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September, 2015

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Rebecca Tiarks successfully defended her Ph.D.


We are glad to invite you to the defense of Rebecca Tiarks as a part of the doctoral procedure. Mrs Tiarks will be the first doctoral student of the MOBIS research group completing the PhD program.

Title of the doctoral thesis:
How-To Software Knowledge

Date and Time: Tuesday, 29th September 2015 at 10:00 AM

Place: Informatikum, Room D-220 Vogt-Kölln-Str. 30, 22527 Hamburg




Rebecca Tiarks has successfully passed her oral exam

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Software development is a knowledge-intensive task. Developers spent time exploring new technologies or unfamiliar source code. They have to decide which parts of these technologies or code are relevant to their current task, what kind of actions they want to take, and which information they need in their current context. During this process developers produce and consume different types of knowledge. One important type is the so called how-to knowledge that describes instructions and actions to perform a specific task or solve a specific problem. This dissertation empirically analyzes the role of how-to knowledge in software development, how it is represented, and how developers employ this kind of knowledge during the development process. Based on the results of the empirical studies we develop a model for how-to knowledge that captures the aspects of how-to knowledge and can be used to to describe, extract and externalize how-to knowledge. We further introduce our framework DELIAS for the extraction of how-to knowledge from developers’ interaction during the development process in a semi-automatic way. Our framework observes developer interactions and translates them to human readable instructions in form of how-to knowledge. We implemented the framework to show the applicability of our model. For evaluation purposes we conducted a second- ary data analyses and an interview to evaluate the effectiveness and applicability of our approach. Our approach provides an easy way to capture and externalize how-to knowledge during the development process. Our results show that DELIAS is able to extract the relevant steps for a tutorial and that there is need for tools that support the generation of tutorials.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Walid Maalej
Other members of the thesis committee: Prof. Dr. Tilo Böhmann, Prof. Romain Robbes, Ph.D.

Date the Science


Prof. Maalej participated this year in the initiative Date the Science in Hamburg. He “dated” about 80 young and curious high-school students and talked with them about “Social Informatics”.

15 scientists from 5 different Universities in Hamburg offered for high school students insights into their research topics and daily work. The research topics were diverse focusing on Natural Sciences, Technology, and Engineering. This date should motivate young students to study Science and Engineering and help them pick up the right major.

This year the 5th date with scientists was organized at the Helmut-Schmidt-Univeristy.  The event is part of a larger initiative of all universities and the city of Hamburg since 2007 to get young students enthusiastic about Science, Technology and Engineering and increase the number of university students in these fields. The online portal for this initiative is called MINTSTUDIUM.HAMBURG.

More about the event can be found on the following links (in German)

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MOBIS with 4 papers at the IEEE RE’15 in Canada


Our research group was represented at this year’s RE, the 23nd IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference again. MOBIS members presented the following 2 papers at the main conference:

Furthermore, MOBIS members presented the following 2 papers at the conference collocated workshops:

More information about the conference and the schedule of the presentations can be found at the RE website.  

Best Research Paper at RE’15


Our paper “Bug Report, Feature Request, or Simply Praise? On Automatically Classifying App Reviews” authored by Walid Maalej and Hadeer Nabil has been selected at the 23rd International IEEE Requirements Engineering Conference (RE15) as Best Research Paper.

The awarded paper was a.o the result of the research visit of Hadeer Nabil and her Master thesis supervised by Prof. Maalej.

RE is the primer research conference in the field of requirements engineering. It has an acceptance rate of ~15-25% and yearly attracts 250-400 researchers and experts in the field. This year the conference took place Ottowa Canada. More information.
The most influential paper went this year to Paolo Giorgini, Fabio Massacci, John Mylopoulos and Nicola Zannone and was awarded for the Paper “Modeling security requirements through ownership, permission and delegation”

You can download our awarded Paper here.

MOBIS wins competition for best teaching project


We are proud to announce that our lighthouse teaching course for mobile app development M-Lab (here in German) won this year’s competition for the best university teaching in Hamburg within the funding program “Unseren Hochschulen 2015”. With this program, the Claussen-Simon Foundation and the Hamburg Higher Education Authority aim at promoting excellent professors and innovative teaching activities as well as increasing the collaboration between students and professors. We have been selected among the top 3 out of 300 student recommendations for professors and their teaching events.

The award ceremony ‘Ausgezeichnet!’ (eng. outstanding) took place on the 7th December 2015, where the award winners were honored and the prize money for each of the 3 winning project was announced. Our project received the highest funding (69.000 EUR). Members of MOBIS and selected students from current and past M-Lab were invited to this special dinner event.

The funding will be use for hiring more teaching assistants, improve the quality of the tutorials and seminars collocated with the M-Lab projects (e.g. with podcasts) and to develop a sustainability concept for the teaching program.