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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 01 | 5. Januar 2015
Priority Programme "Design for Future – Managed Software Evolution" (SPP 1593)

In April 2011 the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme "Design for Future – Managed Software Evolution" (SPP 1593). The programme is designed to run for six years. The first funding period, started in August 2012, ends in July 2015. The present call invites proposals for the second three-year funding period.

The research in the first funding period was focussed on foundations of methods and processes (Guiding Theme I) for developing long-living software or software/hardware systems w.r.t. the carrying of knowledge in software (Guiding Theme II). In addition to the individual research in subprojects, approaches were collaboratively evaluated in two common case studies from the applications domains of production automation and information systems. In particular, the shared case studies promote close collaborations among the individual projects and support transparency of results. The following non-exclusive list of research topics are of common interest:

  • Co-evolution of software, platform and context.
  • Evolution of models and implementation code, of models and tests, and among various types of models.
  • Run-time models to automatically synchronise software systems with their abstract models through continuous system monitoring.

Both, co-evolution and run-time models contribute to our vision of knowledge carrying software, which is a requirement for a long life of software/hardware systems, platform and context.

One of the goals of the first funding period of the Priority Programme, to evenly cover our guiding themes I and II as well as our application domains, was reached.

Hence, in the second funding period we now stronger focus on the third guiding theme, namely the definition and development of platforms and environments for evolution (Guiding Theme III). Thus, the comprehensive elaboration of approaches to manage software evolution with additional constraints from application is taken into account. For this purpose, we encourage proposed projects to validate their approaches by comprehensive software/hardware demonstrators, that have been extended by several scenarios of evolution in the first period of funding. In this context, flexible infrastructures for the evolution of systems in terms of suitable middleware and robust runtime environments, for keeping models consistent, for monitoring and changing systems during operation are of strong interest. In addition, the role of humans is getting more important in the second funding period. Human factors for software evolution influence reuse decisions, relate to software understandability, and organisational aspects in software design. Such factors need to be studied scientifically in empirical studies.

In particular, the following topics are of general concern in the second funding period:

  • Packaging of results of the first funding phase, e.g., in integrated models of software quality properties, architectural styles and patterns, meta-models and integrated processes and methods.
  • Concepts and support for model consistency during evolution, e.g., traceability.
  • Model-driven development of long-living systems.
  • Cross-disciplinary co-evolution of models and supporting concepts and platforms.
  • Evaluation of long-livingness of software by simulation of software ageing integrated life-cycle models for software and hardware.
  • Support for software evolution closely linked with platform and context.
  • Dealing with planned cross-project reuse engineering (product line engineering, model-based/model-driven software development).
  • New platform concepts for virtualisation to abstract from changing technical platforms.
  • Empirical investigation of the human and organisational factors in software reuse. This should be done with a strong software engineering focus, e.g., on software processes.
  • Experimental studies on quality changes for evolving hardware/software systems (e.g., performance, reliability, maintainability).

Proposals need to show a substantial contribution to software engineering research, contributing to the above-mentioned topics of Guiding Theme III. Proposals should also have a clear link to at least one of the two mentioned application domains and their respective case studies. To achieve a high degree of cooperation, joint proposals are particularly welcome as well as a strong contribution to the two case studies of the first funding period. Original research on knowledge management, knowledge-based systems, and usability/ergonomics of software are not within the scope of this Priority Programme. Proposals only focussing on the practical application of information systems or automation engineering, neglecting software engineering aspects are also outside the scope of the SPP. Please note that proposers need to be eligible for research proposals to the DFG. Accepted proposals are expected to contribute to joint activities of this SPP. These are jointly organised workshops where research results and experiences are exchanged.

The proposals for the second three year phase are invited with the deadline 6 May 2015. They have to be submitted via the DFG's portal "elan" for applications. Those applicants who do not yet have an account on "elan" (from earlier proposal submissions or from review tasks accomplished for DFG) need to register. The registration of a new account needs to be confirmed manually by DFG and should thus be requested no later than 30 April 2015. The proposals must be marked by "SPP 1593", which should indicate how they fit into this programme as a whole, have to be submitted in English, and need to be prepared using the respective forms and guidelines in English language.

General information on proposals in the framework of a Priority Programme (in particular concerning eligibility and admissible funding requests) can be found in guideline 50.05 (part B). See also guideline 54.01 for instructions how to prepare a proposal. The specific proposal has to be structured according to form 54.012. However, it is admissible to prepare the proposal as a pdf-file, e.g., using LaTeX, instead of using the rtf-file which is available online.

Please notice the rules for publication lists that have been modified recently: Beside the general bibliography every proposal should include a list of up to ten publications that relate directly to the project. Further the number of publications that may be listed in any academic CV has been increased to up to ten as well. These publications need to be classified as a) refereed publications (published articles and monographs; accepted articles with note of acceptance by the journal) or b) other publications (e.g. preprints on arXiv).

The proposals will be evaluated by a review panel which is planned to meet in July/August 2015.

Further information

General information about the Priority Programme is available on its website:

The DFG's electronic proposal processing system elan with proposal instructions and guidelines can be found at:

Proposal guidelines and preparation instructions are outlined in DFG forms 54.01en and 50.05en, which can be found on the DFG's website at:

For scientific enquiries concerning the scope of the programme, please contact the Priority Programme's coordinator:

  • Prof. Dr. Ralf H. Reussner,
    Institute for Program Structures and Data Organization,
    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT),
    Am Fasanengarten 5,
    76131 Karlsruhe,
    phone: +49 721 608 45993,
    Link auf E-Mailreussner@kit.edu

For enquiries concerning the review process please contact:

For administrative enquiries please contact: