ARRA: MRI-R2-Collaborative Research: Shared Traceability Infrastructure-A Major Research Instrumentation

  • Hayes, Jane (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


This project, developing a software traceability instrument, enables research in diverse, much needed, software-related research areas such as formal methods, human computer factors, software visualization, and project management. The work supports a critical research agenda of the software engineering community and facilitates technology transfer of traceability solutions to business and industry. Traceability refers to the ability to capture the relationships between different artifacts of a software-intensive system development project, including code, requirements, design, specifications, external regulations, and software architectures. Many software engineering activities involve tracing between interdependent artifacts, for example, finding software components that implement a given system requirement in order to assure that an as-built system meets its intended goals, or conversely, finding all the requirements that pertain to a code module to ensure that the system does not contain extraneous and potentially malicious features. The traceability instrument contains a library of reusable trace algorithms and utilities, a benchmarked repository of trace-related datasets, tasks, metrics, and experimental results, a plug-and-play environment for conducting trace-related experiments, and predefined experimental templates representing common types of empirical traceability experiments. The instrument facilitates the application of traceability solutions across a broad range of software engineering activities including requirements analysis, architectural design, maintenance, reverse engineering, and IV&V (independent verification and validation) or V&V activities. Broader Impacts: Despite the criticality of software traceability, organizations have struggled to implement successful and cost-effective traceability due to the complexity and error-proneness of the task. Despite a compelling research agenda, traceability research has been impeded by the lack of shared instruments. The instrument will make state-of-the-art traceability results available to enable the next generation of customized traceability environments and will provide support for conducting empirical research. Results will be disseminated broadly through outreach endeavors by the Center of Excellence for Software Traceability. The project will provide multiple opportunities for participation by underrepresented minorities and undergraduate students, and will create three fulltime job positions. The long-term broader impacts of the project will be to improve software project productivity and to improve the reliability of software, as well as developing software engineering educational curriculum for training students and practitioners.
Effective start/end date6/1/105/31/13


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