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.


Semantic Web technologies; software evolution; ambient software development environment; knowledge modeling


Juergen Rilling, René Witte, Philipp Schuegerl, and Philippe Charland. Beyond Information Silos — An Omnipresent Approach to Software Evolution. International Journal of Semantic Computing (IJSC), Vol. 2, No. 4, 2008, pp.431–468. Special Issue on Ambient Semantic Computing.

Bibtex entry (also for download):

  author = 	 {Juergen Rilling and Ren\'{e} Witte and Philipp Schuegerl 
                  and Philippe Charland},
  title = 	 {{Beyond Information Silos -- An Omnipresent Approach 
                   to Software Evolution}},
  journal = 	 {International Journal of Semantic Computing (IJSC)},
  year = 	 {2008},
  volume =	 {2},
  number =	 {4},
  pages =	 {431--468},
  month =	 {December},
  note =	 {Special Issue on Ambient Semantic Computing},
  doi = 	 {10.1142/S1793351X08000567}


Published version at WorldSciNet.
Postprint version: Rilling_et_al-IJSC2008.pdf

Copyright © 2008 World Scientific Publishing Company. This is the electronic postprint version of an article published in the International Journal of Semantic Computing (IJSC), vol.2, no.4., 2008, pp.431–468, doi: 10.1142/S1793351X08000567,