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Welcome to the MASK home page

The research group MASK - Management and Acquisition of Software Engineering Knowledge - is devoted to find, document and refine knowledge in how to realize and maintain Industry Strength Software. Our ideal research is based on the following principles:

  • Problems are grounded in case-studies or measurements made by ourselves or published by others.
  • Research is carried out in an industrial context with professional informants.
  • The target is large-scale Software Engineering. By large-scale we mean that processes, tools and communication in the organization significantly contribute to software quality. (In small-scale Software Engineering, the algorithms and craftsmanship of the programmer are the most important factors to software quality. Nothing is wrong with this, but that is the research focus of other groups at IDA.)
  • Results are empirically validated in case-studies and experiments.
  • Part of the result comes from practitioners. There is much knowledge and experience in industry that is never formulated and published.
  • The results imply that software engineers at all levels make informed decisions. We believe that today the basis for decisions are too informal, which implies that the predictability of software and software projects will continue to be low. This is bad for the customers and users, but also for owners and co-workers of software engineering companies.
Life is full of compromises and to complete meaningful research we sometimes have to abandon one of the principles by, for instance, perform experiments on student subjects, but whatever we do we think it is of utmost importance to have good, personal contacts with software engineers active in industry. To keep this and still have access to a critical mass of collaborating researchers working under conditions similar to ours, we lively participate in two national networks:
  1. SE-Sweden, a loosely coupled network, whose active members meet every year in the annual conference of Software Engineering Research and Practice in Sweden, SERPS.
  2. SiREN, Swedish Requirements Engineering Network, a formal network with an annual meeting and joint research efforts.
We are a part of the Program Environments Laboratory, PELAB, where we co-operate with researchers in Model-Based Product Development, Software Testing and Complier Optimization.

Page responsible: Kristian Sandahl
Last updated: 2007-12-04