Collaborative Research Center


Quantitative Methods for Visual Computing

We are living in a data society in which data is generated at amazing speed; individuals, companies, organizations, and governments are on the brink of being drawn into a massive deluge of data. The great challenge is to extract the relevant information from vast amounts of data and communicate it effectively.

Typical scenarios include decision and policy making for urban and environmental planning or understanding relationships and dependencies in complex networks, e.g., social networks or networks from the field of bioinformatics. These scenarios are not only of interest to specialized experts; in fact, there is a trend toward including the broad public, which requires the information to be presented in a reliable, faithful, and easy-to-understand fashion.

Visual computing can play a key role in extracting and presenting the relevant information.

In visual computing research the aspect of quantification is often neglected. The SFB-TRR 161 seeks to close this gap.

The long-term goal is to strengthen the research field by establishing the paradigm of quantitative science in visual computing.


September 2021

September 9, 2021
New Pooling Workshops at the University of Stuttgart

Several workshops for female researchers and principal investigators will take place in October and November.
» more »


May 11, 2021
Albrecht Schmidt Elected Member of the Leopoldina

Project leader Albrecht Schmidt has recently been elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina where he participates in the Informatics section.
» more »


March 16, 2021
Miriam Butt Elected First Chairwoman of the German Linguistics Society

Miriam Butt from SFB-TRR 161's project D02 was elected first chairwoman of the German linguistics society Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft (DGfS) at their annual membership meeting in February. 
» more »

SFB-TRR 161 Events


Nov 8th, 2021, 4 pm

Lecture | The Cyber Valley Cluster & Entrepreneurship Support at the University of Stuttgart

Held by:

Tobias Dürr, Marcel Werle and Philipp Häßler, University of Stuttgart


The Cyber Valley is Europe’s largest research cluster on Artificial Intelligence. Over 20 research institutes are part of this initiative. The Cyber Valley drives basic research and support of young researchers in the areas of deep learning, computer vision and robotics. As part of Cyber Valley, multiple chairs were already founded with more coming over the next years and a new graduate school at the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (IMPRS-IS) is responsible for the education of young scientists. At the same time, it is Cyber Valley’s set goal to expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem in its cluster. Here, joint research projects between young ventures, established companies and leading universities are planned. Tobias Dürr, innovation manager for Cyber Valley, will give a short overview of the current activities at Cyber Valley, its ecosystem, and how the network can support you. 

Another founding initiative at the University of Stuttgart came to be in May 2020 with the Exi+ project at the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Science. With it came three startup coaches, as well as one technology scout advising on publicly available startup grants such as EXIST Gründerstipendium and EXIST Forschungstransfer. Marcel Werle (Startup Coach) and Philipp Haessler (Technology Scout) will give a brief introduction in how researchers and students are consulted in applying for one of these grants and bringing research results into the market. 

Cyber Valley and the Exi+ team collaborate closely when advising startups in the area of artificial intelligence and related subjects. We are excited to present at the SFB-TRR 161 and give you insights into our work and initiatives.


Tobias Dürr completed his studies in social sciences and empirical political and social research at the University of Stuttgart, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts. Among other things, he focused on the sociology of work, organization and innovation, as well as environmental sociology and technology assessment. From 2014 Tobias Dürr was a research assistant at the Chair of ABWL, in particular Innovation and Service Management of Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Burr at the Institute of Business Administration at the University of Stuttgart. During this time, he was involved in the "Stuttgart Change Labs" and "QuaLIKiSS" projects, among others. In 2019, he took over the project management of "Let US elevate!" at the Office of the Rectorate of the University of Stuttgart. The goal of "Let US elevate!" is to strengthen the startup culture at the University of Stuttgart within the framework of a cloud-based startup simulation and individual support for university startup projects. Since 2020, Tobias Dürr works as innovation manager of the AI and robotics research consortium "Cyber Valley" for the University of Stuttgart at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research of Prof. Dr. Alexander Brem

Marcel Werle is a Startup Coach at the University of Stuttgart and PhD student at the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Sciences. In his work, he supports academic founders in their entrepreneurial endeavor. His support reaches from defining market opportunities, market and customer segmentation, business model development and raising an initial investment. Prior to his role as Startup Coach he worked in the software, automotive and media industry. He graduated in Business Informatics in 2020 from the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg.

