The Community for Technology Leaders

Editorial: A New Decade of TSE


Pages: pp. 3-6

Introduction and Vision

I am honored to be taking over as Editor in Chief of the IEEE Transactions of Software Engineering (TSE). Jeff Kramer will be a hard act to follow, but I am immensely grateful to him for handing over the journal in such a healthy state, and for helping me learn the new job to ensure a smooth transition.

It goes without saying that my primary goal as Editor is to maintain the journal’s reputation and standing as the leading forum for publishing the highest quality of research in software engineering. However, these are exciting and changing times in the world of publishing and in the discipline of software engineering, and I believe that TSE must lead the way by finding innovative ways to disseminate software engineering research and by contributing to setting and reflecting the research agenda in the field. To this end I have three medium term goals for my tenure as Editor:

1. To reemphasize the broad scope of the journal, encouraging the publication of multidisciplinary research as well as specialization in software engineering.

2. To engage with the software engineering community at large, including other journals, about the software engineering discipline, using not only the journal itself as a forum but through other professional outlets such as conferences and the web.

3. To support a debate on the nature of scholarly discourse in software engineering, such as the kind and length of papers published in the journal, or the different forms of peer review and discussion around what is published.


The length of papers published in TSE has on occasion been a topic for some discussion. I do not propose to change the policy in this area but to clarify it, as I think it hides a number of issues within it. TSE publishes papers of any length, as long as their length is appropriate for the content presented. The discussion has often centered around what to do if accepted papers are over the IEEE Computer Society’s recommended length of 15 pages. However, there is an equally interesting discussion to be had for short papers. My view is this: There is nothing sacred about the length of a software engineering research contribution. Substantial pieces of work may need lengthy and detailed accounts of techniques, or of empirical studies or other kinds of evidence; but equally valuable results may be published in short papers. Indeed, other disciplines manage to publish seminal results in four pages.

I will continue to be guided by my associate editors as to what constitutes an appropriate length for any particular contribution. I believe that we, as a community, have largely won the battle of persuading our deans and managers that publishing in conferences is a respectable form of publication. However, in a world of economic difficulties, carbon footprint consciousness, and fast internet-time publication, there is a strong case to be made that we need to redress the balance and publish more of our research in journals. Indeed, I would go as far as saying that many research students now go through their entire doctoral studies publishing in workshops and conferences only, and think that all research contributions can fit into the 2-column, 10-page format of IEEE conference publications. As a result, other than their PhD dissertations, these students do not get an opportunity to publish their work in an archival journal format.

Of course, the frequency of conference reviewing has also had an impact on the nature of reviews that referees are asked to write. With little scope for improving conference papers before publication and heavy referee review loads, reviews tend to be short critiques of papers, rather than substantive engagements with the content that authors are trying to present. I therefore believe that journal reviews and revision allow for better quality work to be produced incrementally and then published.

Of course, the journal publication process is not without cost to authors, referees, and editors, and we need to acknowledge this and tackle it head on. I was very taken by the discussion by Crowcroft et al . [1] on the varying incentives of the different stakeholders in the publication process: authors, referees, and editors. For TSE, the kind of behavior I would like to incentivize is for authors to submit innovative, rigorous, and well-presented accounts of their research and not overload the system with half-baked ideas or very small increments on previous work. I would like to incentivize referees to agree to review papers and to produce rigorous, thoughtful reviews. And, I would like to incentivize editors to seek and encourage submission of a wider range of contributions that will serve our research and practitioner community better.

I have no magic to generate these incentives. However, in a year’s time TSE will make a number of awards to authors, referees, and (associate) editors to acknowledge the quality of research, feedback, and editing. I welcome feedback from the community on the specification of such awards.

I am happy to receive feedback directly, but I also encourage you to visit and contribute to the somewhat underused online forum that TSE maintains at If such a forum proves attractive, I will explore how it may be elevated to carry discussion and debate not only about the nature of software engineering publication, but perhaps also a scientific discussion of published work.

Welcome and Thanks

In this issue, I would like to welcome a number of new associate editors whom I am delighted have agreed to serve on the TSE editorial board. They are Marsha Chechik, Harald Gall, Dimitra Giannakopoulou, John Grundy, Paola Inverardi, Marta Kwiatkowska, Michael Jackson, Nenad Medvidovic, and Walter Tichy. In the coming issues, they will be joined by a number of other leading researchers to cover areas that better reflect TSE submissions, and areas that I hope will be better represented in TSE in the future.

I would like to end, as I started, with some thanks and acknowledgments. Thanks again to Jeff Kramer for his wise stewardship of the journal over the past four years, thanks to the outgoing members of the editorial board for their hard work as associate editors, and thanks to the IEEE Computer Society staff who have already welcomed and guided me through the handover. Looking forward, I would like to give my anticipated thanks to you, authors, reviewers, and readers, for your forthcoming role in shaping the journal.

Bashar Nuseibeh

Incoming Editor-in-Chief

[1] J. Crowcroft, S. Keshav, and N. McKeown , “Scaling the Academic Publication Process to Internet Scale,” Comm. ACM, vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 27-30, Jan. 2009.

About the Authors

Bio Graphic
Marsha Chechik received the PhD degree from the University of Maryland in 1996. She is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Her research interests are in the application of formal methods to improve the quality of software. She has authored more than 80 papers in formal methods, software specification and verification, computer security, and requirements engineering. In 2002-2003, Professor Chechik was a visiting scientist at Lucent Technologies in Murray Hill, New York, and at Imperial College, London UK. She was an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering in 2003-2007. She is a member of IFIP WG 2.9 on Requirements Engineering and an associate editor of the Journal on Software and Systems Modeling She regularly serves on program committees of international conferences in the areas of software engineering and automated verification. She was a cochair of the 2008 International Conference on Concurrency Theory (CONCUR), program committee cochair of the 2008 International Conference on Computer Science and Software Engineering (CASCON), and program committee cochair of the 2009 International Conference on Formal Aspects of Software Engineering (FASE).
Bio Graphic
Harald C. Gall received the MSc and PhD (Dr. techn.) degrees in informatics from the Technical University of Vienna, Austria. He is a professor of software engineering in the Department of Informatics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Prior to that, he was an associate professor in the Distributed Systems Group at the Technical University of Vienna, Austria. His research interests include software engineering and software analysis, focusing on software evolution, software quality, software architecture, collaborative software engineering, and service-centric software systems. He is probably best known for his work on software evolution analysis and mining software archives. Since 1997 he has worked on devising ways in which mining these repositories can help to better understand software development, to devise predictions about quality attributes, and to exploit this knowledge in software analysis tools such as Evolizer. In 2005, he was the program chair of ESEC-FSE, the joint meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference (ESEC), and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE). In 2006 and 2007 he cochaired MSR, the International Workshop and now Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories, the major forum for software evolution analysis. He will be program cochair of ICSE 2011, the International Conference on Software Engineering, to be held on the tropical island of Oahu in Hawaii.
Bio Graphic
Dimitra Giannakopoulou received the PhD degree in 1999 from Imperial College, University of London. She is a Carnegie Mellon senior scientist, working with the Robust Software Engineering group at the NASA Ames Research Center. Her research focuses on scalable specification and verification techniques for NASA systems. She is interested in incremental and compositional model checking based on software components and architectures, and in automated test-case generation. She is co-recipient of an ACM distinguished paper award and an Outstanding Technology Award for JavaPathfinder by the Federal Laboratory Consortium. She is coeditor of two special journal issues on compositional verification, program cochair of FASE 2011 and NFM 2009 (NASA Formal Methods Symposium), and a coorganizer of the SAVCBS (Specification and Verification of Component-Based Systems) Workshop Series. She has published extensively in the area of software engineering and has served on numerous committees of international conferences such as ICSE, FSE, ISSTA, CONCUR, ASE, FASE, and FM. More information about Dr. Giannakopoulou can be found at:
Bio Graphic
John Grundy received the BSc (Hons), MSc, and PhD degrees from the University of Auckland in 1989, 1991, and 1994, all in computer science. In 1989 he worked for a small software company before deciding on embarking on further study. Between 1993 and 1999 he was a lecturer and then a senior lecturer at the University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Between 1999 and 2001 he was a senior lecturer and then associate professor in Computer Science at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. In 2002 he became a professor of software engineering at the University of Auckland. He was director of software engineering 2002-2005, deputy head of department—Research 2006-2007, and then head of department, Electrical and Computer Engineering 2008-2009. He joined the Centre for Complex Software Systems and Services (CS3) at the Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, as a professor of software engineering in December 2009. His current research interests include software tools and methods, visual languages, model-driven engineering, software services and component engineering, performance engineering, software architecture, and software engineering education. His contributions include developing several frameworks and proof of concept tools supporting flexible multiple view integration and consistency, diverse multiple user collaboration support, and multiple device, human-centric tool interaction. More recently he has demonstrated several ways in which model-driven development and visual modeling languages can effectively support aspects of software engineering of complex systems. He has been general chair and program cochair for the IEEE/ACM Automated Software Engineering Conference, on the steering committee of the ASE, VL/HCC, and ASWEC conferences, an associate editor for IEEE Software, Automated Software Engineering, and JRPIT, and has refereed for many top software engineering journals and conferences.
Bio Graphic
