Software Engineering Nederland

From the VERSEN board

Over the last months, the main activity of the VERSEN board has been to inform the various stakeholders about the software manifesto. For example, we have been talking with representatives of the CIO platform, ICTU and the people behind the roadmap on secure hard- and software.
This is an ongoing process, which will continue over the next months. Any further suggestions about who to talk with, are very welcome.

The first meeting with the advisory board has been postponed, but we hope that this will take place in September.

On behalf of the VERSEN board members,
Marieke Huisman (chair)

VERSEN board members interviewed for an article on AG Connect w.r.t. COVID-19 app

In the aftermath of the rush for an app to track COVID-19, it is clear that there are several problems left to be addressed. VERSEN board members Jan Friso Groote and Jurgen Vinju were among those interviewed for a piece published on AG Connect, which also highlights VERSEN's commitments.

Article about the Corona app

An interesting article about software engineering the Corona app has been published in AG Connect. Here it is (Dutch only).

Studying the software quality of COVID-related mobile apps

Marielle Stoelinga and Ivano Malavolta are collaborating on a study about the software quality of COVID-related mobile apps. The idea is to run multiple analyses targeting a large number of COVID-related Android apps in order to characterize if their level of quality is different from that of standard apps published in the Google Play store. This will inform the public and decision makers about how app developers react when subject to huge pressure to deliver and under the unique conditions due to COVID-19.       

Technically, the collaboration will make use of open-source products, like SonarQube and Ivano's COVID apps observer.


Projects - Stoelinga's ERC funded project CAESAR on integrating safety & cybersecurity has started

Marielle Stoelinga’s project CAESAR in integrating safety & cybersecurity through stochastic model checking has started. The project is funded by an an ERC consolidator grant.

As historically separated fields, safety and security are often analyzed in isolation. They are, however, heavily intertwined: measures that increase safety often decrease security and vice versa. Also, security vulnerabilities often cause safety hazards, e.g. in autonomous cars.

The goal of the CAESAR project is will develop an effective framework for the joint analysis of safety and security risks. In particular, the project will work on three important challenges than hindered successful integration thus far:

  1. The complex interaction between safety and security, mapping how vulnerabilities and failures propagate through a system and lead to disruptions
  2. Efficient algorithms to compute system-level risk metrics, such as the likelihood and expected damage of disruptions. Such metrics are pivotal to prioritize risks and mitigate them via appropriate countermeasure
  3. Proper risk quantification methods. Numbers are crucial to devise cost-effective countermeasures. Yet, objective numbers on safety and (especially) security risks are notoriously hard to obtain.

Projects - Tom van Dijk's Marie Curie Individual Fellowship started in April 2020

Tom van Dijk's Marie Curie project PIGGY started in April 2020.

Among others, the main objective of the project is to either:

  • reason how parity games separate P and NP by being solved in at least quasi-polynomial time 
  • find an algorithm that solves parity games in polynomial time

In order to achieve those goals, Tom studies how algorithms reason about parity games by looking specifically at so-called tangles and how their presence in parity games can make solving for any particular solver "hard".

Further information about the project can be found here. Good luck Tom with your project!

Job vacancy: Research Fellow Analysis and Transformation of Legacy Software at ESI, Eindhoven

A job vacancy about the Research Fellow Analysis and Transformation of Legacy Software is available at ESI, Eindhoven. The full vacancy is available here.

I/O Magazine now fully in English

I/O magazine (the magazine of IPN) will be entirely in English as of 2020, so that it is also accessible to researchers with a non-Dutch background. Downloads and subscription are possible at