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Software Engineering Conference, 2000. Proceedings. 2000 Australian

Date 28-29 April 2000

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  • Proceedings 2000 Australian Software Engineering Conference

    Publication Year: 2000
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Author index

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 255
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • A framework for software architecture verification

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 149 - 157
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    The authors present a framework for analyzing software architecture descriptions using machine-assisted formal proof. Our approach is based on the translation of an existing architecture description language (ADL) based specification to an alternate mathematical representation. We use higher order logic as mechanized by the Prototype Verification System (PVS) as the formal basis of our framework. Our approach is not tied to any particular ADL. Rather, we define an ADL-independent model of architecture description which formalizes the fundamental design concepts of architecture modeling notations. A key feature of our framework is its flexibility; the architect can choose the design concepts that are modeled. Moreover, since the model is generic to many ADLs, our approach allows for the analysis of systems that are specified using more than one notation. We introduce our model of architecture description, and illustrate the utility of our approach by verifying internal properties of an example architecture, a simple compiler specified in a pipe-and-filter architectural style View full abstract»

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  • Investigating metrics for a development effort prediction model of Web applications

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 31 - 41
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    Although there are metrics proposed in the hypermedia literature to measure hypermedia processes and products, many lack the necessary theoretical and empirical validation. To address these issues, this paper presents the results of a quantitative case study which validated empirically a set of metrics proposed to measure the development effort involved in authoring World Wide Web applications. These metrics adhere to the representational theory of measurement. The results obtained for the case study have shown that three out of four of the proposed metrics presented statistically significant correlations with development effort, suggesting that they may be useful parameters for a prediction model that estimates the effort involved in developing Web applications View full abstract»

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  • Adaptation strategies in componentware

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 87 - 95
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    In the context of componentware, there are several different strategies to adapt a given generic component. They differ in the necessary prerequisites and the achieved quality of the resulting specific component with respect to reliability, efficiency and reusability. In this paper, we discuss a number of conceivable adaptation strategies for components, like wrapping, composition or inheritance. We use the graphical user interface of a computer-aided engineering system as an example to illustrate the transfer of a selected adaptation strategy into practical system development View full abstract»

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  • Storing and retrieving software components: a component description manager

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 107 - 117
    Cited by:  Papers (4)  |  Patents (6)
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    The aim of the paper is to present the results of research into component based software development by providing a specification mechanism allowing searching for components in a component repository. A new component classification framework is proposed based on which a Component Description Manager has been designed and implemented. The classification framework combines domain knowledge, ontological information and some semantics to allow descriptions of components to be constructed in a consistent, yet informative way. The Component Description Manager consists of the classification framework and a repository of component descriptions constructed using this framework. This new approach is compared to alternative component repositories and marketplaces View full abstract»

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  • Tool integration in a process-centred Web-based teamwork support environment in Java

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 215 - 220
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    Focuses on the tool integration perspective in software development in order to address the application of traditional tool integration mechanisms as well as new integration mechanisms based on the World Wide Web and Java. Our process-centred Web-based teamwork support environment is used as a case study to illustrate the potential power for tool integration. Research into process-centred teamwork has been intensively carried out in communities such as software and business engineering, computer-supported cooperative work and information systems for more than a decade. However, given the exposure of the Web and Java, a significant impact has formed to computer-mediated teamwork so that it can be beneficial to most people, including both computing and non-computing professionals. This paper pays special attention to the tool integration mechanisms used in our Web-based teamwork development environment prototyped in Java, with respect to the access to Web data and integration with applications View full abstract»

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  • An explanatory study on the goal alignment problem in joint software reviews

