General Thesis Info
The following article summarizes some general information about theses at the Knowledge-Based Systems Group. That is, we’ll discuss how to arrive at a topic and whom to talk to for the same.
In general, there are no special formal restrictions to do a thesis at KBSG, however, as much previous knowledge in our topics as possible obviously helps. Many topics require the content of at least one of our introductory lectures. Sometimes a proper (but potentially lengthy) orientation phase with a review of particular literature to get into the topic is just fine.
An overview about theses and completed, running, and maybe even open topics can be found at https://kbsg.rwth-aachen.de/theses At KBSG, more often than not, we do not have ready-to-go topics available. Instead, we rather try to develop and tailor a topic specifically for a student starting from what is best described as a fuzzy idea on a problem or a general direction. Our website offers an overview of the spectrum of topics that we deal with. It can roughly be divided into more practical topics (often with robotics as an application) and more theoretical topics with (foundations of) knowledge representation at their heart.
To get more information towards arriving at a topic you are invited to contact one of our staff members that will then most likely become your advisor. Contact information are given on our staff page: https://kbsg.rwth-aachen.de/staff Who to turn to depends on the area of your topic. Besides the existing theses linked about it’s worth taking a look at our publication page at https://kbsg.rwth-aachen.de/biblio
The general procedure then looks as follows: You start with a literature review and orientation for about two month. In that time you write a so-called proposal, which on about 20 pages summarizes the foundations, research questions, and goals of the thesis along with a schedule for the same. After a presentation (and acceptance) of the proposal you go register the thesis. More information is given on https://kbsg.rwth-aachen.de/theses/guidelines
- Proposal: up to 15 pages
- Proposal Presentation: 20 minutes + 5 minutes for questions
- Final Presentation: 25 minutes + 10 minutes for questions
- Proposal: up to 30 pages
- Proposal Presentation: 25 minutes + 5 minutes for questions
- Final Presentation: 35 minutes + 10 minutes for questions
Here’s the general procedure of a thesis at the Knowledge-Based Systems Group:
- Thesis Work
- Final Presentation
Finally, we have some general remarks for you.
Theses at KBSG
The Knowledge-Based Systems Group constantly has offers for diploma, bachelor, and master theses on topics in all our research areas and projects. When specifying the particular thesis’ topic the advising research assistant and Prof. Lakemeyer of course try to account for the student’s personal interests and background. There are some general requirements that we impose on prospective thesis students:
- successful participation of the KBSG’s introductory lecture(s)
- extensive knowledge in knowledge representation, reasoning, artificial intelligence, and/or (cognitive) robotics
- for the practical parts: strong working knowledge in programming either with Prolog or C++ or both.
If you are interested, please contact us.
It all begins with an orientation phase where you try to get familiar with the topic, start an own literature research and work towards a clear specification of the topic.
Once you are sufficiently into the topic, you should prepare a thesis proposal which is exactly what it sounds like: a proposal for a thesis work. You need to prepare both, a written paper of around 30 pages (~15 pages for bachelor theses) introducing the topic with a motivation, a presentation of related work, your idea(s), and a concept for evaluation, and a talk of 25 minutes + 5 minutes discussion (20+5 minutes for bachelor students) where you present your thesis proposal your dedicated supervisor(s) and to other people interested at KBSG.
When the proposal gets accepted, you can go register the thesis with ZPA and start working.
Once you completed the thesis it’s time to make a final presentation. This is where you present your thesis’ work, findings you made, and results you obtained. You have 35 minutes (+ 10 minutes for questions) as a master’s student and 25 minutes (+ 5 minutes for questions) as a bachelor’s student.