Research team

Antwerp Systems and software Modelling (AnSyMo)

Expertise

Expertise concerning software quality assurance (continuous integration, software testing, static analysis, …). Experience with reverse- and reengineering techniques applicable on large scale software systems. We offer a one day tutorial on object-oriented reengineering and consultancy services.

Efficient testing of control software (EFFECTS_ICON). 27/07/2021 - 31/08/2028

Abstract

The time and effort in the verification & validation of control software drastically increases, especially in the later stages. Many bugs are found late in the development lifecycle, companies face a high-level of regression, huge time losses for root-cause analysis, bug fixes, and retesting. As a result companies miss important time-to-market deadlines. The solution is well known: companies need to adopt the "shift left" ideology and frontload testing earlier in the development cycle where tests are easier to automate. While the benefits are well described, and many automation tools are available, companies fail to transition to a "shift left" test approach. To solve this, the EFFECTS projects aims to develop a holistic transition approach that works on two fronts, (i) a reduction of the current effort spent on testing to allow additional testing at earlier development phases, (ii) efficient creation of new tests well targeted to identified weak spots. The resulting framework will allow companies to smoothly transition to a "shift-left" test strategy.

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Nexor - Cyber-Physical Systems for the Industry 4.0 era 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2026

Abstract

The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0 as it is commonly referred to) is driven by extreme digitalization, enabled by tremendous computing capacity, smart collaborating machines and wireless computer networks. In the last six years, Nexor — a multi-disciplinary research consortium blending expertise from four Antwerp research labs — has built up a solid track record therein. We are currently strengthening the consortium in order to establish our position in the European eco-system. This project proposal specifies our 2021 - 2026 roadmap, with the explicit aim to empower industrial partners to tackle their industry 4.0 challenges. We follow a demand driven approach, convincing industrial partners to pick up our innovative research ideas, either by means of joint research projects (TRL 5—7) or via technology licenses.

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SATIMAIR, SATellite IMage analysis for AIR quality on ships: an exploratory investigation. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

Sensor-based measuring campaigns in the accommodations of ships are able to identify numerous events. Unfortunately, the data do not contain enough information to identify the cause of these events. Some of the causes must be found in the immediate surroundings of the ship. Examples of such external causes are the ship entering a harbour where the air quality is worse, an inland ship passing by a factory that is emitting pollution, or a cue of ships that is waiting in front or inside a lock while all the engines are running. A huge amount of open data is generated by the satellites of the Copernicus-program. They can be used to analyse the surroundings of a ship along its journey and to find explanations for the events that are detected by air quality measuring campaigns performed inside the accommodations of ships.

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Dotation for the structural collaboration with Flanders Make. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

Flanders Make's mission is to strengthen the international competitiveness of the Flemish manufacturing industry on the long term through industry-driven, precompetitive, excellent research in the field of mechatronics, product development methods and advanced production technologies and by maximizing valorisation in these areas.

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Mutation testing: fewer, smarter and faster. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

Software updates are omnipresent in today's society and every year ICT companies release faster. Tesla for example loads new software in its cars once every month; amazon goes even faster and pushes changes to its servers every 12 seconds! With such fast release cycles the need for effective quality gates is rising: software teams must take all possible steps to prevent that defects slip into production. In this project proposal we will investigate three different ways to improve mutation testing, which is the state of the art technique to verify the fault detection capacity of a test suite. We will pursue three different angles for improvement (fewer, smarter, and faster) to make mutation testing effective, even with such rapid release cycles.

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Next level mutation testing: fewer, smarter & faster (NEXT-O-TEST). 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

Software-updates are omnipresent in today's digital era and the release cycles within ICT companies are getting faster and faster. Tesla for example loads new software in its cars once every month; Amazon goes even faster and pushes changes to its servers every 12 seconds! With such fast release cycles the need for effective quality assurance is rising: software teams must take all possible steps to prevent defects from slipping into production. Today, mutation testing is the state-of-the-art technique to fully automatically assess the fault detection capacity of a software test suite. The approach is too slow for industrial adoption however. Therefore, the NEXT–O–TEST project will investigate three different ways to improve upon the state-of-the-art (fewer, smarter, and faster) to make mutation testing effective even in the presence of rapid release cycles. As such, NEXT–O–TEST will allow the NEXOR Consortium to strengthen its expertise on "quality control and test automation" and reinforce its position as a core lab within the Flanders Make research centre.

