Available topics for theses

We have many thesis proposals for you to challenge yourself with interesting and cutting edge topics. Please check a list of open topics below. You are also welcome to come and discuss your own thesis proposal.

Experiments with Model Cooperative Driving Cars

Type: Bachelor/Master

Rather than a single thesis, this is a group of multiple theses in cooperation with the Free University of Bolzano-Bozen concerned with the development of cooperative driving solutions on a small-scale platform composed of model automated driving cars (see DonkeyCar).

A thesis in this topic can include

  • development of a framework to program the behavior of the cars and to collect data
  • the implementation of basic driving algorithms (such as classic Adaptive Cruise Control)
  • the implementation of more advanced cooperative driving algorithms (Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control)
  • the implementation of cooperative manuevers (e.g., cooperative lane change)
  • Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) solutions for cooperative driving
  • data collection, cleaning, and fusion solutions

Cooperative driving maneuvers

Type: Bachelor

In this thesis you will develop and study mechanisms to perform cooperative maneuvers between vehicles, e.g., cooperative lane changes. The thesis includes a modeling part, where the problem is mathematically formalized, and an implementative part, where the solution will be implemented and tested within the Plexe simulation framework.

V2X-based Collision Avoidance System for MTB Trail Riding

Type: Bachelor/Master

The alps see a surge of trail parks being built. These trails include frequent turns and jumps which are often ridden at high speeds. If bikes block the trail due to a stop or accident, limited line-of-sight can lead to collisions and severe accidents when following bikes crash into the blocking bike. With this work, we want to investigate if V2X communication can provide blocked trail warnings to approaching bikes so that riders can reduce their speed and avoid accidents. For this, a number of technologies that have been developed for collision warning in automotive and street-based scenarios need to be investigated, adapted, and tested for suitability. This includes the V2X communication module and antenna, that need to be adjusted to fit into a bike. Communication ranges and reliability have to be tested in realistic outdoor settings. Second, it needs to be reliably determined whether a bike actually blocks a trail or whether the rider just stopped next to it. For this purpose, GPS accuracy alone is insufficient and might have to coupled with crash detection using motion sensors or camera-based image recognition to detect whether a bike blocks a trail or not. Last but not least, a suitable user interface has to be developed and tested that allows to warn approaching drivers in a reliable and intuitive way which works even during trail rides. The envisioned thesis can address one or multiple of these challenges, multiple students could also collaborate on the topic. The project is collaboration between Ulm University and University of Trento. After prototype development, field tests in the Alps in South Tyrolia / Alto Adige are planned.

Traffic flow estimation of the RailEvo transportation system

Type: Bachelor

This thesis is done in cooperation with the RailEvo company and it aims at:

  • developing a simulation framework capable of modeling classic railway transportation systems and RailEvo;
  • evaluating the potential gain in the flow of passengers using the simulation framework.

With respect to the first goal, the student will exploit the microscopic mobility simulator SUMO and customize it for the purposes of the study. In the second phase, the student will model passenger demands and measure the passengers flow rate, aiming at measuring the gain obtained using the RailEvo system. In addition, the study will also consider power consumption metrics to show not only the benefits in terms of transportation but also in reducing energy consumption.


Modeling and optimizing autonomous vehicles in RailEvo stations

Type: Master

This thesis is done in cooperation with the RailEvo company and it aims at:

  • developing a simulation framework capable of modeling RailEvo stations;
  • implementing a strategy for autonomously coordinating RailEvo vehicles inside stations;
  • showing the impact of different strategies.

With respect to the first goal, the student will exploit the microscopic mobility simulator SUMO and customize it for the purposes of the study, enabling the possibility of simulating autonomous movements inside a station, as well as the loading and unloading of passengers. The student will then develop and study different strategies for the autonomous coordination of vehicles inside a station, showing benefits and drawbacks of the proposed solutions.


Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces for Cooperative Driving

Type: Bachelor/Master

This thesis studies the usage of Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces for supporting around-the-corner communication in mmWave networks. The final aim is enabling high-bandwidth vehicle-to-vehicle communication for collective perception and/or vehicular edge computing. The thesis deals with the performance evaluation of reflected mmWave links, as well as other higher-level aspects such as resource scheduling.

Impact of Interference by Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces on Inter-Vehicle Communication

Type: Master

Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RISs) are devices capable of reflecting wireless signals towards a desired, reconfigurable direction. They have been proposed to solve the signal blockage problem typical of mmWave and THz communication technologies. The principal envisioned use case is coverage extension of mmWave cellular base stations, enabling to reach users “hidden” behind objects such as buildings. Recently, they have also been proposed for vehicle-to-vehicle communications to enhance cooperative driving in urban scenarios or enable data transfer for vehicular edge computing. While the benefits seems clear, the community did not investigate potential drawbacks yet. With respect to cellular networks, each mobile operator might deploy its own surface, and RISs belonging to one operator might cause unwanted reflections that interfere with users of another one. With respect to vehicular networks, local communication signals on a specific road might be reflected towards another one, generating additional interference on the channel. The aim of this thesis is to quantify to which extent RISs generate additional interference and potentially finding a solution to the problem. Such analyses will be carried on through discrete event simulation frameworks such as Plexe, Veins, and OMNeT++. The thesis will be in cooperation with the TKN group of the Technical University of Berlin. You can find additional information here.

Modeling the global underwater acoustic noise pollution level

Type: Bachelor or Master

Human activities below the water surface will inevitably increase and include offshore energy generation, fish farming, resource extraction, prospection, and mining. All of these activities generate noise, and directly affect marine life.

This thesis aims at bringing together a number of tools (mainly, Bellhop) and datasets (mainly, WOA, GEBCO, and Deck-41), to predict how noise generated at a given location propagates locally (at sea/basin scale) and globally. The ultimate objective is to release the project to the community as open-source software.

Through this thesis, you will learn the peculiarities of underwater sound propagation using established instruments, and will be able to assess how noise pollution affects seas at scale. Note: knowing the physics of the process is not a requirement.

For Bachelor students: we recommend you to form a group of 3 or 4 people, so that you can divide the work while agreeing on the general structure of the software.

For Master students: the thesis is suitable for one person.

UWNoise1 UWNoise2 UWNoise3

(Images courtesy of WYNC studios, NOAA, Duke, HLS Research)

Design of a low-cost, low-power underwater acoustic recorder

Type: Bachelor or Master

When performing underwater remote sensing and communication experiments using acoustic signals, it is helpful to have a passive recorder that tracks the transmitted signals and detects any sound changes in the surroundings.

However, commercial recorders are often extremely specific, and only work within a very specific acoustic band.

In this thesis, the student will build a submarine acoustic recorder by choosing and assembling all the components (mainly, broadband hydrophone, amplifier, control board like RaspberryPi Zero or similar, configurable analog filter, sound card, and watertight case). Particular attention will be paid to energy consumption and to ensuring at least 12 hours of continuous recording without recharging the batteries. The system will have to enable the choice of different sampling frequencies, and a different number of bits per sample, and will be tested in the field to evaluate its effectiveness.

Bachelor and Master versions of this thesis differ in the degree of advancement and testing of the prototype recorder.

Also available in coordination with a research project or project course.


(Image courtesy of RTSys)