Network Theory

Our environment is becoming increasingly digital - and thus more networked. If you think of Facebook as a large social network, it quickly becomes clear that it is a multitude of individuals (nodes) that are networked among each other and have different relationships (edges) to each other. If you think of entire telephone networks, IT infrastructures or utility networks, you can see that we are surrounded by networks of all kinds and dimensions.


The network theory is a mathematical procedure that allows the analysis of complex system structures and the determination of important key figures such as the centrality of individual nodes in a network. Especially in the area of the IT infrastructure, mastery of these network structures is essential in order to reduce the probability of failure to a minimum or to define emergency routes beforehand if a node is disturbed or fails completely. With regard to product development, entire process structures can be mapped in order to make a statement about the relevance of individual nodes and to be able to depict the associated information flows.

Problem Definition and Focus

A product development process (PEP) is determined by a large number of people, sub-processes and artifacts (e. g. CAD data). They interact with each other at different levels at different points in time to drive product development forward. Conventional representation variants represent the process flow, but important nodes and their interactions cannot be depicted in a simplified way, which is the great advantage of the network theory.

In this context, we focus on the following research priorities:
- Simplified representation of the PEP as a network on different levels (multilayer)
- Dynamic representation of static network structures
- Creation of a Disruption Model for PEPs

Our Offers for Companies

If you are interested, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Student project work in your company

In addition to bachelor's and master's theses, our students also write seminar papers and project work theses. Many are interested in a practice-oriented topic in companies.


Your Benefits
  • Low Costs: Almost all of our students are soldiers, who are not allowed to accept any additional remuneration in addition to their salary due to the Soldiers Act. Unlike civilian students, there are no personnel costs.
  • Knowledge Transfer: Through the student work and academic supervision you receive new impulses from research.
  • Scientific Approach: The examination regulations make high demands on the academic quality of student research projects. As a company, you benefit from valid results that are scientifically and methodologically derived under the supervision of an experienced member of the institute's staff.
  • Good Feeling to Support Science: Science is always looking for industry experience and new use cases to try out new approaches and develop them further on the basis of practical feedback.

Industry cooperation

We are always anxious to contribute our scientific findings to industry-relevant projects! As a company, you will benefit from our scientific and methodical know-how, and as an institute we can validate our models with real use cases.


Previous Industrial Cooperations:
  • Project 1: Industrial cooperation with BMW AG
  • Project 2: BFS-Project "Verification and Validation within Product Development" - project partners: BMW Motorbikes, P+Z Engineering, ATOS, MSC Software