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2nd Hamburg RE Symposium – a Recap

In collaboration with HITeC, OpenReq and Iteratec, we organized the 2nd Hamburg Requirements Engineering Symposium on September 4th, 2019. This event gathered 65 participants from industry and academia to discuss the state-of-the-art in RE, particularly applying Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to Requirements Engineering and vice versa. The event consisted of two keynote speakers, 14 talks in two parallel tracks, and Demos/Posters as well as networking opportunities through the coffee and lunch break. With such a high turnout (twice as many people as last year) and positive responses from the participants, this event was a large success.

The first keynote was by Dr. Prof. Vogelsang from TU Berlin, titled: “Is AI changing RE or is RE changing AI?” started the event off strong. Vogelsang gave the audience a big picture perspective on AI and RE, and how the two fields are interacting with and changing each other. Following Vogelsang, Dr. Stettinger from TU Graz gave a presentation of OpenReq Live, the main tool output of the OpenReq project. To close the event, Prof. Dr. Mobasher from DePaul University in the US gave an in depth keynote on the current trend of Context-Aware Recommender Systems.

The talks at this year’s symposium included talks from OpenReq members, OpenReq OpenCall partners, and members from the RE industry. Besides the keynotes, there were four sessions at this year’s symposium. The topics of the sessions were: User Feedback, Requirements & Developers, RE in Practice: Specs and Beyond, and Machine Learning for Issue Trackers.

User Feedback provided insights into how RE can leverage the magnitude of end-user feedback that currently exists regarding software (and hardware) products. Requirements & Developers discussed how to connect developers with requirements, whether that be through supporting and enhancing their workflow, or building better requirements documents to make their job easier. RE in Practice: Specs and Beyond gave a refreshing perspective on how RE is conducted in practice, current challenges, and how state-of-the-art research is being used to enhance the workflow of requirements engineers. And finally, Machine Learning for Issue Trackers took a look at industry standard issue trackers to manage requirements, and how innovative work within OpenReq is improving how developers and requirements engineers interact with them.

Following the main event, there was a 90 minutes boat trip through the Hamburg harbor. The weather held out long enough for the participants to have a thorough history lesson while enjoying the beautiful views offered by the Elbe river and Hamburg harbor.

Finally, the 2nd Hamburg Requirements Engineering Symposium came to a close with the participants connecting over good food and a relaxed atmosphere.

Data Challenge

One of the most vibrant topics in requirements engineering research is the analysis of app reviews. The field is concerned with helping developers and managers to extract information from masses of unstructured and freely-written user reviews. The goal is to better understand user needs such as problems users face and features they wish would be integrated in the app. The Data Challenge was taking place on Monday and Tuesday of the OpenReq Week. We distributed six thousand app reviews labeled as problem report, feature request, and other. The participants were also given ten thousand English tweets containing the same labels, as well as issue tracker data to come up with ideas on how to perform an accurate classification. The winner of the Data Challenge, Tim Pietz, a computer-science student at the University of Hamburg, applied Google’s state-of-the-art deep learning model BERT to perform the classification task.  He successfully outperformed approaches from research by up to 7% (f1 score).

Eclipse Hackathon

The Eclipse Hackathon, in parallel with the Data Challenge, took place on Tuesday of the OpenReq Week. The objective of this Hackathon was to improve the Eclipse IDE with the help of OpenReq. Participants were asked to use the OpenReq Eclipse IDE Bug prioritizer plugin to find bugs to resolve. The plugin shows bug reports and feature requests from bugs.eclipse.org based on a personalized recommendations for the current user. It further shows the most discussed bugs in the last 30 days from bugs.eclipse.org to find bugs with a potentially high impact. The hackathon winner will be announced in a few weeks after we had been able to evaluation all contributions.

Final Thoughts

This year’s symposium was a huge success and we are very happy to have supported yet another year. If you have interest in the Hamburg Requirements Engineering community (or RE community in general), please reach out to our group to get in touch regarding RE research, industry contacts, the OpenReq project, or anything else you might have in mind.

