Pracitcal Computer Science

Pracitcal Computer Science

BOSS – Bochum Operating Systems and System Software

The research in the field of Operating Systems and System Software focuses on the design, development, and operation of efficient, low-level system software. Operating systems in computer systems are responsible for the efficient management of existing resources (e.g. CPU time, memory) and ensure the safe flow of system activities (e.g., process utilization).


Due to the rapid technological progress in terms of hardware and software, operating systems are increasingly coming into focus. The hardware of today’s computing systems offers a multitude of different setting options to increase performance (e.g. Turbo Boost) and save energy (e.g., various deep sleep modes). These individual settings require a holistic system view that only the operating system has. Operating systems will therefore play an increasingly important, central role for future computer systems in order to specifically exhaust further developments of hardware (e.g., novel hardware architectures such as RISC-V) and software (e.g., new programming languages such as RUST or concepts such as container software).

Focus areas

The research focuses in particular on the parallel and energy-efficient execution of processes using available computing cores.

energy-aware systems: exploring “energy-aware systems” for the establishment of energy-conscious system software. The work in the research area concerns heterogeneous systems of different system classes: from embedded systems to systems from the field of high-performance computing.
The careful use of the available energy resources for the execution of pending work (e.g., processes, program threads) plays the decisive role: non-functional system properties (e.g., efficiency, operating time) can only be achieved by optimally and smoothly adapting software and hardware components. The close linkage of operating-system components with the software at application level on the one hand and the targeted use of hardware-based mechanisms to reduce the power requirement during operating time on the other hand are the basic requirements for establishing energy awareness at the system level.

Projects in the area of “energy-aware” systems include research on energy-conscious programming, energy-conscious process planning and the design and operation of energy-conscious operating system components and are funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), for example by the DFG SFB/Transregio “Invasive Computing” (InvasIC).

Projects and partners

The research in the field of Practical Computer Science around the team of Prof. Dr. Timo Hönig is supported by international cooperations:

  • Energy-efficient high-performance computing in cooperation with Northestern University Boston, MA, USA (Prof. Devesh Tiwari)
  • Power and Energy-aware Computing on Heterogeneous Systems (PEACHES), Dagstuhl Seminar in collaboration with University of Bristol (UK, Prof. Kerstin Eder), University of Pittsburgh (USA, Prof. Daniel Mosse ) and IBM Research (Australia, Dr. Julian de Hoog)
  • Cross-layer coupling of network and operating system components in cooperation with Saarland University (Prof. Thorsten Herfet)
  • Standardized runtime support for energy measurements on heterogeneous systems in cooperation with the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) of the University of Potsdam (Prof. Andreas Polze)
  • Operating system-supported runtime measurements and monitoring in cooperation with Nokia Networks (Ralf Schlenk)