Open Thesis Topics

In this work you will develop a game that has the streamer-audience live-streaming setup in mind. Similar to games such as Choice Chamber, this game allows the audience to be involved via Twitch Extensions or the Twitch chat and alters how the game unfolds for the streamer. The developed game should integrate different options for this involvement which are investigated in a user study.

Focus

This work will include the development of a game from scratch and a small to large user study (depending on whether it is a Bachelor's or Master`s thesis). Nonetheless, the proper game design and selection of suitable audience participation options is in the focus, thus, this work has an implementation focus (Bachelor) or a mixed focus (Master).

Prerequisites

  • Strong programming experience
  • Read papers on audience participation (1234)
  • Consumer of game live-streamer
  • Video game player
  • Completed HCI and/or Statistics lecture and ideally already attended at least one seminar at our chair

How to apply

Please send me an email with the following pieces of information (if you do not answer every point, your application will not be considered):

  • When you plan to start the thesis
  • When you plan to finish the thesis
  • A short motivational statement why this topic is interesting for you
  • A summary why you be a good fit for this topic
  • Your transcript of records
  • At least 5 ideas for different audience intergation options (max. 1 A4 page)

See personal profile of Dr. Pascal Lessel

In this work your task is to investigate why “Bottom-up” gamification (i.e., you are able to customize the gamification to your needs) produces positive results. We want to focus on multiple aspects in a user study: ownership (“it is cool, because I could create it and I can identify with it), autonomy (“it is cool, because I was allowed to change it”), good fit (“it is cool, because it fits perfectly to me”) or time invest (“it is cool, because it took me so long to create it). We will conceptualize a study concept in this Master thesis that helps us to answer which of the aforementioned factors seems to be a driving factor for why “bottom-up” gamification is able to outperform “top-down” gamification.

Focus

The main focus will be the study. Thus, you should have a solid understanding of study design or be willing to read books in this area. It can be assumed that you also need to implement a “bottom-up” context to investigate the four aspects.

Prerequisites

  • Read our papers on "bottom-up" gamification (1234)
  • Completed HCI and ideally already attended at least one seminar at our chair
  • Background or interest in gamification

How to apply

Please send me an email with the following pieces of information (if you do not answer every point, your application will not be considered):

  • When you plan to start the thesis
  • When you plan to finish the thesis
  • A short motivational statement why this topic is interesting for you
  • A summary why you be a good fit for this topic
  • Your transcript of records
  • A one pager in which you describe how would a study looks like in which you find out whether or not time invest is a relevant factor in a “bottom-up” scenario. Obviously, if this is reasonable you can re-use this part already for the real study.

See personal profile of Dr. Pascal Lessel

This work focuses on context factors (e.g., stream type: casual stream vs. speedrun) that apply to audience influence options in game live-streams. Building on previous work, your task is to conduct studies in which different situations in typical game live-streams are shown and in which different audience influence options are presented. The relevant influence options for this thesis are not bound to the actual content of the game, instead they work independently of the streamed game (“beyond the game”). Typical examples include modifying the streamer’s room lighting, activating vibration feedback on the streamer’s arm, or exchanging keyboard bindings. The goal of these studies is to derive guidelines which context factors moderate the perception of these modifications.

Focus

The focus is on the study. Likely, you need to either create small mock up prototypes and find a streamer using them (for recording sessions) or you need to have good skills to create proper visualization material, to clarify what happens.

Prerequisites

  • Read our previously published papers on live-streaming.
  • Background or interest in game live-streams.
  • Completed HCI and/or the Statistics lecture and ideally already attended at least one seminar at our chair

How to apply

Please send me an email with the following pieces of information (if you do not answer every point, your application will not be considered):

  • When you plan to start the thesis
  • When you plan to finish the thesis
  • A short motivational statement why this topic is interesting for you
  • A summary why you be a good fit for this topic
  • Your transcript of records
  • Provide the information, whether you have contacts to streamers who would be willing to assist in the study
  • Assume that changing the lighting situation in the streamer’s room is the only possible audience influence option beyond the game. Under this assumption, list context factors that you think are relevant in live-streaming and explain how you would do an online study to investigate these contexts (max 2 A4 page)

 


See personal profile of Dr. Pascal Lessel

Over thousands of board games are released every year making it difficult for non-experts to find suitable games to buy. In this thesis the goal is to create a recommender system that suggests board games to users which they don't own, but would like to play. In a first step, you will check which recommender systems for board games are already available online and you try to find out their shortcomings. In a second step (during the literature review phase), you will check which recommender engines techniques are reasonable and which data you want to acquire from users. In a third step you will analyze where you can get a sufficient number of data points to overcome the cold start problem. In a fourth step, you would implement the recommender and create a web-based front-end to access it. Finally, you need to do a technical evaluation (how is the performance of the recommender with a test set) and a small usability study.

