Software Engineering Research

My general research field is the study and improvement of software development at the organizational, team, and individual level. I empirically examine the use of various software development techniques by industry teams and use this data to create techniques that improve business concerns such as software quality, planning accuracy and team coordination. I study users' interaction with their environment to create novel tools that support they way they actually work. I apply the techniques of empirical software engineering to ground my research in results from real software developers and software teams and to improve transfer from research to commercial practice.

Software Safety and Reliability

Since joining Fraunhofer CESE, I have been project lead for the NASA Software Safety Risk Metrics project funded by the NASA Software Assurance Research Program. We have developed software safety risk metrics for the NASA Constellation program for project managerss to assess the state of software safety in large-scale systems. In 2007, I worked with Nachi Nagappan at Microsoft Research to investigate statistical fault prediction and to study effort estimation in a large-scale software project at Microsoft.
  • Lucas Layman, Victor R. Basili, Marvin V. Zelkowitz, Karen L. Fisher, "A Case Study of Measuring Process Risk for Early Insights into Software Safety", Proceedings of the 33rd Int'l Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2011), pp. 623-632.
  • Victor R. Basili, Lucas Layman, Marvin V. Zelkowitz, "A Methodology for Exposing Software Development Risk in Emergent System Properties", Fraunhofer CESE TR# 11-101, 2011.
  • Victor R. Basili, Marvin V. Zelkowitz, Lucas Layman, Kathleen Dangle, Madeline Diep, "Obtaining Valid Safety Data for Software Safety Measurement and Process Improvement," Proceedings of the 4th joint symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Metrics (ESEM '10).
  • Lucas Layman, Victor R. Basili, Marvin V. Zelkowitz, "The Role and Quality of Software Safety in the NASA Constellation Program", NASA TR #20100025500, 2010.
  • [LKN08] Lucas Layman, Gunnar Kudrjavets, Nachiappan Nagappan, "Iterative Identification of Fault-Prone Binaries Using In-Process Metrics," Proceedings of the 2nd joint symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Metrics (ESEM '08), pp. 206-212.

Agile Software Development

Together with my advisor Laurie Williams and Bill Krebs of IBM, we published several empirical case studies assessing the impact and applicability of agile software development methodologies with software teams at IBM, Sabre Airline Solutions and Tekelec. These studies found that, in general, the teams experienced increases in product quality and customer satisfaction. Our article performing a systematic review of the evidence supporting or discounting the benefits of test-driven development was recently included in O'Reilly's "Making Software: What REally Works, and Why We Believe It".

Human Aspects of Software Development

My Ph.D. thesis research was on the topic of "Information Needs of Developers for Program Comprehension during Software Maintenance Tasks." During this research, I developed tools and performed user studies to understand how programmers search for information to inform their code changes. I have worked with Andy Begel to study inter- and intra-team coordination in a large scale, distributed software project, and performed the first study of distributed Extreme Programming at Tekelec. I am also involved in the Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering community.

Last modified Friday, 15th August, 2014 @ 05:44pm