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move-towards-more-effective-code-generation

Published: 26 June 2008

An academic at the University of Southampton has been awarded £300,000 to improve the safety and usability of automatically generated software code commonly used in the space and automotive industries.

Dr Bernd Fischer of the University's School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) has received funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop systematic techniques and supporting tools that will allow application developers to customise automatically generated code efficiently and reliably without needing to modify either the code generator or the generated code.

According to Dr Fischer, who has spent much of his career at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which is one of the collaborators on this project, software developers generally rely on code generation as a key technology to translate high-level models into code. Although this speeds up development and increases productivity and reliability, the output code often differs from the user's exact requirements and thus needs customisation.

Over a three year period, Dr Fischer proposes to develop a domain-specific code generator with the capacity to support reliable code customisation.

"This research is about making changes to the output of code generators,' said Dr Fischer. 'It's about making the code generator more flexible without having to go into the inner guts of the machine. Users in safety-critical application domains such as automotive and avionics systems will particularly benefit from the assurance support we can provide for customisations."

Notes for editors

  • For information about Dr Fischer and his work, please visit: http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/people/bf and http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/about/bernd_fischer.php

  • With around 500 researchers, and 900 undergraduate students, the School of Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton is one of the world's largest and most successful integrated research groupings, covering Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electronics, and Electrical Engineering. ECS has unrivalled depth and breadth of expertise in world-leading research, new developments and their applications.

  • The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship.

    This is one of the country's top institutions for engineering, computer science and medicine, and home to a range of world-leading research centres, including the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, and the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies.

    We combine academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to research, supporting a culture that engages and challenges students and staff in their pursuit of learning.

    As one of the UK's top 10 research universities, we offer first-rate opportunities and facilities for study and research across a wide range of subjects in humanities, health, science and engineering. We have over 22,000 students, around 5000 staff, and an annual turnover in the region of £325 million.

  • For further information contact:

    Dr Bernd Fischer, School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, Tel: 023 8059 9047, email: b.fischer@ecs.soton.ac.uk

    Joyce Lewis, Communications Manager, School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton Tel. 023 8059 5453; email jkl2@ecs.soton.ac.uk

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