paluno – The Ruhr Institute for Software Technology

Software is behind many of the increasingly significant competitive features and functions of complex products (cars, smartphones, smart energy), systems (automated manufacturing systems, payment systems, information systems) and business processes (insurance, logistics, healthcare). It especially permits smooth interaction between physical and digital services, data and objects, as well as ongoing adjustment to rapidly evolving technologies and new areas of application. This creates numerous opportunities for innovation. paluno conducts research in the following main areas (for a more detailed overview of paluno’s research activities please visit

Mobile Applications

A fundamental change in private and working life is taking place, away from stationary desktop systems to the ubiquitous use of computer resources. Increased availability, intuitive use and quality of mobile technologies present new challenges for software engineering. paluno analyses the characteristics of mobile contexts, their influence on business processes, and related software development processes. The projects in this area include topics such as optimization potential in mobile workflow management, the intuitive exchange of data across mobile devices and applications, and quality assurance of mobile applications with a special focus on context parameters such as location and connectivity. In the Mobile Software Development Lab, these research results are turned into cross-platform developments of mobile applications with industrial collaborators.


The widespread use of software systems has created a very high risk of illegal access to sensitive data. New security leaks and potential threats are detected on an almost daily basis. In the area of security engineering, paluno develops new approaches, methods and tools to effectively protect software systems and the data stored and transmitted by them from unauthorized access. In addition to the technological aspects, organizational and economic aspects are also the subject of paluno’s research. A particular example here is a modelling approach for security requirements developed within the FP7 Network of Excellence NESSoS.

Software Platforms & Software Architecture

System architecture is key to mastering the inherent complexity of modern hardware/ software systems. The architecture of a system is influenced to a considerable degree by a set of software platforms providing application-specific solution frameworks. A flexible and maintainable software architecture based on such platforms is a major success factor in building software systems that are lasting, require little maintenance and are of good quality. At paluno and other institutions, platforms for embedded systems are being researched and created within the BMBF project SPES-2020 and platforms for future internet applications developed within the EU PPP project FI-WARE. In the DFG project Geneda, tools for systematic and structured derivation of suitable candidates for a software architecture have been developed.

Software Services

Services (such as accounting, travel planning, routing, etc.) are increasingly being offered as software services. These services can be used over the internet by end users and as building blocks by service providers to create “value added” services. One example of this trend is the explosion of apps for Apple and Android smartphones. paluno conducts research into topics such as the composition of service-based applications, monitoring their operation and quality assurance of service-based systems during runtime. The EU Network of Excellence S-Cube has researched the underlying foundations of software services and service-based systems and has come up with groundbreaking results that are currently being evaluated in several follow-up projects, e.g. for logistics in the EU project FInest.

User Interface Engineering

Usability has become an essential criterion for the design and development of software systems. paluno conducts research into man-machine interaction to support engineers in creating software-intensive systems that are easy to use. For example, paluno has developed entirely new interaction concepts for steering wheels with a multi-touch user interface for the automotive sector. The DFG-funded Emmy Noether group “Mobile interaction in ubiquitous user interfaces” pursues research into time and cost-effective development of mobile applications, services and interaction techniques. Intensive collaboration with Japanese scientists in the area of pervasive computing is taking place within the DFG-funded collaborative project “Interaction with Smart Artifacts”.