Skip to main content

SUpporting evolution and adaptation of PERsonalized Software by Exploiting contextual Data and End-user feedback

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - SUPERSEDE (SUpporting evolution and adaptation of PERsonalized Software by Exploiting contextual Data and End-user feedback)

Reporting period: 2017-05-01 to 2018-04-30

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.
"Driven by objectives O1---O4, the first year was dedicated to analyse the state-of-the art of research and of practices in the software engineering areas covered by the project, from which the selection of relevant methods and techniques has been performed. In parallel, the technical infrastructure for collaboration and project management was set up.
The SUPERSEDE integrated tool-suite was validated in the three project Use Cases at the end of the second year, within two different usage scenarios: a) data-driven dynamic adaptation, and b) data-driven software evolution (see Fig. 4). A variant of the SUPERSEDE tool-suite which integrates the decision-making and release planning components into the JIRA issue tracking system (atlassian.com) was assessed by the three industrial partners in real scenarios (see Fig. 5).

Worth to be mentioned are the following results, which have been achieved according to the project workplan, and taking into account recommendations from the first and second interim reviews:

• Definition of five quantitative KPIs to enable a substantiated evaluation of the possible benefits of using SUPERSEDE during software adaptation and evolution (Table 1);
• A set of integrated tools to support SUPERSEDE workflows for software evolution and dynamic adaptation has been developed. The tools are available at see Fig. 5. The current version of the SUPERSEDE tool-suite is available at http://platform.supersede.eu:8080. Credentials for accessing it should be requested to the project coordinator;
• A methodology for using the SUPERSEDE approach based situational method engineering principles, and on empirical grounds (i. e.information gathered through interviews), which is complemented by the Method Explorer tool, web-based tool, available at https://www.supersede.eu/method- explorer/#!/overview
• Two Int. Workshops, collocated with top International Conferences in the area of Requirements Engineering, namely the 1st International Workshop on Requirements Prioritization and Enactment (PRIORE, https://prioresite.wordpress.com/) co-located with REFSQ 2017, and the Second International Workshop on Crowd-Based Requirements Engineering (https://crowdre.github.io/ws-2017/program.html) September 4, 2017 in Lisbon (Portugal);
• More than 25 scientific publications in International Workshop, Conferences and Journals have been accepted for publication.
"
Scientific and technical advancements in data-driven software evolution and dynamic adaptation are presented in the project publications which are made available at https://www.supersede.eu/scientific-publications/.
Part of this material has been already used also in advanced courses, such as PHD courses in Data-driven Requirements Engineering.
Both academic and industrial partners are already leveraging project results in other research and innovation projects.
As results of the market-analysis conducted in the project, the SUPERSEDE project results can provide solutions in different areas, including monitoring applications at run-time, user feedback collection, data integration, requirements management and release planning (see Figure 6).
The SUPERSEDE method and the Method Explorer tool together aim at facilitating the SUPERSEDE platform adoption process.