Research themes

This page offers information on research projects undertaken at the Software Engineering Research Laboratory.

Requirements engineering (Jim Buchan)

We offer opportunities for RE research projects related to understanding practitioners’ problems, improving processes and their adoption, and providing tool support. The research may relate to RE activities such as requirements elicitation, modelling, analysis, tracing, prioritisation, verification and validation, reuse, and change management. RE is a multi-faceted area and there are possible intersections with research in broad domains such as cognitive science, organisational theory, social theory and communications. This group is particularly interested in a cognitive view of RE and cognitive support of RE activities.

Process modelling, assessment and improvement (Prof. Stephen MacDonell)

Our work in this theme considers the ‘who, what, when, why and how’ of software development and management.  We are especially interested in considering how software processes fit organisational contexts, the degree to which practices can or should match process principles, and developing models and methods to enable software organisations and individuals to improve their work.

Empirical software engineering (Prof. Stephen MacDonell)

Research projects falling under this theme rely on the robust analysis of quantitative or qualitative data to assess, for instance,  the efficacy of new SE methods in relation to project costs, the impact of new deployment tools on release schedules, or the influence pair programming has on code defects.

Global software development (Dr Tony Clear)

Research projects under this theme address the many issues that arise in a global virtual team context.  Themes and topics relate to the increasing globalisation of software development, where software is developed in a context of globally distributed individuals and teams.

Search-based software engineering (Dr Andy Connor)

Search Based Software Engineering (SBSE) is an emerging research topic that focuses on representing aspects of Software Engineering as problems that may be solved using metaheuristic search algorithms, such as Tabu Search, Genetic Algorithms and Particle Swarm Optimisation.

Programmers, programming and professionalism (Dr Tony Clear)

The researchers within the domain of computer science education are a dynamic, productive and internationally recognised group at AUT.  Primarily we are interested in the teaching and learning of computer science.  In particular we are actively researching the development of novice programmers and the development and use of tools to support the teaching and learning of computer programming and software design.

Software forensics (Prof. Stephen MacDonell)

Software is ubiquitous in systems and devices, and consequently there are numerous opportunities for its misuse and abuse.  Innovative software is also a key asset that organisations and individuals must protect.  These circumstances have led to the rise of software forensics, the field of research and practice concerned with determining the authorship of software artefacts – both the innovative and the malicious. Here in SERL we conduct software forensics research focused on identifying, characterising and discriminating among authors of software artefacts.