Rebekka Wohlrab

Rebekka Wohlrab

Assistant Professor

Chalmers University of Technology

About me

I am an assistant professor in Software Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. I am also an adjunct faculty at the Institute for Software Research at Carnegie Mellon University, where I was a postdoctoral researcher during 2020-2022.

I hold a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology and a BSc and MSc in Computer Science from Paderborn University, Germany.

I do research in the areas of self-adaptive systems, software architecture, and requirements engineering. You can find a description of my research interests below.

You can reach me at

Recent News

All news»

[March 2023] I have been nominated for the IT Faculty Pedagogical Prize 2023. Wow! I’m super glad and honored by the nomination.

[March 2023] I’m hiring a PhD student in Software Engineering for Human-Centric Autonomous Systems. You can find more information and apply until April 14 here. Please spread the word!

[March 2023] Our EASE'23 paper “Investigating Software Engineering Artifacts in DevOps Through the Lens of Boundary Objects” was accepted. It is joined work with Christoph Matthies and Robert Heinrich.

[January 2023] The course that I redesigned and taught last semester got a really good course evaluation. You can find some of the students’ comments here. It was a BSc-level course on software processes.

[November 2022] Javier Cámara, Bradley Schmerl, David Garlan, and I got a paper accepted to the Journal of Systems and Software (JSS). It is called “ExTrA: Explaining Architectural Design Tradeoff Spaces via Dimensionality Reduction”.


Current interests

I am interested in human-on-the-loop autonomous systems. These self-adaptive systems adapt their behavior or structure in response to changes in their environment. They commonly interact with humans. Self-adaptive systems make a lot of decisions autonomously. It is still desirable to involve humans and help them make decisions that are difficult to automate. Those decisions are often connected to tradeoffs, e.g., when deciding how much to prioritize different competing quality attributes (such as security, performance, and cost). It is often difficult for humans to understand the consequences of decisions and to specify decision criteria. When is it worth it to ramp up security features, although that might compromise performance? Those trade-offs depend on the current context of the system and what is desirable might change over time.

To address these issues, I create techniques to explain self-adaptive systems and to capture people’s (potentially changing) preferences. I also do empirical research to study these problems in large-scale industrial settings.

My research focuses on the following questions:

  • How can we elicit preferences and goals that people deem important in self-adaptive systems? [REFSQ 2021, REJ 2022]
  • How can we improve the quality of self-adaptive systems and ensure that systems meet humans’ needs over time? [SEAMS 2022]
  • How can quality tradeoffs be explained to humans, so that it is easier to understand how self-adaptive systems behave? [JSS 2022 (Wohlrab et al.)]
  • How can systems be monitored to ensure that safety and security constraints are fulfilled, but so that we can reduce energy consumption and required bandwidth? [CNS'22, JSS 2022 (Vierhauser et al.)]
  • How can human engineers in large organizations share knowledge effectively over time? [JSME 2019, ICSA 2019, JSS 2020]

Awards and Honors

since 2017

Repatriation grant for assistant professor position
Funding for two years of my pre-tenure research. Supported by the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP)
Wallenberg Foundation and WASP International Postdoctoral Scholarship
Wallenberg Foundation and WASP International Postdoctoral Scholarship at Carnegie Mellon University
Best Paper Award at PROFES'19
Best Paper Award for our paper Challenges of Scaled Agile for Safety-Critical Systems, co-authored with Jan-Philipp Steghöfer, Eric Knauss, and Jennifer Horkoff
Best Paper Award at ICSA'19
Best Paper Award for our paper Improving the Consistency and Usefulness of Architecture Descriptions: Guidelines for Architects, co-authored with Ulf Eliasson, Patrizio Pelliccione, Rogardt Heldal
Best Paper Award at ICSSP'18 (Research Track)
Best Paper Award for our paper Boundary Objects in Agile Practices: Continuous Management of Systems Engineering Artifacts in the Automotive, co-authored with Patrizio Pelliccione, Eric Knauss, and Mats Larsson
Merit-based travel grant for attending ICSE'17 (1200 USD)


Activities in the Research Community

Program Committee Member and Reviewer

Conference Organization


(2022). Explaining Quality Attribute Tradeoffs in Automated Planning for Self-Adaptive Systems. Journal of Systems and Software.

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(2022). AMon: A Domain-Specific Language and Framework for Adaptive Monitoring of Cyber-Physical Systems. Journal of Systems and Software.

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(2022). Towards Cost-Benefit-Aware Adaptive Monitoring for Cyber-Physical Systems. Conference on Communications and Network Security (CNS): Cyber Resilience Workshop.


(2022). Run-Time Adaptation of Quality Attributes for Automated Planning. Proceedings of the 17th Symposium on Software Engineering for Adaptive and Self-Managing Systems (SEAMS 2022).

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