Distributed Systems > CS > JBI > FWN > RUG

Available Projects



Many projects can be adjusted so that they fit the constraints of a Master's, term, a Bachelor project, or an internship.


Internal Projects

  • Energy-efficient Data Centers Models. Decreasing energy consumption in data center is a very important topic nowadays. This MSc project will focus on translating key aspects of data center operation to workable data center models. The project features a collaboration with Target Holding/CIT, who manage the university data center. In this project you will discuss with data center operators to identify operational processes and key parameters, and then translate those into tools that can be used for predicting and modeling data center behavior. As such this is a unique opportunity to get a look behind the scenes of data center operation. For this project you will cooperate with the SMS-ENTEG group. More info: (pdf) Contact: Marco or Tobias van Damme.
  • Sustainable Data Centers. In the context of a regional project in collaboration with KPN and an international project with Cognizant India, the research aims at studying techniques to save energy in modern data centres. Internet of things and machine learning are central to the approach. In particular, the project will involve one or more of the following items: *) environmental model of data center for steering/controlling energy consumption (preferably generalisable); *) energy consumption model of a data center and its components; *) report containing recommendations for reducing carbon-dioxide footprints of datacenter; *) adaptive planning and scheduling techniques to save energy in data centres. Contact: Marco or Wico Mulder.
  • Optimizing smart grids and their markets. In the Future Smart girds prices and optimization based on these will play a key role. The proposed MSc project is about developing an optimization toolbox to simulate (distributed) optimization problems of smart power grids. Linear and nonlinear optimization problems are aimed in both continuous and discrete times. The stages of the project include understanding the requirements to solve the aforementioned optimization problems, presenting an overview and account of comparison of available toolboxes (for example MATLAB toolboxes), enhancing the available toolboxes to satisfy the requirements of the project or developing a new toolbox. The master student will collaborate with another master student of ENTEG-DTPA group. Contact: Marco.
  • Power Trading Agent Competition. The project is related to the state of the art in electricity trading agents and the design of an entry for the Power Trading Agent Competition. Details available at Power TAC. Contact: Marco.
  • Optimization of integrated energy flow. The objective of the MERGE project is to study and develop an energy management system to promote the integration of different energy systems, mainly electricity and gas natural, at the level of the distribution network. The physical properties of energy carriers and the complexity of different infrastructures have to be taken into account while investigating the dynamic behaviour of the integrated grid. The proposed MSc project is about developing a program to optimize the flow of gas and electricity over an integrated distribution network, described by non-linear functions. The stages of the project include modeling the gas-electricity flow as a non-linear system, presenting an overview and comparison of available toolbox and libraries (for example, MATLAB toolboxes, C++ or Java libraries), developing of a program to optimize electricity and gas flows on scalable networks. Contact: Laura.
  • Full-stack developer position for the development of a web platform. Early school leaving is an important problem both socially as for the individual. School leavers often have difficulties finding jobs and are more likely to come in contact with the law. In the present project, we aim to research this problem by applying an intensive longitudinal diary study approach among adolescents at risk for early school leaving. The student involved in this project will be participating as a full-stack developer in the development team creating a platform to support this research. The main framework used for developing the application is Ruby on Rails in combination with various other web technologies. The master student will collaborate with three researchers from developmental psychology and computer science, and with one other master student from computer science. The project starts at the end of January / beginning of February. Furthermore, we offer the master student a financial compensation of €200,- per month. Contact: Frank or Ando.
