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Research Areas

Graduate Studies (until 1993)

Studies: software engineering, formal languages, protocol specification, distributed systems; Minor studies: electrical engineering; Master thesis: "A Formal Security Model for Message Handling Systems (MHS)".

Research Assistant: Specification and implementation of a Security Interoperability Sublayer; Design and implementation of an object-oriented extension of the specification language SDL.

Studies Abroad: two terms at the University of Waterloo/Canada; Studies in realtime systems and compiler construction.

Research Area 'Security' (1990-1993)

Development of a Security Interoperability Layer (SIS) between layers 3 and 4 of the ISO-OSI reference model as part of a government-funded project. SIS introduces security mechanisms such as encryption and authentication. The SIS-layer was to be designed in such a way that the API defined by X.213 remains unchanged. X.213 defines an interface between ISO-OSI layers 3 and 4. The design of the SIS protocol was implemented using the GEODE specification tool. The resulting prototype was tested over a TCP-network [1].

A formal security model for Message Handling Systems (MHS) according to X.400 was developed as a continuation of this project. Specification of a formal threat analysis based on the Bell-LaPadula-Model. As a requirement of the Bundesamtes für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI) the threat analysis was specified through a formal model as well as mathematically verified according to the BSI security standard Q7 [2].

Doctoral studies 'Service Trading' (1993-1997)

Development of a trading model for open distributed systems. Investigation of appropriate type specification languages for services [7], [8]. In was shown that in the context of open distributed systems type specifications are necessary at different levels of abstraction (system vs. user level). Furthermore no a-priori knowledge of existing type specifications can be assumed [4].

Development of a type specification language based on a knowledge representation technique [6], [9]. Definition of mapping rules for DCE-IDL and CORBA-IDL to and from the knowledge representation language [11]. Prototype implementation of a knowledge based trader including the IDL translators [16]. The work was later funded by the Deutsche Telekom AG, where the concept of a knowledge based trader was integrated into a TINA environment [17].

Postdoctoral studies 'Architectures of middleware platforms' (1997-2002)

Development of a CORBA compliant implementation called MICO for research and educational purposes [18]. Based on a micro-kernel approach which moves extra functionality outside the Object Request Broker (ORB). Integration of ATM transport layer outside the ORB [20]. Development of a generic user interface to a-priori unknown object types based on meta-data [14]. Three book publications describing the usage as well as the internal architecture of MICO by dpunkt-Publishers in Germany and Morgan Kaufmann Publishers in the US. MICO is branded as CORBA compliant by The Open Group and is widely used in industry and academia. First International MICO Workshop held in Germany, November 1998. Second International MICO Workshop held at Stanford University, March 2001.

Research Area 'Conformance Testing and Web-Applications' (2002-2005)

First research area at the San Francisco State University is the conformance testing of middleware platforms. Project lead for the COST (CORBA Open Source Testing) effort at the OMG [27]. Development of a programming language independent method for functional testing based on XML [32], [34]. Second research area are web applications; amongst others a generic web-based user interface [29]. Automatic translation of desktop applications to web application [30], [33]. Specification of the XML11 protocol, inspired by the X-Windows protocol. XML11 is an XML-based, client-server abstract windowing protocol [36]. XML11 supports code migration of business logic to the client. This code migration framework is based on an XML-based programming language called XMLVM. XMLVM is modeled after the Java virtual machine and allows easy translation to other high-level programming languages such as JavaScript [34].

Research Area 'Embedded Systems and Sensor Networks' (since 2004)

Another research area at the San Francisco State University are embedded systems and sensor networks. Agilent Labs funded a research project for measuring water quality of the San Francisco Bay. In cooperation with colleagues from the Romberg Tiburon Center we built an end-to-end application to deliver realtime sensor data to the desktop [37]. Sensor data is relayed to arbitrary consumers via a Sensor Management Framework (SMF) [38]. Use of Distributed Hash Tables (DHT) to build a multicast tree to guarantee a scalable architecture of the SMF [39]. This part of the project is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The project has become known under the acronym NetBEAMS (Networked Bay Environmental Assessment Monitoring System) and has won the Duke Choice Award at the JavaOne 2005 convention. Our web page for Bay Area sensory data www.netbeams.org is being adopted by other life science research groups along the Californian coast.


Seminars/Term Projects: Supervising of seminars in the area of object-oriented concepts in distributed systems as well as term projects in the area of distributed algorithms at the University of Frankfurt, Germany.

Master thesis: Supervising of several master thesis on various topics at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, the International Computer Science Institute, Berkeley, and the San Francisco State University.

Lecturer position: 3-units class on C++ and Java at the Applied University of Fulda, Germany (Fall 1996).

Classes: taught several 3-units classes at the San Francisco State University since Fall 2002:

  • Introduction to Computer Programming (C++)
  • Operating Systems
  • Advanced Operating Systems
  • Distributed Systems
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