--- Call For Participation ---

International Workshop on

Evolution of Large-scale Industrial Software Applications (ELISA)

Tuesday, 23 September 2003
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Co-located with the IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM 2003)

Sponsored by FWO Scientific Research Network Foundations of Software Evolution and
ESF Research Network Research Links to Explore and Advance Software Evolution (RELEASE).


A characteristic of software that addresses real-world applications is the inevitable need to be changed and enhanced -- that is, evolved -- if it is to remain satisfactory to its stakeholders. However, implementing such evolution reliably and predictably over the long life span of a software system poses many organisational, process-related, and technical challenges. These include the tendency of complexity to increase as changes accumulate, the feedback-system nature of the software evolution process, and the difficulty to predict the need for, and estimate the full impact of, software change.

Within the research community, the term software evolution is increasingly being used to describe the phenomena of software change, maintenance, and evolution. Such changes to software systems tend to be progressive and incremental; they are driven, in part, by a learning process in which feedback from users and other stakeholders plays a vital role. Surveys suggest that in practice, and over the lifetime of a system, incremental change of software artefacts driven by continual changes of requirements consumes more resources than the development of their first operational release. Software evolution is and will continue to be of major economic and social importance.

Issues of largeness compound the challenges to achieve disciplined software evolution, however largeness is defined. Large-scale industrial systems generally consists of numerous software artefacts that need to be evolved in a harmonious fashion, a change request flow that surpasses the implementation rate, and the involvement of several teams implementing the evolution. Typical examples of large-scale systems include air traffic control systems, popular PC operating systems, and telephone switch software. The challenges posed by the continual evolution of these and similar systems clearly surpass the current state-of-the-art.

The problems of evolving software are further compounded by the growing use and integration of mobile, distributed, and embedded systems, some of them built from off-the-shelf or open source components that also are subject to evolution pressures. The dependence of organisations and society on evolving software makes the search for solutions to the fundamental problems of software evolution more urgent than ever.

Presentations and discussions in this workshop are expected to contribute to the establishment of a research agenda in the field that combines processes, methods, tools and techniques for the implementation of evolution (the how) with the results of empirical studies of the phenomenon (the what and the why).


The goal of this workshop is to achieve a deeper and wider insight into the problems posed by the evolution of large-scale industrial software systems and the possible technological and managerial solutions, from both an academic and an industrial point of view. Participation will be based on a submitted paper. All groups and individual practitioners and researchers with an interest in software evolution are invited to submit either a position paper or a full paper.

Contributions that address one or several of the following topics are particularly encouraged:

Two kinds of submissions are invited:

All types of software and software applications will be of relevance for the discussion in the workshop. Issues related to the evolution of all kinds of software artefacts are relevant to the workshop, including requirement specifications, architecture and design, models, and - of course - source and executable code.



Participants will be invited on the basis of either an position paper of maximum 6 pages, or a full paper of maximum 12 pages in A4-format.
The paper should be sent by e-mail in PDF or PostScript format to Tom Mens (tommens (a) vub.ac.be). The body of the e-mail should clearly include the authors' names, addresses, affiliations, the kind of submission (position or full paper; research or experience paper), and the paper's title.
All submissions will be subject to an independent peer-review process, and feedback will be given to the authors. Authors of accepted submissions will be invited to participate in the workshop. All accepted position papers will be made available from the workshop's website. Participants are strongly encouraged to read these papers before the workshop.


The workshop will start with an invited presentation by Susan Elliott Sim about the use of benchmarks for software evolution.
From all submitted papers, a limited number will be selected for oral presentation during a plenary session. The selection will be made based on those contributions that have the highest potential for generating issues that can stimulate the discussions.
After a discussion on the issues raised during the presentations, participants will divide into groups to discuss a number of important questions. By the end of the day, each group will report its findings to the other participants during a final plenary session. Based on these results, a workshop report will be distilled and made available on the organisers' website.


