Sven Apel

Sven Apel, Prof. Dr.
Professor of Computer Science
Chair of Software Engineering
Saarland Informatics Campus
Saarland University

Coordinates
Room:  2.11
Mail:  Saarland University, Campus E1 1, 66123 Saarbr├╝cken, Germany
Phone:  +49 681 302 57211
Fax:  +49 681 302 57212
E-mail:  apel @ cs.uni-saarland.de
Curriculum vitae, short bio, DBLP, Google Scholar, ACM, ORCiD
News
Christian Kästner, Martin Kuhlemann, and I received the Software Product Line Most Influential Paper Award for our ICSE'08 Paper “Granularity in Software Product Lines”.
I am among the 49 ACM Distinguished Members that were recognized in 2018 by the Association for Computing Machinery for contributions that have revolutionized how we live, work, and play.
Times Higher Education features our research on double-blind reviewing (see also the original article in Communications of the ACM).
Pervolution: Project on performance evolution of highly configurable systems accepted for funding by the DFG (with Norbert Siegmund)
Research

A key vision driving my research is to empower software engineering practice to enter an era of intensive automation. I develop and evaluate methods, tools, and theories for the construction of manageable, reliable, efficient, configurable, and evolvable software systems. In particular, I am interested in:

  • Software product lines and configurable systems
  • Domain-specific generation and optimization
  • Software analytics and intelligence
  • Empirical methods and the human factor in software engineering

I apply my research results routinely to real-world software systems and projects from different domains, in particular, data-intensive, operating, and high-performance computing systems, both from the open-source realm or in collaborations with partners from industry, such as Siemens AG, Bosch Austria, Airbus Helicopters, and Fraunhofer IESE.