RE’18 was a great success!

From the 20-24th of August over 300 researchers met at the beautiful Banff Centre (Alberta, Canada) to present and discuss their latest findings at the 26th International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE’18).

The week was filled with an interesting program. Tutorials, workshops, a doctoral symposium, and an industry day (a sign that the community is making an impact) took place before the three-day main conference.

The main conference (click here for the full program) displayed bleeding-edge research in requirements engineering. Three compelling keynotes—delivered from two world-renowned researchers and a representative of the self-driving car industry—accompanied the sessions. Junior and experienced researchers presented studies, from theoretical to data-driven, in several domains following this year’s theme “Crossing Boundaries and Increasing Impact.” Prof. Walid Maalej was part of the organization and, according to many old-time attendants, RE’18 was one of the most successful in the series. 

RE’18 featured also the first edition of AffectRE (co-organized by Davide Fucci), a workshop dedicated to bringing together researchers interested in studying emotions, moods, and affective states to support better requirements engineering practices and tools. The workshop had a good attendance (between 15 and 20 people) and included two invited talks, four research papers, as well as a discussion session to plan the next steps in this emergent community.

For details about what went on during both events, you can follow the #RE18 and #AffectRE18 hashtags on Twitter. Pictures of the event are available here.

The conference (and possibly the AffectRE workshop) will be back next year in Jeju Island (South Korea) for RE’19! 

Expert for Sustainable Urban Planning from Hong Kong visits MAST

On Tuesday, September 19th, Chao REN, a renowned researcher in the field of Sustainable Urban Planning, will visit our group to extensively discuss the state and the general course of the MyKlima project, which deals with the effects of global warming, fast urbanization, and environmental stressors on the quality of life in modern cities.

Additionally, Dr. Benjamin Bechtel 

Chao REN is an Associate Professor in School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interest is Sustainable Urban and Environmental Design and Urban Climatic Application in Urban Planning, focusing primarily on examining the relationship between urban climate and urban morphological characteristics, developing an urban climatic mapping system, and analyzing urbanization-induced human thermal comfort and public health risk impacts for high-density/compact cities.

Hamburg Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Smart Sustainable Cities

Global warming and fast urbanization are affecting the quality of life in modern cities. Air pollution, heat, noise, and other environmental stressors are constantly harming the health and well-being of the citizens. Detailed knowledge about the environmental impacts and public resources play a significant role in a socio-ecological and sustainable city development. Our goal is to investigate whether crowdsourcing-based approaches can be used to improve urban measurement networks regarding resolution, innovative applications, and cost-efficiency.

On June 22nd, 2017, we organize the “Hamburg Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Smart Sustainable Cities” together with Dr. Dirk Bade and Dr. Benjamin Bechtel. Students from the Department of Informatics and from the Institute of Geography will come together to present and to discuss their projects.

 

Time Presenter Topic/Title
9:30 Prof. Dr. W. Maalej, Dr. B. Bechtel Opening
Prof. Dr. W. Maalej, Dr. B. Bechtel Stadt-Wohl-Fühlen: Partizipative Erfassung und Bewertung der Stadtumwelt mit Smartgeräten
  A. Beifuß Actitrans Project
  Y. D. Pham Architektonische Beispiele im Umgang mit klimatischen Faktoren
10:05   Session I: Sensors
  I. Friedrich Kostengünstige, stadtklimatische Sensormessnetze: GIS-basierte Analyse von Qualität, Repräsentativität und Nutzbarkeit – Fallstudien aus Hamburg und Birmingham
T. Kraft Ein low-cost Monitoring System zur Erfassung von Luftverschmutzung
M. Braun Erfassung von Lärmbelastung durch Fahrradfahrer mittels Sensorplattformen
J. Honisch, M. Sheikholeslami Noisera Project
10:50 Break
11:00 Session II: Data Mining
  D. Martens On the Emotion of Users in App Reviews
  Z. Kurtanovic Mining User Rationale
M. Sheikholeslami Adapting to User Preference Changes in Recommender Systems
11:25   Session III: Open Data
Dr. D. Bade, J. Kalinowski Smart Data Spaces
J. Honisch Aggregation and Analysis of Vounteered Geographic Information
  Y. Büchau Messungenauigkeiten im NETATMO-Netzwerk verstehen und korrigieren
M. Kastner Ansätze zur Interpolation von meteorologischen raumzeitlichen Daten aus Crowdsourcing-Quellen
12:15 Discussion