Workshop pre-prints containing all the accepted workshop papers will be distributed to all participants during the workshop. These pre-prints will also be made available from the workshop's website. Additionally, a summary of the workshop will be distilled and be made available as a technical report.
After the workshop, all full papers will undergo a selection process for inclusion in a journal special issue. The best papers will be independently re-reviewed and considered for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Software Maintenance and Evolution. Therefore, the authors of these selected papers will be asked to revise and extend their papers, based on the comments received from the reviewers, as well as the comments received during the workshop. After an independent round of peer-reviewing, a camera-ready copy of the accepted papers has to be prepared for publication in the Journal special issue.


May 24, 2003: Submission of workshop papers
June 28, 2003: Notification of workshop acceptance
August 29, 2003: Deadline for revised submissions

September 23, 2003: Date of the workshop

October 31, 2003: Notification of selected papers for journal special issue, together with suggestions for major or minor revisions
January 5, 2004: Submission of camera-ready papers




Susan Elliott Sim, University of Toronto, Canada. Benchmarking: The Way Forward for Software Evolution.
In her PhD thesis, Susan Elliott Sim developed a theory of benchmarking in software engineering. The theory explains the observed benefits of benchmarking in scientific disciplines, where benchmarking efforts have led to a great leap forward in research and increased consensus on the nature of the problems and approaches used within a research community. The theory predicts that benchmarking can be used to generate greater consensus, and increase the scientific maturity of a research field. Susan has developed two benchmarks, which are now widely used in the reverse engineering community, the xfig structured demonstration for program comprehension tools, and CppETS for C++ fact extractors. Susan also played an instrumental role in the development of GXL (Graph eXchange Language), a data interchange language for reverse engineering tools. GXL has been ratified as the standard exchange format in the reverse engineering and graph transformation communities. Susan has held research fellowships with Sun Microsystems, IBM Canada Centre for Advanced Studies, Telepresence Systems Inc. and the National Research Council (Canada). She has published widely in the reverse engineering community, and has organized a series of workshops and structured demonstrations on comparative evaluation and benchmarking. Her research interests include research methodology, program comprehension, and software process for small business.


Tom Mens is a postdoctoral fellow of the Fund for Scientific Research - Flanders (Belgium) since October 2000 and is associated as a computer science researcher to the Programming Technology Lab of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He has published several articles on the use of formal techniques for improving support for software evolution. In 1999 he obtained his PhD on this research topic. He co-founded, and is currently co-ordinating two international research networks on Software Evolution. In this context he co-organised several international workshops. In the international EMOOSE programme (European Masters in Object-Oriented Software Engineering) he gives an advanced course on object-oriented software evolution.

Michael Godfrey is an assistant professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) where he holds an NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Telecommunications Software Engineering, sponsored by Nortel Networks. He is a member of the Software Architecture Group (SWAG) at UW, and his research interests include software evolution, patterns of software change, software architecture, and program comprehension.

Juan F. Ramil is a Lecturer at the Computing Dept., The Open University, Milton Keynes, U.K. From 1996 to 2001 he worked as a researcher at the Dept. of Computing, Imperial College, London (FEAST projects). His current research interests include models and metrics for the planning and management of software evolution. He has been co-author of some 40 publications. He is a member of the M880 Software Engineering course team, part of the CCI postgraduate program, at The Open University and a committee member of the Requirements Engineering Specialist Group (RESG) of the British Computer Society.

Brian Down has been with Sun Microsystems for four years and currently holds the position of Chief Architect for Enterprise Migration - Americas, for the Data Centre Solutions practice inside Sun Professional Services. In this capacity, he captures and develops IP and best practices for the Sun PS field relating to the migration of large software systems from competitive operating environments to Sun/Solaris. Brian has an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Toronto (UT) and has more than 20 years of industry experience which includes research positions at UT's Department of Computer Science and IMAX Corporation. He has lectured at UT, given numerous talks at conferences and delivered many technical presentations to large customer audiences.



As an official activity of the Scientific Research Network on Foundations of Software Evolution and of the ESF Research Network on Research Links to Explore and Advance Software Evolution (RELEASE) this workshop is jointly sponsored by the Fund for Scientific Research - Flanders (Belgium) and by the European Science Foundation.