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  • 1.
    Borg, Markus
    et al.
    SICS Swedish ICT AB, SWE.
    Wnuk, Krzysztof
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Regnell, Björn
    Lund University, SWE.
    Runeson, Per
    Lund University, SWE.
    Supporting Change Impact Analysis Using a Recommendation System: An Industrial Case Study in a Safety-Critical Context2017In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520, Vol. 43, no 7, p. 675-700Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract—Change Impact Analysis (CIA) during software evolution of safety-critical systems is a labor-intensive task. Severalauthors have proposed tool support for CIA, but very few tools were evaluated in industry. We present a case study on ImpRec, arecommendation System for Software Engineering (RSSE), tailored for CIA at a process automation company. ImpRec builds onassisted tracing, using information retrieval solutions and mining software repositories to recommend development artifacts, potentiallyimpacted when resolving incoming issue reports. In contrast to the majority of tools for automated CIA, ImpRec explicitly targetsdevelopment artifacts that are not source code. We evaluate ImpRec in a two-phase study. First, we measure the correctness ofImpRec’s recommendations by a simulation based on 12 years’ worth of issue reports in the company. Second, we assess the utilityof working with ImpRec by deploying the RSSE in two development teams on different continents. The results suggest that ImpRecpresents about 40 percent of the true impact among the top-10 recommendations. Furthermore, user log analysis indicates thatImpRec can support CIA in industry, and developers acknowledge the value of ImpRec in interviews. In conclusion, our findings showthe potential of reusing traceability associated with developers’ past activities in an RSSE

  • 2. Bratthall, Lars
    et al.
    Wohlin, Claes
    Is it Possible to Decorate Graphical Software Design and Architecture Models with Qualitative Information?: An Experiment2002In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520, Vol. 28, no 12, p. 1181-1193Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Software systems evolve over time and it is often difficult to maintain them. One reason for this is often that it is hard to understand the previous release. Further, even if architecture and design models are available and up to date, they primarily represent the functional behaviour of the system. To evaluate whether it is possible to also represent some non-functional aspects, an experiment has been conducted. The objective of the experiment is to evaluate the cognitive suitability of some visual representations that can be used to represent a control relation, software component size and component external and internal complexity. Ten different representations are evaluated in a controlled environment using 35 subjects. The results from the experiment show that it representations with low cognitive accessibility weight can be found. In an example, these representations are used to illustrate some qualities in an SDL block diagram. It is concluded that the incorporation of these representations in architecture and design descriptions is both easy and probably worthwhile. The incorporation of the representations should enhance the understanding of previous releases and hence help software developers in evolving and maintaining complex software systems.

  • 3.
    Börstler, Jürgen
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Paech, Barbara
    The Role of Method Chains and Comments in Software Readability and Comprehension – An Experiment2016In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520, Vol. 42, no 9, p. 886-898Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Software readability and comprehension are important factors in software maintenance. There is a large body of research on software measurement, but the actual factors that make software easier to read or easier to comprehend are not well understood. In the present study, we investigate the role of method chains and code comments in software readability and comprehension. Our analysis comprises data from 104 students with varying programming experience. Readability and comprehension were measured by perceived readability, reading time and performance on a simple cloze test. Regarding perceived readability, our results show statistically significant differences between comment variants, but not between method chain variants. Regarding comprehension, there are no significant differences between method chain or comment variants. Student groups with low and high experience, respectively, show significant differences in perceived readability and performance on the cloze tests. Our results do not show any significant relationships between perceived readability and the other measures taken in the present study. Perceived readability might therefore be insufficient as the sole measure of software readability or comprehension. We also did not find any statistically significant relationships between size and perceived readability, reading time and comprehension.

