Our research aims at developing concepts, methods, and tools for the holistic engineering of reliable and secure software-intensive systems. These software systems must be robust and resilient to planned and unplanned changes in the context of configuration, reconfiguration, or evolution. The systems must be reliably and securely dynamically adaptable to new application scenarios and environments and support systematic reuse. In this context, precise, mathematically sound guarantees for critical functional and non-functional system properties, especially for reliability and security, are essential. Application areas for this research are primarily in automotive software and systems engineering and in automation engineering in mechanical and plant engineering.

Research topics

  • Security-by-Design and By-Construction Engineering:
    Software-intensive systems in safety and mission-critical areas place high demands on their safety (safety and security) and reliability. These essential system properties must already be taken into account in the development process in order to be able to guarantee them in operation. The approach of by-construction engineering aims at developing software systems starting from a (formal) specification of their functional and non-functional properties in such a way that they fulfill these properties by construction.
  • Software Diversity (Variability & Adaptability): Modern software systems are highly configurable to adapt to different requirements and environmental conditions. This configurability at development time can also be used as adaptability at runtime, allowing systems to self-adapt to new conditions. This can improve the robustness and resilience of software systems through diversity, which can be used in particular to harden systems against attacks.
  • Provable Security and Post-hoc Quality Assurance:
    Complementary to by-construction engineering, post-hoc quality assurance techniques aim to test critical functional and non-functional properties of systems, including reliability and security, to ensure the quality of these systems. A particular focus of research is on efficient and effective test procedures based on systematic test case generation, test case selection, and test case prioritization, especially for variant and evolving software systems. This also includes assurance procedures for intelligent systems, where parts of the functionality are realized by trained AI components. A current research project is concerned with end-to-end testing of intelligent driving functions in the context of automated driving, which should also detect targeted attacks on the AI components. Another research focus is the use of formal methods, in particular deductive verification, for the quality assurance of software systems. In this context, our research aims at scaling these techniques by exploiting modularity and improving usability through modern AI-based methods.
  • Legacy Software Analysis:
    Modern software systems are generally no longer developed from scratch. Instead, software systems are continuously evolving. However, this continuous development often leads to the loss of documentation about the software systems as well as the transfer of errors from one part of the system to another by copying. Research in the area of legacy system analysis aims to analyze existing structures of these systems (re-engineering) and thus create opportunities to restructure or even migrate the legacy systems. For example, existing functionalities of a legacy system can be transferred into a new type of security architecture. The extraction of reusable building blocks from legacy systems enables a systematic reuse and further development of these systems with the goal of Sustainable Software Engineering.
Title Contact

