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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.

Open Position: Full-Time Research Associate

You would like to pursue the challenge of doing a PhD in our Hamburg-based, internationally-recognized, highly-diverse team?

With immediate effect we recruit a research associate (for full details see PDF file). The contract is initially running for three years. The position is full-time. The selected candidate will be remunerated on the basis of the TV-L 13 salary scale. The desirable start is September 1st 2018. German language proficiency is required. 

 

Job description:

You will work in the intersection of the following fields:

  • Requirements engineering and management
  • Empirical software engineering and software analytics
  • Recommender systems, machine learning, and decision support technologies.

You will have multiple opportunities to interact with other researchers and projects at the research group lead by Prof. Maalej.

Tasks and duties:

  • Conduct your own research including conception, development, experimentation, and evaluation tasks
  • Involvement into teaching activities
  • Coordinate research activities, co-supervise students and junior researches
  • Publish and disseminate the research results

Job requirements:

  • Masters Degree
  • Excellent grades and academic record
  • Very high level of commitment, responsibility and self-initiative
  • Intercultural understanding and curiosity to work in new environments and on new topics
  • High knowledge and interest in research and teaching in at least two of the following topics:
    • Software engineering
    • Data science
    • Software applications
    • Empirical research
  • Good skills in the development of apps are of advantage
  • Good skills in modern software technologies, programming languages, and frameworks are preferred
  • Very good written and spoken German/English skills
  • Practical experience in software development and management
  • Experience in research projects, teaching (e.g., tutor-activities), as well as in scientific working and writing are of advantage

Application process:

Applications should include a brief letter of motivation (max. 1 page), the curriculum vitae, and copies of degree certificate(s). Please send your application as ONE PDF file (max 10 MB) to: ed.grubmah-inu.kitamrofninull@jelaam

The University aims to increase the number of women in research and teaching and explicitly encourages women to apply.

Application open until August 5th 2018.

Additional information:

Further information can be found on our research group website.
The university website can be found here.

Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and has been recently found by The Economist as one of the top 10 cities to live in the world. Further information.

For further queries, please do not hesitate to contact Prof. Dr. Walid Maalej: tel. +4940428 83–2187; email: ed.grubmah-inu.kitamrofninull@jelaam

Open Position: Research Associate

With immediate effect we recruit a research associate for our European Research Project OPENREQ.

The contract is initially running for one year, with an extension option for one additional year. The position is full- time. The selected candidate will be remunerated on the basis of the TV-L salary scale. The desirable start is January 1st 2018.

Job description:

You will work in the intersection of the following fields:

  • Requirements engineering and management
  • Empirical software engineering and software analytics
  • Recommender systems, machine learning, and decision support technologies.

This position is coupled with the recently accepted H2020 research project OPENREQ. The project involves 9 European institutions and is coordinated by us. The aim is to develop an innovative, open source recommendation & decision support platform that assist stakeholders during requirements engineering, release planning, and software evolution tasks.

The project is set in an international and multi-disciplinary environment, involving partners from software industry, telecommunication, transportation and the open source community.

You will also have multiple opportunities to interact with other researchers and projects at the research group lead by Prof. Maalej.

Tasks and duties:

  • Conduct your own research including conception, development, experimentation, and evaluation tasks
  • Coordinate research activities, co-supervise students and junior researches
  • Publish and disseminate the research results

Job requirements:

  • Master Degree (MSc) in computer science, software engineering with focus on recommender systems
  • Excellent grades and academic record
  • Very high level of commitment, responsibility and self-initiative
  • Very good written and spoken English skills (Native Speakers preferred)
  • Practical experience in software development and management
  • Experience in research projects
  • Intercultural understanding and curiosity to work in new environments and on new topics
  • German language skills are of advantage

Application process:

Applications should include a brief letter of motivation (max. 1 page), the curriculum vitae, a list of publications, a list of at least three referees with full coordinates, one selected scientific paper with main contribution of the applicant, and copies of degree certificate(s).
Please send your application as ONE PDF file (max 10 MB) to: ed.grubmah-inu.kitamrofninull@jelaam

The University aims to increase the number of women in research and teaching and explicitly encourages women to apply.