Focus

This work will mainly focus on implementation of an online recommender which needs to be evaluated in a small user study to make assessments of the recommendation quality.

Prerequisites

  • You should have a strong interest in board games.
  • Completed HCI and/or the Statistics lecture and ideally already attended at least one seminar at our chair.
  • You should have experience with web-development.

How to apply

Please send me an email with the following pieces of information (if you do not answer every point, your application will not be considered):

  • When you plan to start the thesis.
  • When you plan to finish the thesis.
  • A short motivational statement why this topic is interesting for you.
  • A summary why you be a good fit for this topic. Here, please also cover which board game experience you have, how many board games you own and your top 5 board games.
  • Your transcript of records.
  • Describe (1 A4 page) how you would approach this topic in general.

 


See personal profile of Dr. Pascal Lessel

In dieser Arbeit sollen unterschiedliche Inzentivierungsstrategien für Microtasks entwickelt werden. Diese Strategien müssen im Rahmen einer Browserextension, die die Microtasks anzeigt, funktionieren. Ziel der Extension ist es, dass so viel wie möglich Microtasks von Freiwilligen gelöst werden. Ein Microtask könnte z. B. die Bewertung von Sätzen im Hinblick auf ihre Verständlichkeit sein; ein anderer, Bilder aus Social Media „zu melden“, weil diese als jugendgefährdend von den Extensionnutzer*innen eingestuft werden. Im Rahmen der Arbeit soll mindestens eine Gamification-Strategie, eine Game-(With-A-Purposed-)based Strategie und eine Nudging-Strategie konzeptioniert, umgesetzt und im Anschluss Pro’s und Con’s in einer Vergleichsstudie eruiert werden.

Fokus
Diese Arbeit fokussiert zu gleichen Teilen die Implementierung als auch die Studien.

Voraussetzungen
- Deutsch lesen & verstehen können (die Zielgruppe sind deutschsprachige Nutzer*innen und die Microtasks werden primär aus deutschem Quellmaterial generiert werden)
- Gute Web-Dev Skills
- Interesse an der Durchführung von Studien
- Idealerweise selbst „Gamer“ sein

Wie bewerbe ich mich?

Bitte sende eine E-Mail mit den folgenden Informationen (wenn nicht alles beantwortet wird, wird die Bewerbung nicht beachtet). 

  • Wann kannst du starten?
  • BA oder MA?
  • Kurzes Motivationsschreiben, warum das Thema für dich interessant ist und du der richtige dafür bist.
  • Dein Transcript of Records (als MA: Bitte füge auch das BA-ToR hinzu)
  • „One pager”: Beschreibe eine Inzentivierungsstrategie in diesem Kontext, von der du glaubst, dass sie Leute dazu motiviert, Microtasks zu lösen.

See personal profile of Dr. Maximilian Altmeyer

The student will develop a robotic system that navigates through a retail store and takes pictures of the shelves in order to send them to our existing Intelligent Agent. Based on these pictures, a classification will be made. If something is wrong, a Transfer of Control (ToC) will be triggered and the "Remote Expert" will receive a notification. Together with the student, we will decide how this will be implemented. For instance, it could be a dashboard, smartwatch/tablet/smartphone or even a VR/AR interface. Based on the information provided, the expert can now decide whether it is an actual error (which needs to be fixed) or if it was a false alarm -> i.e., s/he gives feedback to the system, so that it learns and improves over time (learning aspect is not part of this thesis). Overall, such a system is called Hybrid Intelligence.

 

Focus

The focus of this thesis lies on the conceptualization and implementation of a robotic framework to support retail robots. Additionally, a small evaluation of the system is expected. 

 

Prerequisites

  • You should have (very) good programming skills.
  • Before applying, please read and understand the concept of Hybrid Intelligence (see page 7/27 [1])
  • Last but not least, be enthusiastic about robots =)! 

 

How to apply

Please send an application to Martin Feick and/or Niko Kleer containing the following information. (if you do not answer every point, your application will not be considered):

  • When you plan to start the thesis
  • When you plan to finish the thesis
  • A short motivational statement (max 0.5 pages) why this topic is interesting for you
  • Your transcript of records and your CV

See personal profile of Martin Feick

Recent advances in Machine learning (specifically Deep Learning) allowed robots to understand objects and the surrounding environment on a perceptual non-symbolic level (e.g. object detection, sensors fusion, and language understanding), however a trending area of research is to understand objects on a conceptual symbolic level so we can achieve a level of robots thinking like humans. Deep Reinforcement Learning (RL) recently attempted implicitly combining these symbolic and non-symbolic learning paradigms, but it has several drawbacks such as: (1) the need for very long training time with respect to traditional deep learning approaches, (2) convergence to optimum policy is not guaranteed and it can get stuck in a sub-optimal policy, and (3) a RL agent is trained over a simulated environment so it cannot foresee actions that only exist in the real environment. The goal of thesis is to train a robot that would explicitly learn on both perceptual and conceptual levels through direct feedback from a human expert along with its existing view (i.e. sensors) of the world.

