[JOB][Research] 16 month Postdoc "Architectural Design Exploration"

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[JOB][Research] 16 month Postdoc "Architectural Design Exploration"

Marcus Denker-4
Architectural Design Exploration

About Inria and the job
Inria, with its academic, institutional and industrial partners, is commited to major research and
innovation projects in the field of computational sciences. The institute disseminates across France
thanks to its eight research centres.

The Inria Lille - Nord Europe research centre, inaugurated in 2008, employs 357 people, including 250
scientists, in its seventeen research teams. Recognised for its significant contribution to the social
and economic development of the Nord - Pas-de-Calais region, the Inria Lille - Nord Europe research
centre promotes a policy of close cooperation with major businesses and small enterprises. By encouraging
synergies between researchers and industrial partners, Inria contributes to the transfer of skills and
expertise in computational technologies and provides access to top-level European and international
research in order to support innovation and businesses, particularly in the region of Lille.

Whether designing innovative software for business or logistics, modelling living cells or fusion
plasma, or developing medical simulators or interfaces to facilitate human-computer interaction,
our research opens up new possibilities that can revolutionise common practice and contribute to
a better understanding of the natural phenomena which surround us.

The postdoc is hosted by Team-Project RMoD. The goal of RMoD is to support remodularization of
object-oriented applications. This objective is tackled from two complementary perspectives:
reengineering and modularity constructs for programming languages.

In the reengineering perspective we will propose new analyses to understand and restructure
existing large applications (specialized package metrics, adapted visualizations, layer
identification) on top of Moose [Duca08a], [Bhat12b]. http://rmod.lille.inria.fr/web/

Changes in the architecture may occur during the entire lifecycle of a system. Some of them might
only affect local parts of a system, while others have more systemic impact. In general, we
distinguish three types of approaches for handling change systematically, listed in an order
of increasing severity:

- Refactoring. They correspond to improvements and concern only certain components and connectors.
They do not alter the offered functionality of the system.

- Renovating. Sometimes, parts of the architecture are in such a bad condition that refactoring
cannot work anymore. In such contexts, renovating the architecture – by restoring its fundamental
principles or refreshing essential components – may be the better choice. Renovating also deals with
only parts of the system.

- Re-architecting. When an architecture is subject to significant changes, refactoring or renovating may
not suffice. This might be the case if for example the technology platform is to be replaced by a new one,
if there is a large change in business scope, or if the architecture is in such a bad shape that errors
keep emerging. In such cases, re-architecting is required. The re-architecting process usually analyzes
the existing architecture (e.g., using a SWOT analysis) and results in a new architecture by: a) reusing
those components worthwhile to keep, b) modifying some of the existing components (refactoring) and c)
re-building the rest of the components (renovating).[Ieee13]

Because software engineers do not have a full understanding of the complete source code, each kind of
changes may solve some problems (e.g. reduce some cycle between package), while creating new problems
(e.g. creating new cycles). In this situation it would be profitable to have a tool that allows to test a
possible new configuration (refactored, renovated or re-architectured) of the source code to see if the
abstract property one wishes to improve, first actually improved, and second, did not improve at the
expense of another equally important one. For this several alternatives new configurations have to be
considered. In the RMoD team, we developed Orion [Lava10b], a tool that uses models as abstract
representations of the program and enables the definition of several possible alternative versions of
this program. Each version differentiates from the others by a set of refactoring operations. Currently,
once an adequate version is selected, the user has to manually perform the operations on the code.

Job offer description
In this postdoc, we would like to enhance Orion in order to automatically generate code or modify the
existing one once a version is chosen. Thus, it would be possible to study various alternatives of
possible refactoring or restructuring of an existing program, using metrics [Abde12a], [Mord12b] or some
other means [Hema12] to check the improvement in the "quality" of the code, and then ask the tool to
perform the changes of the selected final solution onto the source code. The used metamodel enables a
representation where code details are abstracted. A new metamodel for example AST metamodel, representing
code will be introduced and the links between the two models will have to be maintained.

Skills and profile
The candidate should :
- hold a PhD degree in Computer Science
- be fluent in English (French is an advantage but not required)
- be knowledgeable in the domains of Software Engineering, maintenance, code analysis
- have good programming skills in Smalltalk or be able to acquire them in a short amount of time

- Possibility of French courses
- Help for housing
- Participation for transportation
- Scientific Resident card and help for husband/wife visa

Additional information
- Duration : 16 months
- Salary:  2 620,84 € gross/month
- Monthly salary after taxes : around 2 138€ (medical insurance included).
- Before applying, please contact the scientist advisor: [hidden email]
- For the first selections, please apply before March 2013, 22nd

Security and defense procedure
In the interests of protecting its scientific and technological assets, Inria is a restricted-access
establishment. Consequently, it follows special regulations for welcoming any person who wishes to work
with the institute. The final acceptance of each candidate thus depends on applying this security and
defense procedure.

        More information: http://rmod.lille.inria.fr/web/pier/blog/2013-02-22-2

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