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Automated Assistance for Developing Software in Ecosystems of the Future (SECO-ASSIST). 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

Software ecosystems are the most promising avenue for organising the software needs of the digital era. Jointly funded by F.R.S.-FNRS and FWO-Vlaanderen, the four-year Excellence of Science Project SECO-ASSIST aims to realise a scientific breakthrough to nurture the ecosystems of the future, by providing novel software recommendation techniques that address the resilience, evolvability, heterogeneity, and social interaction. To achieve this the project partners will combine their expertise in social networks (UMONS), software testing (UAntwerpen), software reuse (VUB) and database evolution (UNamur).

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Curriculum Development - Technical English for SPARK's Jobs & Perspectives Program with universities Iraq. 01/10/2020 - 30/06/2021

Abstract

As part of a development program for a renewed computer science curriculum in two universities in Iran we jointly develop a project centric approach towards introductory programming. We use python as development langiuage and state of the art tooling.

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Proof of concept for a decision support system to reduce the occupational risks of seafarers due to air quality. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

This project aims to explore the basic principles of a decision support system that allows the continuous monitoring of the working conditions of seafarers. For this purpose, it wants to (1) measure several environmental parameters simultaneously (e.g., temperature, light, NO2, O3, etc.), (2) convert the measurements into a global air quality, and (3) visualize the evolution in air quality so that seafarers can easily evaluate the working conditions. The system will be tested on a real-life case study.

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Mutation testing: fewer, smarter and faster. 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

Software updates are omnipresent in today's society and every year ICT companies release faster. Tesla for example loads new software in its cars once every month; amazon goes even faster and pushes changes to its servers every 12 seconds! With such fast release cycles the need for effective quality gates is rising: software teams must take all possible steps to prevent that defects slip into production. In this project we will investigate three different ways to improve mutation testing, which is the state of the art technique to verify the fault detection capacity of a test suite. We will pursue three different angles for improvement (fewer, smarter, and faster) to make mutation testing effective, even with such rapid release cycles.

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BOF Sabbatical Leave- Prof. Demeyer. 01/10/2017 - 28/02/2018

Abstract

During this sabbatical leave Prof. Serge Demeyer will test two algorithms under development in his research lab under realistic circumstances. He wil use the unique constellation available in the host institution in Sweden: a combination of data, infrastructure, research methods and industrial contacts. This projects prepares the nest step in his research concerning test automation: from TRL4 (technology validated in lab) naar TRL5 (technology validated in relevant environment). This step is critical for the continuing growth of the NEXOR IOF consortium en will ultimately contribute to the European Research theme "Industry 4.0".

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Optimising continuous delivery for small software teams. 01/10/2016 - 30/09/2017

Abstract

Continuous delivery is the production process currently in use within Facebook and Google, notorious for its ultra-fast yet ultra reliable release cycle. On the surface, continuous delivery is an ideal solution for small technology companies, since it allows them to rapidly respond to specialized needs of demanding customers. However, the particular nature of small software teams raises a few challenges, which we seek to address by advanced tooling infrastructure (i.e. change-based mutation testing, penetration testing).

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ITEA 15010 REVAMP2: Reverse engineering and variability management platform and process. 01/09/2016 - 31/08/2019

Abstract

This project aims to construct the ReVAMP2 Tool Chain, a round-trip engineering platform with tool support for extracting features from existing assets. This tool chain will be supported by guidelines and lessons learned drawn from cases coming from a multitude of industry domains.