Tim Bittner, Joshua Ammermann, Ina Schaefer

Domenik Eichhorn, Ina Schaefer

Lukas Birkemeyer, Ina Schaefer

Tobias Pett, Ina Schaefer

Tabea Bordis, Tobias Runge, Ina Schaefer


Correctness-by-Construction – Wie machen wir bessere Software? (Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ina Schaefer)
Zentrum für Angewandte Kulturwissenschaft und Studium Generale (ZAK) (Ed.)
2023. doi:10.5445/IR/1000159235
Methods, approaches and applications in software-driven manufacturing
Vogel-Heuser, B.; Kleinert, T.; Schaefer, I.
2023. at - Automatisierungstechnik, 71 (5), 327–329. doi:10.1515/auto-2023-0033
A model-based mutation framework for IEC61131-3 manufacturing systems [Modellbasiertes Mutation-Framework für IEC61131-3 Fertigungssysteme]
Rosiak, K.; Linsbauer, L.; Vogel-Heuser, B.; Schaefer, I.
2023. at - Automatisierungstechnik, 71 (5), 380–390. doi:10.1515/auto-2022-0125
Systems and software product lines of the future
ter Beek, M. H.; Schaefer, I.
2023. Journal of Systems and Software, 199, Art.-Nr.: 111622. doi:10.1016/j.jss.2023.111622
Bewertung von Fahrerassistenzsystemen im Umfeld des szenariobasierten Testens. PhD dissertation
King, C.
2023, April 13. Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT). doi:10.5445/IR/1000157665
Coverage-Driven Test Automation for Highly-Configurable Railway Systems
Eichhorn, D.; Pett, T.; Przigoda, N.; Kindsvater, J.; Seidl, C.; Schaefer, I.
2023. VaMoS ’23: Proceedings of the 17th International Working Conference on Variability Modelling of Software-Intensive, 23–30, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). doi:10.1145/3571788.3571794
VarCorC: Developing Object-Oriented Software Product Lines Using Correctness-by-Construction
Bordis, T.; Kodetzki, M.; Runge, T.; Schaefer, I.
2023. Software Engineering and Formal Methods. SEFM 2022 Collocated Workshops – AI4EA, F-IDE, CoSim-CPS, CIFMA, Berlin, Germany, September 26–30, 2022, Revised Selected Papers. Ed.: P. Masci, 156–163, Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-031-26236-4_13
Model-Based Fault Classification for Automotive Software
Becker, M.; Meyer, R.; Runge, T.; Schaefer, I.; van der Wall, S.; Wolff, S.
2022. arxiv. doi:10.48550/arXiv.2208.14290
Consistent View-Based Management of Variability in Space and Time. PhD dissertation
Ananieva, S.
2022, July 26. Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT). doi:10.5445/IR/1000148819
Family-Based and Product-Based Development of Correct-by-Construction Software Product Lines
Bordis, T.; Runge, T.; Schultz, D.; Schaefer, I.
2022. Journal of Computer Languages, 70, Art.-Nr.: 101119. doi:10.1016/j.cola.2022.101119
Quality-Aware Learning to Prioritize Test Cases. PhD dissertation
Omri, S.
2022, February 18. Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT). doi:10.5445/IR/1000143079/v2
Model-Based Fault Classification for Automotive Software
Becker, M.; Meyer, R.; Runge, T.; Schaefer, I.; van der Wall, S.; Wolff, S.
2022. Programming Languages and Systems: 20th Asian Symposium, APLAS 2022, Auckland, New Zealand, December 5, 2022, Proceedings. Ed.: I. Sergey, 110–131, Springer Nature Switzerland AG. doi:10.1007/978-3-031-21037-2_6
Runtime Verification of Correct-by-Construction Driving Maneuvers
Kittelmann, A.; Runge, T.; Bordis, T.; Schaefer, I.
2022. Leveraging Applications of Formal Methods, Verification and Validation. Verification Principles – 11th International Symposium, ISoLA 2022, Rhodes, Greece, October 22–30, 2022, Proceedings, Part I. Ed.: T. Margaria, 242–263, Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-031-19849-6_15
X-by-Construction Meets Runtime Verification
ter Beek, M. H.; Cleophas, L.; Leucker, M.; Schaefer, I.
2022. Leveraging Applications of Formal Methods, Verification and Validation. Verification Principles – 11th International Symposium, ISoLA 2022, Rhodes, Greece, October 22–30, 2022, Proceedings, Part I. Ed.: T. Margaria, 141–148, Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-031-19849-6_9
Immutability and Encapsulation for Sound OO Information Flow Control
Runge, T.; Servetto, M.; Potanin, A.; Schaefer, I.
2022. ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems, 45 (1), Art.Nr. 3. doi:10.1145/3573270
Quantifying the variability mismatch between problem and solution space
Hentze, M.; Sundermann, C.; Thüm, T.; Schaefer, I.
2022. Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems, 322–333, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). doi:10.1145/3550355.3552411
Re-CorC-ing KeY: Correct-by-Construction Software Development Based on KeY
Bordis, T.; Cleophas, L.; Kittelmann, A.; Runge, T.; Schaefer, I.; Watson, B. W.
2022. The Logic of Software. A Tasting Menu of Formal Methods – Essays Dedicated to Reiner Hähnle on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday. Ed.: W. Ahrendt, 80–104, Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-031-08166-8_5
A Specification Logic for Programs in the Probabilistic Guarded Command Language
Pardo, R.; Johnsen, E. B.; Schaefer, I.; Wąsowski, A.