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 63 - 72
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    Most prior research on software reviews assumes that all reviewers have the same goals in reviewing software products. However, reviewers representing different organisations, such as those developing and acquiring software in an outsourcing venture, often possess different and often conflicting goals. This may affect the outcomes of joint software reviews. Relatively little research has been done on goal alignment in joint software reviews. This paper explores this important research issue and uses a case study to examine whether or not participants in joint software reviews really possess different goals. The research findings showed that the participants in joint software review meetings did possess different goals, which resulted in a less satisfactory outcome for the review and identified some of the main factors affecting the process loss in joint software reviews. Finally, a theoretical model is proposed with the aim of resolving different/conflicting goals and enhancing the performance of joint software reviews in practice View full abstract»

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  • Viable systems: the control paradigm for software architecture revisited

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 97 - 105
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    An emerging class of software applications are identified as “complex” systems. They are complex in that they must adapt to a changing environment. This motivates us to revisit the “control paradigm” for software architecture. In this paper, we go beyond that approach and introduce the concept of viability as the overall characteristic of the behaviour desired in such systems. We present an architecture to guide the software engineering of this class of complex system. The architecture is based on a cybernetic model called the “viable system model”. As an application of the approach, we are developing a “smart lecture room”. We report on our efforts in employing the architecture to develop this application View full abstract»

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  • A survey of software development practices in the New Zealand software industry

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 189 - 201
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    We report on the software development techniques used in the New Zealand software industry, paying particular attention to requirements gathering. We surveyed a selection of software companies with a general questionnaire and then conducted in-depth interviews with four companies. Our results show a wide variety in the kinds of companies undertaking software development, employing a wide range of software development techniques. Although our data are not sufficiently detailed to draw statistically significant conclusions, it appears that larger software development groups typically have more well-defined software development processes, spend proportionally more time on requirements gathering, and follow more rigorous testing regimes View full abstract»

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  • ReVis: reverse engineering by clustering and visual object classification

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 119 - 125
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    The paper presents the framework of a scale oriented scheme for the presentation and classification of reverse engineered sections of procedural code into objects. The aim is to develop an extensible system framework, which allows the output from a suite of data analysis tools to be visually presented to a user. The relationship between the analysis and visualisation is a progressive cycle, where each time through the cycle, the overall quality of the classified objects improves. This framework supports two distinct methods of information feedback from the visualisation to the analysis suite. The two feedback loops aim to increase both the ease of understanding for the reverse engineer and the quality of the resultant objects. As the analyst views the visualisation, the perceived view of the relationships exhibited in the system may be modified, removed or added to. This results in a change to the underlying graph or the clustering of that graph, which must be addressed in the visual presentation of the information using a variety of techniques to maintain the users' `mental map', or understanding each time through the cycle View full abstract»

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  • COTS, workflow, and software process management: an exploration of software engineering tool development

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 221 - 232
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
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    Reports our initial investigations into the use of workflow technology for constructing a software process management tool. We examine some recent work undertaken in the fields of tool construction technologies and low-cost workflow engines. Using an example software engineering environment called PSEE (Process Software Engineering Environment), build on top of a commercial relational DBMS, we demonstrate a mapping from PSEE on to the Workflow Management Coalition's (WfMCs) Process Definition Interchange Process Model. The resultant workflow process definition can be imported into a WfMC-conformant workflow management system, thereby enabling the enactment of the software process model by different workflow management systems View full abstract»

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  • A process framework for the systematic evaluation and diffusion of reuse methods

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 73 - 83
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Many organisations are currently looking towards large-scale, systematic software reuse as a means of improving the software development process, and this is reflected in the increasing number of reuse methods being proposed in the literature. One problem area that has received little attention, however, is the evaluation of reuse methods within an organisation. Reuse has long been regarded as a complex organisational as well as technical endeavour, where the management of expectations must be considered an integral part of the evaluation process. This paper proposes a generic process for evaluating reuse methods, aimed primarily at practitioners performing reuse adoption within an organisation. The process we propose is based on experiences from three industrial reuse technology transfer projects and is a cyclic process comprised of three key phases, namely planning, acting and reviewing. The paper examines the tasks within each phase and the questions that each task addresses, and gives methodological guidance on carrying out each task. We conclude that human subjectivity is unlikely to be completely removed from reuse evaluations. However, a structured evaluation process can help organisations foster an analytical and diagnostic approach to reuse evaluation View full abstract»

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  • `Requirements-uncertainty': should it be a latent, aggregate or profile construct?

