Project

NICO- New initiatives for the early assurance of functional and non-functional quality in user-oriented software products and processes (PID2019-105455GB-C31)

Goal: The quality assurance of the software is a line of work that has been developing for many years but that every day acquires more
importance because the Information and communication Technologies (ICT) are increasingly present in our lives . Nowadays, if a software
wants to be competitive, it has to cover in the most efficient way possible all the requirements that users demand and it has to guarantee, in addition, a robustness and consistency of the data they handle. The SiTPGa project aims to find mechanisms that guarantee the quality
of software products from the earliest stages of the life cycle. The research carried out has three main work focuses: (1) Software testing,
which pilots early tests on both functional and non-functional requirements as well as data testing. (2) The effective inclusion of the user in the earliest stages of the software and very specifically in the business process environment in order to correctly define the flexibility,
adaptability and possible robotization thereof (RPA-Robotic Process Automation) (3) Gamification, developing solutions aimed at
improving the skills of stakeholders to make the production of quality software more effective.
The project consists of three subprojects led by the University of Seville, the University of Oviedo and the University of Cádiz in which staff from 22 different organizations participate and have the support of 33 entities interested in the results of the project as well as with the
collaboration of 13 international doctors of high prestige. A high scientific-technological impact of the same is foreseen as well as a notable social impact since it is oriented towards the challenges of society and more specifically that of Economy and Digital Society.

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Project log

José González Enríquez
added a research item
The rise of robotic process automation (RPA) fuels areas like robotic process mining and task mining. Although traditional process mining research can exploit a range of resources (i.e., event logs) to test and benchmark new techniques, that is not the case for robotic process mining. Moreover, benchmark data for RPA needs to incorporate detailed references and properties to elements of the graphical user interface that a software robot is intended to interact with. Therefore, it is not feasible to create such data by hand. To address this omission, the current paper proposes a tool-supported method to generate synthetic event logs for evaluating RPA techniques. To mimic real-life scenarios closely, these logs can be tailored to incorporate variations along a wide range of dimensions. As an application example of the method, the paper describes a case generator tool, which is publicly available, that can be used to benchmark robotic process mining proposals. We also elaborate on further applications of the method in ways that are beneficial to the BPM and RPA communities.
José González Enríquez
added a research item
Public funding, being the primary source for innovation, imposes restrictions caused by a lack of trust between the roles of public funders and organisations in the innovation process. Capability and maturity innovation assessment models can improve the process by combining both roles to create an agile and trusting environment. This paper aims to provide a current description of the state-of-the-art on capability and maturity innovation assessment models in the context of Information and Communication Technologies. To this end, a Systematic Mapping Study was carried out considering high-quality published research from four relevant digital libraries since 2000. The 78 primary studies analysed show several gaps and challenges. In particular, a common ontology has not been achieved, and Innovation Management Systems are scarcely considered. Concepts such as open innovation have not been correctly applied to incorporate all Quadruple Helix stakeholders, especially the government and its role as a public funder. This implies that no studies explore a standard agile public–private maturity model based on capabilities since the public funders’ restrictions have not been considered. Furthermore, although some concepts of innovation capabilities have evolved, none of the studies analysed offer a comprehensive coverage of capabilities. As potential future lines of research, this paper proposes 11 challenges based on the 5 shortcomings found in the literature.
Andreas M. Klein
added a research item
Andreas M. Klein
added a research item
Protocol for Comparing Voice Assistant Risks and Potential with Technology-Based Users: A Study from Germany and Spain. Version 3.0 / 2021.
Hanna Looks
added a research item
Times of crisis increase the workload in public administrations due to the requirements of citizens or short-term changes in legislation. Public administrations must have the ability to react flexibly to changes. Furthermore, digitization projects are being implemented and these are leading to an increasing focus on project work, which confronts public administration employees with a different kind of working and corresponding challenges. The introduction of agile process models and agile practices can reduce these problems. For an agile transformation, public administrations need support based on agile values towards a targeted implementation of agile methods. The designed artefact is a reference framework that supports agile transformation in the context of public administration.
Miguel Ángel Olivero
added a research item
The TeSSoS tool that has been developed allows designing models that reflect the shared systems and resources in a system of systems using a graphical interface based on UML diagrams. The TeSSoS tool is a CASE (Computer Aided Software Engineering) tool that facilitates the integration of measurement into the life cycle of processes. We have used the Enterprise Architect tool as a base to develop TeSSOS tool.
M.J. Escalona
added 2 research items
This plugin for DrawIO allows to apply MDE techniques for software prototypes
SofIA is a tool that help software developers to apply the MDE paradigm for agile development of software systems
M.J. Escalona
added a research item
In recent years, the application of new technologies to the healthcare environment is a common practice. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that this application is a critical necessity for society. The application of disruptive techniques such as Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning in the healthcare environment is something necessary but not sufficient. It is necessary to take another qualitative leap. This paper presents a reflection on the use of emerging technologies, such as blockchain or the robotization of software processes to further improve healthcare processes.
Andreas M. Klein
added 2 research items
Voice user interfaces (VUIs) or voice assistants (VAs) such as Google Home or Google Assistant (Google), Cortana (Mircosoft), Siri (Apple) or Alexa (Amazon) are highly available in the consumer sector and present a smart home trend. Still, the acceptance seems to be culture-dependent, while the syntax of communication poses a challenge. So, there are some basic questions: 'Why do people buy VAs?' 'What do they use them for?' 'What could be improved in the future?'. We explore the opinion of a German technology-based user group to identify the challenges and opportunities of VAs. We focus on the interaction behaviour, frequency of use, concerns, and opinions of this target group as they show a higher variety of interaction as well as privacy concerns in representative population studies. Our preliminary findings confirm previous results (missing accuracy of commands and serious concerns about privacy issues) and show that technology-based users from Germany are intensive users, although with particular concerns about data collection. Probably, there is a correlation between privacy concerns and speech intelligibility as queries relating to VAs are problematic due to repetitions and refinement.
Voice user interfaces (VUI) are currently a trending topic but the ability to measure and improve the user experience (UX) is still missing. We aim to develop a tool selector as a web application that can provide a suitable tool to measure UX quality of VUIs. The UX tool selector for VUIs will include a UX measurement toolbox containing several existing and new VUI assessment methods. The UX tool selector will provide context-dependent measurement recommendations without prior extensive research to evaluate and improve VUIs.
J.A. Garcia-Garcia
added 3 research items
Music is a very favorable field of knowledge for the development of creativity. With this in mind, this paper presents results of investigate the role of music in the school curriculum in the three stages of Brazilian Elementary Education. For this, a qualitative approach of descriptive nature was used, exploring the guidelines for the teaching of music at National Education Standards (BNCC) and, at the end, purpose an activity for the application of Computational Thinking (CT) using Scratch as potential tool for creative mediation in the field of song. The proposed activity is in line with both the BNCC guidelines and the pillars of the CT and can be adapted to all types of teaching: face-to-face, online, distance education and hybrid
The pandemic suffered in 2020 following the appearance of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has marked a radical change in the way in which the basic pillars of international, and more specifically Spanish, society are understood. The existing social and economic model has had to adapt abruptly and urgently to the reality of what has happened. The impact that these changes will have after the pandemic is still unclear, but it may be surmised that many of them are here to stay. The use of information and communication technologies has been critical in the pandemic scenario and also in the health environment, where factors like telemedicine have come to play a key role for society. This work presents an initial analysis of how degrees in Medicine train students for telematic work with patients and provides a series of reflections based on the pandemic which may serve as a point of departure for future studies.
M.J. Escalona
added 6 research items
The increasing use of the Internet for social purposes enriches the data available online about all of us and promotes the concept of the Digital Persona. Actually, most of us are represented online by more than one identity, what we define here as a Pluridentity. This trend brings increased risks: it is well known that the security of a Digital Persona can be exploited if its data and security are not effectively managed. In this paper, we focus specifically on a new type of digital attack that can be perpetrated by combining pieces of data belonging to one same Pluridentity in order to profile their target. Some victims can be so accurately depicted when looking at their Pluridentity that by using the gathered information attackers can execute very personalized social engineering attacks, or even bypass otherwise safe security mechanisms. We characterize these Pluridentity attacks as a security issue of a virtual System of Systems, whose constituent systems are the individual identities and the humans themselves. We present a strategy to identify vulnerabilities caused by overexposure due to the combination of data from the constituent identities of a Pluridentity. To this end we introduce the Digital Persona Portrayal Metamodel, and the related Digital Pluridentity Persona Portrayal Analysis process that supports the architecting of data from different identities: such model and process can be used to identify the vulnerabilities of a Pluridentity due to its exploitation as a System of Systems. The approach has been validated on the Pluridentities of seventeen candidates selected from a data leak, by retrieving the data of their Digital Personae, and matching them against the security mechanisms of their Pluridentities. After analyzing the results for some of the analyzed subjects we could detect several vulnerabilities.