Applications received by November 24th 2017 will get priority.

Additional information:

Further information can be found on our research group website.
The university website can be found here.

Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and has been recently found by The Economist as one of the top 10 cities to live in the world. Further information.

For further queries, please do not hesitate to contact Prof. Dr. Walid Maalej: tel. +4940428 83–2187; email: ed.grubmah-inu.kitamrofninull@jelaam

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.

OPENREQ: 4.6 Million Euro funded EU Research Project

We are happy to announce that the OPENREQ project just received a 4.6 million Euro funding from the European Commission. OPENREQ focuses on Intelligent Recommendation Decision Technologies for Community-Driven Requirements Engineering. At an acceptance rate of below 9%, the 9 partners are glad to start the 3-year research project in 2017. The project is coordinated by our research group MAST. Prof. Maalej is the coordinator and spokesperson.

OPENREQ is an ambitious endeavour based on a cooperation of leading researchers in the areas of recommender systems, context-aware technologies, and group decision making, requirements engineering and collaboration tools, vendors of RE and software engineering tools, large-size geographically distributed open source communities and SME’s specialised in open source solutions and dynamics of open source communities.

The overall vision of the project is to provide core-technologies for future requirements engineering environments that help to achieve the major goals of significantly increased development productivity, improved software quality, and reduced overall investments needed for software projects.

OPENREQ will develop novel context-aware requirements engineering approaches especially in large and distributed software projects, where the scale and complexity of alternatives outstrips the capability of stakeholders to survey them and make individual or group decisions. In such projects, the requirements from feedback of large user communities and stakeholders spread over different locations must be identified and taken into account in an intelligent fashion in order to be able to develop only relevant functionalities in a cost-efficient way and in the needed quality.

Information Event for Teaching Project: M-Lab

On the upcoming Wednesday (08.06.) in Room G-021, we will host an information event about our teaching project M-Lab, offered for bachelor and master students. We are going to answer all your questions and show you project results of previous courses.

In this “lighthouse project”, student teams will develop real innovative Apps for real customers from industry, under real project conditions, and use the newest technology.

 

Feel free to share this information with your colleagues!


What:   M-Lab information event
Date:    Wednesday (08.06.)
Time:   11:45 – 12:30
Where: Room G-021 / G-022

 

MOBIS at a leading event on app store analysis

Prof. Maalej gave an invited talk on a�zMining User Reviews in the App Storea�? as a part of The 36th CREST Open WorkshopA� (COW36) at the University College London.

The topic of the workshop was App Store Mining.A� App stores provide a rich source of information for software engineering research, including technical information such as the app binaries, releases and updates as well as business information such as customer reviews, pricing, and popularity. This workshop will bring together software engineering researchers from all over the world to discuss and develop the emerging research agenda in App Store Analysis.

Internationally recognized researchersA�researchers in the field participated in the workshop including Prof. Andreas Zeller, Prof. Hark Harmann, Prof. Ahmad Hassan, and others. From MOBIS, Christoph Stanik also attended the workshop and participated in the discussions. The agenda and the complete list of attendants is available on the workshop website.

The workshop is part of the CREST Open Workshop (COW) program, which started in 2009 and has so far attracted 548 different attendees from 218 different institutions spread over 42 countries. An archive of talks including slides and videos will be available on the workshop website soon. The workshop was also accompanied by a live blogging by Dr Black.

More Information:

Prof. Maalej is a winner of the Microsoft Research SEIF Award

Prof. Walid Maalej, the head of MOBIS, is a winner of the “2014 Software Engineering Innovation Foundation Award” by Microsoft Research.
The award is coupled with the project: STIMME- Systematic Analysis of User Reviews and Usage Data for Windows Mobile Apps.A�The SEIF award supports academic research in software engineering technologies, tools, practices, and teaching methods.

