ITR: Collaborative Research: Dependable End-User Software

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

ABSTRACT

0324828

Rosson, Mary Beth

VA Polytechnic Inst

There has been considerable work in empowering end users to be able to write their own programs, and as a result, users are indeed doing so. In fact, the number of end-user programmers in the United States is expected to reach 55 million by 2005, as compared to only 2.75 million professional programmers. The programming systems used by these end users include spreadsheet systems, web authoring tools, and graphical languages for demonstrating the desired behavior of educational simulations. Using such systems, end users create software, in forms such as educational simulations, spreadsheets, and dynamic e-business web applications. Unfortunately, however, errors are pervasive in end-user software, and the resulting impact is sometimes enormous. When the software end users create is not dependable, there can be serious consequences for the people whose retirement funds, credit histories, e-business revenues, and even health and safety rely on decisions made based on that software.

To address this problem, we propose a fundamental paradigm shift to a new way of thinking about the way end users create software. Our intent is to address the following research question:

Is it possible to bring the bene.ts of rigorous software engineering methodologies to end users?

We do not propose to transform end users into engineers. Rather, our plan is to enable systems to create software to collaborate with those users, in a software development paradigm that combines traditionally separate functions - blending speci.cation, design, implementation, component integration, debugging, testing, and maintenance into tightly integrated, highly interactive environments. These environments will employ new, incremental, feedback devices supported by analysis and inferential reasoning to help the user reason about the dependability of their software as they work with it, in a manner that respects the user's problem-solving directions to an extent unprecedented in existing software development environments.

StatusFinished
Effective start/end date10/15/0312/31/09

Funding

  • National Science Foundation: $266,214.00

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