Seminar: Can we Increase Software Development Productivity by an Order of Magnitude

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Speaker: Shayne Flint, Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science (SoCS, ANU)

Date: Thursday, 01 October 2009

Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Venue: CSIT Seminar Room, N101, CSIT Building, Building (108), North Road, ANU (campus map)

Website: Seminars @ CECS

Enquiries: Dr Malcolm Newey

“Demand for software developers is increasing while the number of software engineering and IT students remains stable or in decline. At the same time, there is an increasing need to quickly build software systems in response to rapid social, economic and environmental change. The CECS Software-Intensive Systems Engineering (SiSE) group is addressing these issues by developing novel technology which aims to increase software development productivity by an order of magnitude.

“To achieve this objective we are exploring the use of Model- Driven Engineering (MDE) and ways to improve its effectiveness. Specifically, we are addressing problems in areas such as requirements and stakeholder management; integrating multiple viewpoints, cross-cutting concerns, modelling languages and paradigms; variations in architecture and implementation; model semantics, translation, synchronisation, evolution and reuse; the presence of uncertainty, imperfection and ambiguity; verification, scalability and visualisation. This is a long list, but our research indicates the possibility that many of these problems may be the result of entrenched assumptions that underpin existing approaches to MDE.”

In this seminar Dr Flint will demonstrate a new approach to MDE which is developed from a very different set of assumptions. The approach is proving effective and addresses or eliminates many of the problems with existing approaches. If commercialised, it could have direct and demonstrable economic impact by increasing ICT industry productivity and our ability to rapidly react to emerging opportunities and threats.

This seminar is part of the CECS Seminar Series.

Shayne Flint is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Computer Science, Australian National University, and is an active member of the department’s Software-Intensive Systems Engineering group. He started his career as a RAAF engineering officer and has worked in industry in various software/systems engineering, consulting, marketing, management and commercialization roles. Dr Flint has broad industry experience and is the originator of Aspect-Oriented Thinking, a systematic approach to developing, managing and integrating the multi-disciplinary knowledge and expertise required to understand and improve complex systems. Nowadays, he is driven by a desire to radically improve the productivity of software development, particularly within multi-disciplinary contexts such as environmental science and engineering.

Original Seminar Notice at: Can we Increase Software Development Productivity by an Order of Magnitude, CECS Seminar List, The Australian National University, 2009

Seminar: Seeing the World through Indian Foreign Service Eyes – A Blueprint for ‘Diplomatic’ Fieldwork

Greetings from the Coombs Seminar Room A at The Australian National University where India specialist Kate Sullivan is presenting Seeing the World through Indian Foreign Service Eyes — A Blueprint for ‘Diplomatic Fieldwork’ in the study of International Relations (IR).

The talk and topic is particularly interesting to me in that the study readily lends itself to the application of Aspect-Oriented Thinking (a multidisciplinary methodology developed by Dr Shayne Flint) in tackling the integration of the necessary domain knowledge and structure.

In the first part of her talk, Ms Sullivan makes the following interesting points about IR study.

IR is not culturally-neutral: This affects the study of IR theories due to the following factors:

  • Complexity
  • Epistemology
  • Universalist assumptions
  • IR’s ‘debt to the West’

Reforming the discipline of IR study: These issues have been recognized by intellectuals and efforts are underway to reform the discipline, in particular the handling of culture in the context of

  • Foreign Policy Analysis
  • Strategic Studies

IR studies are obviously multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary in nature, encountering issues which can to a large extent be ameliorated by exploiting interpretive contexts. This work presents interesting cross-cutting concerns with current research across The Australian National University by Ziyad Alshaikh in management of context, suggesting effective use of a Context Dynamics Matrix.

In the second part of her talk, Ms Sullivan visits the debate surrounding the narrative exploration in her research studies, successfully arguing a case for contextualizing the implicit nature of theories and methodologies in asking questions about India’s aspirations to be an institutionally recognized ‘global power’.

Finally, Ms Sullivan outlined the effects various drivers and forces governing Indian foreign policy decisions and their resulting outcomes. She argued that we should look at the context of the narrative concerns at a sufficient level of abstraction and detail and map it to an ethnographic effect. This entails a view of the Indian Foreign Service from a perspective of:

  • Data collection/study/interpretation
  • ‘Emic’ (insider) verus ‘etic’ (outsider) approach
  • Attempt to grasp the making of meaningful social behavior
  • Encourage reflexivity on part of the researcher

These research questions are not too different from the questions I seek to answer in the field of contextual concept workflow management (answering the four canonical questions of who, what, when, why), and the need to explicitize the context-tie-in.

