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Although, there are no lectures with attendance at the CAU the following applies: this seminar will take place and start online on the 7th of April at 3 pm with the kick-off meeting. The kick-off meeting takes place at

A seminar needs less interaction than a lecture. All scheduled individual meetings can take place online.

The purpose of this seminar is to independently scientifically work on a layout algorithm topi. The goal is to summarize the topic in an oral presentation and a written elaboration in form of a paper. Another purpose of this seminar is to practice working in structured and time-driven workflows (e.g. for conferences or workshops). Moreover, both of these aspects are a good preparation for working on your thesis. We have many theses regarding these topics available; contact us if you are interested in that.

This seminar is a bachelor and master module at the same time. Compared to the bachelor seminar, we expect that master students include more related papers and therefore write a longer paper and hold a longer presentation (see below).

Imprtant Dates

RequirementsWissenschaftliches Arbeiten von Prof. Peters

Reinhard von Hanxleden (
Christoph Daniel Schulze (
Sören Domrös (

Block seminar dayTBD


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You may choose one of the following papers from the different topics. The papers marked with a  (green star) are the ones that we deemed more important.

The papers are assigned via first-come-first-serve. Already taken papers are marked. Many of the links do only work in the university network. If any problems occur feel free to contact us.

Some papers are not freely available. These papers are linked in an internal page in our wiki. You can log in with your Ifi-account. If any problems occur contact cds.

Aesthetics and Perception

(green star) Lloyd, Rodgers, and Roberts. "Metro map colour-coding: effect on usability in route tracing." In International conference on Theory and Application of Diagrams, pp. 411-428. Springer, 2018. PDF

Burns, Carberry, Elzer, and Chester. "Automatically recognizing intended messages in grouped bar charts." In International Conference on Theory and Application of Diagrams, pp. 8-22. Springer, 2012. PDF

Human Computer Interaction

Pietriga. "A Toolkit for Addressing HCI Issues in Visual Language Environments." In IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), pp.145–152. 2015. PDF

Green, Petre. "Usability Analysis of Visual Programming Environments - A Cognitive Dimensions Framework." In Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, pp. 131–174, Issue 7–2. 1996. Seite mit PDF

(green star) Pourali, Atlee. "A Focus+Context Approach to Alleviate Cognitive Challenges of Editing and Debugging UML Models." In ACM/IEEE 22nd International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (MODELS), pp. 183–193. 2019. PDF

(green star) Moscovich, Chevalier, Henry, Pietriga, Fekete. "Topology-Aware Navigation in Large Networks." In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), pp. 2319–2328. 2009. (vergeben) PDF

(green star) Frisch, Dachselt. "Off-Screen visualization techniques for class diagrams." In Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Software Visualization, pp. 163–172. 2010. PDF

Graph Drawing

(green star) Chevalier and Safro. "Comparison of coarsening schemes for multilevel graph partitioning." In International Conference on Learning and Intelligent Optimization, pp. 191-205. Springer, 2009. PDF

Athenstädt, Hartmann, and Nöllenburg. "Simultaneous embeddability of two partitions." In International Symposium on Graph Drawing, pp. 64-75. Springer, 2014. PDF

Euler Diagrams

(green star) Bottoni, Costagliola, and Fish. "Euler diagram encodings." In International Conference on Theory and Application of Diagrams, pp. 148-162. Springer, 2012. PDF

(green star) Chapman, Stapleton, Rodgers, Micallef, and Blake. "Visualizing sets: an empirical comparison of diagram types." In International Conference on Theory and Application of Diagrams, pp. 146-160. Springer, 2014. PDF

Other Types of Diagrams

(green star) Erwig and Smeltzer. "Variational Pictures." In International Conference on Theory and Application of Diagrams, pp. 55-70. Springer, 2018. Seite mit PDF


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Dates in the semester

Tue., 07.04., 23:59Deadline for topic
By e-mail to Sören
Tue., 07.04., 15:00Kick-off
The kick-off will take place online. We will send you the corresponding link.
Tue., 28.04., 08:00Deadline of the first draft in EasyChair
Content: abstract, introduction, outline, notes for chapter contents, bibliography
Tue., 28.04., individual datesIndividual dates
Online, as discussed with advisor
Tue., 19.05., 08:00Deadline of the first full version
Submission-Update in EasyChair
Tue., 19.05., individual dates

Individual dates
Online, as discussed with advisor

Tue., 02.06., 08:00 UhrDeadline of the review version
Submission-Update in EasyChair
subsequentlyReview assignment
By e-mail
Tue., 09.06., 08:00 UhrDeadline reviews
In EasyChair
tbdTalk on how to do talks/presentations (the talk-talk)?
Tue., 23.06., individual datesIndividual dates for presentation slides
Online, as discussed with advisor. he slides have to be available online or have been sent beforehand via e-mail.
Tue., 07.07., 08:00Deadline final version
Submission-Update in EasyChair

The Final Presentations

Currently, it is unclear how the talks will take place. This will be influenced by the development of the pandemic. We can think of recorded videos or a live conference or other alternatives. We expect to be able to make a decision at the end of Mai.

Schedule and Grading

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Papers, Talks, Review

This seminar includes the creation of a paper, a talk, and two reviews.


