Bellairs workshop On
Automated Techniques
for Software evolution

12-16 March 2007, Barbados

Theme and Goals

The goal of this workshop was to advance the level of synergy in research on automated techniques for code investigation and modification.

Location and Facilities

The workshop was held at McGill University's
Bellairs research institute, located directly on a beautiful beach in Barbados. The Bellairs institute provides very basic accommodation (in double occupancy only), and partial board, for a minimal fee (in the order of 50 USD per day - exact price subject to change). The workshop activities were held directly at the institute.


The workshop was organized by
Martin Robillard. Due to restricted space availability, attendance at the workshop was by invitation only.


Silvia Breu, University of Cambridge, UK
Barthélémy Dagenais, McGill University, Canada
Mike Godfrey, University of Waterloo, Canada
Kim Mens, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium
Tien N. Nguyen, Iowa State University, USA
Alex Orso, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Martin Robillard, McGill University, Canada
Andreas Zeller, Saarland University, Germany
Tom Zimmermann, Saarland University, Germany

BOATSe Participants
The BOATSE 2007 Participants

Workshop Summary

The workshop consisted of a series of activities intended to advance the level of synergy in software evolution research. The workshop activities included plenary discussions, lightning talks on current research projects, and small-group work sessions.

On Monday, the participants worked on the elaboration of a general-purpose conceptual framework for describing techniques for supporting software evolution, and discussed a series of "best practices" for reporting on software evolution techniques. The result of these activities included two variants of a software evolution research framework: one focusing on the technique and its environment, and one focusing on the associated tool/user interaction.

On Tuesday, participants presented lightning talks on their current research project, and spent a half-day work session exploring possibilities for future collaboration. At least three serious collaborative efforts were outlined, one of which is already under way.

The Wednesday morning session was dedicated to the description of empirical evaluation patterns. Work on this topic continued informally during a half-day tour of the island (see photo above). The work on evaluation patterns continued on Thursday, with the documentation of many evaluation patterns extracted from previous work in the area, including empirical designs such as the quantitative postmortem analysis, or the synthetic quantitative comparative study.

The last session focused on characterizing software changes according to three dimensions that matched the participants' research interests. The first dimension identified criteria and levels that could be used to describe the effort required to make a software modification. The second dimension isolated several invariants in the software lifecycle that might potentially be violated by a change. Finally, the third dimension captured the social history (genealogy) of a change.

The workshop was concluded with a debriefing session on Friday morning.

About Bellairs Workshops

Numerous computer science workshops are held at the Bellairs station every year. The number and variety of these workshops demonstrate the value of bringing top researchers to a remote location without luxury and with few distractions. The ultimate example is the highly successful Workshop on Computational Geometry which has been organized by Godfried Toussaint for over 20 times.

Last year's software evolution workshop was on the topic of Software Navigation Analysis.

Numerous details, including links to a sample of other Bellairs workshops, can be found on a web page maintained by Hans Vangheluwe.


Continue on to the BOATSe Wiki (participants only).