 

Focus

This work will focus on Reinforcement Learning, Imitation Learning and the combination of both. This work will involve real-time implementation of a working system.

 

Prerequisites

  • Please read about the following papers [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
  • Background or interest in RL, Computer Vision or AI Planning
  • Completed HCI, Statistics and/or Machine learning courses
  • Strong programming skills
  • Unity/SImulation environments background is a plus

 

How to apply

Please  send me an email  with the following pieces of information:

  • When you plan to start the thesis
  • When you plan to finish the thesis
  • A short motivational statement why this topic is interesting for you
  • A summary why you would be a good fit for this topic
  • Your transcript of records and CV

See personal profile of Amr Gomaa

Referencing resolution is a trending topic that remains unsolved due to the high variance in users' behavior when performing a referencing task. Referencing resolution is simply identifying the object a user is intending to select through speech, pointing, gaze or multi modal fusion of all the previous modalities. Referencing is used in multiple domains in HCI such as Human Robot Interaction (HRI) [Nickel et al. 2003; Whitney et al. 2016; Kontogiorgos et al. 2018; Sibirtseva et al. 2019], and Vehicle and Drone interaction [Rümelin et al. 2013; Roider et al. 2017; Gomaa et al. 2020]. However, most of the current research focus on stationary first-person view when interacting with the object. In this thesis, you will work on the task of multi-modal real-time reference resolution using speech, gaze and/or pointing gestures from a moving source when interacting with a vehicle, industrial robot, or retail delivery drone. 

 

Focus

This work will focus on gesture identification, gaze tracking, object detection, speech recognition and/or modality fusion techniques. This work will involve real-time implementation of a working system.

 

Prerequisites

  • Please read about the following papers [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
  • Background or interest in gesture recognition, NLP or gaze tracking
  • Completed HCI, Statistics and/or Machine learning courses
  • Strong programming skills

 

How to apply

Please  send me an email  with the following pieces of information:

  • When you plan to start the thesis
  • When you plan to finish the thesis
  • A short motivational statement why this topic is interesting for you
  • A summary why you would be a good fit for this topic
  • Your transcript of records and CV

See personal profile of Amr Gomaa

Vibrations provided by our smartphone inform us about notifications and events through our sense of touch. By coupling vibrations with user actions such as applying pressure on a surface, one can create illusions of a click (e.g., Apple ‘Force Touch’ trackpad) or change the perceived features of the surface (e.g., softness). While there is a large body of existing research investigating this vibrotactile feedback, designing such structured tactile messages remains a challenge. Leveraging better non-visual cues when interacting with graphical elements on touch user interfaces (UI) would lead to more refined and subtle interaction techniques. 

For this thesis, you will build a tool to design vibrotactile effects for graphical touch UIs. Using this tool, a designer should be able to load a UI element and create and refine vibrotactile effects using direct manipulation techniques. These approaches could be similar to existing approaches such as vocalizations [1], and build on existing vibrotactile libraries [2] or parametric design tools [3]. This design tool could support building novel touch feedback for the web [4], thus creating novel opportunities for designing web interactions. Using the created design tool, you will perform a user study investigating the differences in design approaches.

Focus

This work focuses on mobile design. The choice of supporting libraries and toolkits remains open for discussion with the supervisors.

Prerequisites

  • Interest in vibrotactile design

  • Knowledge about mobile

  • Completed HCI lecture and attended at least one seminar at our chair

How to apply

Please send me an email with the following pieces of information (if you do not answer every point, your application will not be considered):

  • When you plan to start the thesis

  • When you plan to finish the thesis

  • A short motivational statement why this topic is interesting for you

  • A summary why you be a good fit for this topic

  • Your transcript of records

After reviewing your application, we will come back to you and provide you with an initial evaluation assignment.

References

[1] Weirding Haptics: https://umtl.cs.uni-saarland.de/research/projects/weirding-haptics-in-situ-prototyping-of-vibrotactile-feedback-in-virtual-reality-through-vocalization.html
[2] VibViz: https://www.cs.ubc.ca/labs/spin/vibviz
[3] Interhaptics: https://www.interhaptics.com/
[4] HapticsJs: http://www.hapticsjs.org/


See personal profile of Donald Degraen