Philipp Häßler completed his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in mechanical engineering at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. He wrote his theses on the topics of business model innovations, digitalization of production and sustainability. During his studies, he gained practical experience in the IT and production sectors as well as in two management consultancies in the energy and financial sectors. Since May 2020, Philipp Häßler has been working as a technology scout at the University of Stuttgart and is involved in research on the commercialization of emerging technologies.

Platform and Registration: 

The lecture will be presented via Webex. Please contact Christoph Schulz to get the required access credentials.  



July 26th, 2021, 4 pm

Talk | Quantification of Visual Attention in Mobile HCI

Held by:

Dr. Mihai Bâce, University of Stuttgart


Eye contact is a key measure of overt visual attention in mobile HCI as it enables understanding when, how often, or for how long users look at their devices. However, robustly detecting shifts of attention during everyday mobile interactions is challenging. Encouraged by recent advances in automatic eye contact detection, we present a method to accurately and robustly detect eye contact in images captured with the front-facing camera of common mobile devices. Based on our evaluations, we show how eye contact is the fundamental building block for calculating higher-level attention metrics and, as such, enables studying visual attention in the wild. We then present the Everyday Mobile Visual Attention (EMVA) dataset and quantitative evaluations of visual attention of mobile device users in-situ, i.e. while they use their devices during their everyday routine. Using our proposed method for eye contact detection, we quantify the highly dynamic nature of everyday visual attention allocation across users, mobile applications, and usage contexts. Finally, we discuss our findings that highlight the potential and inform the design of future mobile attentive user interfaces.


Mihai Bâce is a post-doctoral researcher in the Perceptual User Interfaces group at the University of Stuttgart. He did his PhD at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, at the Institute for Intelligent Interactive Systems. His research interests are in Human-Computer Interaction, focusing on computational aspects and has influences from both Machine Learning and Computer Vision.

Platform and Registration: 

The lecture will be presented via Webex. Please contact Heike Lehmann before July 22th, 2021 to get the required access credentials.  

July 12th, 2021, 4 pm to 5.45 pm

Online Workshop | Visual Analytics Tool VISPLORE

Held by:

Dipl.-Ing Dr. Harald Piringer,  CEO of Visplore GmbH, Vienna, Austria


In this workshop, Harald Piringer will present Visplore, an innovative visual analytics solution for time series data. He will give an overview of its possibilities and will showcase use cases from industry and the energy sector.


Harald Piringer studied informatics at the Vienna University of Technology. For more than 10 years, Harald Piringer was the head of the Visual Analytics group at the VRVis research center in Vienna, where he did applied research in close collaboration with industry partners such as Austrian Power Grid and RHI Magnesita. Harald Piringer (co-)authored more than 30 international publications. In 2020, he founded the Visplore GmbH as a spin-off company as its CEO. Today, the Visplore GmbH is a venture-capital backed start-up, see


Platform, Registration and Deadline:

The workshop will be conducted using Cisco WebEx. Connection details will be distributed to registered participants. If you would like to attend, please email Leonel Merino to register.

Registration deadline is Friday, 2 July 2021.

June 21th-22nd, 2021

Online Status Seminar of the SFB-TRR 161


Monday, 21st June, 2021 from 9.10 am to 10.10 am

Keynote: Quantitative Methods for Perception-driven Visualization

Held by: Prof. Yunhai Wang, School of Computer Science and Technology, Shandong University


By providing visual representations of data, visualization can help people to carry out many data analysis tasks more effectively. Given a data set, however, there are often too many possible visualization techniques, with each technique having many parameters to be tuned. Here, the question arises is if it is possible to automatically design a visualization that is best suited to pursue a given task on given input data. With my lab, we attempt to quantitatively model human perception of different visualization types and developed a number of automated visualization techniques to achieve this goal for different data sets such as time-series, bivariate, high-dimensional, and set data. 


