TCD Lero team in €2.5m study into how ecology can help make better software

15 May 2013

Lero researchers Dr Vivek Nallur and Dr Hui Song of Trinity College Dublin

A Trinity College Dublin-based Lero team is to take part in a €2.5m European Commission-funded research programme to find out how the principles of ecology can be adopted to design more stable software systems.

Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre, provides the Irish team, which is being led by Prof Siobhan Clarke of the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin.

The programme is called ‘DIVERSIFY: Ecology-inspired software diversity for distributed adaptation in CAS (Collaborative Adaptive Systems)’, as it will explore diversity as the foundation for novel software design.  

“We anticipate that the unique DIVERSIFY programme will provide a breakthrough into automated technologies to maintain and evaluate stable systems at runtime,” Lero director Dr Mike Hinchey explained.

The programme brings together leading European researchers from software-intensive distributed systems and ecology in Ireland, France and Norway in order to translate ecological concepts and processes into software design.

“This is a novel and exciting programme which for the first time will use the principles of ecological and evolutionary systems and apply them to software development,” Clarke explained.

“Biodiversity is essential for the robustness and adaptability of ecological and many other systems. The limited amount of diversity in software is a major concern which we aim to address under this programme.”

Dr Hui Song of Trinity College Dublin, who will work on the three-year programme, added: “One of our international partners is the University of Rennes in France, which is a leader in ecological research so this will be a truly multi-disciplinary collaboration.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years