Two DIZH Fellowships on Data Stream Processing and on Software Engineering accepted

Note: This information is to be understood under the condition of approval of the DIZH by the Canton Council.

The research efforts «Can virtual reality systems help us to design software as we talk?» and «Smart Cities & Regions Services Enablement» are among the first contributions to the digitalisation initiative of the canton of Zurich. They amplify the know-how on software engineering and data-intensive Internet services bundled at the Institute for Applied Information Technology for the support of commercial applications of the following decade.

DIZH – the joint digitalisation initiative of universities in the Swiss canton of Zurich – aims at strengthening the canton as research and development location. On the ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences side, the first 13 DIZH Fellowships have been awarded to researchers who can thus contribute to the initiative with their competences in a result-oriented and broad impact manner. The results in turn will be reflected in teaching, including in the ZHAW School of Engineering, as it is known that engineers are driving the digitalisation. Within InIT – Institute for Applied Information Technology – two DIZH Fellowships take part in this process.

The research effort «Can virtual reality systems help us to design software as we talk?» by Dr. ir. Marcela Ruiz from the Virtual Software Engineering Lab work on the challenge of speeding up the time-to-market of high-quality software products. The extraordinary value of this project comes from involving virtual reality systems for requirements engineering. From a practical point of view, she investigates how to digitalise the collaboration of local and remote participants during requirements elicitation sessions by making use of double robots and collaborative tools. Furthermore, she studies how to involve computational mechanisms for the automatic generation of software design while requirements are discussed. Consequently, the software development life cycle goes through a process of digital transformation where requirements are generated “on the fly” and virtual reality systems are in place. Software analyst experience substantial reduction of manual tasks, more efficient communication, dedication to more analytical tasks, and assurance of software quality from conception phases.

The research effort «Smart Cities & Regions Services Enablement» by Dr. habil. Josef Spillner from the Service Prototyping Lab aims at the seemingly serverless processing of dispersed data streams with the help of cloud functions. Thus, the development and the operation of added-value applications will be simplified significantly. The processing combines multiple computing paradigms with spatial and temporal aspects of data, and balances user requirements with system constraints. Accordingly, the quality levels of the processing can be selected with fine granularity and in alignment with the acceptable cost. This technique contributes especially to cloud-based applications and platforms with a local or regional context. This is given in scenarios such as the communication between vehicles and traffic lights or the exploitation of weather data for the forecasting of marketing campaigns. In preliminary studies with industry partners from the region, this property has been recognised already.

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