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SUPERSEDE Report Summary

Project ID: 644018
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SUPERSEDE (SUpporting evolution and adaptation of PERsonalized Software by Exploiting contextual Data and End-user feedback)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

CONTEXT. The amount of software applications in the form of web services, mobile apps, etc., has increased dramatically over the years and is continuing to do so. This software exploits data collected through various sensors (e.g. embedded in the environment) and online data sources. End-users can access those services using a variety of devices, and more and more they provide feedback upon their experience. Through mobile technologies, these software services are becoming ubiquitous in our society, thereby contributing to improve citizens’ quality of life.
For software providers it is hard to predict the acceptance of the services and applications they deliver, also due to the fast evolution and change of end-user needs. The great diversity of execution contexts, with different profiles of user, changing environmental conditions, etc., makes it difficult to personalize the software to every possible situation.
The availability of user feedback, and of data collected through the monitoring of the execution / usage of these services and applications, offers the opportunity to build innovative methods and techniques at support of software developers.

THE PROJECT. In this context, the SUPERSEDE project proposes a feedback-driven approach to the life cycle management of software services and applications, with the ultimate purpose of improving users’ quality of experience. Decisions on software evolution and runtime adaptation will be made upon analysis of end-user feedback and large amount of data monitored from the context, following the loop sketched in Figure 1, which summarises the vision of the project.
An integrated platform will articulate the methods and tools produced in the project, thus providing a new solution framework for software evolution and adaptation for data-intensive applications. Three use cases proposed by companies of different profiles will ensure the elicitation of relevant domain knowledge, as well as a progressive validation of the methods and tools produced to ultimately provide evidence of potential for productivity gains. These use cases are representative of different data-intensive application domains (i.e. energy consumption, sport event webcasting).

CONSORTIUM. The SUPERSEDE consortium includes eight partners with large scientific, dissemination and exploitation expertise on the topics of the project. They are listed here below: four are academic partners and four companies, two of them large and other two SMEs.
FBK, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy
UPC, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain
UZH, University of Zurich, Switzerland
SIEMENS, Siemens AG Oesterreich, Austria
ATOS, Atos Spain, Spain
SEnerCon, SEnerCon GmbH, Germany
DELTA, Delta Informatica, Italy
FHNW, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Switzerland

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES. The overall goal of the project is to “Deliver methods and tools to support decision-making in the evolution and adaptation of software services and applications by exploiting end-user feedback and runtime data, with the overall goal of improving end-users’ quality of experience”, which has lead to the formulation of the following specific objectives:
• O1. SUPERSEDE will provide methods and tools to support decision-making in the evolution and runtime adaptation of services and applications based on user’s feedback and contextual data.
• O2. SUPERSEDE will provide methods and tools to enact the decisions made and will provide means to assess the impact of these decisions both in terms of users’ quality of experience and organisation productivity.
• O3. SUPERSEDE will provide methods and tools to collect end-users’ feedback and runtime data which will be efficient, scalable and adaptable.
• O4. SUPERSEDE will provide methods and tools to perform an integrated analysis of the collected data in order to establish a sound basis for evolution and adaptation decision-making.
• O5. SUPERSEDE will validate data and feedback-driven software evolution and adaptation for the improvement of software qualities along different industrial use cases.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

WORK DONE IN THE FIRST YEAR. Driven by objectives O1---O4, state-of-the art analyses have been performed, from which the selection of relevant methods and techniques for the project has been motivated. Proof of concepts methods and techniques at support of software engineers when performing software evolution and dynamic adaptation activities have been developed, and validated in a lab setting, and in the context of the three project use cases, in line with objective O5. A first implementation of the SUPERSEDE framework that will allow to integrate the different components during the second year of the project has been completed. In parallel, the technical infrastructure for collaboration and project management has been set up. A first exploitation and dissemination plan has been defined, and specific actions have been already performed, including the release of the project website and of a first set of scientific publications.

MAIN RESULTS. Worth to be mentioned are the following results, which have been achieved according to the project workplan:
• The definition of a unified architecture for feedback gathering and monitoring tools;
• Selected, baseline techniques for release planning and dynamic reconfiguration;
• The design and implementation of a semantic-aware, self-adaptive big data management architecture;
• The design of an analysis tool for online textual feedback, which combines speech-act based analysis and sentiment analysis techniques;
• A set of models of decision-making processes in software evolution and dynamic adaptation, which allow harmonising human and automated decision-making, and the definition of an architecture for the decision-making component of the SUPERSEDE tool suite;
• Technical design and implementation of the Integration Framework and Front-end Interface of the SUPERSEDE tool suite;
• The SUPERSEDE’s validation framework, which specifies how to validate SUPERSEDE results along the project, with reference to three use cases provided by industrial partners;
• Findings from the first validation of mock-ups and prototypes of SUPERSEDE tools, within the three project use cases. This validation concerned: mock-ups for gathering end-user feedback and monitoring of social media; a prototype of data storage for big data management; a prototype of a tool for collaborative requirements prioritisation; and mock-ups of tools for supporting release planning and dynamic reconfiguration. Screenshots of a subset of the mockups and prototypes validated in the first year, are shown in Figure 2.

EXPECTED FINAL RESULTS. Expected key results of the SUPERSEDE project are:
• A tool-supported feedback-driven engineering framework for software evolution and adaptation of data-intensive applications, which integrates tools for: end-user feedback gathering and monitoring; data analysis; semi-automated decision-making techniques for software evolution and dynamic adaptation, and release planning.
• A validation framework for the evaluation of the feedback-driven engineering approach in the context of industrial use cases.
• Knowledge and findings from the validation of the SUPERSEDE tool suite in the context of the three industrial use cases that are representative of two different data-intensive application domains, namely energy consumption management in home automation and webcasting of entertainment events.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

We foresee advancements in several research areas, from end-user feedback and contextual data analysis, to decision making support in software evolution and adaptation. . But the major novel contribution will be in integrating methods and tools from the mentioned areas, thus providing a new solution framework for software evolution and adaptation for data-intensive applications.
Concerning the expected impact at business level, the first-year validation has already clearly demonstrated that the solutions that are being developed by SUPERSEDE will bring developers and end-user closer, and ultimately enable developers to test and explore their ideas on software product improvements through analysis of runtime data and feedback.
Potential socio-economic impact of SUPERSEDE results is foreseen. Indeed, the three project use cases concerns software applications and services that are used by a variety of end-users, whose awareness on important societal aspects can be increased also through the offered services. For instance, awareness on green technologies and conscious perception of environmental issues, are mentioned with reference to the SIEMENS use case related to the Aspern smart city and for the SEnerCon use case.

Related information

Record Number: 190211 / Last updated on: 2016-11-09
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