A WASP Research Arena for Software sees its dawn. The WARA for Software aims to enable software research in close collaboration between WASP’s academic and industrial partners.

The backbone for collaboration in the WASP Research Arena for Software (WARA-SW) are the Software Corpus and the Tool Evaluation Platform, toolboxes based on open source software to support research in software technology. They can be used to explore and evaluate program analysis tools, program transformation tools and novel compiler optimizations. In addition to the software tools, the WARA will also comprise complementary information such as bug tracker information and industrial workloads.

“Our initial activities will serve already existing WASP research projects. Everything we build will be driven by practical needs and considerations from the start and ready to scale up to support additional research.” says project manager, senior lecturer Christoph Reichenbach, at Lund University.

Integration and collaboration are crucial aspects of WARA-SW and manifested in several ways. The components of the WARA are enabling research and at the same time are tools for software engineering and development. This will allow researchers to do research on software programs while the engineers are using it, to improve both their own and the industrial software tools.

“Already from the start of WASP, several industries emphasized the importance of software technology, and the value created in product and service is to a high degree depending on software technology. For this, Sweden’s ability to develop fundamental technology needed to produce competitive products and services is absolutely crucial. With this initiative, we answer to those needs by leveraging on the strategic recruitments made by WASP. The WARA-SW will promote the building of new research teams focusing on software technology. This arena is unique in its kind and will most likely attract more students and researchers in the field to relocate to Sweden.”, concludes WARA Director, Torbjörn Lundahl.

Research Close to the Engineers Every-Day Work

Main actors so far are researchers from WASP member universities Lund University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and WASP partners Saab and Ericsson. Other companies have expressed interest in joining this unique initiative.

“Ericsson’s involvement comprises of guidance and steering from the industrial use-case perspective, software technology experts and an open source software framework used as a foundation for the Tool Evaluation Platform.”, says Head of Software Technology at Ericsson, Catrin Granbom. She continues:

“Participating in WARA-SW will help Ericsson to bridge the gap between academic research and developers working with product code. Our key objectives for participating are to increase the level of academia and cross-industry cooperation, shorten lead times when applying research in our software environments, and to provide means to further extend collaboration to include other domains and upcoming areas of software technology.”

The industrial every-day use is also something project manager, Christoph Reichenbach, points out:

“Our research focuses on the tools that software engineers use. You can compare this to the tools of workers in a car factory. Given the choice between two different screwdrivers, which one will work best, and under which conditions? When does it depend on the task, and when on the person using the screwdriver?

Today, we can explore these questions in the lab, but the conditions on the factory floor are often very different and frequently lead to different conclusions. The WARA for Software is designed to help us understand today’s software engineering tools and to rapidly validate upcoming cutting-edge tools, tightening the connection between academic curiosity and industrial progress.”


Torbjörn Lundahl

Senior Advisor

Published: May 14th, 2020

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