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Next generation of heterogeneous sensor networks (NEXOR). 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

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Dotation for the structural collaboration with Flanders Make. 01/06/2014 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

Flanders Make's mission is to strengthen the international competitiveness of the Flemish manufacturing industry on the long term through industry-driven, precompetitive, excellent research in the field of mechatronics, product development methods and advanced production technologies and by maximizing valorisation in these areas.

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Air Identification Registration for Cultural Heritage: Enhancing Climate Quality (AIRCHECQ). 01/12/2013 - 31/05/2019

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Federal Public Service. UA provides the Federal Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Change-centric Quality Assurance (Cha-Q) (Changes as First Class Citizens during Software Development). 01/01/2013 - 31/12/2016

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Optimization and parallellisation of real-time media processing on embedded systems by abstraction of software-and hardwarebehaviour. 01/09/2012 - 31/08/2016

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Impact analysis of software maintenance using software traceability. 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2013

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Research and development of a cloud enabled globally applicable digital signature Software Development Kit. 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2011

Abstract

The project includes the development of a generally applicable Software Development Kit (SDK) for the integration of digital signatures. This SDK is composed of multiple components as there are a client signing applet, a server verification component and plug in components. The SDK will serve as a basis to offer through a spin-off of the University Antwerp the following services: on line document signing, strong authentication, on line contract negotiations and smart card systems.

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Impact analysis of software maintenance using software traceability. 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Sources guidelines for critical embedded systems (KriCode). 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2011

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Study of the technical impact of the AUTOSAR-standards on automotive software. 01/10/2008 - 28/02/2013

Abstract

In the area of automotive electronics, software is becoming increasingly more prominent. The AUTOSAR consortium aims to consolidate this, but the technical impact of their standards is not sufficiently known. Therefore, we will investigate the technical footprint of these standards. This will lead to a more efficient use of performance and memory in automotive embedded systems.

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Transforming Human Interface Designs via Model Driven Engineering. 01/01/2008 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

This research project is centred around three research questions: -Formal Semantics. What is the best way to formalise the semantics of a task modelling notation such as ConcurTaskTrees? -Correctness. Based on the formal semantics, can we prove the correctness of task model transformations? -Quality Properties. Can we identify and prove useful properties regarding these transformations?

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Optimized MP-SoC Middleware for Event-driven Applications (OPTIMMA). 01/01/2008 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

The OptiMMA projects will enable the mapping of emerging, dynamic software applications on complex Multi-Processor Systems-on-Chip (MP-SoC). This will be achieved through the use of Middleware components, which will be able to mediate between embedded software and the hardware platforms. Thus, the manage -at run-tim- the memory storage, energy consumption, bandwidth and computation resources of the embedded system. Modeling and customization of the Middleware components is a key element of the OptiMMA project. It will creatie a broad user base and enable the valorization of the results among a wide body of economic actors in Flanders, including economic actors that specialize in multimedia and telecommunication applications on mobile devices, medical imaging devices, embedded software design, hardware platforms design, design tools, etc.

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From specific targeting to a generic target platform (VOLGES). 29/10/2007 - 28/10/2009

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Fundamentele belangen in Software Engineering: Modelleren, Verifiërene en Evolueren van Software. (MoVES) 01/01/2007 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

Software-intensive systems are among the most complex artefacts ever built. In the development of such systems, the use of rigorous models and analysis methods is essential to make sure that the software satisfies its requirements and exhibits the desired properties (e.g., safety, security, reliability, consistency). At the same time, in order to adapt to the constantly changing requirements and technology, these systems must be able to evolve over time, without breaking their essential properties. This project combines the leading Belgian research teams in software engineering, with recognised scientific excellence in model-driven engineering (MDE), software evolution, formal modelling and verification (FMV) and aspect-oriented software development (AOSD). The project aims to advance the state of the art in each of these domains. The long term objective of our network is to strengthen existing collaborations and forge new links between those teams, and to leverage and disseminate our research expertise in this domain at a European level.

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"Separation of Concerns" with High Level Software Models. 01/10/2006 - 30/09/2008

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Guidelines for Improving the Testprocess During Software Maintenance. 01/01/2006 - 31/12/2006

Abstract

The goal of this project is to develop an efficient process for the maintenance of software tests, where a given set of known problems in the test code (so called "test smells) will be tackled by means of test maintenance patterns. The primary scenario driving this research is the selective improvement of a particular piece of test code before implementing a change request.

