PhD Studentship SOCial ADaptation: When Software Gives Users a Voice



Adaptation is a desirable feature of software systems to respond autonomously to changes so that human’s time and effort are minimized. The ultimate goal is that users get their dynamic requirements met correctly and efficiently. Adaptation is triggered and guided by certain drivers such as context changes and quality assessment of its different behaviours. Traditional adaptive systems engineering assumes a system ability to monitor adaptation triggers. This assumption, however, is not always possible due to limitation of technology and also to the lack of infrastructure needed to do that in certain uses of the system.

Example: imagine a disaster management system which needs data about a flash flood to decide upon what rescue strategy to adopt. There could be no fully-automated way to monitor these data and, moreover, it could be difficult to monitor if an execution of a strategy was successful and efficient, i.e., hard to monitor quality. The system will have to try a strategy assuming that it is correct, all that under a high degree of uncertainty.

Our SOCIAD project suggests that people are powerful monitors who can provide data which are essential for adaptation and unmonitorable by solely automated means.

SOCIAD raises the following research questions: What is a suitable modelling language to weave users’ feedback and requirements as a baseline for runtime adaptation? How to elect relevant feedback from users at runtime? What are the suitable automated analysis mechanisms to use gathered feedback and adapt the software behaviour at runtime?

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SOCIAD will develop requirements engineering framework (theoretical principles, models, automated analysis mechanisms, CASE tools, and case studies) for modelling, gathering and using users’ feedback in order to guide software adaptation.

This project is supported by an EC Marie Curie CIG grant.  The project supervisory team includes Dr. Raian Ali, Prof. Keith Phalp and Assoc. Prof. Jacqui Taylor.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates for this fully-funded PhD studentship must demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 3 years. All candidates must satisfy the University’s minimum doctoral entry criteria for studentships of an honours degree at Upper Second Class (2.1) and/or an appropriate Masters degree. An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum is essential for candidates for whom English is not their first language.

In addition to satisfying basic entry criteria, BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project.

To discuss this opportunity further and/or to apply please contact Dr. Raian Ali, [email protected]

Closing Date: 12th May 2013

For details on how to apply please visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/phd2013

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