Paola Inverardi is a professor of computer science at the University of L’Aquila, where she leads the Software Engineering and Architecture Research Group. Since November 2008 she has been the dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of L’Aquila. She is a member of the Senate Board of the University of L’Aquila. Her main research area is in the application of formal methods to software development in order to improve software quality. Her research interest is in the correct development and management of large distributed software systems, focusing on configuration and dynamic re-configuration issues. In the last decade her research interests mainly concentrated in the field of software architectures. She has actively worked on the verification and analysis of software architecture properties, both behavioral and quantitative for component-based, distributed, and mobile systems. Recently, her research focuses on the problem of dynamically adapt software applications to contexts that can exhibit different degrees of resources availability. She has (co)authored more than 100 publications in international journals and international conference and workshop proceedings. She is member (2001-) and chair (2003-) of the ESEC (European Software Engineering Conference) Steering Committee. She is member of the ICSE Steering Committee. She is member of the ACM Europe Council ( From July 2005 to July 2009 she was a member at large of the ACM SIFSOFT (ACM Special Interest Group on Software Engineering) Executive Committee ( She has been an associate editor for the ACM Transactions on Software Engineering Methodology. She was cochair of the ICSE 2009 conference.
Bio Graphic
Michael Jackson has worked in software since 1961, focusing first on program and system design methods, and then on requirements, specifications and architecture for telecommunication and other systems. More recent work on problem understanding, structure, analysis, and solution is described in his books Problem Frames (2001) and Software Requirements & Specifications (1995), and in many papers. He is a visiting research professor at the Open University and at the University of Newcastle; he participates in research projects there and at other research and academic institutions. His research has been recognized by several awards, including the IEE Achievement Medal, The British Computer Society Lovelace Medal, and the ACM Sigsoft Outstanding Research Award. He is a member of IFIP Working Groups 2.3 and 2.9 and is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Bio Graphic
Marta Kwiatkowska received the BSc and MSc degrees in computer science in 1980 from the Jagiellonian University, the PhD degree from the University of Leicester in 1989, and the MA degree from Oxford University in 2007. She is a professor of computing systems and fellow of Trinity College, University of Oxford. Prior to this she held appointments at the Universities of Birmingham, Leicester, and the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. She spearheaded the development of probabilistic and quantitative methods in verification on the international scene. Her work on the theory to practice transfer of probabilistic model checking was recognized by invitations to speak at the LICS 2003 and ESEC/FSE 2007 conferences. The PRISM model checker ( is the leading software tool in the area and is widely used for research and teaching. Applications of probabilistic model checking have spanned communication and security protocols, nanotechnology designs, power management, and systems biology. Her research is currently supported by £3.7m of grant funding from EPSRC, EU, and ERC, including the recently awarded ERC Advanced Grant VERIWARE “From software verification to everyware verification.” She is a fellow of the BCS. She serves on editorial boards of several journals, including Science of Computer Programming and the Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions A. She is a member of the steering committee of the International Conference on Quantitative Evaluation of SysTems (QEST) and was guest coeditor of the special issue of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering on auantitative evaluation of computer systems, March/April 2009. She was lead organizer of the Royal Society Discussion Meeting “From computers to ubiquitous computing, by 2020” and guest coeditor of the associated Proceedings in Phil. Trans. R. Soc.ÂA, vol 366, no 1881.
Bio Graphic
Nenad Medvidovic is an associate professor in the Computer Science Department and the director of the Center for Systems and Software Engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He is the program cochair of the 2011 International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2011), Honolulu, Hawaii, May 2011. He is a recipient of the US National Science Foundation CAREER award, the Okawa Foundation Research Grant, and the IBM Real-Time Innovation Award. He coauthored an ICSE 1998 paper that was named that conference’s Most Influential Paper. His research interests are in the areas of architecture-based software development, distributed, and embedded systems. He is a coauthor of a recent textbook on software architectures.
Bio Graphic
Walter F. Tichy received the PhD degree from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1980 with one of the first dissertations on software architecture. His 1979 paper on the subject received the ICSE “Most Influential Paper Award” in 1992. In 1980, he joined Purdue University, where he developed the Revision Control System (RCS), a version management system that is the basis of CVS and has been in world-wide use since the early 1980s. After a year at an AI-startup in Pittsburgh, he returned to his native Germany in 1986, where he was appointed chair of programming systems at the University of Karlsruhe (now Karlsruhe Institue of Technology). He is also a director of FZI, a technology transfer institute. His interests are software engineering and parallel computing. He has pioneered a number of new software tools, such as smart recompilation, analysis of software project repositories, graph editors with automatic layout, automatic configuration inference, and language-aware software differencing and merging. He has faced controversy by insisting that software researchers need to test their claims with empirical studies rather than rely on intuition. He has conducted controlled experiments testing the influence of type-checking, inheritance depth, design patterns, testing methods, and agile methods on programmer productivity. He has worked with a number of parallel machines, beginning with C.mmp in the 1970s. In the 1990s, he and his students developed Parastation, a communication and management software for computer clusters that made it onto the Top500 of the world’s fastest computers list several times (rank 13 as of November 2009). Now that multicore chips make parallel computing available to everyone, he is researching tools and methods to simplify the engineering of general-purpose, parallel software.
64 ms
(Ver 3.x)