Yunhai Wang is a Professor at Shandong University, China. He leads the Interactive Data Exploration System (IDEAS) Lab at Shandong University with the mission to enhance people's ability for understanding and communicating data. His current research interests include perceptual and mathematical foundations of visualization, domain specific languages for authoring interactive data visualization and data structures for big data visualization. He has published more than 50 papers in top venues for visualization and computer graphics, such as IEEE VIS, IEEE TVCG, ACM SIGGRAPH/SIGGRAPH Asia, ACM TOG and ACM CHI. He has collaborated with many international researchers especially with professors from Konstanz and Stuttgart. He is the main organizer of the yearly Sino-German Visualization Workshop (2017-2019 – stopped by Covid-19).


Tuesday, 22nd June, 2021 from 9 am to 9.10 am

Research Presentation: XRgonomics: Facilitating the Creation of Ergonomic 3D Interfaces

Held by: Dr. Tiare Feuchtner, TU Wien and Aarhus University


Tiare Feuchtner will soon be joining the HCI group at the University of Konstanz as Junior Professor, where she will lead the new Multimodal Cross Reality Lab. Her mission is to create effective tools for collaboration and believable experiences of co-presence in virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) through customized interaction techniques, carefully designed user representations, and rich multisensory feedback. As a computer scientist, her main interests are deeply embedded in the study of human-computer interaction (HCI), with a focus on embodied user interfaces for immersive technologies.

Tiare completed her studies at TU Wien (BSc, 2011), TU Berlin (MSc, 2015) and Aarhus University (PhD 2018), and was visiting researcher at Mel Slater's EventLab in Barcelona, as well as junior researcher at the Austrian Institute of Technology. Currently, she has a split position as postdoctoral researcher at both TU Wien and Aarhus University. She thereby combines many decades of expertise in VR and AR in Vienna with a strong Danish tradition of HCI for applied research on novel digital assistance approaches for industry 4.0, in close collaboration with companies such as LEGO, Vestas, and Velux.


Tuesday, 22nd June, 2021 from 3.55 pm to 4.55 pm

Capstone: Exploring the Design Space of Situated Analytics

Held by: Prof. DI Dr. Dieter Schmalstieg, TU Graz, Austria


Half a century after Ivan Sutherland's pioneering work on immersive interfaces, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are entering the commercial mainstream. Many of the roadblocks related to performance and usability are now resolved. The commoditization of these technologies makes it interesting to consider them not only for entertainment, but also for visualization and analytics work. New research on immersive analytics considers how the infinite virtual space can benefit not only the visualization of spatial data, but also of abstract data. New research on situated analytics considers how immersive interfaces can be physically grounded and blended with a user's perception of the real world. This talk will give an overview of recent developments in immersive and situated analytics and describe results of an ongoing research collaboration between the speaker's team in Graz and the University of Stuttgart.


Dieter Schmalstieg is full professor and head of the Institute of Computer Graphics and Vision at Graz University of Technology, Austria. His current research interests are augmented reality, virtual reality, computer graphics, visualization and human-computer interaction. He received Dipl.-Ing. (1993), Dr. techn. (1997) and Habilitation (2001) from Vienna University of Technology. He is author and co-author of over 300 peer-reviewed scientific publications with over 20,000 citations and over twenty best paper awards and nominations. His organizational roles include associate editor in chief of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, associate editor of Frontiers in Robotics and AI, member of the steering committee of the IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, chair of the EUROGRAPHICS working group on Virtual Environments (1999-2010), key researcher of the K-Plus Competence Center for Virtual Reality and Visualization in Vienna and key researcher of the Know-Center in Graz. In 2002, he received the START career award presented by the Austrian Science Fund. In 2008, he founded the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Handheld Augmented Reality. In 2012, he received the IEEE Virtual Reality technical achievement award, and, in 2020, the IEEE ISMAR Career Impact Award. He was elected as Fellow of IEEE, as a member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and as a member of the Academia Europaea.


