Skip to main content

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

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SUPERSEDE (SUpporting evolution and adaptation of PERsonalized Software by Exploiting contextual Data and End-user feedback)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2017-04-30

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
Driven by objectives O1---O4, the first year has been 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. First software prototypes have been validated in the three project Use Cases. A first implementation of the SUPERSEDE integration framework that allowed 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.

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 interim review:
• Definition of five quantitative KPIs to enable a substantiated evaluation of the possible benefits of using SUPERSEDE during software adaptation and evolution;
• Evaluation of chains of SUPERSEDE’s tools in the three project UCs against the defined KPIs;
• 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. 4. The current version of the SUPERSEDE tool-suite is available at Credentials for accessing it should be requested to the project coordinator;
• 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, co-located with REFSQ 2017, and the Second International Workshop on Crowd-Based Requirements Engineering ( which will be held on September 4, 2017 in Lisbon (Portugal);
• More than 15 scientific publications in International Workshop, Conferences and Journals have been accepted for publication.
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.
Figure 1: The SUPERSEDE feedback-driven engineering paradigm
Figure 4: Y2-SUPERSEDE tools at support of software evolution and dynamic adaptation
Figure 3: Pictures from SUPERSEDE project meetings
Figure 2: Screenshots of a subset of the mockups and prototypes validated at Y1