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 181 - 188
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    The author identifies the strategies that experienced IS project managers say they use to cope with requirements uncertainty on development projects for external clients. He shows that project managers say they use different strategies for coping with the different dimensions of requirements uncertainty, as this construct has been formulated in the literature. He then argues that requirements uncertainty, as this construct has been formulated in the literature. The author then argues that requirements uncertainty should be formulated as a profile construct, and not as a latent or aggregate construct as at present, if it is to have pragmatic validity as a guide to action for project managers View full abstract»

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  • COTS developers lead best practice adoption

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 23 - 30
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    As part of the Australian National Industry Improvement Programme, a software development `best practice' survey was conducted in Queensland. The questionnaire was adapted from the European Software Institute's (ESI's) Best Practice Questionnaire and the preliminary findings from Queensland are compared with the ESI's 1997 results. This paper explains the background and aims of the study and the execution of the survey, and presents some interesting findings related to levels of adoption of best practice. Analysis of the 205 responses revealed that the leaders in best practice adoption are organisations involved in developing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems. A comparison of the use of software engineering practices is made between COTS and non-COTS developers View full abstract»

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  • Implementing an experience factory based on existing organisational knowledge

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 53 - 62
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    Describes the development of an experience factory in an Australian organization involved in the field of telecommunications. Information structures were well developed and used in the daily work of the organization. This included the use of network technology as well as the personal interaction between department members. Highly motivated personnel drove improvement via new techniques, knowledge and tools. A special focus existed to simplify work tasks through tool support. Daily work and problem solving was strongly based on personnel interaction and access to knowledge bases (documentation, mail lists, etc.). The goal of the project was to package personnel experience and best practices, and provide an effective framework for access and integration View full abstract»

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  • Formal requirements engineering: learning from the students

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 171 - 180
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
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    Formal methods are becoming increasingly important in many areas of software development and should be incorporated in the teaching of software engineering. Requirements capture is, in our opinion, the hardest stage of development for students to learn and for lecturers to teach. The paper reports on our experience in teaching requirements engineering using formal methods, where we advocate a multiple methods approach in which students get to evaluate a large range of specification languages: students are more likely to learn the principles of good requirements engineering rather than become experts in one particular (formal) method. The need for formality is introduced step-by-step, where new concepts are identified by the students through the use of case studies. These concepts are then formalised in the most appropriate language or notation. Students are encouraged to question the need for formality-each requirements engineering method is a compromise and the use of formal models needs to be placed within the context of the choices that a requirements engineer has to make View full abstract»

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  • Software evolution in componentware - a practical approach

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 13 - 21
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    Industrial software projects are not based on a top-down development process relying on refinement but use a more iterative and incremental approach with respect to changing requirements. We call this an “evolutionary” approach. In this paper, we present the basic concepts of a suitable overall componentware methodology with respect to software evolution. We clarify the difference between refinement steps and evolution steps in an document-based development process. Based on this, we introduce the concept of requirements/assurance contracts to explicitly model the dependencies between the development documents. This helps developers to track and manage the software evolution process. A short example shows the usefulness of the presented concepts and introduces a description technique for requirements/assurance contracts in componentware View full abstract»

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  • Tools and techniques for Java API testing

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 235 - 245
    Cited by:  Papers (4)  |  Patents (1)
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    With the advent of object-oriented languages and the portability of Java APIs, the development and use of reusable software components is becoming a reality. Effective component reuse depends on component reliability, which in turn depends on thorough testing. The literature, however, provides few approaches to component testing that are practical for the input generation and output checking of the large number of test cases required. In this paper, we present the “Roast” tool and techniques for the testing of Java APIs. The tool and techniques are illustrated on two non-trivial components, and quantitative results are presented to substantiate the practicality and effectiveness of the approach View full abstract»

