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Dr Marcus Zinn PhD

CSCAN Network Research Student

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Service-based automation of software construction activities

The reuse of software units, such as classes, components and services require professional knowledge to be performed. Today a multiplicity of different software unit technologies, supporting tools, and related activities used in reuse processes exist. Each of these relevant reuse elements may also include a high number of variations and may differ in the level and quality of necessary reuse knowledge. In such an environment of increasing variations and, therefore, an increasing need for knowledge, software engineers must obtain such knowledge to be able to perform software unit reuse activities. Today many different reuse activities exist for a software unit. Some typical knowledge intensive activities are: transformation, integration, and deployment. In addition to the problem of the amount of knowledge required for such activities, other difficulties also exist. The global industrial environment makes it challenging to identify sources of, and access to, knowledge. Typically, such sources (e.g., repositories) are made to search and retrieve information about software unitsand not about the required reuse activity knowledge for a special unit. Additionally, the knowledge has to be learned by inexperienced software engineers and, therefore, to be interpreted. This interpretation may lead to variations in the reuse result and can differ from the estimated result of the knowledge creator. This makes it difficult to exchange knowledge between software engineers or global teams. Additionally, the reuse results of reuse activities have to be repeatable and sustainable. In such a scenario, the knowledge about software reuse activities has to be exchanged without the above mentioned problems by an inexperienced software engineer. The literature shows a lack of techniques to store and subsequently distribute relevant reuse activity knowledge among software engineers. The central aim of this thesis is to enable inexperienced software engineers to use knowledge required to perform reuse activities without experiencing the aforementioned problems. The reuse activities: transformation, integration, and deployment, have been selected as the foundation for the research. Based on the construction level of handling a software unit, these activities are called Software Construction Activities (SCAcs) throughout the research. To achieve the aim, specialised software construction activity models have been created and combined with an abstract software unit model. As a result, different SCAc knowledge is described and combined with different software unit artefacts needed by the SCAcs. Additionally, the management (e.g., the execution of an SCAc) will be provided in a service-oriented environment. Because of the focus on reuse activities, an approach which avoids changing the knowledge level of software engineers and the abstraction view on software units and activities, the object of the investigation differs from other approaches which aim to solve the insufficient reuse activity knowledge problem. The research devised novel abstraction models to describe SCAcs as knowledge models related to the relevant information of software units. The models and the focused environment have been created using standard technologies. As a result, these were realised easily in a real world environment. Softwareengineers were able to perform single SCAcs without having previously acquired the necessary knowledge. The risk of failing reuse decreases because single activities can be performed. The analysis of the research results is based on a case study. An example of a reuse environmenthas been created and tested in a case study to prove the operational capability of the approach. The main result of the research is a proven concept enabling inexperienced software engineers to reuse software units by reusing SCAcs. The research shows the reduction in time for reuse and a decrease of learning effort is significant.

Dr Marcus Zinn

Director of studies: Dr Klaus-Peter Fischer
Other supervisors: Dr Alois Schutte, Dr Andrew Phippen

Conference papers

Case-based reasoning approach for re-use activities
Zinn M, Fischer KP, Schoop R
Proceedings of the 3th International Workshop on Software Knowledge (SKY 2012), pp. 31-42, ISBN: 978-989-8565-32-7, 2012
More details | External link available

Automated Reuse of Software Reuse Activities in an industrial environment – Case Study Results
Zinn M, Fischer KP, Schoop R
Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Software Engineering Advances (ICSEA 2012), pp. 331-340, ISBN: 978-1-61208-230-1, 2012
More details | External link available

Economic Efficiency Control on Data Centre Resources in Heterogeneous Cost Scenarios
Heckmann B, Zinn M, Phippen AD, Moore DJ, Wentzel C
ICITST-2012 Proceedings, pp675-679, ISBN: 978-1-908320-08-7, 2012
More details | External link available

Reuseable Software Unit Knowledge for Device Deployment
Zinn M, Fischer KP, Schoop R
Proceedings of the third conference of "Conception of complex automation systems (Entwurf komplexer Automatisierungssysteme)" EKA 2012, pp99-110, ISBN: 978-3-940961-72-3, 2012
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Reusable Software Units Integration Knowledge in a Distributed Development Environment
Zinn M, Fischer KP, Schütte A, Phippen AD
Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Software Knowledge, 26 October, Paris, France, pp24-35, ISBN: 978-989-8425-82-9, 2011
More details | External link available

Information Demand Model for Software Unit Reuse
Zinn M, Fischer KP, Schütte A, Phippen AD
Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Software Engineering, June 20-22, Las Vegas, USA, pp32-39, ISBN: 978-1-880843-82-6, 2011
Won Best Paper Award
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Device services as reusable units of modelling in a service-oriented environment - - An analysis case study
Zinn M, Bepperling A, Schoop R, Phippen AD, Fischer KP
Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Electronic (ISIE2010), 4-7 July, Bari, Italy, pp1728-1735, ISBN 978-1-4244-6391-6, 2010
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Finding Reusable Units of Modelling - an Ontology Approach
Zinn M, Fischer KP, Phippen AD, Schütte A
Proceedings of the Eighth International Network Conference (INC 2010), Heidelberg, Germany, 8-10 July, ISBN: 978-1-84102-259-8, pp377-386, 2010
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8 Conference papers

Internal publications

Development of a CASE-tool for the Service-Based Software Construction
Zinn M, Fischer KP, Phippen AD
Proceedings of the Fifth Collaborative Research Symposium on Security, E-learning, Internet and Networking (SEIN 2009), Darmstadt, Germany, ISBN: 978-1-84102-236-9, pp134-144, 2009
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Definition of Software Construction Artefacts for Software Construction
Zinn M, Turetschek G, Phippen AD
Proceedings of the Fourth Collaborative Research Symposium on Security, E-learning, Internet and Networking (SEIN 2008), Wrexham, UK, ISBN: 978-1-84102-196-6, pp79-90, 2008
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Service based software construction process
Zinn M
Proceedings of the Third Collaborative Research Symposium on Security, E-learning, Internet and Networking (SEIN 2007), Plymouth, UK, ISBN: 978-1-8410-2173-7, pp169-184, 2007
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3 Internal publications

11 publication(s) - all categories.