Context: Measuring the Software Development Process (SDP) supports organizations in their endeavor to understand, manage, and improve their development processes and projects. In the last decades, the SDP has evolved to meet the market needs and keep abreast of modern technologies and infrastructures. These changes in the development processes have increased the importance of the measurement and caused changes in the measurement process and the used measures. Objective: This work aims to develop a solution to support the measurement activities throughout the process lifecycle. Method: Study the current state of the art to identify existing gaps. Then, propose a solution to support the process measurement throughout the SDP lifecycle. Results: The proposed solution consists of two main components: (i) Measurement lifecycle, which defines the measurement activities throughout the SDP lifecycle, (ii) Measurement definition metamodel (MDMM), which supports the measurement lifecycle and its integration into the process lifecycle. Conclusion: This proposal allows organizations to define, manage, and improve their processes; the proposed information model supports the unification of the measurement concepts and vocabulary. The defined measurement lifecycle provides a comprehensive guide for the organizations to establish the measurement objectives and carry out the necessary activities to achieve them. The proposed MDMM supports and guides the engineers in the complete and operational definition of the measurement concepts.
Currently, voice assistants (VAs) are trendy and highly available. The VA adoption rate of internet users differs among European countries and also in the global view. Due to speech intelligibility and privacy concerns, using VAs is challenging. Additionally, user experience (UX) assessment methods and VA improvement possibilities are still missing, but are urgently needed to overcome users’ concerns and increase the adoption rate. Therefore, we conducted an intercultural study of technology-based users from Germany and Spain, expecting that higher improvement potential would outweigh concerns about VAs. We investigated VA use in terms of availability versus actual use, usage patterns, concerns, and improvement proposals. Comparing Germany and Spain, our findings show that nearly the same amount of intensive VA use is found in both technology-based user groups. Despite cultural differences, further results show very similar tendencies, e.g., frequency of use, privacy concerns, and demand for VA improvements.
Miguel Ángel Olivero
added 4 research items
Healthcare institutions are an ever-innovative field, where modernization is advancing by leaps and bounds. This modernization, called “digitization”, brings with it some concerns that need to be taken into account. The aim of this work is to present a way to combine the advantages of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence to protect what is of most concern: electronic medical records and the privacy of patient data. Health-related data in healthcare systems are subject to strict regulations, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), non-compliance with which imposes huge penalties and fines. Healthcare cybersecurity plays an important role in protecting this sensitive data, which is highly valuable to criminals. The methodology used to perform a security assessment process has been orchestrated with frameworks that make the audit process as comprehensive and organized as possible. The results of this study include a security audit on an industrial scenario currently in production. An exploitation and vulnerability analysis has been performed, and more that 450 vulnerabilities has been found. This chapter outlines a systematic approach using artificial intelligence to enable the system security team to facilitate the process of conducting a security audit taking into account the sensitivity of their systems.KeywordsArtificial intelligenceCybersecurityHealthcarePentestingSecurity
José González Enríquez
added a research item
After the initial hype on RPA, companies have more realistic expectations of this technology. Its current mature vision relegates the end-to-end robotic automation to a less suitable place and considers the human-robot collaboration as the most natural way for automating robotic processes in real-world settings. This hybrid RPA implies a vertical segmentation of process activities, i.e., some activities are conducted by humans while robots do others. The literature lacks a general method that considers the technical aspect of the solution, the psychological impact of the automation, and the governance mechanisms that a running hybrid process requires. In this sense, this paper proposes an iterative method dealing with all these aspects and results from a series of industrial experiences. Additionally, the paper deeply discusses the role of process mining in this kind of method and how it can continuously boost its iterations. The initial validation of the method in real-world processes reports substantial benefits in terms of efficiency.