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ITEA SERIOUS : Software evolution, refactoring of operational & usable systems. 01/09/2005 - 31/08/2008

Abstract

Embedded systems are becoming increasingly complex, more diverse, and are frequently expanded to include more features. As a consequence, the software is constantly changing: within Alcatel Bell rates of 10,000 lines of code changed per week are the norm. Unfortunately, high change rates inevitably erode a well-designed well-documented system and quickly turn it into a maintenance nightmare. Alcatel Bell's internal development processes are certified with CMM level 3. However these processes do not contribute to the long-term evolution of software. Indeed, the addition of new features sometimes introduces unexpected bugs, breaks design decisions, and distorts documentation. Consequently, it is hard to assess which software components should be refactored and to estimate the effort required to do so. Therefore, the SERIOUS project aims to develop methods, metrics and tools to maintain ---even increase--- the quality of the software during its evolution. In Belgium the project partners are Alcatel Bell (http://www.alcatel.be/) and the University of Antwerp, research group LORE (http://www.lore.ua.ac.be/). However, this local consortium participates in a larger ITEA context with other companies in Europe such as Philips and Nokia.

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International workshop on principles of software evolution. 01/09/2005 - 30/09/2005

Abstract

The International Workshop on Principles of Software Evolution (IWPSE) is the flagship workshop for research on software evolution and as such it is the prime candidate for publishing the end results of the RELEASE project. Several members of the RELEASE network are part of the organization committee and we agreed to have a special slots devoted solely to RELEASE results. Several members of the network submitted papers and six of them have been accepted after rigorous reviewing by the program committee. Therefore, we request to use RELEASE money for participating in what we see as the "grand finale" of the RELEASE network.

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Workshop on Object-Oriented reengineering. 01/06/2005 - 30/09/2005

Abstract

The ability to reengineer object-oriented legacy systems has become a vital matter in today's software industry. Early adopters of the object-oriented programming paradigm are now facing the problems of transforming their object-oriented "legacy" systems into full-fledged frameworks. This Workshop on Object-Oriented Reengineering wants to gather people working on solutions for object-oriented legacy systems, and will be set up as a forum for exchanging experiences, discussing solutions, and exploring new ideas. We explicitly sollicit experience reports from the software industry as well as contributions from tool produces and methodology providers.

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Formal support for the transormation of software models. 01/01/2005 - 31/12/2008

Abstract

The software development process consists of a sequence of consecutive phases, such as requirement analysis, high level design, detailed design, implementation and validation [SommOO, Jacog9]. A typical characteristic of the software lifecycle is a gradual evolution from abstract, declarative models to concrete, computational ones. For each of the phases a well-founded theoretical basis is available, as well as a significant body of knowledge and experience [Gammg4, Jacog2, Wirf9O, Bind9g]. One of the major problems in the development of software systems is a lack of adequate support for evolution, i.e. evolution throughout the lifecycle as well as evolution in time [Lehm 85]. Consecutive models arl hardly related, so that in practice various phases of the development cycle are only marginally or not at all worked out. Moreover, a modification of a software system often requires manual changes to all of the models of the consecutive phases. Therefore, in practice, modifications are often carried through only at the lowest levels and nqt documented properly. This results in so-called legacy systems, that embody complex functionality, but that have lost their overall structure, making it possible to maintain them in a cost-efficient way.

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"Separation of Concerns" with High Level Software Models. 01/10/2004 - 30/09/2006

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Ebusiness in the Farmaceutical Care. 20/02/2004 - 31/08/2004

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Development of energy conscious software refactoring techniques for embedded systems. 01/02/2004 - 31/12/2005

Abstract

The goal of the research project is the development of new heuristics and new software tools for the exploration and optimalisation of the power- and memory consumption of embedded software systems. De new heuristics and tools aim explicitly at a high abstraction level and will enable the exploration of the data structures used within the embedded software system.

