Today’s complex operating environments require systems to capture and document context together with requirements. Such contextual requirements are used by adaptive systems. During the lifetime of an adaptive system contextual requirements might become outdated if the operational environment changes or might be affected by changes in the monitoring infrastructure (e.g., sensor failure). Such uncertainty might affect the satisfaction of contextual requirements. Overcoming this limitation in adaptive systems calls for runtime support on the adaptation of contextual requirements that are affected by runtime uncertainty. Alessia Knauss, Daniela Damian, and Angela Rook from our lab, in collaboration with Xavier Franch, Hausi Müller, and Alex Thomo developed ACon, an approach that supports the adaptation of contextual requirements at runtime. ACon uses a feedback loop to detect contextual requirements affected by uncertainty and integrates data mining techniques to determine the current measurable context conditions in which the contextual requirement is valid. We evaluated ACon based on our OAR Northwest project in an unpredictable environment, the Atlantic Ocean, with lots of uncertainty involved. We mined contextual data of 46 sensors for five contextual requirements. Our evaluation showed promising results and leaves room for further investigations in this direction.
Our paper “Learning Global Agile Software Engineering Using Same-Site and Cross-Site Teams” has been accepted for JSEET track at ICSE 2015. Congratulations Kelly, Dana, Jyoti, Francis, Prashant and Aminah! This paper is a collaboration with Maria Paasivaara, Casper Lassenius and Veikko Isotalo from Aalto University, Finland.
Our paper “Open Source-Style Collaborative Development Practices in Commercial Projects Using GitHub” has been accepted at ICSE 2015. Congratulations Eirini, Dana and Kelly!
For a great documentary about the OAR Northwest team that Alessia Knauss and Angela Rook have been collaborating on research with over the last two years, check out the following: http://www.nbcnews.com/dateline/full-episode-capsized-n80451
We started a project in our lab this summer, which we lovingly call Co-CoDe: Collaboration, Coordination, and Development process in software teams. With this project we’re aiming to understand and record collaboration practices followed by a variety of teams, and the associated benefits and challenges. Software teams try to strike a balance between process and tools and spend resources and effort to find the combination that works for them. Their technical and organizational decisions go hand-in-hand, and the aim is to maintain the right levels of communication, work awareness, and coordination practices. Through our study we hope to provide teams with insight and recommendations for practices that can work better for them. Our first focus of investigation is the use of decentralized version control systems (DVCS) by an increasing number of projects and teams. As DVCS, such as Git, are becoming adopted for managing the codebase, we’re curious as to how they influence team collaboration by providing a protocol for managing code contributions. Our choice to investigate DVCS impact on collaboration brought us to using GitHub as a proxy. GitHub is getting adopted more and more, and that has also attracted the attention of the academic community, with a growing number of papers dedicated to how it is used both as a tool and a collaborative environment. We conducted a short survey along with 35 interviews, providing us with a wealth of input and insight. The teams we interviewed include both open source and commercial teams, distributed and collocated, of varying sizes and choice of development methodologies. We’ll be updating the news on this project as we’re finalizing and publishing our results and insights.
Since October 2012 our lab has the pleasure to conduct research on the project of OAR Northwest. The students from the SEGAL lab involved in this project are Alessia Knauss and Angela Rook. The main research is done on the Atlantic Ocean trip of Adam Kreek, Jordan Hanssen, Markus Pukonen and Pat Fleming. During this trip they were collecting research data for us for the purpose of investigation in requirements engineering for adaptive systems that represent socio-technical systems. After their capsize in April 2013 (which was very unfortunate as they were very close to their goal), for a couple of weeks it was not clear whether the devices, that were used on board for data collection were lost in the ocean. The first good news was that some of the devices were found on the boat that was out on the ocean for almost two weeks. With the devices (e.g. Samsung Rugbys) the impossible was possible: We were able to restore some of the devices, so that we got enough data to continue with our research. In June Alessia had a meeting with the rowers in Victoria (where the picture was taken) to receive further research data. It was very exciting to meet all four of them in the same place and hear their exciting and very inspiring stories about the experience out there on sea and their capsizing. Thank you Adam, Jordan, Markus and Pat for giving us the opportunity to take part in this adventure and for your inspiration and all the effort you put in to make this research possible!
The SEGAL lab received great news yesterday: one of the three smartphones that our ToTEM system was implemented on survived being capsized! We have yet to determine what data survived on the smartphone. However, a recent project by Angela Rook determined that it is possible to get strong results through data mining with a subset of even just 15 days of consistently collected data. Given that the rowers of OAR Northwest were on the water for 73 days, we have high hopes that we will be able to extract sufficient data for statistically significant research results. We are so grateful to OAR Northwest for recovering this smartphone for us. We are excited to examine the data collected when it arrives at the Lab. Adam Kreek was interviewed on Friday by CBC after he arrived back in Victoria. If you would like to see the interview, please click here.