The paper should provide an overview of the chosen topic. It should be written in a style that late bachelor student can understand it. The paper should be 6 (master) or 4 (bachelor) pages long, not more not less, and it should use the ACM LaTeX-style (more details below). We advise you to read the writing advice for writing a thesis.


The talk should be 40 minutes (master) or 25 minutes (bachelor) long. This is followed by 5 minutes of questions. The slides should contain page numbers to allow the participants to ask specific questions after the talk. It would be great to include a short tool demo if your topic includes some concrete implementation.

You can freely choose your presentation tool. The talk can be held in English or German.


A review consist of two parts:

  1. General comments (what do you like / not like regarding content, structure, and readability) as well as general suggestions to improve the paper
  2. In detail remarks and corrections

The first part of the review should be at least half an A4 page long. It should be written in full text and not only consist of notes. The review content should be similar to the review you get during the individual dates, however, it should be more in detail and with a clear focus on content, structure, and readability of the paper.

It is not possible to add files in the EasyChair review form. Therefore, it is not possible to add an annotated pdf as detailed correction.

The reviews are assigned after the review-version deadline and are based on the submitted version of the papers.


This seminar is graded. The grade is based on each milestone (the different versions of the paper, the reviews, the slides, the talk). For each milestone quality, timing (see dates) are graded. You may fail the seminar because of missed deadlines.

Technical Details

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Your papers should be created using LaTeX and have to be in the ACM style. You can find all necessary files in this archive, including an example document that includes helpful LaTeX-hints to start with. Copy all files in some folder and begin to write your paper.

LaTeX can create a bibliography (it includes scientific publications, which are referenced to prove statements) too. The example includes a file named myrefs.bib, which holds the references. ACM provides a short overview with examples of bibliography entries.

While writing your paper keep the following in mind:

  • Think about whether you want to write your paper in German or English and make use to use the corresponding ACM-style.
  • Graphics from your original paper should not just be screenshotted and added to your paper. Ideally, you create your own graphic (ideally as a vector graphic) to have good quality graphics.
  • A paper always consists of an introduction, at least one main chapter, and a conclusion.

EasyChair Tutorial

You can find our seminar in EasyChair here.

We use the EasyChair system to manage our seminar. EasyChair is a popular system to manage conferences. Should you end up as a PhD student, it is likely that you won't get around using it at some point in your career.

This section describes how to use EasyChair over the course of the seminar.


If you do not have an EasyChair account (which is most likely), you need to sign up for an account first.

Go to the registration page. First solve the very challenging Captcha and then fill in your personal data.

Use your university mail address!

You will receive an activation mail with a link. When you navigate to the given site, you nee to provide further information. Choose a username and password and create the account.

Creating a new Submission

To create your submission, visit the EasyChair site of the seminar (link provided above). First you need to log in, then you will be asked for the role you want to enter as. Choose the only option: Author. During the seminar you will get an additional role, see PC section. Next, click on the New Submission button in the header bar.

Complete the form with the information about you and your paper. Note that, all fields are not final and can be changed later on.

Use the New Submission option only once for your first submission!

All following uploads of your paper and milestone submissions must be updates of your existing submission (see next section).

Updating your Submission

After you created a new submission, you can access your submission via the new button Submission <your number> in the header bar. The page then displays the current state and information about your submission.

You can update these information using the options in the top right box of this site.

Program Committee (PC)

During the seminar (usually after the second deadline) you will receive an invitation into the Program Committee (PC) of the seminar. This the a prerequisite for the reviewing process. Hence, it is important that you accept the invitation as soon as you receive it.

The invitation mail features a response link. Click on that link, make sure that "I accept the initiation" is selected and click on Answer Invitation. You do not need to provide a response message (Email body) or specify the Email subject.

Different roles in EasyChair

As soon as you are part of the PC, you have different roles in which you can access/enter the seminar page on EasyChair. The roles have different purposes and permissions.

AuthorCreate and update your submission
PC memberCreate and update reviews

This means you cannot edit your submission when you are in the PC role and you cannot create reviews in the Author role.

Changing your role

When you access the EasyChair page of the seminar you are usually ask in which role you want to enter.

Your current role is always displayed in parentheses after the seminar title at the top of the page.

You can change your role by accessing the conference menu (e.g. Kiel-rtsys-sem-18ws) in the top bar an selecting Change role.

Writing Reviews

After the deadline for the review versions, you will be assigned as reviewer for two other submissions. You will be notified by mail when the assignment is done. The mail will not contain a direct link. Hence, visit the EasyChair page of the seminar, but this time enter in your PC member role.

Click on Assigned to me in the Review menu and download the paper you are assigned to review (submission column with file/pdf symbol). When you have read the paper and you are ready to write the review click on the + button to create your review.

Complete the review form and submit it. Note that the form may have additional fields you need to fill out.

If you want to update your review, navigate to the Assigned to me page but do not create a new review. Click on the link with your name in the new (Update review) PC member column to edit your review.

Viewing Reviews of your own Submission

When all reviews are finished, you will receive an Email with the reviews for your paper.

Alternatively, you can log in with your Author role and access the reviews on your submission page (Submission <your number>).


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In general, it is advised to look for related work in the university network since you will get access to many online libraries. We the following search engines and web pages:

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