2022. Theoretical Aspects of Computing – ICTAC 2022 – 19th International Colloquium, Tbilisi, Georgia, September 27–29, 2022, Proceedings. Ed.: H. Seidl, 369–387, Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-031-17715-6_24
Information Flow Control-by-Construction for an Object-Oriented Language
Runge, T.; Kittelmann, A.; Servetto, M.; Potanin, A.; Schaefer, I.
2022. Software Engineering and Formal Methods – 20th International Conference, SEFM 2022, Berlin, Germany, September 26–30, 2022, Proceedings. Ed.: B.-H. Schlingloff, 209–226, Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-031-17108-6_13
AutoArx: Digital Twins of Living Architectures
Jordan, S.; Linsbauer, L.; Schaefer, I.
2022. Software Architecture – 16th European Conference, ECSA 2022, Prague, Czech Republic, September 19–23, 2022, Proceedings. Ed.: I. Gerostathopoulos, 205–212, Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-031-16697-6_15
Derivation of subset product lines in FeatureIDE
Linsbauer, L.; Westphal, P.; Bittner, P. M.; Krieter, S.; Thüm, T.; Schaefer, I.
2022. Proceedings of the 26th ACM International Systems and Software Product Line Conference - Volume B, 38–41, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). doi:10.1145/3503229.3547033
Synchronizing software variants: A two-dimensional approach
König, C.; Rosiak, K.; Linsbauer, L.; Schaefer, I.
2022. Proceedings of the 26th ACM International Systems and Software Product Line Conference (SPLC ’22), Graz, A, 12.-16. September 2022. Ed.: A. Felfernig. Vol. B, 82–89, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). doi:10.1145/3503229.3547053
Traits: Correctness-by-Construction for Free
Runge, T.; Potanin, A.; Thüm, T.; Schaefer, I.
2022. Formal Techniques for Distributed Objects, Components, and Systems – 42nd IFIP WG 6.1 International Conference, FORTE 2022, Held as Part of the 17th International Federated Conference on Distributed Computing Techniques, DisCoTec 2022, Lucca, Italy, June 13–17, 2022, Proceedings. Ed.: M. Mousavi, 131–150, Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-031-08679-3_9
Platform Architecture for the Diagram Assessment Domain
Ullrich, M.; Forell, M.; Houy, C.; Pfeiffer, P.; Schüler, S.; Stottrop, T.; Willems, B.; Fettke, P.; Oberweis, A.
2021. L. Linsbauer, I. Schaefer & A. Wortmann (Eds.), Software Engineering 2021 Satellite Events - Workshops and Tools & Demos : Proceedings of the Software Engineering 2021, SE-SE 2021, Satellite Events, Braunschweig/Virtual, Germany, February 22 - 26, 2021. Ed.: S. Götz, RWTH Aachen. doi:10.22028/D291-34119
Software Engineering 2021 : Fachtagung vom 22.-26. Februar 2021 Braunschweig/virtuell
Koziolek, A.; Schaefer, I.; Seidl, C. (Eds.)
2021. Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI)
Component-Based Refinement and Verification of Information-Flow Security Policies for Cyber-Physical Microservice Architectures
Gerking, C.; Schubert, D.
2021. A. Koziolek, I. Schaefer & C. Seidl (Eds.), Software Engineering 2021 : Fachtagung 22.-26. Februar 2020 Braunschweig/Virtuell / Anne Koziolek, Ina Schaefer, Christoph Seidl, 43–44, Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI). doi:10.18420/SE2021_10
Proceedings of the Workshops of the Software Engineering Conference 2019, Stuttgart, Germany, February 19, 2019
Krusche, S.; Schneider, K.; Kuhrmann, M.; Heinrich, R.; Jung, R.; Konersmann, M.; Schmieders, E.; Helke, S.; Schaefer, I.; Vogelsang, A.; Annighöfer, B.; Schweiger, A.; Reich, M.; Van Hoorn, A. (Eds.)
2019. RWTH Aachen
Supporting the Development of Interdisciplinary Product Lines in the Manufacturing Domain
Kowal, M.; Ananieva, S.; Thüm, T.; Schaefer, I.
2017. IFAC-PapersOnLine, 50 (1), 4336–4341. doi:10.1016/j.ifacol.2017.08.870
Implicit Constraints in Partial Feature Models
Ananieva, S.; Kowal, M.; Thüm, T.; Schaefer, I.
2016. Proceedings of the 7th International Workshop on Feature-Oriented Software Development, 18–27, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). doi:10.1145/3001867.3001870
Selected Challenges of Software Evolution for Automated Production Systems
Vogel-Heuser, B.; Feldmann, S.; Folmer, J.; Kowal, M.; Schaefer, I.; Ladiges, J.; Fay, A.; Haubeck, C.; Lamersdorf, W.; Lity, S.; Kehrer, T.; Tichy, M.; Getir, S.; Ulbrich, M.; Klebanov, V.; Beckert, B.
2015. 2015 IEEE 13th International Conference on Industrial Informatics (INDIN 2015) : Cambridge, United Kingdom, 22 - 24 July 2015, 314–321, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). doi:10.1109/INDIN.2015.7281753
Verification of Software Product Lines with Delta-Oriented Slicing
Bruns, D.; Klebanov, V.; Schaefer, I.
2011. Formal Verification of Object-Oriented Software. International Conference, FoVeOOS 2010, Paris, France, June 28-30, 2010. Ed.: B. Beckert, 61–75, Berlin
Verification of Software Product Lines: Reducing the Effort with Delta-oriented Slicing and Proof Reuse
Bruns, D.; Klebanov, V.; Schaefer, I.
2010. Formal Verification of Object-Oriented Software. Papers presented at the International Conference, June 28-30, 2010, Paris, France. Ed.: B. Beckert, 345–358, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)