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Informatics Professors Sam Malek and Joshua Garcia recently started working on a three-year $1.66 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant, “Constructing a Community-Wide Software Architecture Infrastructure,” is a collaborative project involving faculty from UCI, the University of Southern California and the Rochester Institute of Technology. Malek and Garcia will lead the UCI team, comprised of graduate student researchers working out of the Institute for Software Research (ISR).

The goal is to develop the Software Architecture INstrument (SAIN), a first-of-its-kind integration framework for assembling architecture-related tools and techniques, enabling empirical research in the context of software maintenance. As outlined in the grant proposal, “SAIN has the potential to transform software architecture research and practice by (1) facilitating the discovery and adoption of cutting-edge techniques and tools that are best-suited to modern problems and (2) ensuring architecture’s central role in a broad range of software-engineering activities.”

According to Malek, “the UCI team will be responsible for developing several architectural recovery techniques and making them available for use as part of an integrated tool suite. We will also empirically study architectural change, decay and maintenance issues in a variety of open-source and commercial software projects.” He goes on to note that the final part of UCI’s effort will be to “construct and curate the largest repository of architectural artifacts to facilitate research and enable reproducibility of results.”

— Shani Murray