SCCS Kolloquium

The SCCS Colloquium is a forum giving students, guests, and members of the chair the opportunity to present their research insights, results, and challenges. Do you need ideas for your thesis topic? Do you want to meet your potential supervisor? Do you want to discuss your research with a diverse group of researchers, rehearse your conference talk, or simply cheer for your colleagues? Then this is the right place for you (and you are also welcome to bring your friends along).

Upcoming talks

Theresa Hefele: A Framework for Variance Based Sensitivity Analysis Applied to Stochastic Modelling of Human Driver Behavior in Traffic Simulations

SCCS Colloquium |


An important research topic in the field of Automated Driving (AD) is its interaction with human behavior. This requires algorithms for modeling human driver behavior, pedestrians, bikes, modeling of vehicle dynamics, and much more. One approach to this is to base the traffic simulations and traffic participant models on stochastic processes with stochastic distributions as input parameters. This leads to new traffic situations and edge cases that can be analyzed. Obtaining the input distributions and understanding how they influence the simulation result can be challenging. However, understanding the importance of input parameters can be crucial to further improve simulation models.


This thesis develops a framework for measuring the effect of input parameters for stochastic models on the results of traffic simulations. Global variance-based sensitivity analysis, specifically first- and total-order Sobol' indices, measure the sensitivity of the simulation models in this framework. The focus lies on the total-order effects because these models are supposed to have non-negligible parameter interactions and strong nonlinearities. Monte Carlo approximation of the Sobol' indices addresses the potentially high number of parameters, i.e., more than 28. The samples are generated quasi-randomly to improve the convergence of standard pseudo-random sampling. To further reduce computation time, the execution of the simulations is parallelized. The framework is applied to BMW's Stochastic Cognitive Model (SCM) in multiple traffic scenarios generated by the Open Platform for the Assessment of Safety Systems (openPASS). This application demonstrates the plausibility of the framework's analysis results and showcases the usage and interpretation of the sensitivity indices. The results show that the parameter's Sobol' index highly depends on various conditions, such as the traffic scenario, the analyzed times step of the simulation, and how the parameter was defined. The differences between the analysis results for first- and total-order indices indicate strong higher-order parameter interactions. This justifies the computational costs necessary for calculating total-order effects. With the total-order effects, researchers and developers can identify interactions between parameters in complex traffic scenarios and, therefore, obtain their influence with certainty. This supports the understanding of the way a model works. It can discover parameters with too much or too little influence and parameters that can be eliminated to simplify the model.

Master thesis presentation. Theresa is advised by Dr. Tobias Neckel, and Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Bungartz.


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Contribute a talk

To register and schedule a talk, you should fill the form Colloquium Registration at least two weeks before the earliest preferred date. Keep in mind that we only have limited slots, so please plan your presentation early. In special cases, contact colloquium@mailsccs.in.tum.de.

Colloquium sessions are now on-campus. We have booked room MI 02.07.023 for SS2024. You can either bring your own laptop or send us the slides as a PDF ahead of time. The projector only has an HDMI connection, so please bring your own adapters if necessary.

Do you want to attend but cannot make it in person? We now have a hybrid option. Simply join us through this BBB room: https://bbb.in.tum.de/shu-phv-eyq-rad

We invite students doing their Bachelor's or Master's thesis, as well as IDP, Guided Research, or similar projects at SCCS to give one 20min presentation to discuss their results and potential future work. The time for this is typically after submitting your final text. Check also with your study program regarding any requirements for a final presentation of your project work.

New: In regular times, we will now have slots for presenting early stage projects (talk time 2-10min). This is an optional opportunity for getting additional feedback early and there is no strict timeline.

Apart from students, we also welcome doctoral candidates and guests to present their projects.

During the colloquium, things usually go as follows:

  • 10min before the colloquium starts, the speakers setup their equipment with the help of the moderator. The moderator currently is Ana Cukarska. Make sure to be using an easily identifiable name in the online session's waiting room.
  • The colloquium starts with an introduction to the agenda and the moderator asks the speaker's advisor/host to put the talk into context.
  • Your talk starts. The scheduled time for your talk is normally 20min with additional 5-10min for discussion.
  • The moderator keeps track of the time and will signal 5 min before the end of time.
  • During the discussion session, the audience can ask questions, which are meant for clarification or for putting the talk into context. The audience can also ask questions in the chat.
  • Congratulations! Your talk is over and it's now time to celebrate! Have you already tried the parabolic slides that bring you from the third floor to the Magistrale?

Do you remember a talk that made you feel very happy for attending? Do you also remember a talk that confused you? What made these two experiences different?

Here are a few things to check if you want to improve your presentation:

  • What is the main idea that you want people to remember after your presentation? Do you make it crystal-clear? How quickly are you arriving to it?
  • Which aspects of your work can you cover in the given time frame, with a reasonable pace and good depth?
  • What can you leave out (but maybe have as back-up slides) to not confuse or overwhelm the audience?
  • How are you investing the crucial first two minutes of your presentation?
  • How much content do you have on your slides? Is all of it important? Will the audience know which part of a slide to look at? Will somebody from the last row be able to read the content? Will somebody with limited experience in your field have time to understand what is going on?
  • Are the figures clear? Are you explaining the axes or any other features clearly?

In any case, make sure to start preparing your talk early enough so that you can potentially discuss it, rehearse it, and improve it.

Here are a few good videos to find out more:

Did you know that the TUM English Writing Center can also help you with writing good slides?

Work with us!

Do your thesis/student project in Informatics / Mathematics / Physics: Student Projects at the SCCS.