A number of the current and recent funded research projects that the Software Engineering group have worked on are outlined below:


Evidence-Based Practices Informing Computing(EPIC)

Evidence-Based Software Engineering (EBSE)

These EPSRC-funded projects investigated the viability of adopting the evidence-based paradigm for software engineering. Although originating in clinical medicine, the evidence-based paradigm has been adopted (and adapted) by a number of other domains that, like software engineering, involve human-centric activities including education, non-clinical branches of healthcare, and librarianship.


The EBSE project ran from 2005 to 2007 and the objectives included:


  • determining and codifying appropriate procedures for undertaking systematic reviews of evidence in software engineering;
  • creating an infrastructure to support evidence-based software engineering;
  • performing and publishing a number of exemplars of systematic reviews.


The EPIC projects are from 2007 - 2010 and investigated :-


  • Whether the process of systematic literature review is 'stable'
  • The extent and roles of 'grey literature'
  • To what extent the extensive and time-consuming SLR process could be approximated (e.g. for PhD students)
  • The effectiveness of using 'mapping studies'
  • The extent to which current software engineering standards are based upon evidence
  • Effective ways of encouraging support for, and adoption of, evidence-based SE practices in industry, commerce and government


More details about the EPIC and EBSE projects can be found on the Evidence-Based Software Engineering Website


SOSoRNet: Service-Oriented Software Research Network

The aim of SOSoRNet, which is funded by EPSRC (PI is Dr. Nicolas Gold, King's College London) is to build an interdisciplinary and self-sustaining international community of researchers and practitioners leading the development and deployment of service-oriented software technologies, and to ensure that this community draws together the many threads and groups active in particular areas of this technology to promote cross-fertilisation of ideas.

The objectives of the network are: SOSoRNet: Service-Oriented Software Research Network

  • To provide a forum in which members of the various research and practitioner communities working with service-oriented software can exchange views, ideas, and solutions to the fundamental problems that affect the application of this technology.
  • To facilitate, disseminate and lead best practice in the research and deployment of service-oriented software systems.
  • To facilitate the identification of new opportunities for the application and development of service-oriented software systems and technologies.

More details about SOSoRNet can be found on the web site - SOSoRNet.



Integration Broker for Heterogeneous Information Sources (IBHIS)

This project was funded under EPSRC's Distributed Information Management (DIM) programme and involved close collaboration between four partners: computer scientists from three universities (Keele, Durham and UMIST), and also Keele's Centre for Health Planning & Management (CHPM). The project set out to address a problem that is becoming increasingly commonplace as more organisations and public bodies store information about individuals in electronic form: namely, how to integrate such information when it is obtained from a set of autonomous and independent organisations, stored in a multiplicity of formats (that may themselves change for structural and organisational reasons), and subject to both national and local rules about access. Our chosen domain was healthcare, where this problem is widely recognised as creating a barrier to the provision of full and effective patient care; however, we have identified many other domains such as criminology, travel, and government policy-making, all of which have information access needs that exhibit very similar characteristics.


To meet the challenge presented by this problem, the project had to address some important technological issues. The development of the service model for software has been progressing for some time, and indeed, now underpins plans for the Grid. In IBHIS, we have successfully adapted, extended and employed service technologies to address the challenge and have brought them together to create a broker that provides a relatively large-scale demonstration of their use. As part of this, we have developed a new model for managing access control in a distributed environment, as well as mechanisms to enable semantic interoperability between data sources and the broker.


For more details, visit the Web site - IBHIS.


E-RISK: Evidence-based risk management in global software development projects

E-Risk is funded through the EU Marie Curie Fellowship (2011-2013)
The project has three overall aims:
(1) To support project managers in assessing the risks involved in global software engineering projects and to determine suitable risk mitigation practices.
(2) To train the incoming research fellow in evidence-based techniques and transfer the fellow’s knowledge in global software project management risk to the host institution.
(3) To assess the extent to which expertise in an SE topic can be successfully combined with expertise in the systematic literature review technique.
International Fellow: Prof. June Verner (j.verner@keele.ac.uk)
Scientist in charge: Prof. Pearl Brereton (o.p.brereton@keele.ac.uk)
Other researchers: Prof. Barbara Kitchenham, Dr. Mark Turner, Stephen Linkman, Dr. Mahmood Niazi
J M Verner, O P Brereton, B A Kitchenham, M Turner, and M Niazi. A Tertiary Study of Systematic Literature Reviews in Global Software Development, accepted, IST, January 2013
J M Verner, O P Brereton, B A Kitchenham, M Turner, and M Niazi. Systematic literature reviews in global software engineering development: A tertiary study. Proceedings of EASE 2012 Ciudad Real, May 2012.




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