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Events and Activities

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The Distinguished Lectures in Softare Change and Evolution Series


Testing Services and Service-Centric Systems: Challenges and Opportunities 2007

Service oriented architectures’ unique features, such as dynamic and ultra-late binding, raise the need for new testing methods and tools. For example, to users and systems integrators, services are just interfaces. This hinders white-box testing methods based on code-structure and data-flow knowledge. Lack of access to source code also prevents classical mutation-testing approaches, which require seeding the code with errors. This talk surveys SOA testing’s fundamental technical issues and solutions, focusing on Web services as a practical implementation of the SOA model. We discuss SOA testing across two dimensions:

- Testing perspectives. Various stakeholders, such as service providers and end users, have different needs and raise different testing requirements.
- Testing levels. Each SOA testing level, such as integration and regression testing, poses unique challenges.

For more information please contact :

Prof. Massimiliano Di Penta Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
RCOST - Research Centre on Software Technology
Dept. of Engineering, University of Sannio

Test Case Prioritization using the Case Based Ranking Methodology

The test case execution order affects the time at which the objectives of testing are met. If the objective is fault detection, an inappropriate execution order might reveal most faults late, thus delaying the bug fixing activity and eventually the delivery of the software. Prioritizing the test cases so as to optimize the achievement of the testing goal has potentially a positive impact on the testing costs, especially when the test execution time is long. Test engineers often possess relevant knowledge about the relative priority of the test cases. However, this knowledge can be hardly expressed in the form of a global ranking or scoring. In this talk, I will describe a test case prioritization technique that takes advantage of user knowledge through a machine learning algorithm, Case-Based Ranking (CBR). CBR elicits just relative priority information from the user, in the form of pairwise test case comparisons. User input is integrated with multiple prioritization indexes, in an iterative process that successively refines the test case ordering.

For more information please contact :

Prof. Paolo Tonella Ph.D.
RCOST - Research Centre on Software Technology
Via Sommarive, 18 38050 Povo,Trento - ITALY

Humans in the Traceability Loop: Can't Live With 'Em, Can't Live Without 'Em !

The human analyst is required as an active participant in the traceability process. Work to date has focused on automated methods that generate traceability information. There is a need for study of what the analysts do with traceability information as well as a study of how they make decisions. This work might be more broadly applicable to any decision support tools where the analysts have the "final say."

For more information please contact :

Dr J. Huffman Hayes
University of Kentucky,
Laboratory for Advanced Networking

Comparative Assessment of Testing and Model Checking Using Program Mutation

As a result of advances in hardware technology ( e.g. multi-core processors) there is an increasing need for concurrent software development. Unfortunately, developing correct concurrent code is more difficult than developing correct sequential code. This difficulty is due in part to the many different, possibly unexpected executions of the program, and leads to the need for special quality assurance techniques for concurrent programs such as randomized testing and state space exploration. This talk explores the complementary relationship between different state-of-the art quality assurance approaches in an effort to better understand bug detection techniques for concurrent software. An approach is presented that assesses testing and formal analysis tools using metrics to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of each technique at finding concurrency bugs. Using program mutation, the assessment method creates a range of faulty versions of a program and then evaluates the ability of various testing and formal analysis tools to detect these faults. The approach is implemented and automated in an experimental mutation analysis framework (ExMAn) which allows results to be more easily reproducible. To demonstrate the approach, we present the results of a comparison of testing using the IBM tool ConTest and model checking using Java PathFinder (JPF). This is joint work based on the thesis of PhD student Jeremy Bradbury, co-supervised with Prof. Juergen Dingel at Queen's.

For more information please contact:

James R. Cordy, Queen's University
Director, School of Computing,
Queen's University at Kingston,
Kingston, Ontario

Recovering Traceability Links via Information on Retrieval Methods - Challenges and Opportunities

Software artefact traceability is the ability to identify related artefacts created during the development of a software system. Traceability information are particularly important for a variety of software engineering tasks, such as impact analysis, program comprehension, and more encompassing tasks such as reverse engineering for redevelopment and systematic reuse. Unfortunately, traceability links are rarely explicit, thus they have to be identified and maintained by developers during software development. Since such a task is time consuming, very often traceability information is not maintained up-to-date during software life cycle. Extensive effort in the software engineering community has been brought forth to provide methods and tools for traceability link recovery. The talk focuses on the use of Information Retrieval (IR) techniques for recovering traceability links between artefacts of different types. Such methods recover traceability links on the basis of the similarity between the text contained in the software artefacts. Indeed, the conjecture is that artefacts having a high textual similarity probably share several concepts, so they are likely good candidates to be traced from one to another. Other than presenting the background on IR-based traceability recovery, the talk will also present and discuss open issues and lesson learned from a family of experiments carried out to statistically analyse how the tracing accuracy of the software engineer are affected by the use of an IR-based traceability recovery tool. The talk will conclude highlighting opportunities and challenges and opportunities in traceability link recovery.

For more information please contact:

Rocco Oliveto
STAT Department ,
University of Molise, Italy

Using Data Fusion and Web Mining to Support Feature Location in Software

Data fusion is the process of integrating multiple sources of information such that their combination yields better results than if the data sources are used individually.  This paper applies the idea of data fusion to feature location, the process of identifying the source code that implements specific functionality in software.  A data fusion model for feature location is presented which defines new feature location techniques based on combining information from textual, dynamic, and web mining analyses applied to software.  A novel contribution of the proposed model is the use of advanced web mining algorithms to analyze execution information during feature location. The results of an extensive evaluation indicate that the new feature location techniques based on web mining improve the effectiveness of existing approaches by as much as 62%.

For more information please contact:

Denys Poshyvanyk
Computer Science Department
The College of William and Mary
Virginia, USA

How Can Metaheuristics Help Software Engineers

This talk focuses on the potential benefits that metaheuristics (Genetic Algorithms, Ant Colonies, Particle Swarm, etc.) can bring to the field of Software Engineering (SE). For this to happen, we first need that a modelization of the SE problem is done in the form of an optimization, search or learning task. This is actually quite often the case in SE and other domains, thus allowing the utilization of powerful tools that can solve open problems in software testing, staff management for software projects, automatic tuning of communication protocols, model checking, next release problems, and a big amount of new challenges that can be now investigated thanks to the crossfertilization between these two domains. The talk will raise the main open questions in this new field as well as discuss on best practices, haracterization, theory, and actual application of advanced search algorithms for software engineering.

For more information please contact:

Enrique Alba
Computer Science Department
University of Málaga
Málaga, Spain