Thursday 10 Oct 2013 Search Based Software Engineering: An Ideal Set of Challenges for Evolutionary Computation

Prof. Mark Harman - University College London

Harrison 170 15:00-16:00

Abstract: This talk will explain some of the many exciting challenges that software engineering poses to the evolutionary computation community. Software is an engineering material to be optimised. Until comparatively recently many computer scientists doubted this; why would one want to optimise something that could be made perfect by pure logical reasoning? However, the wider community has come to realise that, while very small programs may be perfect in isolation, larger software systems may never be (because the world in which they operate is not perfect). Once we accept this, we soon arrive at evolutionary computation as a means of optimising software. However, software is not merely another engineering material to be optimised. Software is virtual and inherently adaptive, making it better suited to evolutionary computation than any other engineering material. As we shall see in this talk, this is leading to breakthroughs at the interface of software engineering and evolutionary computation, though there are still many exciting open problems for evolutionary commutation researchers to get their teeth into.

The talk will cover recent developments in Search Based Software Engineering (SBSE) and Dynamic Adaptive SBSE, focussing on work at the interface of software engineering and evolutionary computation.

Biography: Mark Harman is professor of Software Engineering in the Department of Computer Science at University College London where he directs the CREST centre. He is widely known for work on source code analysis and testing and was instrumental in the founding of the field of Search Based Software Engineering (SBSE), the topic of this talk. Since its inception in 2001, SBSE has rapidly grown to include over 1000 authors, from 300 institutions spread over 40 countries.

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