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  • Web development effort estimation using analogy

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 203 - 212
    Cited by:  Papers (6)
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    Although estimating the effort required in developing Web applications is a difficult task, accurate estimates of development effort have an important role to play in the successful management of Web development projects. In software development work to date, emphasis has focused on algorithmic cost models such as COCOMO and function points. Two disadvantages of these models are firstly, the need for calibration of a model for each individual measurement environment and, secondly, the variable accuracy levels achieved even after calibration. The paper describes the use of estimation by analogy to calculate the development effort of Web applications. Two datasets containing empirical Web development data were used in the case study. One set contained data relating to forty-one novice developers, the other to twenty-nine experienced developers. The ANGEL tool supporting the automatic collection, storage and identification of the most analogous projects was used as a basis for estimating effort required for a new project. Results show estimation by analogy to be a promising alternative to algorithmic techniques View full abstract»

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  • Towards the software engineering of neural networks: a maturity model

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 45 - 51
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    Neural networks are being used increasingly in a wide range of real-world applications. However, existing studies have reported major problems in neural network software development. This paper analyses these problems and describes how existing software engineering practice can address some of them. Other problems are identified as requiring new approaches tailored to neural network development. A unified framework is presented, in the form of an extension to the Capability Maturity Model, aimed at instituting good software engineering practice for neural network development. The framework should be of interest to neural network software developers, and it suggests research directions towards the software engineering of neural networks View full abstract»

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  • A federated architecture for enterprise data integration

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 159 - 167
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    As a result of changes in business circumstances, corporate information systems that originally have been running independently are often required to cooperate to share data or processes, particularly in organisations that are the result of, or are going through, mergers or takeovers, since in this case the existing systems have been designed for different corporate needs, and the resulting enterprise will have to face information inconsistency, heterogeneity and incompatible overlap. To effect data integration, not only must reliable mechanisms for data flow between applications be put in place, but also consistent enterprise-wide protocols and procedures to ensure the availability, security and integrity of the corporate data. The paper describes how the federated architecture described by I.K. Wijegunaratne and G. Fernandez (1998) can be used for enterprise data integration, and how this framework is being implemented for the purpose at an Australian energy company that is expanding and diversifying its operations View full abstract»

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  • A revisit of the proportional sampling strategy

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 247 - 253
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    When test cases are selected with replacement, we have Ppss ⩾Pr, where Ppss and Pr are the probabilities of detecting at least one failure by the proportional sampling strategy and random testing respectively. However, recent results on the proportional sampling strategy have highlighted that P pss⩾Pr may be very sensitive to whether test cases are selected with or without replacement. The paper provides more insights into this important issue, as the proportional sampling strategy is the most practically applicable partition testing strategy and it always performs better than random testing View full abstract»

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  • Formal object-oriented user-interface design

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 129 - 137
    Cited by:  Papers (2)  |  Patents (1)
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    A notation is presented for formally describing the design of a user interface. A specification of a system is given using the Object-Z formal specification language and then extended to describe presentation (user interface design) using the User Action notation (UAN). The semantics for the design are described using an Object-Z class library. The Object-Z notation is extended to enable designs to be described by adding UAN annotations to the specification. The extended Object-Z notation supports a design philosophy of abstract specification of functionality prior to development of a concrete user interface design. By focusing attention on functionality initially, premature design effort may be avoided. Such formal specifications and designs are useful for documenting a user interface design and enable analysis of the usability and safety of interactive systems View full abstract»

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  • Pilot projects for object-oriented design: an empirical study

    Publication Year: 2000 , Page(s): 139 - 147
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    Over the last two years (1998-2000) in the Computing Project course at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, the students have undertaken to design their projects using object oriented techniques. Our experiences have led to significant changes to our approach. It is thought that our experience may be of interest to industry and other universities who are considering changing their project management to include a significant object oriented design component View full abstract»

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