  • Game theory and anonymity in online questionnaire systems. Early school leaving is an important problem both socially as for the individual. School leavers often have difficulties finding jobs and are more likely to come in contact with the law. In the present project we aim to research this problem by applying an intensive longitudinal diary study approach among adolescents at risk for early school leaving. This research project allows for several topics to investigate, especially with respect to this target population. We are looking for a computer science master student ready to do his thesis project and to do research in one of the following two topics:
    1. The first topic regards the fact that the adolescents under study are expected to be not very motivated to participate in a research project. To address this problem, we reward each student with a monetary compensation for their time investment. To make this compensation more interesting, we aim to devise a full zero sum economy, in which each questionnaire earns them money. The amount of money in this case is determined by an economy between the different students participating, or even over different schools. The master student will research different ways on how to implement such an economy, and will apply different theories to investigate the devised economy (such as game theory).
    2. The second topic regards the anonymity of the participants. Anonymity is always an important topic in any field of research concerning human beings. The master student will investigate and implement a way to maintain a connection between the participant and his or her data, but still keeping this connection private to just the participant. That is, the data should not be possible to connect to the participant in any way, not even by the researcher.
    Besides performing the research, the student involved will be participating as a full-stack developer in the development team creating a platform to support this research. A large part of the project will therefore be the development and implementation of the questionnaire platform. The main framework used for developing the application is Ruby on Rails in combination with various other web technologies. The master student will collaborate with three researchers with a background in developmental psychology and computer science, and with one other master student from computer science. Which of the two research topics will be addressed in the research project will be decided by the student and one of the researchers at the beginning of the project. The project starts at the end of January / beginning of February. Furthermore, we offer a the master student a financial compensation of €200,- per month. Contact: Frank or Ando.
  • Business Process Model Checking. Originally designed to support rigid repetitive units of work, business processes currently are required to support flexible and variable processes (i.e. processes which allow change in order to provide custom needs). However, such flexible processes must remain true to its initial process requirements and business rules. Model checking can be used to formally verify these properties. First, processes are translated to verifiable models. Then, a set of specifications (e.g. CTL or (P)LTL rules) is verified upon this model. And finally, feedback is provided. An extensible java tool is available which provides the basic functionality. However, additional functionality must be included.
    1. Multiple process design standards must be supported (e.g. EPC, BPEL).
    2. The automatic generation of specifications from (a set of) sample processes.
    3. To visually design custom specifications.
    4. Additional and direct model checker support.
    Contact: Heerko.
  • Android Multi Control Module for the Physical Impaired. In order to support a wide range of physical impaired afflictions, multi control modules are able to operate many different systems and support many different input methods. Often fitted on wheelchairs, the control module allows its user to operate devices such as the wheelchair itself, domotics, robotics, computers, and mobile phones, through one central system using inputs such as a joystick, scanners, touch buttons, feet controls, or touchpads. Although the level of support is ever advancing, the modules itself remain archaic. With the availability of smartphones, tablets, and other personal devices, we seek to investigate the possibility of using Android based devices as control modules customizable with apps to fulfill different physical needs. Contact: Heerko.