We are looking forward to see many interesting talks in the research areas of  Smart Resilient City and Crowdsensing. If you are interested, please contact us  (ed.grubmah-inu.kitamrofninull@ssufieb).

When: June 22nd, 2017 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 AM 
Where: D-220

MAST @ ICSE 2017

Our research group was represented at this year’s ICSE, the 39th International Conference on Software Engineering.

Dr. Davide Fucci presented his work originally published in Transactions of Software Engineering (TSE):

Davide Fucci, Hakan Erdogmus, Burak Turhan, Markku Oivo, Natalia Juristo: A Dissection of Test-Driven Development: Does It Really Matter to Test-First or to Test-Last?

Daniel Martens and Timo Johann presented their work at the Second International Workshop on Emotion Awareness in Software Engineering co-organized by Prof. Dr. Walid Maalej:

Daniel Martens and Timo Johann: On the Emotion of Users in App Reviews

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

SCAN knowledge base is online

We are glad to release the knowledge and community site on “Journalism, Users and Technology” as one of the deliverables of our SCAN-4J project. On this site we collect texts, practices, projects, tools, events, and people that are concerned with online journalism, particularly (automatic) analysis of user comments to journalistic articles. If you are missing something or have any comment, please contact us.

SCAN-4J stands for systematic Content Analysis of User Comments for Journalists.  This project initiated our – in the meantime very intensive and productive – collaboration with the Hans-Bedrow-Institute for Media Research.

The release of the knowledge and community site corresponds to the end of the SCAN-4J, which was partly funded by Google. However, the timing shows our strong commitment in continuing the fruitful collaboration with the Bedrow-Institute on this current important and inherently multi-disciplinary topic. We consider it as a start than as an end. Expect more to come soon…

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Alexander Oeser has successfully presented his student project at Expo 2016

The annual EXPO of the Department of Informatics at University Hamburg is an exhibition of student projects including Study-, Bachelor- and Master theses. This year our student Alexander Oeser has successfully presented his student project “Enrich an API reference documentation with Software Development Screencasts” supervised by Prof. Dr. Walid Maalej and Mathias Ellmann. The research aimed to answer the question on whether a software development screencast can enrich an API reference documentation as the Java SDK 6. The project also aimed to study how to identify a software development screencast from other videos which are located on YouTube. Alexander Oeser has used different algorithms as the Jaccard, Cosine or LSI algorithm to identify those and to assign the screencasts to different categories (system set-up, code compilation or programming). Finally he made a similarity analysis that provide the best 20 API documents from all 9000 existing documents of the Java SDK 6. He will extend his study in his master thesis to get deeper insights of the overall research object which he will face soon.

Interview with Daniel Martens in UHH Newsletter (German)

Our research associate and doctoral candidate Daniel Martens was recently interviewed for the column “Was macht eigentlich …?” (English: “What is he or she doing actually…?”) of the newsletter of the University of Hamburg. The column appears monthly and gets accessed by thousands of readers. It typically includes a 1-2 interviews with professors and senior staff. Ph.D. students are interviewed only rarely.

Daniel Martens talked about his current research interests and activities, his favorite places and activities at the university, and a mobile application he is developing together with 6 universities and the Local Ministry of Science, Research and Equality (German: Behörde für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Gleichstellung, Short: BWFG).