June 10th, 2021, 4 pm

Talk | Visualization of Multifield Data: Layouts, Features, and Systems

Held by:

Ass. Prof. Dr. Steffen Frey, University of Groningen, Netherlands


State-of-the art simulations and experiments in porous media research capture processes and phenomena in multiple high-resolution fields, each of which (partially) describes the state of an investigated system at a certain point in time. The richness of the obtained data provides an unprecedented opportunity to gain new insights, but also introduces various challenges for the analysis. This talk will focus on three complementary visualization approaches for making sense of multifield data: layouts  (the arrangement and aggregation of fields), features (the data representation used for analysis), and finally systems (the interactive visual exploration incorporating different components). All perspectives are presented via examples from prior work within SFB 1313 and beyond.


Steffen Frey received his PhD degree in computer science from the University of Stuttgart in 2014 and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Visualization Research Center of the University of Stuttgart (VISUS). Since 2020, he is an assistant professor at the Bernoulli Institute at the University of Groningen, Netherlands. His research interests are in visualization methods for increasingly large quantities of scientific data.

Platform and Registration: 

For information on how to join the talk, please visit the website of SFB 1313, who are organizing the event.


May 5th-7th, 2021, each day 10 am - 12 pm and 2 pm - 4 pm

Conference on Graphs/Networks/Graph Neural Networks and their application

Organized by:

GAIN - Graphs in Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks at the University of Kassel


The conference celebrates the kick-off of the new project GAIN at the University of Kassel

It offers great speakers and topics from practical to theoretical: From the application of graphs in the electrical power grid to spin networks in quantum gravitation. Furthermore information about their groups work is added, as well as an overview on Graph Neural Networks.

Speakers are:  Franco Scarselli, Viola Priesemann, Matthias Gebhardt, Marián Boguñá, Michael Bronstein, Martin Braun, Alexander Scheidler and Daniel Martinez.

Please find the schedule and further information on registration on:

The participation is free of costs. After registration, you will as well get access to a 2d-world for virtual interaction. Only taking part in the sessions is also possible. Please register anyway, so they can send you a link and estimate the amount of participants.


April 20th, 2021, 1 pm to 4 pm (Registration Deadline: March 31st, 2021)

Online Workshop | Machine Learning: Dimension Reduction Techniques

Held by:

Dr. Michaël Aupetit, Senior Scientist at Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar.


Dr. Michaël Aupetit will talk about Dimension Reduction techniques following the plan of the IEEE TVCG Survey paper "Multidimensional Projection for Visual Analytics: Linking Techniques with Distortions, Tasks, and Layout Enrichment” co-authored with Luis Gustavo Nonato, University of São Paulo, but adding more detailed material.
The workshop will focus on the use of Multi-Dimensional Projections for Exploratory Data Analysis (Visual Analytics):

  • Computational techniques for Analyzing Data
  • Old and new techniques to reduce dimensions
  • Similarity measures and the curse of the dimensionality
  • Distortions
  • Analytic Tasks
  • Layout Enrichment
  • Guidelines
  • Extensions to labeled data
  • Scalability

A hands-on session will complete the workshop.


Dr. Michaël Aupetit works at the at the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) since 2014. He is a Senior Scientist with the Social Computing group. Before joining QCRI, Michaël worked for 10 years as a research scientist and senior expert in data mining and visual analytics at CEA LIST in Paris Saclay, where he designed decision support systems to solve complex industrial problems in health and security domains.

