Monthly Archives: December 2015

seal @ ICSE 2016

We are very happy to announce that our research group got two papers and a technical briefing accepted at ICSE 2016 in Austin, Texas.

The first accepted paper entitled “The Impact of Test Case Summaries on Bug Fixing Performance: An Empirical Investigation” was written in collaboration with the University of Delft. The authors of the paper are : Sebastiano Panichella, Annibale Panichella, Moritz Beller, Andy Zaidman and Harald Gall.

Abstract: “Automated test generation tools have been widely investigated with the goal of reducing the cost of testing activities. However, generated tests have been shown not to help developers in detecting and finding more bugs even though they reach higher structural coverage compared to manual testing. The main reason is that generated tests are difficult to understand and maintain.

Test Case Summarizer

Our paper proposes an approach which automatically generates test case summaries of the portion of code exercised by each individual test, thereby improving understandability. We argue that this approach can complement the current techniques around automated unit test generation or search-based techniques designed to generate a possibly minimal set of test cases. In evaluating our approach we found that (1) developers find twice as many bugs, and (2) test case summaries significantly improve the comprehensibility of test cases, which is considered particularly useful by developers.”

A preprint of the paper can be found online.

The second paper is entitled “Using (Bio)Metrics to Predict Code Quality Online” and was written by Sebastian Müller and Thomas Fritz. The paper investigates the use of biometrics, such as heart rate variability (HRV) or electro-dermal activity (EDA) to determine the difficulty that developers experience while working on real world change tasks and automatically identify code quality concerns while a developer is making a change to the code.


A preprint of the paper will be available soon.

Additionally, we had a technical briefing on “Using Docker Containers to Improve Reproducibility in Software Engineering Research”, by Jürgen Cito and Harald Gall, accepted, where we will present opportunities to aid reproducibility to the SE community.

We are looking for a Research Assistant for a Transfer Project

In the software evolution and architecture lab (s.e.a.l.) at the University of Zurich (Chair: Harald Gall), we have an open position for a master student to work on software development for cloud-based systems. The position is part-time (40-60%) and open from January 2016.

We are specifically interested in applicants with strong technical skills, particularly in the area of frontend development and UX design. The research assistantship will be part of a transfer project aiming at practical solutions for cloud service selection, benchmarking, and application profiling. Close collaboration with 2 to 3 other students as well as the development lead will be required. We offer considerable flexibility in terms of work time as well as physical location.

The task of the research assistant will be to work on an early-stage product for cloud cost estimation and optimisation, in particular to

  • implement Web-based applications
  • employ state of the art software technologies
  • provide input to the specification, design, and architecture of the product
  • write proper technical product documents
  • participate in and contribute to meetups, tutorials, and customer presentations
  • be an active member of the s.e.a.l. research lab

Further, it may be possible to combine the research assistantship with a master’s thesis.

We are looking for a student who:

  • is passionate about software development, and has some experience in building non-trivial applications in object-oriented programming languages
  • is interested in and has talent for designing innovative Web-based user interfaces
  • is passionate about Web development and cloud computing
  • is interested in academic research and able to communicate in English

The day-to-day work of the research assistant will be directed by Dr. Christian Inzinger. If you are interested in this position, please send email containing a short CV (optimally including a link to your public GitHub repo or another repository of previous work) to Dr. Philipp Leitner ( and Dr. Christian Inzinger ( Applications will be evaluated immediately until the position is filled.