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, 30(11), e1979.
  • Schön, E. M., Winter, D., Escalona, M. J., & Thomaschewski, J. (2017, May). Key challenges in agile requirements engineering. In International Conference on Agile Software Development (pp. 37-51). Springer, Cham.

 

Topic 6: Use of Business Process Models in Requirements Engineering

Business Process Models have been widely used in software development for requirement engineering activities. However, there is no study that presents an overview of how these models are used depending on the software development approach in which they are applied. The goal of this thesis is to conduct a systematic review of the literature, identify and compare how business process models are used for requirements engineering activities depending on the software development methodology applied (e.g., agile or traditional approaches), as well as prioritize these uses depending on the methodology.

  • Wagner, S., Fernández, D. M., Felderer, M., Vetrò, A., Kalinowski, M., Wieringa, R., ... & Winkler, D. (2019). Status quo in requirements engineering: A theory and a global family of surveys. ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM), 28(2), 1-48.
  • Cardoso, E. C. S., Almeida, J. P. A., & Guizzardi, G. (2009, September). Requirements engineering based on business process models: A case study. In 2009 13th Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Conference Workshops (pp. 320-327). IEEE.
  • De la Vara González, J. L., & Diaz, J. S. (2007, June). Business process-driven requirements engineering: a goal-based approach. In Proceedings of the 8th workshop on business process modeling (p. 15).

 

Topic 7: A Study into the Practice of Logging in the Software Development Process

Logging is a crucial practice in software development as it facilitates the monitoring and resolution of problems that emerge on runtime. While there is much research focusing on log analysis, the understanding of logging practices is still underdeveloped. Typical works have focused on improving logging by suggesting where and what to log. However, there are no clear guidelines on what the benefit are the of logging at specific point in program and what is their contribution to the overall process improvement. The goal of this thesis is to review existing literature on logging practices and extract requirements for analyzing such logs from a process point of view.
References:

  • H. Li, W. Shang, B. Adams, M. Sayagh and A. E. Hassan, "A Qualitative Study of the Benefits and Costs of Logging From Developers’ Perspectives," in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 47, no. 12, pp. 2858-2873, 1 Dec. 2021, doi: 10.1109/TSE.2020.2970422.
  • He, Pinjia, et al. "Characterizing the natural language descriptions in software logging statements." Proceedings of the 33rd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Automated Software Engineering. 2018.
  • Yuan, Ding, Soyeon Park, and Yuanyuan Zhou. "Characterizing logging practices in open-source software." 2012 34th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE). IEEE, 2012.

 

Topic 8: Visualizing the Growth of Open Source Software Repositories

Software evolution is one main topic when it comes to gathering information from software trace data. Visual software analytics techniques provide major advantages in exploring these kind of data. While existing works in literature have developed advanced techniques and tools to this purpose, there is still a lack of lightweight tools that work directly on online repositories. The goal of this thesis is to implement a visualization tool that allows for exploring software in existing online repositories.
References:

  • Robbes, Romain, Michele Lanza, and Mircea Lungu. "An approach to software evolution based on semantic change." International Conference on Fundamental Approaches to Software Engineering. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2007.
  • Breivold, H. P., Chauhan, M. A., & Babar, M. A. (2010, November). A systematic review of studies of open source software evolution. In 2010 Asia Pacific Software Engineering Conference (pp. 356-365). IEEE.
  • Arora, Ritu, and Sanjay Goel. "JavaRelationshipGraphs (JRG) Transforming Java Projects into Graphs using Neo4j Graph Databases." Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Software Engineering and Information Management. 2019.

 

Topic 9: Business Processes and Benchmarking

Benchmarking plays a very important role for many business. A key focus of benchmarking are business processes that are fairly standardized in different industries. One of the key challenges of benchmarking is to obtain benchmarking data for business processes that are not fully publically visible. The objective of this thesis is to establish a theoretical perspective on how benchmarking can be systematically applied, which data sources are available for business processes and corresponding performance indicators, and how innovative concepts for addressing the challenges of benchmarking can be developed.

  • Aksu, Ü., & Reijers, H. A. (2020, October). How Business Process Benchmarks Enable Organizations To Improve Performance. In 2020 IEEE 24th International Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Conference (EDOC) (pp. 197-208). IEEE.
  • Blackburn, J. D. (1992). Time-based competition: White-collar activities. Business Horizons, 35(4), 96-102.
  • De Toni, A., & Meneghetti, A. (2000). Traditional and innovative paths towards time-based competition. International Journal of Production Economics, 66(3), 255-268.