Leticia Morales
added 2 research items
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is a technological concept applied in healthcare contexts to achieve the digital interconnection of everyday objects with the Internet in order to make life easier for people. IoMT can help monitor, inform and notify not only caregivers, but provide healthcare providers with actual data to identify issues before they become critical or to allow for earlier invention. In this sense, this paper is contextualized in Assisted Reproduction Treatment (ART) processes to reduce the number of hospital visits, reduce healthcare costs and improve patientcare, as well as the productivity of the healthcare professional. So, we present an IoMT-based technological proposal to manage and control the prescription of pharmacological treatments to patients who are carried out ART processes. In this context, we propose the integration of iMEDEA (modular system specialized in the management of electronic clinical records for ART unit) and smart speaker devices (specifically, Amazon’s Alexa), as well as the validation of our proposal in the real environment offered by Inebir clinic.
En los últimos años, la trazabilidad se ha convertido en un procedimiento imprescindible en muchos sectores de la industria ya que es clave a la hora de mantener la seguridad de un proceso. La noción de la trazabilidad no es nueva, pero se siguen realizando muchas investigaciones llevadas a cabo en diferentes dominios. Una de las razones de estas investigaciones es que hoy día, el progreso en el mundo digital implica que los productos y sistemas tecnológicos sean cada vez más interdependientes. Mientras que tradicionalmente los sistemas se dirigían a un solo dominio, los sistemas actuales deben estar compuestos por múltiples sistemas que deben integrarse de manera coherente. Es por ello, por lo que hemos sido testigos del crecimiento de los conocidos como sistemas de sistemas (SoS). Existe una amplia variedad de metodologías y dominios de aplicación en la literatura para formar soluciones enmarcadas en el contexto de SoS, pero no existe un consenso unificado para su uso y menos aun cuando se trata de entornos ágiles de integración y despliegue continuo en los que los requisitos de trazabilidad son críticos. Además, a lo largo de los años se han producido varios errores relacionados con un control deficiente de la trazabilidad. Por tanto, este capítulo presenta un marco ágil que tiene como objetivo garantizar la trazabilidad de un SoS desde las primeras etapas. Este marco unifica el descubrimiento, el desarrollo y las operaciones, brindando una cobertura total en la conformación de la solución. Finalmente, presentamos un caso de estudio como trabajo de futuro, que se basa en la aplicación de nuestro marco sobre laboratorios inteligentes de reproducción asistida.
Andres Jimenez Ramirez
added a research item
This work has been motivated by the needs we discovered when analyzing real-world processes from the healthcare domain that have revealed high flexibility demands and complex temporal constraints. When trying to model these processes with existing languages, we learned that none of the latter was able to fully address these needs. This motivated us to design TConDec-R, a declarative process modeling language enabling the specification of complex temporal constraints. Enacting business processes based on declarative process models, however, introduces a high complexity due to the required optimization of objective functions, the handling of various temporal constraints, the concurrent execution of multiple process instances, the management of cross-instance constraints, and complex resource allocations. Consequently, advanced user support through optimized schedules is required when executing the instances of such models. In previous work, we suggested a method for generating an optimized enactment plan for a given set of process instances created from a TConDec-R model. However, this approach was not applicable to scenarios with uncertain demands in which the enactment of newly created process instances starts continuously over time, as in the considered healthcare scenarios. Here, the process instances to be planned within a specific timeframe cannot be considered in isolation from the ones planned for future timeframes. To be able to support such scenarios, this article significantly extends our previous work by generating optimized enactment plans under a rolling planning horizon. We evaluate the approach by applying it to a particularly challenging healthcare process scenario, i.e., the diagnostic procedures required for treating patients with ovarian carcinoma in a Woman Hospital. The application of the approach to this sophisticated scenario allows avoiding constraint violations and effectively managing shared resources, which contributes to reduce the length of patient stays in the hospital.
