Reading Group

In order to unify the different groups within SSE and merge our expertise from different domains, we have decided to have weekly discussions in form of presentation of papers selected by academia members and research fellows, or seminars given by international guest speakers.

The paper pool contains a list of papers that have been suggested for the reading group. If you would like to add a paper to the pool, or present a paper from the pool, or suggest a guest speaker please contact the organiser Federica Sarro (f.sarro at

The reading group also awards a PORG (Prize for Outstanding Reading Group talk). Every speaker qualifies for this prize and there are no official criteria for picking winners. Prizes are awarded based on feedback from the audience. The final decision who is given this award rests with Prof. Mark Harman, head of the Software Systems Engineering group. Below you can find a list of past winners along with points for why they were awarded the prize.

Information about past RGs are available here: RG 2011/2012 and RG 2012/2013.

Upcoming Sessions:

PORG Winners:

Date Reader Reason
29/07/15 Federica Sarro  
  • For including, not only the publication background of the authors, showing how their intellectual development led to the work being studied at the reading group, but also including quantitative and historical data on the venues in which they published. This is particularly useful information for PhD students, helping them to understand how to determine which venues are more prestigious than others. As was noted at the RG, for those who wish to emulate this success in future presentations, it is important to cover all of this "preliminary scene-setting material" succinctly (in the first 5 minutes). With excellent slide support such as those used by Federica, this can be done.
01/07/15 Chaiyong Ragkhitwetsagul  
  • For the clear slides and excellent presentation which raised an interesting discussion. In addition, Chaiyong contacted the authors to get a deeper insight into the paper and he also discussed the relationship between this work and his current research.
24/06/15 Afnan Alsubaihin  
  • For the judicious use of animations in slides to exemplify and explain complicated concepts throughout.
  • For explaining the genealogy of previous work leading to the paper, including citation information and with equally good use of animations.
11/03/15 William Martin  
  • For introducing at length the motivation, background and related work, and explaining the significance of the paper using research from external sources.
  • He also introduced the tools used in the study, analysed the presentation of results in the paper, and posed a discussion question about whether developers should use ads.
04/02/15 Yue Jia  
  • For maintaining the high standards set by previous winners, especially researching and concisely presenting related papers, presenting critical analysis of results, clear novel slides and explaining background of the authors.
  • In addition Yue included a chronological account of related papers by the same authors, mapping out their intellectual journey within this particular theme for research
30/06/14 Yue Jia  
  • For careful analysis of the technical results, including detailed quantitative scientific analysis of the results reported and tools used, which raised additional research questions and issues for further discussion and investigation.
26/02/14 Federica Sarro  
  • Exceptionally clear slides and presentation
  • Full and complete understanding of the paper so that the speaker can answer the detail questions without reference to the paper
  • Researching related topics to provide extra context
06/10/13 Syed Islam  
  • Combining best practices from previous PORG winners
  • Introducing the research interests of the group


Paper Pool:

Title ReasonSuggested By
S.. Kaleeswaran, V. Tulsian, A. Kanade, A. Orso, MintHint: Automated Synthesis of Repair Hints This paper is a new ICSE 2014 paper. Mark Harman

S. S. Andrade, R. J. de A. Macedo A Search-Based Approach for Architectural Design of Feedback Control Concerns in Self-Adaptive Systems This paper sounds interestingly very "DAASE-like" Mark Harman

L. Sugandha, A. Sorowit, Z. Andrea, C. Jane Improving trace accuracy through data-driven configuration and composition of tracing features Mark Harman

M. Nagappan, T. Zimmermann, C. Bird Diversity in Software Engineering Research Mark Harman

K. S. Button, J. P. A. Ioannidis, C. Mokrysz, B. A. Nosek, J. Flint, E. S. J. Robinson, M. R. Munafo Power failure: why small sample size undermines the reliability of neuroscience Well worth a look for anyone who uses statistical techniques to investigate SE problems Mark Harman

C. Bird, T. Zimmermann Assessing the Value of Branches with What-if Analysis , FSE 2012. Paper about SPLs. Mark Harman

A. Carzaniga, A. Gorla, A. Mattavelli, N. Perino, M. Pezze, Automatic Recovery from Runtime Failures , ICSE 2013, to appear. This paper is a new ICSE 2013 paper. Mark Harman

S. Thummalapenta, K. Vasanta Lakshmi, S. Sinha, N. Sinha, S. Chandra, Test Generation for Web Applications: A Business Rule Perspective , ICSE 2013, to appear. This paper is a new ICSE 2013 paper. Mark Harman

