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International Conference on Software Engineering
Orlando, Florida, USA
May 19-25, 2002

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ICSE 2002 IMPACT Presentations

ICSE 2002 will feature three presentations from the IMPACT project, a project evaluating the effect software engineering has had on selected research topics. This year's topics include:

S7.3: Software Inspections, Reviews & Walkthroughs

Session Chairs: Oliver Laitenberger and Dieter Rombach, Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering


Marcus Ciolkowski, University of Kaiserslautern and Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering
Oliver Laitenberger and Dieter Rombach, Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering
Forrest Shull, Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering
Dewayne Perry, University of Texas, Austin

While software has become one of the most valuable products of the past decades, its growing complexity and size is responsible for making it one of the most challenging ones to build and maintain. The challenge stems from the fact that software development belongs to the most labor- and, at the same time, knowledge-intensive processes of today's world. The heavy dependence on knowledgeable human beings may be one reason why software development is often compared to an art or craft rather than to an engineering discipline. However, it has almost become impossible nowadays for a craftsman to produce large software systems according to a given schedule, to a limited budget, and to the quality requirements of a customer at delivery. Hence, researchers as well as practitioners are increasingly obliged to address the question of how to integrate engineering principles into software development. An important one is to perform quality-enhancing activities as early as possible. Despite the simplicity of this principle one can observe in the software industry that the activity of detecting and correcting software problems is often deferred until late in the project.

To address this issue, engineering-oriented software organizations have started to implement rigorous inspections, reviews and/or walkthroughs (in this paper all referred to as “inspections”). But still, a large number of organizations do not take full advantage of these approaches, which prevents them from basing their software development approach on engineering grounds.

The main objective of the IMPACT project in the area of software inspection is to collect demonstrated success cases, perform root cause analyses as to what contributed to the success cases in terms of research and transfer activities in software engineering, and derive lessons learned to maximize the success in other interested organizations. The research results in the inspection context include both new techniques, methods and tools as well as sound empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness and context dependency of inspections. The results show the importance of methodological and empirical software engineering research.

S8.3: Modern Programming Languages

Session Chairs: Mary Lou Soffa, University of Pittsburgh and Barbara Ryder, Rutgers University

Discussants: Mary Shaw (CMU), Barbara Liskov (MIT), Michael S. Mahoney (Princeton)

In this panel, we will discusses the goals, challenges and methodology of our project, which has as its overall goal the documentation of the impact of software engineering research on commonly used programming languages. In accomplishing our overall goal, there are a number of challenges that must be addressed. The synergy between software engineering research and programming language design strengthens both fields, but also renders attribution of some specific contributions difficult. Another challenge is differentiating between the contributions of software engineering research and software engineering practice, since both have influenced the design of programming languages. Finding primary sources to document the influence of software engineering research presents an additional challenge. Not only are research publications needed to determine this impact, but also oral histories of software engineering practice are necessary, since this information is not usually available in written form. Our study will focus on a selected set of currently used languages, including Java, C++, Ada, and Perl - and some of their significant concepts. We will describe the methodology that we have developed for this study. We will also present some of the preliminary results of our work to date.

S10.3: Configuration Management

Session Chair: Jacky Estublier, Grenoble University


Jacky Estublier, Grenoble University
David Leblang and Geoffrey Clemm, Rational Software
Reider Conradi, NTNU André van der Hoek, University of California, Irvine
Walter Tichy, University Karlsruhe
Darcy Wiborg-Weber, Telelogic

Software configuration management (SCM) is the discipline of controlling changes in large and complex systems. Its goal is to prevent the chaos caused by numerous corrections, extensions, and adaptations that are applied to any large system over its lifetime. There is no need to demonstrate the success of SCM, which is now an established discipline, considered by all as key for the success of any large software development. As a consequence the market of SCM tools is over 1 Billion dollars and increases pretty fast (23% in 2000).

The SCM Impact group is built upon some of the major academic and industrial players in the field for at least the two last decades. The goal of the impact group being to analyse the factors that made SCM a scientific and industrial success with large impact on the everyday software engineer practice; more specifically to asses the role played by research (both academic and corporate research) in this success story.

During the preparation of the report, the authors struggled to define what impact and which research to include, but discovered quickly that it is futile to determine who contributed "more", academia or industry. This session gives first an account of the lively debate that occurred among the authors. Then this session, following the full report produced by the group, presents a picture of the major research ideas in SCM and show where the ideas have had, or failed to have, an impact, irrespective of whether the ideas originated in industry or academia.

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