Awards & Honors
Grants
Pervolution (DFG, 290 000 Euro, 2017–2020)
ExaStencils (DFG, SPP 1648, 510 000 Euro, 2013–2018)
SafeSPL++ (DFG, Heisenberg Program, 660 000 Euro, 2013–2018)
Pythia (DFG, SPP 1593, 700 000 Euro, 2012–2017)
FeatureOpt (FFG, 100 000 Euro, 2015–2018)
Software Intelligence (Siemens AG, 50 000 Euro, 2013–2016)
SafeSPL (DFG, Emmy-Noether Program, 1 300 000 Euro, 2010–2015)
MapReduceFoundation (DFG, 160 000 Euro, 2011–2013)
FeatureFoundation (DFG, 320 000 Euro, 2009–2013)
Editorships
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Member of Editorial Board
Empirical Software Engineering, Member of Editorial Board
IEEE Software, Member of Editorial Board
Dagstuhl Seminars
Sven Apel, Joanne Atlee, Luciano Baresi, and Pamela Zave. Feature Interactions: The Next Generation (No. 14281). July 6th – 11th, 2014.
Sven Apel, William R. Cook, Krzysztof Czarnecki, and Oscar Nierstrasz. Feature-Oriented Software Development (No. 11021). January 9th – 14th, 2011.
Sven Apel, Don Batory, Goetz Graefe, Gunter Saake, and Olaf Spinczyk. Software Engineering for Tailor-made Data Management (No. 08281). July 06th – 11th, 2008.
Selected Publications
(complete list)
  • Janet Siegmund, Norman Peitek, André Brechmann, Chris Parnin, and Sven Apel. Studying Programming in the Neuroage: Just a Crazy Idea? Communications of the ACM, 2019. To appear.
  • Guilherme Cavalcanti, Paulo Borba, Georg Seibt, and Sven Apel. The Impact of Structure on Software Merging: Semistructured versus Structured Merge. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE). IEEE Computer Society, November 2019. Acceptance rate (full papers): 25% (93 / 373); to appear.
  • Stefan Mühlbauer, Sven Apel, and Norbert Siegmund. Accurate Modeling of Performance Histories for Evolving Software Systems. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE). IEEE Computer Society, November 2019. Acceptance rate (full papers): 25% (93 / 373); to appear.
  • Christian Kaltenecker, Alexander Grebhahn, Norbert Siegmund, Jianmei Guo, and Sven Apel. Distance-Based Sampling of Software Configuration Spaces. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 1084–1094. IEEE Computer Society, May 2019. Acceptance rate: 21% (109 / 529).
  • Vivek Nair, Zhe Yu, Tim Menzies, Norbert Siegmund, and Sven Apel. Finding Faster Configurations using FLASH. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE), 2018. Online first.
  • Leonardo Passos, Rodrigo Queiroz, Mukelabai Mukelabai, Thorsten Berger, Sven Apel, Krzysztof Czarnecki, and Jesus Alejandro Padilla. A Study of Feature Scattering in the Linux Kernel. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE), 2018. Online first.
  • Norman Peitek, Janet Siegmund, Sven Apel, Christian Kästner, Chris Parnin, Anja Bethmann, Thomas Leich, Gunter Saake, and André Brechmann. A Look into Programmers' Heads. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE), 2018. Online first.
  • Alexander von Rhein, Jörg Liebig, Andreas Janker, Christian Kästner, and Sven Apel. Variability-Aware Static Analysis at Scale: An Empirical Study. ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM), 27(4):18:1–18:33, November 2018.
  • Claire Le Goues, Yuriy Brun, Sven Apel, Emery Berger, Sarfrad Khurshid, and Yannis Smaragdakis. Effectiveness of Anonymization in Double-Blind Review. Communications of the ACM, 61(6):30–33, May 2018.
  • Flavio Medeiros, Marcio Ribeiro, Rohit Gheyi, Sven Apel, Christian Kästner, Bruno Ferreira, Luiz Carvalho, and Baldoino Fonseca. Discipline Matters: Refactoring of Preprocessor Directives in the #ifdef Hell. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE), 44(5):453–469, May 2018.
  • Olaf Leßenich, Sven Apel, Christian Kästner, Georg Seibt, and Janet Siegmund. Renaming and Shifted Code in Structured Merging: Looking Ahead for Precision and Performance. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE), pages 543–553. IEEE Computer Society, November 2017. Acceptance rate (full papers): 21% (67 / 322).
  • Vivek Nair, Tim Menzies, Norbert Siegmund, and Sven Apel. Using Bad Learners to find Good Configurations. In Proceedings of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE), pages 257–267. ACM Press, September 2017. Acceptance rate: 24% (72 / 295).
  • Janet Siegmund, Norman Peitek, Chris Parnin, Sven Apel, Johannes Hofmeister, Christian Kästner, Andrew Begel, Anja Bethmann, and André Brechmann. Measuring Neural Efficiency of Program Comprehension. In Proceedings of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE), pages 140–150. ACM Press, September 2017. Acceptance rate: 24% (72 / 295).
  • Norbert Siegmund, Stefan Sobernig, and Sven Apel. Attributed Variability Models: Outside the Comfort Zone. In Proceedings of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE), pages 268–278. ACM Press, September 2017. Acceptance rate: 24% (72 / 295).