José González Enríquez
added 5 research items
Nowadays, Machine Learning (ML) algorithms are being widely applied in virtually all possible scenarios. However, developing a ML project entails the effort of many ML experts who have to select and configure the appropriate algorithm to process the data to learn from, between other things. Since there exist thousands of algorithms, it becomes a time-consuming and challenging task. To this end, recently, AutoML emerged to provide mechanisms to automate parts of this process. However, most of the efforts focus on applying brute force procedures to try different algorithms or configuration and select the one which gives better results. To make a smarter and more efficient selection, a repository of knowledge is necessary. To this end, this paper proposes (1) an approach towards a common language to consolidate the current distributed knowledge sources related the algorithm selection in ML, and (2) a method to join the knowledge gathered through this language in a unified store that can be exploited later on. The preliminary evaluations of this approach allow to create a unified store collecting the knowledge of 13 different sources and to identify a bunch of research lines to conduct.
Process automation typically begins with the observation of humans conducting the tasks that will be eventually automated. Similarly, successful RPA projects require a prior analysis of the undergoing processes which are being executed by humans. The process of collecting this type of information is known as user interface (UI) logging since it records the interaction against a UI. Main RPA platforms (e.g., Blueprism and UIPath) incorporate functionalities that allow the recording of these UI interactions. However, the records that these platforms generate lack some functionalities that large-scale RPA projects require. Besides, they are only understandable by the proper RPA platforms. This paper presents an extensible and multi-platform OpenSource UI logger that generate UI logs in a standard format. This system collects information from all the computers it is running on and sends it to a central server for its processing. Treatment of the collected information will allow the creation of an enriched UI log which can be used, among others purposes, for smart process analysis, machine learning training, the creation of RPA robots, or, being more general, for task mining .
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a discipline that is increasingly growing hand in hand with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning enabling the so-called cognitive automation. In such context, the existing RPA platforms that include AI-based solutions classify their components, i.e. constituting part of a robot that performs a set of actions, in a way that seems to obey market or business decisions instead of common-sense rules. To be more precise, components that present similar functionality are identified with different names and grouped in different ways depending on the platform that provides the components. Therefore, the analysis of different cognitive RPA platforms to check their suitability for facing a specific need is typically a time-consuming and error-prone task. To overcome this problem and to provide users with support in the development of an RPA project, this paper proposes a method for the systematic construction of a taxonomy of cognitive RPA components. Moreover, such a method is applied over components that solve selected real-world use cases from the industry obtaining promising results .
Nora Koch
added a research item
Prototyping is a technique frequently used in the early stages of software development, but often prototypes are discarded or the provided information manually transferred into further steps of the software production. An open issue in industry and research is the automated reuse of valuable information included in these prototypes. We propose to build a tool that transforms prototypes into models. It is based on model-driven engineering concepts. In this paper, we present a first proof of concept for such a tool. For the validation, we built a mockup based prototype and a plugin for the transformations. The prototype and the generated analysis models were presented to potential end-users of software development companies. They confirmed the need for tool support for reusing information provided by prototypes and considered transforming prototypes into NDT suite models the most appropriate solution for them.
M.J. Escalona
added a project goal
The quality assurance of the software is a line of work that has been developing for many years but that every day acquires more
importance because the Information and communication Technologies (ICT) are increasingly present in our lives . Nowadays, if a software
wants to be competitive, it has to cover in the most efficient way possible all the requirements that users demand and it has to guarantee, in addition, a robustness and consistency of the data they handle. The SiTPGa project aims to find mechanisms that guarantee the quality
of software products from the earliest stages of the life cycle. The research carried out has three main work focuses: (1) Software testing,
which pilots early tests on both functional and non-functional requirements as well as data testing. (2) The effective inclusion of the user in the earliest stages of the software and very specifically in the business process environment in order to correctly define the flexibility,
adaptability and possible robotization thereof (RPA-Robotic Process Automation) (3) Gamification, developing solutions aimed at
improving the skills of stakeholders to make the production of quality software more effective.
The project consists of three subprojects led by the University of Seville, the University of Oviedo and the University of Cádiz in which staff from 22 different organizations participate and have the support of 33 entities interested in the results of the project as well as with the
collaboration of 13 international doctors of high prestige. A high scientific-technological impact of the same is foreseen as well as a notable social impact since it is oriented towards the challenges of society and more specifically that of Economy and Digital Society.