  • 4.
    de la Vara, Jose Luis
    et al.
    Carlos III University of Madrid, ESP.
    Borg, Markus
    SICS Swedish ICT AB, SWE.
    Wnuk, Krzysztof
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Moonen, Leon
    Certus Centre for S oftware V&V, NOR.
    An Industrial Survey of Safety Evidence Change Impact Analysis Practice2016In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520, Vol. 42, no 12, p. 1095-1117Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context. In many application domains, critical systems must comply with safety standards. This involves gathering safety evidence in the form of artefacts such as safety analyses, system specifications, and testing results. These artefacts can evolve during a system's lifecycle, creating a need for change impact analysis to guarantee that system safety and compliance are not jeopardised. Objective. We aim to provide new insights into how safety evidence change impact analysis is addressed in practice. The knowledge about this activity is limited despite the extensive research that has been conducted on change impact analysis and on safety evidence management. Method. We conducted an industrial survey on the circumstances under which safety evidence change impact analysis is addressed, the tool support used, and the challenges faced. Results. We obtained 97 valid responses representing 16 application domains, 28 countries, and 47 safety standards. The respondents had most often performed safety evidence change impact analysis during system development, from system specifications, and fully manually. No commercial change impact analysis tool was reported as used for all artefact types and insufficient tool support was the most frequent challenge. Conclusion. The results suggest that the different artefact types used as safety evidence co-evolve. In addition, the evolution of safety cases should probably be better managed, the level of automation in safety evidence change impact analysis is low, and the state of the practice can benefit from over 20 improvement areas.

  • 5. Giardino, Carmine
    et al.
    Paternoster, Nicoló
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Abrahamsson, Pekka
    Software Development in Startup Companies: The Greenfield Startup Model2016In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520, Vol. 42, no 6, p. 585-604Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Software startups are newly created companies with no operating history and oriented towards producing cutting-edge products. However, despite the increasing importance of startups in the economy, few scientific studies attempt to address software engineering issues, especially for early-stage startups. If anything, startups need engineering practices of the same level or better than those of larger companies, as their time and resources are more scarce, and one failed project can put them out of business. In this study we aim to improve understanding of the software development strategies employed by startups. We performed this state- of-practice investigation using a grounded theory approach. We packaged the results in the Greenfield Startup Model (GSM), which explains the priority of startups to release the product as quickly as possible. This strategy allows startups to verify product and market fit, and to adjust the product trajectory according to early collected user feedback. The need to shorten time-to-market, by speeding up the development through low-precision engineering activities, is counterbalanced by the need to restructure the product before targeting further growth. The resulting implications of the GSM outline challenges and gaps, pointing out opportunities for future research to develop and validate engineering practices in the startup context.

  • 6.
    Klotins, Eriks
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Chatzipetrou, Panagiota
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Prikladniki, Rafael
    Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul, BRA.
    Tripathi, Nirnaya
    Oulun Yliopisto, FIN.
    Pompermaier, Leandro Bento
    Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul, BRA.
    A progression model of software engineering goals, challenges, and practices in start-ups2019In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Software start-ups are emerging as suppliers of innovation and software-intensive products. However, traditional software engineering practices are not evaluated in the context, nor adopted to goals and challenges of start-ups. As a result, there is insufficient support for software engineering in the start-up context. IEEE

  • 7. Madeyski, Lech
    et al.
    Orzeszyna, Wojciech
    Torkar, Richard
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Józala, Mariusz
    Overcoming the equivalent mutant problem: A systematic literature review and a comparative experiment of second order mutation2014In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520, Vol. 40, no 1, p. 23-42Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context. The equivalent mutant problem (EMP) is one of the crucial problems in mutation testing widely studied over decades. Objectives. The objectives are: to present a systematic literature review (SLR) in the field of EMP; to identify, classify and improve the existing, or implement new, methods which try to overcome EMP and evaluate them. Method. We performed SLR based on the search of digital libraries. We implemented four second order mutation (SOM) strategies, in addition to first order mutation (FOM), and compared them from different perspectives. Results. Our SLR identified 17 relevant techniques (in 22 articles) and three categories of techniques: detecting (DEM); suggesting (SEM); and avoiding equivalent mutant generation (AEMG). The experiment indicated that SOM in general and JudyDiffOp strategy in particular provide the best results in the following areas: total number of mutants generated; the association between the type of mutation strategy and whether the generated mutants were equivalent or not; the number of not killed mutants; mutation testing time; time needed for manual classification. Conclusions. The results in the DEM category are still far from perfect. Thus, the SEM and AEMG categories have been developed. The JudyDiffOp algorithm achieved good results in many areas.