  • Jörg Liebig, Sven Apel, Andreas Janker, Florian Garbe, and Sebastian Oster. Handling Static Configurability in Refactoring Engines. IEEE Computer, 50(7):44–53, July 2017.
  • Mitchell Joblin, Sven Apel, Claus Hunsen, and Wolfgang Mauerer. Classifying Developers into Core and Peripheral: An Empirical Study on Count and Network Metrics. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 164–174. IEEE Computer Society, May 2017. Acceptance rate: 16% (68 / 415).
  • Sven Apel, Dirk Beyer, Vitaly Mordan, Vadim Mutilin, and Andreas Stahlbauer. On-The-Fly Decomposition of Specifications in Software Model Checking. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE), pages 349–361. ACM Press, November 2016. Acceptance rate: 27% (74 / 273).
  • Flávio Medeiros, Christian Kästner, Márcio Ribeiro, Rohit Gheyi, and Sven Apel. A Comparison of 10 Sampling Algorithms for Configurable Systems. In Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 643–654. ACM Press, May 2016. Acceptance rate: 19% (101 / 530).
  • Atri Sarkar, Jianmei Guo, Norbert Siegmund, Sven Apel, and Krzysztof Czarnecki. Cost-Efficient Sampling for Performance Prediction of Configurable Systems. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE), pages 342–352. IEEE Computer Society, November 2015. Acceptance rate (full papers): 21% (60 / 289).
  • Andreas Wölfl, Norbert Siegmund, Sven Apel, Harald Kosch, Johann Krautlager, and Guillermo Weber-Urbina. Generating Qualifiable Avionics Software: An Experience Report. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE), pages 726–736. IEEE Computer Society, November 2015. Acceptance rate (full papers): 21% (60 / 289).
  • Norbert Siegmund, Alexander Grebhahn, Sven Apel, and Christian Kästner. Performance-Influence Models for Highly Configurable Systems. In Proceedings of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE), pages 284–294. ACM Press, August 2015. Acceptance rate: 25% (74 / 291).
  • Mitchell Joblin, Wolfgang Mauerer, Sven Apel, Janet Siegmund, and Dirk Riehle. From Developer Networks to Verified Communities: A Fine-Grained Approach. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 563–573. IEEE Computer Society, May 2015. Acceptance rate: 19% (84 / 452).
  • Jörg Liebig, Andreas Janker, Florian Garbe, Sven Apel, and Christian Lengauer. Morpheus: Variability-Aware Refactoring in the Wild. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 380–391. IEEE Computer Society, May 2015. Acceptance rate: 19% (84 / 452).
  • Alexander von Rhein, Alexander Grebhahn, Sven Apel, Norbert Siegmund, Dirk Beyer, and Thorsten Berger. Presence-Condition Simplification in Highly Configurable Systems. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 178–188. IEEE Computer Society, May 2015. Acceptance rate: 19% (84 / 452).
  • Janet Siegmund, Norbert Siegmund, and Sven Apel. Views on Internal and External Validity in Empirical Software Engineering. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 9–19. IEEE Computer Society, May 2015. Acceptance rate: 19% (84 / 452); ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award.
  • Jianmei Guo, Edward Zulkoski, Rafael Olaechea, Derek Rayside, Krzysztof Czarnecki, Sven Apel, and Joanne Atlee. Scaling Exact Multi-Objective Combinatorial Optimization by Parallelization. In Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE), pages 409–420. ACM Press, September 2014. Acceptance rate: 20% (55 / 276).
  • Thomas Thüm, Sven Apel, Christian Kästner, Ina Schaefer, and Gunter Saake. A Classification and Survey of Analysis Strategies for Software Product Lines. ACM Computing Surveys, 47(1):6:1–6:45, June 2014.
  • Janet Siegmund, Christian Kästner, Sven Apel, Chris Parnin, Anja Bethmann, Thomas Leich, Gunter Saake, and André Brechmann. Understanding Understanding Source Code with Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. In Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 378–389. ACM Press, May 2014. Acceptance rate: 20% (99 / 495).
  • Jianmei Guo, Krzysztof Czarnecki, Sven Apel, Norbert Siegmund, and Andrzej Wasowski. Variability-Aware Performance Prediction: A Statistical Learning Approach. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE), pages 301–311. IEEE Computer Society, November 2013. Acceptance rate (full papers): 16% (51 / 317).
  • Andreas Simbürger, Sven Apel, Armin Größlinger, and Christian Lengauer. The Potential of Polyhedral Optimization: An Empirical Study. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE), pages 508–518. IEEE Computer Society, November 2013. Acceptance rate (full papers): 16% (51 / 317).
  • Sven Apel, Don Batory, Christian Kästner, and Gunter Saake. Feature-Oriented Software Product Lines: Concepts and Implementation. Springer-Verlag, October 2013. 315 pages, ISBN 978-3-642-37520-0.
  • Jörg Liebig, Alexander von Rhein, Christian Kästner, Sven Apel, Jens Dörre, and Christian Lengauer. Scalable Analysis of Variable Software. In Proceedings of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE), pages 81–91. ACM Press, August 2013. Acceptance rate: 20% (51 / 251).
