Software Engineering



Logo UVicWelcome to the ACSE Project in the Computer Science Department at UVic

Project Synopsis

Research tools in software engineering often fail to be adopted and deployed in industry. Important barriers to adopting these tools include their unfamiliarity with users, their unpolished user interfaces, their poor interoperability with existing development tools and practices, and their limited support for the complex work products required by industrial software development. Office suites, by contrast, are capable, mature, flexible, extensible, and familiar to many developers. For example, common office suites are used daily to browse Web content, produce multimedia documents, prepare presentations, and maintain budgets. These suites and other middleware-based environments can be extended and leveraged to provide familiar support for software engineering tasks.

Users will more likely adopt tools that work in an environment they use daily and know intimately. That is, tool adoption will be improved if we specifically address the issues of cognitive support and interoperability. The cognitive support of these tools can be improved by exploiting the deep familiarity and expertise that users already have with their favorite applications and environments. We believe that building software engineering tools on top of these familiar platforms will address the issue of cognitive support effectively.

Also, the interoperability of these tools can be improved significantly by leveraging recently developed middleware technologies. By exploiting technologies, such as plug-in or model-driven architectures and data exchange standards, we can address the issue of interoperability. Recently, tool builders and standards bodies have invented effective standards and interfaces for tool extension and customization.

Thus our main hypothesis is that in order for new tools to be adopted successfully, they must be compatible with both existing users and other tools. To validate this hypothesis, we will build prototype reverse engineering tools using open standards, popular office suites, and common middleware technology. Using these, we will conduct industrial case studies and structured tool experiments. The experience gained will be beneficial for both academic research and industrial practice.

Prinicpal Investigators

Dr. Hausi A. Müller
University of Victoria, Canada
Dr. Margaret-Anne Storey
University of Victoria, Canada
Dr. Ken Wong
University of Alberta, Canada

Research Team

Anke Weber, University of Victoria, Canada
Holger Kienle, University of Victoria, Canada
Qin Zhu, University of Victoria, Canada
Jun Ma, University of Victoria, Canada
Fang Yang, University of Victoria, Canada
David Zwiers, University of Victoria, Canada
Jon Pipitone, University of Toronto, Canada
Andrew Walenstein, Center for Advanced Computer Science of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, USA

Sponsored by

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)


Centre for Advanced Studies
at IBM Canada Ltd.

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Consortium for Software Engineering Research (CSER)


University of Victoria, Canada

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