SCG News

On the Evaluation of a DSL for Architectural Consistency Checking

Andrea Caracciolo. On the Evaluation of a DSL for Architectural Consistency Checking. In Extended Abstracts of the Eighth Seminar on Advanced Techniques and Tools for Software Evolution (SATToSE 2015), p. 55—57, July 2015. Details.


Software architecture erodes over time and needs to be constantly monitored to be kept consistent with its original intended design. Consistency is rarely monitored using automated techniques. The cost associated to such an activity is typically not considered proportional to its benefits. To improve this situation, we propose Dicto, a uniform DSL for specifying architectural invariants. This language is designed to reduce the cost of consistency checking by offering a framework in which existing validation tools can be matched to newly-defined language constructs. In this paper we discuss how such a DSL can be qualitatively and qualitatively evaluated in practice.

Posted by scg at 5 November 2015, 5:15 pm comment link

Modelling the Acquisition of Natural Language

Karan Sethi. Modelling the Acquisition of Natural Language. Bachelor’s thesis, University of Bern, August 2015. Details.


The Zeeguu Platform is a language learning platform for people who want to expand their language skills by reading articles or stories they love and practise the words which they have not understood by doing exercises. The aim of this thesis is to investigate and find a way to quantify the user’s knowledge about the language which is currently being learned and give them a metric about their progress. In the first part, we will describe how the probability of a user knowing a particular word is computed and how this data is then aggregated and used to give the user feedback on his progress. In the second part, we present a meta-model that enables us to keep track of the user interactions with the language and compute the desired metrics for the user. In the final part, we study the results of the implemented metrics for a particular user and discover that they represent a good approximation of the current state of the users knowledge of the language.

Posted by scg at 2 November 2015, 12:15 pm comment link

Practical domain-specific debuggers using the Moldable Debugger framework

Andrei Chiş, Marcus Denker, Tudor Gîrba, and Oscar Nierstrasz. Practical domain-specific debuggers using the Moldable Debugger framework. In Computer Languages, Systems & Structures 44() p. 89—113, 2015. Special issue on the 6th and 7th International Conference on Software Language Engineering (SLE 2013 and SLE 2014). Details.


Understanding the run-time behavior of software systems can be a challenging activity. Debuggers are an essential category of tools used for this purpose as they give developers direct access to the running systems. Nevertheless, traditional debuggers rely on generic mechanisms to introspect and interact with the running systems, while developers reason about and formulate domain-specific questions using concepts and abstractions from their application domains. This mismatch creates an abstraction gap between the debugging needs and the debugging support leading to an inefficient and error-prone debugging effort, as developers need to recover concrete domain concepts using generic mechanisms. To reduce this gap, and increase the efficiency of the debugging process, we propose a framework for developing domain-specific debuggers, called the Moldable Debugger, that enables debugging at the level of the application domain. The Moldable Debugger is adapted to a domain by creating and combining domain-specific debugging operations with domain-specific debugging views, and adapts itself to a domain by selecting, at run time, appropriate debugging operations and views. To ensure the proposed model has practical applicability (i.e., can be used in practice to build real debuggers), we discuss, from both a performance and usability point of view, three implementation strategies. We further motivate the need for domain-specific debugging, identify a set of key requirements and show how our approach improves debugging by adapting the debugger to several domains.

Posted by scg at 9 October 2015, 4:15 pm comment link

Bounded seas

Jan Kurš, Mircea Lungu, Rathesan Iyadurai, and Oscar Nierstrasz. Bounded seas. In Computer Languages, Systems & Structures 44() p. 114 - 140, 2015. Special issue on the 6th and 7th International Conference on Software Language Engineering (SLE 2013 and SLE 2014). Details.


Abstract Imprecise manipulation of source code (semi-parsing) is useful for tasks such as robust parsing, error recovery, lexical analysis, and rapid development of parsers for data extraction. An island grammar precisely defines only a subset of a language syntax (islands), while the rest of the syntax (water) is defined imprecisely. Usually water is defined as the negation of islands. Albeit simple, such a definition of water is naive and impedes composition of islands. When developing an island grammar, sooner or later a language engineer has to create water tailored to each individual island. Such an approach is fragile, because water can change with any change of a grammar. It is time-consuming, because water is defined manually by an engineer and not automatically. Finally, an island surrounded by water cannot be reused because water has to be defined for every grammar individually. In this paper we propose a new technique of island parsing — bounded seas. Bounded seas are composable, robust, reusable and easy to use because island-specific water is created automatically. Our work focuses on applications of island parsing to data extraction from source code. We have integrated bounded seas into a parser combinator framework as a demonstration of their composability and reusability.

Posted by scg at 9 October 2015, 4:15 pm comment link

GTInspector: A Moldable Domain-Aware Object Inspector

Andrei Chiş, Tudor Gîrba, Oscar Nierstrasz, and Aliaksei Syrel. GTInspector: A Moldable Domain-Aware Object Inspector. In Proceedings of the Companion Publication of the 2015 ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Systems, Programming, and Applications: Software for Humanity, SPLASH ’15 p. to appear, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2015. Details.


Understanding the run-time behaviour of object-oriented applications entails the comprehension of run-time objects. Traditional object inspectors favor generic views that focus on the low-level details of the state of single objects. While universally applicable, this generic approach does not take into account the varying needs of developers that could benefit from tailored views and exploration possibilities. GTInspector is a novel moldable object inspector that provides different high-level ways to visualize and explore objects, adapted to both the object and the current developer need. More information about the GTInspector can be found at:

Posted by scg at 5 October 2015, 6:15 pm comment link
<< 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >>
Last changed by oscar on 27 August 2015