The SEIF 2014 Award is granted by Microsoft Research Connections Computer Science, in conjunction with the Research in Software Engineering Group, the Sensing and Energy Research Group, and Global Foundation Services.

More info at Microsoft Research.

M-Lab Final: Client Acceptance Test

The client acceptance test is the final and most exciting event of the lighthouse project course M-Lab. During this event the students will demonstrate their “ready-to-use” Apps to the customers, who will judge the results.A�The client acceptance tests will be a public event. Everyone interested is welcome to join.A�

Time: Thursday 11th July 2013 at 16:00

Place: Seminar room C-221, building C, the Informatics Campus of the UHH in Hamburg-Stellingen.

 

Agenda:

  • 16:00 Opening remarks by Prof. Maalej and the instructor team
  • 16:10 a�?Social and Sailing Navigationa�? by the Presentec team
  • 16:30 a�?Remote Control for an in-car Infotainment Systema�? by the Volkswagen team
  • 16:50 a�?Community Assessment of Telecommunication Service Qualitya�? by the I.C.H.N. team
  • 17:10 a�?Sale-Support of Special Financial Productsa�? by the Capgemini team
  • 17:30 Get together with snacks, drinks, and an exhibition of the apps

 

User Feedback in the AppStore

“User Feedback in the AppStore: An Empirical Study” is the title of the new paper by Prof. Maalej and Dennis Pagano which has been recently accepted for publication at the renowned conference “IEEE International Conference on Requirements Engineering” RE 2013.

This research will be presented by Prof. Maalej at RE 2013 in Rio De Janeiro.A�

Authors

Dennis Pagano and Walid Maalej

Abstract

Application distribution platforms – or app stores – such as Google Play or Apple AppStore allow users to submit feedback in form of ratings and reviews to downloaded applications. In the last few years, these platforms have become very popular to both application developers and users. However, their real potential for and impact on requirements engineering processes are not yet well understood. This paper reports on an exploratory study, which analyzes over one million reviews from the Apple AppStore. We investigated how and when users provide feedback, inspected the feedback content, and analyzed its impact on the user community. We found that most of the feedback is provided shortly after new releases, with a quickly decreasing frequency over time. Reviews typically contain multiple topics, such as user experience, bug reports, and feature requests. The quality and constructiveness vary widely, from helpful advices and innovative ideas to insulting offenses. Feedback content has an impact on download numbers: positive messages usually lead to better ratings and vice versa. Negative feedback such as shortcomings is typically destructive and misses context details and user experience. We discuss our findings and their impact on software and requirements engineering teams.

More Information

You can download a pre-print of the paper under this link.
For more information on the conference and the talk, follow this link.

5th International Workshop on Social Software Engineering

Prof. Maalej is co-chairing theA�5th International Workshop onA�Social Software Engineering (SSE’13).

The workshop will take place onA�August 18, 2013 in Saint Petersburg, Russia and will be collocated with theA�9th joint meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE 2013)

Important Dates

  • May 26 2013 Submission deadline
  • June 28 2013 Camera-ready
  • August 18 2013 Workshop

About

The Workshop on Social Software Engineering (SSE) focuses on the socialness of software engineering and of developed software. On one hand, we consider social factors in software engineering activities, processes, and CASE tools to be useful to improve the quality of development processes and the software produced by them. Examples include the role of situational awareness and multi-cultural factors in collaborative software development. On the other hand, the dynamics of the social contexts in which software could operate (e.g., in a cloud environment) calls for engineering social adaptability as a production-time iterative activity. One example is to gather usersa�� feedback on software quality and use it to autonomously or semi-autonomously adapt the software. The SSE workshop brings together academic and industrial perspectives to provide models, methods, tools, and approaches to address these issues.

Do no miss this event! Submit papers and participate!