  • Sven Apel, Alexander von Rhein, Philipp Wendler, Armin Größlinger, and Dirk Beyer. Strategies for Product-Line Verification: Case Studies and Experiments. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 482–491. IEEE Computer Society, May 2013. Acceptance rate: 19% (85 / 461).
  • Sven Apel, Christian Kästner, and Christian Lengauer. Language-Independent and Automated Software Composition: The FeatureHouse Experience. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE), 39(1):63–79, January 2013.
  • Sven Apel, Olaf Leßenich, and Christian Lengauer. Structured Merge with Auto-Tuning: Balancing Precision and Performance. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE), pages 120–129. ACM Press, September 2012. Acceptance rate: 13% (21/167).
  • Christian Kästner, Sven Apel, Thomas Thüm, and Gunter Saake. Type Checking Annotation-Based Product Lines. ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM), 21(3):14:1–14:39, June 2012.
  • Norbert Siegmund, Sergiy Kolesnikov, Christian Kästner, Sven Apel, Don Batory, Marko Rosenmüller, and Gunter Saake. Predicting Performance via Automated Feature-Interaction Detection. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 167–177. IEEE Computer Society, June 2012. Acceptance rate: 21% (87 / 408).
  • Sven Apel, Jörg Liebig, Benjamin Brandl, Christian Lengauer, and Christian Kästner. Semistructured Merge: Rethinking Merge in Revision Control Systems. In Proceedings of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE), pages 190–200. ACM Press, September 2011. Acceptance rate: 17% (34 / 203).
  • Sven Apel and Dirk Beyer. Feature Cohesion in Software Product Lines: An Exploratory Study. In Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 421–430. ACM Press, May 2011. Acceptance rate: 14% (62 / 441).
  • Friedrich Steimann, Thomas Pawlitzki, Sven Apel, and Christian Kästner. Types and Modularity for Implicit Invocation with Implicit Announcement. ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM), 20(1):1:1–1:43, June 2010.
  • Sven Apel and DeLesley Hutchins. A Calculus for Uniform Feature Composition. ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems (TOPLAS), 32(5):19:1–19:33, May 2010.
  • Jörg Liebig, Sven Apel, Christian Lengauer, Christian Kästner, and Michael Schulze. An Analysis of the Variability in Forty Preprocessor-Based Software Product Lines. In Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 105–114. ACM Press, May 2010. Acceptance rate: 14% (52 / 380).
  • Sven Apel, Christian Kästner, and Christian Lengauer. FeatureHouse: Language-Independent, Automated Software Composition. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 221–231. IEEE Computer Society, May 2009. Acceptance rate: 12% (50 / 405).
  • Christian Kästner and Sven Apel. Type-checking Software Product Lines – A Formal Approach. In Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE), pages 258–267. IEEE Computer Society, September 2008. Acceptance rate: 12% (30 / 280).
  • Christian Kästner, Sven Apel, and Martin Kuhlemann. Granularity in Software Product Lines. In Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 311–320. ACM Press, May 2008. Acceptance rate: 15% (56 / 371).
  • Sven Apel, Thomas Leich, and Gunter Saake. Aspectual Feature Modules. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE), 34(2):162–180, April 2008.
  • Sven Apel, Thomas Leich, and Gunter Saake. Aspectual Mixin Layers: Aspects and Features in Concert. In Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), pages 122–131. ACM Press, May 2006. Acceptance rate: 9% (36 / 395).

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Tools
FeatureHouse: Language-Independent Feature Composition cppstats: Analyzing C Preprocessor Directives
JDime: Structured Merge of Software Versions SPL Conqueror: Performance Prediction of Software Variants
SPLverifier: Variability-Aware Model Checking TypeChef: Variability-Aware Static Analysis
FeatureVisu: Layout-Based Feature Clustering Codeface: Project Analysis and Dashboard Framework
FeatureIDE: Feature-Oriented Software Development Fuji: Feature-Oriented Programming in Java
CIDE: Virtual Separation of Concerns
Pearls
Network Science Offers New Perspective on Developer Roles in Open Source SoftwareIEEE Software blog.
My keynote at MODULARITY 2016 is available at YouTube.
Co.LABS Article: This Is Your Brain On Code, According To Functional MRI Imaging
Huffington Post Article: Chris Parnin summarizes our fMRI research: Scientists Begin Looking at Programmers' Brains: The Neuroscience of Programming. See also the discussion thread at Slashdot.
Tech Talk on Variability-Aware Analysis at GPCE'12
Interview on FOSD at Software Engineering Radio: Part 1 and Part 2
Links
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