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  • Publication
    MILPIBEA: Algorithm for Multi-objective Features Selection in (Evolving) Software Product Lines
    (Springer International Publishing, 2020-04-09) ; ; ;
    Software Product Lines Engineering (SPLE) proposes techniques to model, create and improve groups of related software systems in a systematic way, with different alternatives formally expressed, e.g., as Feature Models. Selecting the 'best' software system(s) turns into a problem of improving the quality of selected subsets of software features (components) from feature models, or as it is widely known, Feature Configuration. When there are different independent dimensions to assess how good a software product is, the problem becomes even more challenging- it is then a multi-objective optimisation problem. Another big issue for software systems is evolution where software components change. This is common in the industry but, as far as we know, there is no algorithm designed to the particular case of multi-objective optimisation of evolving software product lines. In this paper we present MILPIBEA, a novel hybrid algorithm which combines the scalability of a genetic algorithm (IBEA) with the accuracy of a mixed-integer linear programming solver (IBM ILOG CPLEX). We also study the behaviour of our solution (MILPIBEA) in contrast with SATIBEA, a state-of-the-art algorithm in static software product lines. We demonstrate that MILPIBEA outperforms SATIBEA on average, especially for the most challenging problem instances, and that MILPIBEA is the one that continues to improve the quality of the solutions when SATIBEA stagnates (in the evolving context).
      176Scopus© Citations 4
  • Publication
    A comparative study of multi-objective machine reassignment algorithms for data centres
    At a high level, data centres are large IT facilities hosting physical machines (servers) that often run a large number of virtual machines (VMs)— but at a lower level, data centres are an intricate collection of interconnected and virtualised computers, connected services, complex service-level agreements. While data centre managers know that reassigning VMs to the servers that would best serve them and also minimise some cost for the company can potentially save a lot of money—the search space is large and constrained, and the decision complicated as they involve different dimensions. This paper consists of a comparative study of heuristics and exact algorithms for the Multi-objective Machine Reassignment problem. Given the common intuition that the problem is too complicated for exact resolutions, all previous works have focused on various (meta)heuristics such as First-Fit, GRASP, NSGA-II or PLS. In this paper, we show that the state-of-art solution to the single objective formulation of the problem (CBLNS) and the classical multi-objective solutions fail to bridge the gap between the number, quality and variety of solutions. Hybrid metaheuristics, on the other hand, have proven to be more effective and efficient to address the problem – but as there has never been any study of an exact resolution, it was difficult to qualify their results. In this paper, we present the most relevant techniques used to address the problem, and we compare them to an exact resolution ( -Constraints). We show that the problem is indeed large and constrained (we ran our algorithm for 30 days on a powerful node of a supercomputer and did not get the final solution for most instances of our problem) but that a metaheuristic (GeNePi) obtains acceptable results: more (+188%) solutions than the exact resolution and a little more than half (52%) the hypervolume (measure of quality of the solution set).
      292Scopus© Citations 5
  • Publication
    Enhancing the Utility of Anonymized Data by Improving the Quality of Generalization Hierarchies
    The dissemination of textual personal information has become an important driver of innovation. However, due to the possible content of sensitive information, this data must be anonymized. A commonly-used technique to anonymize data is generalization. Nevertheless, its effectiveness can be hampered by the Value Generalization Hierarchies (VGHs) used as poorly-specified VGHs can decrease the usefulness of the resulting data. To tackle this problem, in our previous work we presented the Generalization Semantic Loss (GSL), a metric that captures the quality of categorical VGHs in terms of semantic consistency and taxonomic organization. We validated the accuracy of GSL using an intrinsic evaluation with respect to a gold standard ontology. In this paper, we extend our previous work by conducting an extrinsic evaluation of GSL with respect to the performance that VGHs have in anonymization (using data utility metrics). We show how GSL can be used to perform an a priori assessment of the VGHs¿ effectiveness for anonymization. In this manner, data publishers can quantitatively compare the quality of various VGHs and identify (before anonymization) those that better retain the semantics of the original data. Consequently, the utility of the anonymized datasets can be improved without sacrificing the privacy goal. Our results demonstrate the accuracy of GSL, as the quality of VGHs measured with GSL strongly correlates with the utility of the anonymized data. Results also show the benefits that an a priori VGH assessment strategy brings to the anonymization process in terms of time-savings and a reduction in the dependency on expert knowledge. Finally, GSL also proved to be lightweight in terms of computational resources.
      271
  • Publication
    BoTest: a Framework to Test the Quality of Conversational Agents Using Divergent Input Examples
    Quality of conversational agents is important as users have high expectations. Consequently, poor interactions may lead to the user abandoning the system. In this paper, we propose a framework to test the quality of conversational agents. Our solution transforms working input that the conversational agent accurately recognises to generate divergent input examples that introduce complexity and stress the agent. As the divergent inputs are based on known utterances for which we have the 'normal' outputs, we can assess how robust the conversational agent is to variations in the input. To demonstrate our framework we built ChitChatBot, a simple conversational agent capable of making casual conversation.
      531Scopus© Citations 18
  • Publication
    Automated WAIT for Cloud-Based Application Testing
    Cloud computing is causing a paradigm shift in the provision and use of software. This has changed the way of obtaining, managing and delivering computing services and solutions. Similarly, it has brought new challenges to software testing. A particular area of concern is the performance of cloud-based applications. This is because the increased complexity of the applications has exposed new areas of potential failure points, complicating all performance-related activities. This situation makes the performance testing of cloud environments very challenging. Similarly, the identification of performance issues and the diagnosis of their root causes are time-consuming and complex, usually require multiple tools and heavily rely on expertise. To simplify these tasks, hence increasing the productivity and reducing the dependency on human experts, this paper presents a lightweight approach to automate the usage of expert tools in the performance testing of cloud-based applications. In this paper, we use a tool named Whole-system Analysis of Idle Time to demonstrate how our research work solves this problem. The validation involved two experiments, which assessed the overhead of the approach and the time savings that it can bring to the analysis of performance issues. The results proved the benefits of the approach by achieving a significant decrease in the time invested in performance analysis while introducing a low overhead in the tested system.
      390Scopus© Citations 11