Dr Petke aims to change the face of software engineering by transferring the task of software specialisation from human to machine. The genetic improvement techniques that will be developed will provide an automated way to speed up computationally intensive calculations within software, saving time and money.
Genetic improvement is a novel field of research that has only arisen as a standalone area in the last few years. Several factors have contributed to the development and success of this field recently including the sheer amount of code now available online and the focus on automated improvement of non-functional properties of software, such as memory consumption.
“This fellowship is a dream come true. It will allow me to start my own small research group and pursue the development of automated software improvement techniques. We have already had a few success stories in our group, yet the area of genetic improvement is still in it’s early stages, leaving lots of research opportunities to explore.”
Dr Justyna Petke
Dr. Petke is a world-leading expert on genetic improvement, publishing award-winning work on automated software specialisation and transplantation. She won two `Humies’ awarded for human-competitive results produced by genetic and evolutionary computation and a distinguished paper award at the International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis. This work was also widely covered in media, including Wired magazine and BBC Click.
Dr. Petke will collaborate with a UK-based company, called Satalia, which provides the latest optimisation techniques to the industry.
DAASE research group MaJiCKe have moved to work with Facebook in London. MaJiCKe have developed software that uses Search Based Software Engineering (SBSE) to help engineers find bugs while reducing the inefficiencies of writing test code. Their product Sapienz automatically generates test sequences using SBSE to find crashes using the shortest path it can find. Sapienz is the world’s first automated test tool able to minimise the length of tests which simultaneously maximising the amount of code checked.
“We are very excited to have this outstanding opportunity to achieve real world impact for UCL’s excellent software engineering research”
Professor Mark Harman
The MaJiCKe team comprise Professor Mark Harman – Scientific Advisor, Yue Jia – CEO and Ke Mao – CTO from the department of Computer Science at University College London (UCL). Professor Harman cofounded the area of SBSE in 2001.
“We provide an atmosphere to nurture collaborations with industry, its great to see a team like this taking their world leading expertise to Facebook”
Jane Butler, UCL Engineering Vice Dean
All at DAASE wish Mark, Yue and Ke the very best of luck and look forward to hearing all about their contribution to Facebook’s goal of connecting the world.
Part of the DAASE project includes visits between different Universities to learn about other groups’ expertise. Earlier this month on the 7th to 10th of January the Stirling team, which has a particular expertise in Machine Learning, Hyper Heuristics and Optimization visited UCL to further become familiar with Software Engineering and in particular Search Based Software Engineering. This was a four-day visit. Topics discussed included Program Analysis, Program Slicing, Genetic Programming, Automatic Test Data Generation, and Software Testing among other areas.
The visitors and hosts could relax with a very nice dinner at China City (an up market version of China Town), which was also part of the event. In free time the visitors had the opportunity to interact with the hosts and ask questions informally.
Planned visits in the near future include a visit of the UCL and York groups to Stirling.
The Stirling group would like to take this opportunity to thank the UCL group for their time and hospitality.