The complete interview (in German) can be read here.

Radio interview about informatics and SCAn (in German)

The Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI) has interviewed Prof. Maalej and Marlo Häring in the context of the BredowCast series about software engineering, the impact of informatics on society, and interdisciplinary collaboration between informatics and other fields, such as our project SCAn (Systematic Content Analysis for Journalism).

After introducing our research area, we chatted about the status and plans of the SCAn project. Manual moderation of user comments in online journalism is time-consuming. Most of the research and automated tools currently focus on filtering “bad” comments. In SCAn we would like to identify high-quality comments. By interviewing moderators and editors of online news sites, we identified and analyzed the current problems in dealing with user comments. Based on the interviews we developed a prototype with a few core features that we now focus on in our research (e.g. identifying pro/contra arguments and quality of comments).

Prof. Novielli visit and public talk

Prof. Nicole Novielli, Ph.D. is visiting our research group to enhance the research collaboration and give a talk on emotional awareness in software engineering. She is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Bari, Italy. Her expertise is in Affective Computing. Since 2006, her research is on human factors and emotions in natural language interaction. Prof. Novielli and Prof. Maalej are co-organizing a ICSE workshop this year on Emotional Awareness in Software Engineering.

We are glad to inviteA�you to the talk of Prof. Novielli:

Title of talk:
The Challenges of Affect Detection in the Social Programmer Ecosystem

Date and Time:A�Monday, 25th January 2016 at 17:15A�PM

Place:A�Informatikum, Room D-125 Vogt-KA�lln-Str. 30, 22527 Hamburg

Abstract:
Software engineering involves a large amount of social interaction, as programmers often need to cooperate with others, whether directly or indirectly. However, we have become fully aware of the importance of social aspects in software engineering activities only over the last decade. In fact, it was not until the recent diffusion and massive adoption of social media that we could witness the rise of the a�?social programmera�? and the surrounding ecosystem. Social media has deeply influenced the design of software development-oriented tools such as GitHub (i.e., a social coding site) and Stack Overflow (i.e., a community-based question answering site). Stack Overflow, in particular, is an example of an online community where social programmers do networking by reading and answering othersa�� questions, thus participating in the creation and diffusion of crowdsourced knowledge and software documentation.

One of the biggest drawbacks of computer-mediated communication is to appropriately convey sentiment through text. While display rules for emotions exist and are widely accepted for interaction in traditional face-to-face communication, web users are not necessarily prepared for effectively dealing with the social media barriers to non-verbal communication. Thus, the design of systems and mechanisms for the development of emotional awareness between communicators is an important technical and social challenge for research related to computer-supported collaboration and social computing.

As a consequence, a recent research trend has emerged to study the role of affect in the social programmer ecosystem, by applying sentiment analysis to the content available in sites such as GitHub and Stack Overflow, as well as in other asynchronous communication artifacts such as comments in issue tracking systems. This talk surveys the state-of-the-art in sentiment analysis tools and examines to what extent they are able to detect affective expressions in communication traces left by software developers. A discussion is offered about the advantages and limitations of choosing sentiment polarity and strength as an appropriate way to operationalize affective states in empirical studies. Finally, open challenges and opportunities of affective software engineering are discussed, with special focus on the need to combine cognitive emotion modeling with affective computing and natural language processing techniques to build large-scale, robust approaches for sentiment detection in software engineering.

María Gómez is visiting MOBIS

María Gómez from the research center INRIA Lille in Nord Europe. is visiting our group for extended stay during 2016 (~ 4months). She is collaborating with us on a project, which aims at providing self-healing capabilities into mobile apps by using crowdsourcing approaches. We are very glad to have her with us.

María Gómez is a PhD student in computer science working with the SPIRALS team at INRIA Lille – Nord Europe research center. She is currently interested in self-healing in mobile computing. Her research focuses on the repair of mobile applications in the wild using crowdsourcing.