[ecoop-info] Fully funded PhD Position in Software Engineering at the University of East Anglia, UK

Joost Noppen joost.noppen at gmail.com
Tue Feb 21 19:06:13 CET 2012

The School of Computing Sciences at the University of East Anglia in 
Norwich (UK) invites applications from the UK and European Union for a 
fully funded PhD position in Software Engineering.

Project Title
Traceability Forensics: Reconstructing Legacy Software Systems from 
Partial Information

Project Description
Modern software development typically no longer consists of developing a 
software system from scratch. Frequently, extensions need to be realised 
of existing software infrastructures. These systems typically consist of 
millions of lines of code, often in a variety of programming languages 
and paradigms. To make matters worse, the designs, documentation and 
architecture of these legacy software systems is fragmented at best, and 
generally insufficiently accurate and complete for successful 
development of new software.

Traditionally, software companies have tried to reconstruct the design 
and architecture information by reverse engineering the legacy source 
code to identify objects, components, design patterns and other 
architectural structures. In other words, they try to trace the source 
code back to meaningful design and requirement descriptions. However, 
the results can be mixed as the legacy code can consists of various 
programming languages. A considerable amount of manual effort is still 
required before any usable information of the legacy system has been 

This project aims to enrich existing reverse engineering approaches by 
looking beyond purely the legacy code that exist. Instead of only 
considering the results for reverse engineering a part of the legacy 
code in a particular programming language, the new approach will perform 
an advanced forensics investigation of all available information. In 
addition to traditional reverse engineering techniques, the new approach 
will investigate the missing parts in the existing design description 
and try to complete these using advanced analysis of the reverse 
engineering results.

The project will involve examining existing reverse engineering 
techniques, researching matching techniques that can identify partial 
design descriptions and find the best reverse engineering results to 
complement these descriptions, and implementing automated tool support 
to perform the advanced reverse engineering analysis and support 
developers in applying the approach.

Working Environment
The PhD student will work at the University of East Anglia in the School 
of Computing Sciences. The School provides a vibrant environment in 
which to carry out computing research. Sited within the UEA Science 
Faculty, the School houses research labs dedicated to virtual 
environments, speech, colour, computational biology and software 
engineering. The research performed at the school provides a highly 
multi-disciplinary environment and there is considerable collaboration 
with other UEA Schools and research institutes across the Norwich 
Research Park and with industrial partners. Currently, the school is 
home to 26 research-active faculty, and around 15 research staff and 
more than 50 postgraduate research students.

This PhD position will be supervised by dr. Joost Noppen 
(j.noppen at uea.ac.uk) and dr. Rudy Lapeer (r.lapeer at uea.ac.uk)
Contact: Joost Noppen (j.noppen at uea.ac.uk)

How to apply
The position is fully funded for 3 years and open to all UK and EU 
The position is already open and applications will be reviewed until the 
30th of March.
Applications can be submitted online using the application webform from 
the University of East Anglia: 

Joost Noppen
School of Computing Sciences
University of East Anglia
Norwich Research Park
Norwich NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

Phone:  +44 (0) 1603 593738
Mail:   j.noppen at uea.ac.uk
Skype:  joost.noppen

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