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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
TDA594 - Software engineering principles for complex systems
Software engineering principles for complex systems
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-21 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: TKITE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: First-cycle
Major subject: Computer Science and Engineering, Information Technology

Teaching language: English
Application code: 52140
Open for exchange students: No
Block schedule: B+
Only students with the course round in the programme plan

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0119 Project 6,0 c Grading: TH   6,0 c    
0219 Written and oral assignments 1,5 c Grading: TH   1,5 c    

In programs



Thorsten Berger

  Go to Course Homepage


TDA590   Object oriented system development TDA591   Object oriented system development TDA592   Object oriented system development TDA593   Model-driven software development


In order to be eligible for a first cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme(s) that has the course included in the study programme.

Course specific prerequisites

The student must know Java programming and must have taken courses on data structures and algorithms (e.g., TDA416) as well as on object-oriented programming (e.g., TDA552, TDA367). Courses on user-interface development (e.g., DAT216, TDA289), and on testing (e.g., TDA567) are recommended.


Real-world software systems are becoming increasingly complex and pervasive. Consider application domains such as enterprise computing (e.g., data-processing/AI systems), business information systems (e.g., web portals), cyber-physical systems (e.g., automotive software), systems software (e.g., operating system kernels), or mobile software and software ecosystems (e.g., Android apps). All these domains boast software systems of unprecedented complexity, many of which are long-living and exist in many different variants. As such, these software systems require dedicated planning, modeling, design, realization, and advanced analysis techniques presented in this course.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

Identify and reason about recurrent problems of engineering complex systems and being able to apply appropriate solutions. The learning is driven by a concrete example of a software engineering or re-engineering project that will be developed in group work.

1. Knowledge and understanding

  • Explain the challenges of engineering complex systems
  • Explain industrial practice of complex systems engineering
  • Provide examples of complex systems and explain their realization
  • Explain concepts (e.g., modeling or software synthesis techniques) for engineering variant-rich systems (e.g., software product lines, software ecosystems)
  • Explain processes for engineering complex systems (e.g., product-line engineering, continuous integration and deployment) 
  • Explain business-, architecture-, process-, and organization-related aspects of engineering complex systems

2. Skills and abilities

  • Perform domain engineering (e.g., scoping and domain analysis. platform engineering)
  • Model a system from different perspectives (e.g., using feature models, UML diagrams or architecture description languages)
  • Analyze a given industrial case study to identify and reason about their concepts for handling complexity 
  • Engineer a variant-rich system (e.g., variant-rich system, software product line, software ecosystem)
  • Analyze a complex system (e.g., commonality, variability analysis, model/code analysis)
  • Re-engineer complex systems (e.g., migrate software variants into a software platform)
  • Reason about modularization techniques to increase cohesion and reduce coupling
  • Use modern component or service frameworks

3. Judgement and approach

  • Analyze existing systems and discuss possible improvements or re-engineering potential, also taking economic aspects into account
  • Assess software-engineering organizations using maturity frameworks (e.g., CMMI or Family Evaluation Framework)
  • Reason about characteristics software modularity concepts (incl. component- and feature-oriented engineering)
  • Recognize the situations in which certain of the taught principles are appropriate
  • Read and analyze scientific literature
  • Understand group dynamics as well as the management and resolution of conflicts in group work.


Programming expertise is only one of many skills required to engineer complex software systems. In this course we will critically analyse what software-engineering principles from the areas mentioned above support the engineering of complex software systems. We will discuss these principles in the lectures and will apply them in project work.


There will be weekly lectures covering the theoretical course content. Additionally, there will
be project work in groups of 5-8 members and, as a part of this, weekly compulsory supervision meetings in the groups. The students will be introduced also to the concepts of working in groups and group dynamics via tailored lecture. Each student will be responsible for a certain part of the overall project.

In addition to the project and the written assignment, there will be a final presentation of the project work at the end of the course.


Information about literature can be found on the course web-page.

Examination including compulsory elements

The two sub-courses (project and written assignment) are graded individually, both of which comprising the grading scale: 3, 4, 5, and Fail (U). The final grade of the course is calculated as follows:

  • Grade 3: at least 3 to the project grade and at least 3 to the written assignment
  • Grade 4: at least 4 to the project grade and at least 4 to the written assignment
  • Grade 5: 5 to both the project and written assignment
  • Fail (U): otherwise

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.