Michaël initiated and co-organized 5 international workshops. He has been PC member of IEEE VAST, PacificVis, ESANN, and ICANN conferences, and has reviewed hundreds of papers for top journals and conferences, has 100 publications, and holds 3 WO , 2 US and 1 EP patents. He obtained the Habilitation for Research Supervision (HDR) in Computer Science from Paris 11 Orsay University in 2012, and the Ph. D degree in Industrial Engineering from Grenoble National Polytechnic Institute (INPG) in 2001.


Platform, Registration and Deadline:

The workshop will be conducted using Cisco WebEx. Connection details will be distributed to registered participants. If you would like to attend, please email Leonel Merino to register.

Registration deadline is Wednesday, 31 March 2021.


22. April 2021, 10:00 Uhr bis 14:00 Uhr

Digitaler Girls' Day in Stuttgart und Konstanz | Bau dir deinen eigenen Bildschirmschoner

Der Girls' Day ist eine bundesweite Veranstaltung mit dem Ziel, das Interesse von Schülerinnen an Naturwissenschaften und Technik zu fördern. Dieses Jahr findet er am 22.04.2021 statt und wieder beteiligen sich unterschiedlichste Institutionen mit interessanten Aktionen rund ums Experimentieren und Forschen. Damit werden Einblicke in die Arbeit von Natur- und IngenieurwissenschaftlerInnen gegeben. Im Vordergrund der Veranstaltungen steht jedoch die Möglichkeit, selbst aktiv zu werden.

Auf Grund der Pandemie findet unser Angebot dieses Jahr digital statt.

Beim Girls Day 2021 bieten das Visualisierungsinstitut (VISUS), der Sonderforschungsbereich (SFB) 1313 und der transregionale Sonderforschungsbereich (SFB-TRR) 161 der Universität Stuttgart und der Universität Konstanz folgenden Workshop an:

Programmieren? Das kann ich auch! - Bau dir deinen eigenen Bildschirmschoner
(Klasse 7 - 10)

Willst Du eigene Programme schreiben, die genau das machen, was du willst? Wir geben Dir die nötige Starthilfe dafür. In unserem Workshop kannst Du Dir Deinen eigenen Bildschirmschoner programmieren. Soll er sehr farbenfroh aussehen? Möchtest du einen Text hinzufügen? Sollen sich die Muster bewegen? Bei uns kannst du dich gestalterisch austoben und dein persönliches Design direkt selbst umsetzen und auch später noch in aller Ruhe anpassen.

Während des Workshops wird es ein Coding-Quiz geben, bei dem Ihr Euer Wissen testen und am Ende einen Preis gewinnen könnt!

Programmier-Vorkenntnisse sind für unseren Coding-Kurs nicht zwingend erforderlich. Alle wichtigen Informationen erhaltet ihr im Workshop. Außerdem stehen euch sehr nette Helferinnen und Helfer zur Verfügung, die euch während des Codens „über die Schulter sehen“ und euch unterstützen. Natürlich könnt Ihr auch all Eure Fragen über das Informatikstudium bei uns loswerden und alles über das Leben und Arbeiten auf dem Campus erfahren.

Die Anmeldung erfolgt über

Einige Tage nach der Anmeldung erhaltet ihr eine Anmeldebestätigung per E-Mail und ein Einverständnisformular für online-Veranstaltungen per Videokonferenz (Webex). Bitte sorgt dafür, dass euer Postfach mindestens 1 MB Platz hat.

Wir freuen uns auf Euch!

Further Information & Ressources


The SFB-TRR 161 produces videos to give insights into the projects and the ongoing research. Please visit our YouTube Channel.

Go to YouTube

Graduate School

Graduate School

PhD students of the projects at the Universities of Stuttgart and Konstanz learn and do research together on their way to their doctoral degree in visual computing.

Graduate School

Visual Computing Blog

Visual Computing Blog

The scientists of the SFB-TRR 161 as well as guest authors blog about their activities in computer graphics, visualization, computer vision, augmented reality, human-computer interaction, and psychology.

Visual Computing BLOG

Partners of the SFB-TRR 161