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< Contents ERCIM News No. 62, July 2005

Workshop on Challenges in Software Evolution

by Tom Mens

The annual meeting of the ERCIM Working Group on Software Evolution was held in Bern in Switzerland, 12-13 April 2005. Together with the scientific research network RELEASE, financed by the European Science Foundation (ESF), a two-day workshop was organized focusing on the most important challenges and emerging trends in software evolution research and practice.

The workshop was co-organized by Stéphane Ducasse, Radu Marinescu, Tom Mens and Oscar Nierstrasz. The workshop brought together people from academia and industry, identifying substantial obstacles to software evolution research and practice, and proposing ways to overcome these obstacles. In total, we received seventeen contributions, and there were 37 workshop participants coming from ten different countries.

The proposed challenges were diverse in nature, ranging from the fundamental (eg what are the laws governing software evolution?), to the pragmatic (eg how can we provide software evolution techniques and tools that scale up to industrial-size software applications?). The expected time horizon of the challenges also varied, ranging from short term (typically a couple of months) to long term (several years or even decades). A classification of all proposed challenges, together with a brief summary of each, has been compiled as a result of the workshop, and is available via the workshop Web site.

In addition to its scientific purpose, the workshop also hosted the annual steering committee meeting of the RELEASE network, financed by the European Science Foundation until autumn 2005, and the annual steering committee meeting of the ERCIM Working Group on Software Evolution. During the latter meeting, we discussed the current status of the network (including over thirty members originating from research institutes all over Europe, seventeen of which belong to ten different ERCIM partner institutes). We also reported on the successful meeting organised in Rome last year (October 2004), and planned a number of new activities for 2005 and 2006. Last, but certainly not least, we discussed concrete opportunities and plans for proposing new initiatives within the IST domain of the 5th call of the EU 6th Framework Programme (particularly with the strategic objectives ‘embedded systems’ and ‘software and services’). In addition, we plan to set up a Marie Curie Research Training Network.

WG Web site:
Workshop website:
RELEASE network website:

Please contact:
Tom Mens, Institut d'Informatique, Université de Mons-Hainaut
Tel: +32 65 37 3453