  • 8.
    Martins, Luiz Eduardo Galvão
    et al.
    Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, BRA.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Requirements Engineering for Safety-Critical Systems: An Interview Study with Industry Practitioners2018In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We have conducted in-depth interviews with experienced practitioners in the Safety-Critical Systems (SCS) domain in order to investigate several aspects related to requirements specification and safety analysis for SCS. We interviewed 19 practitioners from eleven SCS companies in different domains with the intention of verifying which approaches they use day-today, and what their perceptions are in relation to the approaches used to elicit, analyze, specify and validate safety requirements. The aim of this study is to obtain an in-depth understanding of how requirements engineering is carried out in companies that develop SCS. IEEE

  • 9.
    Petersen, Kai
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Badampudi, Deepika
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Ali Shah, Syed Muhammad
    SICS Swedish ICT AB, SWE.
    Wnuk, Krzysztof
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Papatheocharous, Efi
    SICS Swedish ICT AB, SWE.
    Axelsson, Jakob
    SICS Swedish ICT AB, SWE.
    Sentilles, Séverine
    Mälardalens högskola, SWE.
    Crnkovic, Ivica
    Chalmers, Göteborg, SWE.
    Cicchetti, Antonio
    Mälardalens högskola, SWE.
    Choosing Component Origins for Software Intensive Systems In-house, COTS, OSS or Outsourcing?: A Case Survey2018In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520, Vol. 39, no 12, p. 237-261Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The choice of which software component to use influences the success of a software system. Only a few empirical studies investigate how the choice of components is conducted in industrial practice. This is important to understand to tailor research solutions to the needs of the industry. Existing studies focus on the choice for off-the-shelf (OTS) components. It is, however, also important to understand the implications of the choice of alternative component sourcing options (CSOs), such as outsourcing versus the use of OTS. Previous research has shown that the choice has major implications on the development process as well as on the ability to evolve the system. The objective of this study is to explore how decision making took place in industry to choose among CSOs. Overall, 22 industrial cases have been studied through a case survey. The results show that the solutions specifically for CSO decisions are deterministic and based on optimization approaches. The non-deterministic solutions proposed for architectural group decision making appear to suit the CSO decision making in industry better. Interestingly, the final decision was perceived negatively in nine cases and positively in seven cases, while in the remaining cases it was perceived as neither positive nor negative.

  • 10.
    Rodriguez, Pilar
    et al.
    Oulun Yliopisto, FIN.
    Mendes, Emilia
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Turhan, Buran
    Oulun Yliopisto, FIN.
    Key Stakeholders' Value Propositions for Feature Selection in Software-intensive Products: An Industrial Case Study2018In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Numerous software companies are adopting value-based decision making. However, what does value mean for key stakeholders making decisions? How do different stakeholder groups understand value? Without an explicit understanding of what value means, decisions are subject to ambiguity and vagueness, which are likely to bias them. This case study provides an in-depth analysis of key stakeholders' value propositions when selecting features for a large telecommunications company's software-intensive product. Stakeholder' value propositions were elicited via interviews, which were analyzed using Grounded Theory coding techniques (open and selective coding). Thirty-six value propositions were identified and classified into six dimensions: customer value, market competitiveness, economic value/profitability, cost efficiency, technology & architecture, and company strategy. Our results show that although propositions in the customer value dimension were those mentioned the most, the concept of value for feature selection encompasses a wide range of value propositions. Moreover, stakeholder groups focused on different and complementary value dimensions, calling to the importance of involving all key stakeholders in the decision making process. Although our results are particularly relevant to companies similar to the one described herein, they aim to generate a learning process on value-based feature selection for practitioners and researchers in general. IEEE

  • 11. Svensson, Richard Berntsson
    et al.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Regnell, Björn
    Torkar, Richard
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Shahrokni, Ali
    Feldt, Robert
    Quality Requirements in Industrial Practice – An Extended Interview Study at Eleven Companies2012In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520, Vol. 38, no 4, p. 923-935Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In order to create a successful software product and assure its quality, it is not enough to fulfill the functional requirements, it is also crucial to find the right balance among competing quality requirements (QR). An extended, previosluy piloted, interview study was performed to identify specific challenges associated with the selection, trade-off, and management of QR in industrial practice. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with eleven product managers and eleven project leaders from eleven software companies. The contribution of this study is fourfold: First, it compares how QR are handled in two cases, companies working in business-to-business markets, and companies that are working in business-to-consumer markets. These two are also compared in terms of impact on the handling of QRs. Second, it compares the perceptions and priorities of QR by product and project management respectively. Third, it includes an examination of the interdependencies among quality requirements perceived as most important by the practitioners. Fourth, it characterizes the selection and management of QR in down-stream development activities.

