Monday, September 11, 2017

IEEE July/August Issue, Blog, and SE Radio Summary

Associate Editor: Brittany Johnson (@drbrittjaydlf)

The July/August Issue of IEEE Software again provides articles that cover a range of software engineering-related topics. The themes in this issue include reliability and requirements engineering, technical debt, and agile development.

Special in this issue is a look at the history of IEEE Software in the article "Insights from the Past: The IEEE Software History Experiment" by Zeljko Obrenovic. By looking at the history website, this article proposes the practical value in using historical data. There is also discussion of the future of IEEE Software based on historical data.

The focus topic in this issue of IEEE Software was Reliability Engineering. This issue featured the following articles on reliability engineering:

One of the main concerns around reliability engineering is the growing ubiquity of software in safety critical systems. As pointed out by Diomidis Spinellis in "Software Reliability Redux", the more software is integrated into our daily lives the more we need adequate reliability engineering. Going more in depth on the topic, in "Requirements Engineering for Safety-Critical Systems: Overview and Challenges",  Martins and colleagues talk about some of the challenges that comes with engineering safety critical systems. In particular, they focus on dealing with safety requirements, discussing topics from reducing the gap between academia and industry and communicating requirements throughout the development process.

In "Safety Analysis of Safety-Critical Systems Using State-Space Models", Kumar and colleagues made one suggestion for dealing with safety analysis of safety critical systems; using state-space models for safety issue prognosis. They created an approach that takes UML state diagrams and maps them to state-space models, using Petri nets for dynamic behavioral analysis. They were able to validate their approach using a nuclear power plant's emergency core cooling system. Despite their findings, there are still strides that can be made to improve the state-of-the-art in regards to processes and tools in place for building and maintaining reliable safety critical systems.

IEEE Software Blog

The IEEE Software Blogs posts in July and August focused on vulnerabilities. Mehdi Mirakhorli wrote a blog post on tactical vulnerabilities, or vulnerabilities that result from incorrect implementation or deterioration of security tactics during coding and maintenance. Cor-Paul Bezemer and Zhen Ming (Jack) Jiang explored if and how developers use performance testing to identify vulnerabilities. They studied Java-based open source projects on GitHub and found that there may be missing tool support for effective performance testing. Maleknaz Nayebi and Federica Sarro used crowdsourcing in a case study of the Fort McMurray wildfire, along with their method called MAPFEAT, to determine useful mobile app features.

SE Radio

SE Radio welcomed two new hosts in July and August: Kishore Bhatia of BlockApps and Bryan Reinero of MongoDB.  For Kishore's first broadcast, he spoke with Kieren James-Lubin about security topics such as Blockchains, Crytocurrency, Bitcoins, and Distributed Ledger. For Bryan's first broadcast, he and Jason Hand discuss handling outages and responding to program failures. 
Other topics discussed on SE Radio in July and August include type driven development, rules engines, and P vs. NP.

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