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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.

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