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A Formal Foundation for Software Refactoring. 01/01/2003 - 31/12/2006

Abstract

The aim of the project is to provide a solid foundation for software refactoring by the development of a suitable formal model. We aim at a lightweight model, facilitating the investigation of basic properties of refactoring, as well as the design of tools supporting the refactoring process. In particular, the potential of graph rewriting as a basis for such a model will be explored. This should lead to, e.g., methods for the detection of conflicting refactorings, and methods for the optimization of refactoring processes. Thirdly, the question whether a given set of refactorings is allowable in the sense that it preserves program behaviour is obviously related to the characterization of graph properties that are preserved by the corresponding rewriting rules. Other important aspects are the complexity of refactorings, which can be studied in terms of the number of graph rewriting steps needed, perhaps in combination with the sizes of the graphs involved, and the issue of consistency between various levels of abstraction, which is related to work about hierarchical graphs.

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Syntactic and Semantic Integration of Visual Modelling Techniques. (SegraVis) 01/10/2002 - 30/09/2006

Abstract

Both in software engineering and in the more classical engineering disciplines, the use of visual notations, e.g. for documentation and communication with customers, has a long tradition. Driven by the increasing complexity of the problems such notations have become more elaborate, and have evolved towards tool-supported visual modeling techniques. Two of the most successful classes of visual modeling techniques are the main focus of the project: on the one hand UML, and on the other hand graph- and net-based techniques. A general paradigm for the classification and integration is required, which helps to make explicit semantic variations and to generate tools from formal language definitions. The aim of the project is to develop such a paradigm, to demonstrate its applicability, and to improve visual modeling techniques in specific application domains.

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ARRIBA : Architectural Resources for the Restructuring and Integration of Business Applications. 01/10/2002 - 30/09/2006

Abstract

The aim of this project is to provide a methodology and its associated tools in order to support the integration of disparate business applications that have not necessarily been designed to coexist. Inspiration comes from real concerns that are the result of an investigative effort on the part of some of the research partners in this consortium; the object of the investigation was the identification of mainstream ICT problems with a representative forum of Belgian enterprises (large and small) that rely on information technology for their critical business activities.

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Model Driven Reengineering for Enterprise Web Applications. 01/10/2002 - 30/09/2003

Abstract

Because of the fast evolution of their technical and functional requirements, web applications are rapidly suffering from legacy problems. Moreover, because of the competitive advantage of being the first one on the market, a lot of operational web applications have merely outgrown their prototype status. This calls for specialized techniques (namely model driven refactorings and reengineering patterns) that guide the traditional software engineer through the proces of gaining understanding, over problem identification and consolidation up to integration and platform migration.

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    Network on Proposed Software Evolution. (RELEASE) 01/01/2002 - 31/12/2004

    Abstract

    The study of software evolution has become increasingly essential to ensure that IT systems perform well throughout their lifecycle, and this Network is creating the multidisciplinary framework needed to expand research on a pan-European basis. In particular, the network will (a) investigate an overall theory of software evolution (similar to the theories underlying other scientific disciplines); (b) develop benchmarks to improve the validity of scientific experiments. The Network builds on an existing smaller-scale research network on software evolution funded by the FWO (Fund for Scientific Research - Flanders, Belgium).

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    Foundations of Software Evolution. 01/01/2001 - 31/12/2005

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    Technical review of two software systems supporting farmacies. 20/11/2000 - 31/12/2000

    Abstract

    The project concerns a comparison of two software systems supporting farmacies. The review uses criteria like (a) maintainability; (b) extensibility; (c) interoperability and (d) migration possibilities with the ultimate goal the support for high-level decisions by non-specialists concerning future development plans.

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      Support for writing a book Object-oriented reengineering, a pattern based approach". 01/10/2000 - 30/09/2002

      Abstract

      The project concerns an initial investment in a brand new research group. The leader of that group plans to write a book in the near future and the project requests concrete support in the form of a budget for specialised books and a computer.

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