Ms Sullivan also suggested that there is a progressive change in the sensitivity with which India has projected its image abroad and in the international arena. She discussed what makes the study of historical and current ethnographies challenging and how academic research could manage ‘in-the-field’ analysis of individuals who seek to inform public policy in international relations.

Finally, there was some time spent in general discussion and questions on issues affecting studies in International Relations. Points raised recognized the need to resolve cultural forces, challenges in marrying inconsistencies between theoretical and practical approaches and the academic material in the context of this research.

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Seminar: Generating Operational Guidelines from ATL Transformations

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Speaker: Rainbow Cai, Lecturer, Department of Computer Science (DCS, ANU)

Date: Thursday, 30 April 2009

Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Venue: CSIT Seminar Room, N101, CSIT Building, Building (108), North Road, ANU (campus map)

Website: Seminars @ CECS

Enquiries: Dr Shayne Flint

Model transformation, a core part of Model Driven Engineering, transforms models from one format to another. Model Transformation is normally done with transformation languages, such as ATL, XSLT, or programming language (e.g. java). Currently, transformation programs are written to achieve the basic transformation goal, i.e. transforming a model from one format to another.

As model transformation programs are well-structured information and implicitly contain the rationale, the conditions, and the results of an intended transformation, we argue that the potential of transformation programs needs to be explored to provide guidelines for currently isolated operational tasks such as detecting semantic inconsistencies, providing behaviour synchronisation information, and establishing traceability among models. In this paper, we introduce the CRelation model – a generic analysis and design model for model transformation, and use the CRelation model to assist the development of ATL transformation programs. From within the CRelation model, we then use the ATL programs to generate guidelines for the operational tasks related to model transformation. We demonstrate the feasibility of our approach with a case study and present the initial evaluation results.

This seminar is part of the DCS Seminar Series.

Rainbow Cai is a lecturer at the Computer Science Department, ANU. She did her PhD in Software Engineering at the Department of Computer Science, University of Auckland.

She holds undergraduate diploma, postgraduate diploma, and master of science degree (with honors), all in Computer Science, from University of Auckland. Rainbow has active research interests in the areas of software architecture modelling, software architecture performance evaluation, reverse engineering, domain-specific modelling language, automated software engineering, visual languages and environments, meta-tools for multi-view multi-notation design tools, and model transformation and integration. Her main areas of interest pertain to software architecture modelling, performance engineering, and model transformation and integration.

Original Seminar Notice at: Generating Operational Guidelines from ATL Transformations, CECS Seminar List, The Australian National University, 2009

Seminar: Rethinking Systems Thinking

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Speaker: Shayne Flint, Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Science (DCS, ANU)

Date: Thursday, 9 October 2008

Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Venue: CSIT Seminar Room, N101, CSIT Building, Building (108), North Road, ANU (campus map)

Website: Seminars @ CECS

Enquiries: Dr Malcolm Newey
Systems Thinking refers to a set of approaches that can be used to learn about and make decisions regarding improvements to dynamically complex systems. They are distinguished from other approaches by their focus on the whole and the study of interactions among the parts of a system, rather than the parts themselves. While focusing on interactions helps us understand complex systems and identify appropriate improvements, it is necessary to use detailed knowledge of the parts and other aspects of a system to implement any improvements.

Dr Flint introduces a novel Systems Thinking approach which uses detailed knowledge of the parts to both understand the whole, and to build the systems required to implement necessary improvements.

This seminar is part of the DCS Seminar Series.

Shayne Flint is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science, Australian National University, and is an active member of the department’s Software-Intensive Systems Engineering group. Dr Flint has broad industry experience and is the originator of Aspect-Oriented Thinking, a systematic approach to developing, managing and integrating the multi-disciplinary knowledge and expertise required to understand and improve complex systems.

Original Seminar Notice at: Rethinking Systems Thinking, CECS Seminar List, The Australian National University, 2008

Bug #122948 in gnome-system-tools in Ubuntu

A new install of Ubuntu 8.04 which is a Long Term Support (LTS) almost always brings up the annoying Bug #223448 which is marked as a duplicate of Bug #122948.

But # 122948 was first reported on 2007-06-29!

There have been two releases, including the much-touted LTS release for 8.04, with the bug being silently carried forward, with it’s importance in Launchpad as Undecided.

Guess that’s what they mean by Long Term … waiting for Godot!