  • 12. Thelin, Thomas
    et al.
    Runeson, Per
    Wohlin, Claes
    An Experimental Comparison of Usage-Based and Checklist-Based Reading2003In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520, Vol. 29, no 8, p. 687-704Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Islam, A.K.M. Moinul
    Cheng, Chow Kian
    Permadi, Rahadian Bayu
    Feldt, Robert
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Evaluation and Measurement of Software Process Improvement: A Systematic Literature Review2012In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520, Vol. 38, no 2, p. 398-424Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Software Process Improvement (SPI) is a systematic approach to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of a software development organization and to enhance software products. OBJECTIVE—This paper aims to identify and characterize evaluation strategies and measurements used to assess the impact of different SPI initiatives. METHOD--The systematic literature review includes 148 papers published between 1991 and 2008. The selected papers were classified according to SPI initiative, applied evaluation strategies and measurement perspectives. Potential confounding factors interfering with the evaluation of the improvement effort were assessed. RESULTS--Seven distinct evaluation strategies were identified, whereas the most common one, "Pre-Post Comparison", was applied in 49% of the inspected papers. Quality was the most measured attribute (62%), followed by Cost (41%) and Schedule (18%). Looking at measurement perspectives, "Project" represents the majority with 66%. CONCLUSION—The evaluation validity of SPI initiatives is challenged by the scarce consideration of potential confounding factors, particularly given that "Pre-Post Comparison" was identified as the most common evaluation strategy, and the inaccurate descriptions of the evaluation context. Measurements to assess the short and mid-term impact of SPI initiatives prevail, whereas long-term measurements in terms of customer satisfaction and return on investment tend to be less used.

  • 14.
    Vilela, Jéssyka Flavyanne Ferreira
    et al.
    Universidade Federal do Ceara, BRA.
    Castro, Jaelson Freire B.
    Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, BRA.
    Martins, Luiz Eduardo Galvão
    Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, BRA.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Safety Practices in Requirements Engineering: The Uni-REPM Safety Module2018In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Software is an important part in safety- critical system (SCS) development since it is becoming a major source of hazards. Requirements-related hazards have been as- sociated with many accidents and safety incidents. Requirements issues tend to be mitigated in companies with high processes maturity levels since they do their business in a systematic, consistent and proactive approach. However, requirements en- gineers need systematic guidance to consider safety concerns early in the development process. Goal: the paper investigates which safety practices are suitable to be used in the Requirements Engineering (RE) process for SCS and how to design a safety maturity model for this area. Method: we followed the design science methodology to propose Uni-REPM SCS, a safety module for Unified Requirements Engineering Process Maturity Model (Uni-REPM). We also conducted a static validation with two practitioners and nine academic experts to evaluate its coverage, correctness, usefulness and applicability. Results: The module has seven main processes, fourteen sub-processes and 148 practices that form the basis of safety processes maturity. Moreover, we describe its usage through a tool. Conclusions: The validation indicates a good coverage of practices and well receptivity by the experts. Finally, the module can help companies in evaluating their current practices. IEEE

  • 15.
    Wnuk, Krzysztof
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Supporting Scope Tracking and Visualization for Very Large-Scale Requirements Engineering-Utilizing FSC+, Decision Patterns, and Atomic Decision Visualization2016In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ISSN 0098-5589, E-ISSN 1939-3520, Vol. 42, no 1, p. 47-74Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Deciding the optimal project scope that fulfills the needs of the most important stakeholders is challenging due to a plethora of aspects that may impact decisions. Large companies that operate in rapidly changing environments experience frequently changing customer needs which force decision makers to continuously adjust the scope of their projects. Change intensity is further fueled by fierce market competition and hard time-to-market deadlines. Staying in control of the changes in thousands of features becomes a major issue as information overload hinders decision makers from rapidly extracting relevant information. This paper presents a visual technique, called Feature Survival Charts+ (FSC+), designed to give a quick and effective overview of the requirements scoping process for Very Large-Scale Requirements Engineering (VLSRE). FSC+ were applied at a large company with thousands of features in the database and supported the transition from plan-driven to a more dynamic and change-tolerant release scope management process. FSC+ provides multiple views, filtering, zooming, state-change intensity views, and support for variable time spans. Moreover, this paper introduces five decision archetypes deduced from the dataset and subsequently analyzed and the atomic decision visualization that shows the frequency of various decisions in the process. The capabilities and usefulness of FSC+, decision patterns (state changes that features undergo) and atomic decision visualizations are evaluated through interviews with practitioners who found utility in all techniques and indicated that their inherent flexibility was necessary to meet the varying needs of the stakeholders.

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