External Projects


  • Measures of Social Behaviour. Questionnaires are sensitive to several sources of noise. And above all, the moment-by-moment quantification of behaviour is impossible while using questionnaires. To manoeuvre away from these deficiencies we have developed a passive monitoring system that is based on the ubiquity smartphone technology. Due to the advances in technology, the World Economic Forum announced in February 2016, that the world is entering its Fourth Industrial Revolution based on hyper-connectivity, data-driven solutions and artificial intelligence (World Economic Forum, 2016). hyper-connectivity is characterised by a state of being constantly connected to individuals and machines through devices such as smartphones. hyper-connectivity and large-scale data collection through smartphones are the fundamental elements of new technological initiatives in healthcare and biomedical-research. These smartphone-based technological initiatives are largely due to the fact that the number of sensors embedded in smartphones have exploded over the past few years. Nowadays the majority of smartphones are equipped with sensors such as a GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, WIFI, bluetooth, camera and microphone. These smartphones aggregate a large amount of user related data which are in the context of research largely untouched. Our ambition is to develop several objective measures of social behaviour by using the data collected through our passive monitoring application. The objective quantification of social behaviour is important since the majority of psychiatric disorders affect social behaviour. In the context of a master thesis, we would like a master student with good knowledge of R to develop several of these measures that are related to social behaviour and test these measures on data of psychiatric patients. Contact: Niels Jongs
  • Data Science Connected Shavers. Philips is collecting large amounts of data from their connected shavers, and would like to take the next step in understanding the behaviours of their users, based on app analytics data. You will use Data Science algorithms to find out if they can classify users in different data-driven personas, and create meaningful insights to add value to the proposition. More information: Internship description. Contacts: Marco or Clotilde Grimault.
  • Data Dragon. Web-IQ is developing a new bread of crawlers based on orchestrating real-world browser engines: the Data Dragon. There are three parts of the Data Dragon:
    • The App Dragon: Extend the Data Dragon with virtual Android devices to harvest in-app data. How to automate and script the control of virtual Android devices in a robust way such that we can run hundreds of virtual devices in a distributed way?
    • Teach the Dragon a Trick: Currently, the Data Dragon is given (manually written) scripts to automate its behaviour. Is there a way that we can learn the system how to (partly) generate or optimise this behaviour itself, based on examples?
    • Taming the Dragons: we currently deploy Data Dragons and their corresponding browser engines in Docker containers. However, the demand for resources varies a lot during the crawling process, this means that the number of Dragon containers needs to adapt. How can we spawn, orchestrate and distribute this collection of processes automatically and efficiently? Contact: Mathijs Homminga.
  • Darknet. The project consists of two parts. The first one relates to Tor discovery, that is, use Tor network statistics and Hidden Service Directory information to find new hotspots in Tor Hidden Services. The second one relates to Deepsites. In particular, I2P is an anonymous overlay network - a network within a network. It is intended to protect communication from dragnet surveillance and monitoring by third parties such as ISPs. How can we harvest information from ‘deepsites’: distributed anonymous websites hosted within I2P? Contact: Mathijs Homminga.
  • Intel and data analysis. One part refers to deep-learning for images with the task to implement deep-learning techniques for image classification as part of ’s analysis platform. The other part refers to bitcoin relations: How can we weave Bitcoin transaction information into Web-IQ’s graph data? Can we reliably use the Blockchain information to relate vendors and buyers? Contact: Mathijs Homminga.
  • Passive Behavioural Monitoring. Advances in low power communication technologies and large scale data processing continue to give rise to the concept of mobile healthcare systems as an integral part of clinical care/research processes. This project will focus on the data that is collected by a passive behavioural monitoring system in which personal mobile devices are used as a measuring instrument. The data mainly consists of sensor and activity data which might allow us to differentiate between healthy and non-healthy individuals. In this project, our aim is to establish behavioural profiles which are related to neuropsychiatric disorders by using advanced data analysis and data mining techniques. These behavioural profiles are derived from the sensor and activity data collected from a passive behavioural monitoring system and are used to predict the onset or relapse of neuropsychiatric disorders. Additionally, our aim is translate these behavioural profiles to animal behavioural models of which the data is collected in a controlled lab environment. Contact: Martrien Kas.
  • Automated tool for security checks. Cedel BV in Assen is a Small Enterprise with the main focus on engineering in the domain of sustainable energy. They developed the CEMM (Cedel Energy Monitor Management system), in three series: CEMM, CEMM plus and the CEMM pro. These product give the user inside knowledge about their energy use: Smart meter, PV-panels, Heat pomp, Solvena roof, etc. Characteristics of the CEMM: ARM processor, data is stored locally on the device (No cloud computing), webserver to show information to the user. Cloud portal (vps) is used between user and CEMM to access information (example: http://demo.cedel.nl). Cedel has an assignment for a bachelor or master student, RuG Computer Science, who likes to work in Embedded Systems environment for a placement. Cedel wants to know to which level the CEMM is secure. Objective: Development of an automated tool to check the security level of the CEMM and advise them how to improve the CEMM. Contact: Remco de Vries or Peter Kamphuis.
  • Augmented reality rehabilitation game with the Microsoft HoloLens® (together with the Center for Human Movement Sciences, UMCG). Over the last 5 years, a rapid development of smart technologies, serious gaming (applications) and augmented reality devices has taken place. This technological environment provides opportunities to improve access and compliance to exercise therapy and to create tailored interventions, in which the duration, intensity and feedback of a training session can be manipulated according to the specific needs of a person. However, the use of these systems and applications in clinical practice is still very limited. The aim of this project is to develop a pilot application for rehabilitation in the Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality device. The application will run on the HoloLens glasses, thus providing the user with an engaging experience where virtual elements are combined to real world settings. The intended outcome is a pilot gaming application that can be used outside conventional hospital settings. The student will collaborate with the Center for Human Movement Sciences, UMCG, Groningen. Contact: Marco or Alessio Murgia or Claudine Lamoth.
  • Flexible computing infrastructures (proposed by TNO Groningen). More information: pdf. Contact: Marco or TNO directly (contact details in the PDF).
  • Privacy-friendly context-aware services (proposed by TNO Groningen). More information: pdf. Contact: Marco or TNO directly (contact details in the PDF).
  • Interaction with devices in a household for the purpose of enabling smart grid services (proposed by TNO Groningen). More information: pdf. Contact: Marco or TNO directly (contact details in the PDF).