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IDT Open Seminar: Capturing the Essence of Software Engineering – A Reflection of Semat Initiative


Shihong Huang



Start time:

2012-03-22 14:15

End time:

2012-03-22 15:15



Contact person:


Software engineering community faces the constant challenge as to understand how to build software better, faster, cheaper, and make customers happier. Various software development paradigms and methods have been introduced; countless individual practices that suit particular software project and team have been identified and used. The abundance of unique methods and practices is not a problem in itself. The problem is that it is hard to compare, evaluate, and adopt these methods to a particular context, and it is hard to transfer and reuse existing knowledge to new projects.Against this backdrop and others came the formation of the global initiative Semat – Software Engineering Method and Theory. Semat is to discover and capture the shared essentials of the different development methods. The goal is to create a set of kernel elements and a language that are scalable, extensible, and easy to use, and that allow people to describe the essentials of their existing and future methods and practices so that they can be compared, evaluated, tailored, used, adapted, simulated and measured by practitioners as well as taught and researched by academics and researchers.The Kernel provides the common ground for defining software development practices. It includes the essential elements that are always prevalent in every software engineering endeavor, such as Requirements, Software System, Team and Work. These elements have states representing progress and health, so as the endeavor moves forward the states associated with these elements progress.The Kernel is described using the Language, which defines abstract syntax, dynamic semantics, graphic syntax and textual syntax. The Language supports composing two practices to form a new practice, and composing practices into a method, and the enactment of methodsThis talk provides the basic information of Semat, its main concepts, i.e. methods, practices, kernel and the language, and the status of the recent proposal submitted to respond to OMG RFP: Foundation for the Agile Creation and Enactment of Software Engineering Methods (FACESEM) RFP (OMG Document ad/2011-­‐06-­‐26), which will become international standard.Keywords: Software engineering, method, theory, practices, common ground, essentialSpeaker’s Short Bio: Shihong Huang is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Florida Atlantic University. She has a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. Her research interests include reverse engineering, program comprehension, software systems redocumentation, software maintenance and evolution, and software process improvement. In recent years, she has expanded her research to health informatics (particularly on capturing and managing nursing knowledge and practices), and computer applications in clinical and therapeutic fields (particularly on computer-­‐ based interactive system for children with Asperger’s syndrome), and software development modeling.She was the General Chair of the 24th ACM International Conference on Design of Communication (SIGDOC 2006), and is Program Co-­‐Chair of the 9th IEEE International Symposium on Web Site Evolution (WSE 2007).