Seminars & Colloquia

Audris Mockus

Avaya Labs Research

"Digital Archeology of Software"

Wednesday March 16, 2011 09:30 AM
Location: 3211, Engineering Building II NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)



Measurement is the essence of science. Many professional and social activities become software mediated, thus generating vast digital traces that represent projections of collective and individual activities. The reconstruction and quantification of the behavior of an individual, an organization, or a society from these projections is the main challenge of digital archeology. I will illustrate the approach in the context of current software development practice. Software development is experiencing a radical change driven by the open source movement and the business needs to move development to low-cost locations. I will discuss ways to measure mentor-follower relationships in succession (the transfer of code ownership), and the aspects of succession that impact productivity and quality. I will introduce measures of relative sociality (the ratio of social and technical competencies), illustrate how they evolve over time, and quantify how the initial project environment is associated with the probability that a developer will become a long-term contributor. In conclusion, I will discuss how digital archeology offers new ways to understand software development and human nature.

Short Bio:

Audris Mockus studies software developers' culture and behavior through the recovery, documentation, and analysis of digital remains representing the projections of collective and individual activity. He reconstructs the reality from these projections by designing data mining methods to summarize and augment these digital traces, interactive visualization techniques to inspect, present, and control the behavior of teams and individuals, and statistical models and optimization techniques to understand the nature of individual and collective behavior. Dr. Audris Mockus received his B.S. and M.S. in Applied Mathematics from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 1988. In 1991 he received his M.S. and in 1994 he received his Ph.D. in Statistics from Carnegie Mellon University. He works in Avaya Labs Research. Previously he worked in the Software Production Research Department of Bell Labs.

Host: Laurie Williams, NCSU, Computer Science

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