Semantic Technologies in System Maintenance (STSM 2008)


This paper gives a brief overview of the International Workshop on Semantic Technologies in System Maintenance. It describes a number of semantic technologies (e.g., ontologies, text mining, and knowledge integration techniques) and identifies diverse tasks in software maintenance where the use of semantic technologies can be beneficial, such as traceability, system comprehension, software artifact analysis, and information integration.

Enhancing the Word Processor with Natural Language Processing Capabilities


Today's knowledger workers are often overwhelmed by the vast amount of readily available natural language documents that are potentially relevant for a given task. Natural language processing (NLP) and text mining techniques can deliver automated analysis support, but they are often not integrated into commonly used desktop clients, such as word processors. We present a plug-in for the word processor Writer that allows to access any kind of NLP analysis service mediated through a service-oriented architecture. Semantic Assistants can now provide services such as information extraction, question-answering, index generation, or automatic summarization directly within an end user's application.

Beyond Information Silos — An Omnipresent Approach to Software Evolution


Nowadays, software development and maintenance are highly distributed processes that involve a multitude of supporting tools and resources. Knowledge relevant for a particular software maintenance task is typically dispersed over a wide range of artifacts in different representational formats and at different abstraction levels, resulting in isolated 'information silos'. An increasing number of task-specific software tools aim to support developers, but this often results in additional challenges, as not every project member can be familiar with every tool and its applicability for a given problem. Furthermore, historical knowledge about successfully performed modifications is lost, since only the result is recorded in versioning systems, but not how a developer arrived at the solution. In this research, we introduce conceptual models for the software domain that go beyond existing program and tool models, by including maintenance processes and their constituents. The models are supported by a pro-active, ambient, knowledge-based environment that integrates users, tasks, tools, and resources, as well as processes and history-specific information. Given this ambient environment, we demonstrate how maintainers can be supported with contextual guidance during typical maintenance tasks through the use of ontology queries and reasoning services.

ERSS at TAC 2008


An Automatically Generated SummaryAn Automatically Generated Summary
ERSS 2008 attempted to rectify certain issues of ERSS 2007. The improvements to readability, however, do not re?ect in signi?cant score increases, and in fact the system fell in overall ranking. While we have not concluded our analysis, we present some preliminary observations here.


The SE-ADVISOR tool presents a novel approach to support software evolution, by integrating maintenance relevant knowledge resources, processes, and their constituents. We demonstrate how our SE-ADVISOR environment can provide contextual guidance during typical maintenance tasks through the use of ontological queries and reasoning services.

Story-driven Approach to Software Evolution


From a maintenance perspective, only software that is well understood can evolve in a controlled and high-quality manner. Software evolution itself is a knowledge-driven process that requires the use and integration of different knowledge resources. The authors present a formal representation of an existing process model to support the evolution of software systems by representing knowledge resources and the process model using a common representation based on ontologies and description logics. This formal representation supports the use of reasoning services across different knowledge resources, allowing for the inference of explicit and implicit relations among them. Furthermore, an interactive story metaphor is introduced to guide maintainers during their software evolution activities and to model the interactions between the users, knowledge resources and process model.

Ontological Approach for the Semantic Recovery of Traceability Links between Software Artifacts



Traceability links provide support for software engineers in understanding relations and dependencies among software artefacts created during the software development process. The authors focus on re-establishing traceability links between existing source code and documentation to support software maintenance. They present a novel approach that addresses this issue by creating formal ontological representations for both documentation and source code artefacts. Their approach recovers traceability links at the semantic level, utilising structural and semantic information found in various software artefacts. These linked ontologies are supported by ontology reasoners to allow the inference of implicit relations among these software artefacts.

New Job, New Website

As of June 1st, 2008, I'm now working as an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Concordia University in Montréal, Canada. Coinciding with the new position, I'm also building a new website, There are two main ideas behind this website: First, to inform about the research and teaching activities of my Semantic Software Lab, which I'm establishing at Concordia; and second, to establish a community portal for selected topics in the area of semantic systems — for example, for people interested in the applications of NLP in software engineering.

A Semantic Wiki Approach to Cultural Heritage Data Management


Providing access to cultural heritage data beyond book digitization and information retrieval projects is important for delivering advanced semantic support to end users, in order to address their specific needs. We introduce a separation of concerns for heritage data management by explicitly defining different user groups and analyzing their particular requirements. Based on this analysis, we developed a comprehensive system architecture for accessing, annotating, and querying textual historic data. Novel features are the deployment of a Wiki user interface, natural language processing services for end users, metadata generation in OWL ontology format, SPARQL queries on textual data, and the integration of external clients through Web Services. We illustrate these ideas with the management of a historic encyclopedia of architecture.

Minding the Source: Automatic Tagging of Reported Speech in Newspaper Articles


Reported speech in the form of direct and indirect reported speech is an important indicator of evidentiality in traditional newspaper texts, but also increasingly in the new media that rely heavily on citation and quotation of previous postings, as for instance in blogs or newsgroups. This paper details the basic processing steps for reported speech analysis and reports on performance of an implementation in form of a GATE resource.

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