B. Khan Kasi, A. Sarma, Cassandra: Proactive Conflict Minimization through Optimized Task Scheduling, ICSE 2013, to appear. This paper is a new ICSE 2013 paper. Mark Harman

M. Whalen, G. Gay, D. You, M. Heimdahl, M. Staats, Observable Modified Condition/Decision Coverage, ICSE 2013, to appear. This paper is a new ICSE 2013 paper. Mark Harman

R. Pham, L. Singer, O. Liskin, F. Figueira Filho, K. Schneider, Creating a Shared Understanding of Testing Culture on a Social Coding Site, ICSE 2013, to appear. This paper is a new ICSE 2013 paper. Mark Harman

A. Arcuri and L. Briand, A Practical Guide for Using Statistical Tests to Assess Randomized Algorithms in Software Engineering, ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), ed. by -, pp. 1 - 10 , IEEE (ISBN: 978-1-4503-0445-0 ), 2011. This paper gives valuable practical advice on inferential statistics. Mark Harman

Gordon Fraser, Andrea Arcuri, Whole Test Suite Generation, IEEE TSE, to appear.   Mark Harman

S. Subashini, V.Kavitha, A survey on security issues in service delivery models of cloud computing, Journal of Network and Computer Applications 34(1), pp. 1-11, 2011. This is a survey paper on cloud security testing which is a very promising area in testing and a very flashy subject ATM. Mustafa Bozkurt

Philip J. Guo, Thomas Zimmermann, Nachiappan Nagappan, Brendan Murphy, Characterizing and Predicting Which Bugs Get Fixed: An Empirical Study of Microsoft Windows, In Proceedings of the 32th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2010), Cape Town, South Africa, May 2010. A paper that I think would work well to "connect" different SSE subgroups. Licia Capra

Dave Parnas and Paul Clements, A Rational Design Process: How and Why to Fake It. A classic that everybody should have read. Anthony Finkelstein

Don Knuth, The Errors of TEX. A classic that everybody should have read. Anthony Finkelstein

Richard Selby, Vic Basili and F. Terry Baker, Cleanroom Software Development: An Empirical Evaluation. A classic that everybody should have read. Anthony Finkelstein

Robillard M., Walker R., Zimmermann T, Recommendation Systems for Software Engineering, IEEE Software, 27(4), pp. 80-86, 2010 There's been a bit of talk about applying recsys to se so an overview paper might be good. Chris Smith

Jonathan Heusser, Pasquale Malacaria, Quantifying information leaks in software, ACSAC 2010. This is the first paper to analyse QIF in programs which are not toy programs. It reports on using the CBMC model checker to estimate bounds on the flow capacity of channels within the Linux Kernel that could leak confidential information (channels that should't be there). It uses the same techniques to analyse the effectiveness of subsequent security patches. The presentation of the supporting theory is, I think quite easy to digest. David Clark

Michael Clarkson, Fred Schneider, Quantification of Integrity, CSFS, 2010. This is the first paper to analyse integrity using a QIF approach. One aspect of the paper is that in taking an information theoretic view it comes up with a new formal result about the relationship between confidentiality and integrity. Integrity is traditionally seen as the dual of confidentiality as a security property. This paper separates integrity into two sub properties: taint and suppression. Via this separation the paper demonstrates that integrity is an incomplete dual of confidentiality. Another aspect of the paper is that the analysis of the suppression aspect of integrity produces an information theoretic foundation for anonymising information in databases. David Clark

Kalyan Veeramachaneni, Ekaterina Vladislavleva, Una-May O'Reilly, Knowledge mining sensory evaluation data: genetic programming, statistical techniques, and swarm optimization, Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines: 13(1), 103-133, 2012.   Bill Langdon

Xiao Gang, Southey Finnegan, Holte Robert C., Wilkinson Dana, Software testing by active learning for commercial games, Proceedings of the 20th national conference on Artificial intelligence - Volume 2, 2005.   Shin Yoo

Abram Hindle, Earl T. Barr, Zhendong Su, Mark Gabel, Premkumar Devanbu On the naturalness of software   Emmanuel Letier

Buhnova, B. ; Grunske, L. ; Koziolek, A. ; Meedeniya, I. Software Architecture Optimization Methods: A Systematic Literature Review   Emmanuel Letier
This page was last modified on 19 Aug 2015.