Professor Robert Hierons

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Professor of Computing

Room: St Johns 101
Brunel University London
Uxbridge
UB8 3PH
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1895 266002
Fax: +44 (0)1895 251686
Email: rob.hierons@brunel.ac.uk

Web: Personal Website
Web: Google Scholar Profile

Summary

Hierons received a BA in Mathematics (Trinity College, Cambridge), and a Ph.D. in Computer Science (Brunel University London). He then joined the Department of Mathematical and Computing Sciences at Goldsmiths College, University of London, as a lecturer in computer science before returning to Brunel University London. He is a member of the Brunel Software Engineering Lab (BSEL) and is the Director of one of Brunel's University Research Centres: the Centre for Software and Systems. He has chaired or co-chaired several events including the 16th IFIP TC 6 / WG 6.1 International Conference on Testing of Communicating Systems (TestCom 2004), the first IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation, ICST 2008, the 11th International Conference On Quality Software (QSIC 2011), and the 11th International Conference on Software Engineering and Formal Methods (SEFM 2013). He chairs the steering committee of the IFIP TC 6 / WG 6.1 International Conference on Testing Software and Systems (ICTSS). He is also the joint Editor of The Journal of Software Testing, Verification and Reliability.

Research and Teaching

Research Interests

Specification based testing and model based testing including testing (possibly non-deterministic or concurrent) state-based systems;
Distributed testing;
Asynchronous testing;
Failed error propagation and quantified information flow;
Mutation testing;
Program schemas and slicing;
Using metaheuristic algorithms in software engineering;
testing from a Z specification

Current Research

I am currently involved in research regarding the following topics:
Distributed Testing
Asynchronous Testing
Failed Error Propagation and Information Theory
Metamorphic Testing
Testing from scenario-based models
Semantic Mutation Testing

Previous Research

Previous projects include the following:
The Birth, Life and Death of Semantic Schemas, EP/G04354X/1, Joint with Prof John Clark, University of York
Testing Probabilistic and Stochastic Systems (ProbTest), EP/G032572/1
REFactoring and TESTing (‘REFTEST’) Network, EP EP/G031126/1. With Dr Steve Counsell. (who was principal-investigator).
EPSRC: Linear Schemas for Program Dependence, EP/E002919/1. With Sebastian Danicic, Goldsmiths College (PI), and Professor Mark Harman, UCL.
Formal Methods and Testing (FORTEST). GR/R43150, £63,158

Teaching

Module leader: CS5565, Service Oriented Architectures
Involved in: CS2002, Software Development and Management
Involved in: CS3003, Software Engineering
Supervision of level 2 groups
Supervision of final year projects

Research Supervision

Krishna Patel
Mohammad Nabulsi

Publications

Publications

Journal Papers

(Forthcoming) Nabulsi, MA. and Hierons, RM., A new test framework for communications-critical large scale systems, IEEE Software In Press

(2014) Dan, H. and Hierons, RM., The Oracle Problem when testing from MSCs, The Computer Journal 57 (7) : 987- 1001

(2014) Hierons, RM., Merayo, MG. and Nunez, M., Timed Implementation Relations for the Distributed Test Architecture, Distributed Computing 27 (3) : 181- 201

(2014) Segura, S., Parejo, JA., Hierons, RM., Benavides, D. and Ruiz-Cortés, A., Automated generation of computationally hard feature models using evolutionary algorithms, Expert Systems with Applications 41 (8) : 3975- 3992 Download publication

(2013) AbouTrab, MS., Brockway, M., Counsell, S. and Hierons, RM., Testing Real-time Embedded Systems using Timed Automata Based Approaches, Journal of Systems and Software 85 (5) : 1209- 1223

(2013) Khan, IA., Brinkman, W-P. and Hierons, R., Towards estimating computer users' mood from interaction behaviour with keyboard and mouse, Frontiers of Computer Science 7 (6) : 943- 954

(2013) Clark, JA., Dan, H. and Hierons, RM., Semantic mutation testing, Science of Computer Programming 78 (4) : 345- 363 Download publication

(2013) Hierons, RM., Implementation Relations for Testing Through Asynchronous Channels, The Computer Journal 56 (11) : 1305- 1319

(2013) Nunez, A., Merayo, MG., Nunez, M. and Hierons, RM., Using genetic algorithms to generate test sequences for complex timed systems, Soft Computing 17 (2) : 301- 315 Download publication

(2013) Hierons, RM., Verifying and comparing finite state machines for systems that have distributed interfaces, IEEE Transactions on Computers 62 (8) : 1673- 1683 Download publication

(2013) Androutsopoulos, K., Clark, D., Harman, M., Hierons, RM., Li, Z. and Tratt, L., Amorphous slicing of extended finite state machines, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering Download publication

(2012) Dan, H., Hierons, RM. and Counsell, S., A framework for pathologies of message sequence charts, Information and Software Technology

(2012) Hierons, RM., Nunez, M., Hierons, RM. and Nunez, M., Using schedulers to test probabilistic distributed systems, Formal Aspects of Computing 24 (4) : 679- 699 Download publication

(2012) Dan, H. and Hierons, RM., Controllability problems in MSC-based testing, Computer Journal 55 (11) : 1270- 1287 Download publication

(2012) Dan, H. and Hierons, RM., Controllability Problems in MSC Tests, The Computer Journal 55 (11) : 1270- 1287

(2012) Dan, H., Hierons, RM. and Counsell, S., A framework for pathologies of message sequence charts, Information and Software Technology 54 (11) : 1283- 1295 Download publication

(2012) Hierons, RM., The complexity of asynchronous model based testing, Theoretical Computer Science 451 70- 82 Download publication

(2012) Danicic, S., Hierons, RM. and Laurence, M., Complexity of data dependence problems for program schemas with concurrency, ACM Transactions on Computational Logic 13 (2) : 15 Download publication

(2012) Hierons, RM., Overcoming controllability problems in distributed testing from an input output transition system, Distributed Computing 25 (1) : 63- 81

(2012) Clark, D. and Hierons, RM., Squeeziness: An information theoretic measure for avoiding fault masking, Information Processing Letters 112 (8-9) : 335- 340 Download publication

(2012) Hierons, RM., Oracles for distributed testing, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 38 (3) : 629- 641 Download publication

(2012) Hierons, RM., Overcoming controllability problems in distributed testing from an input output transition system, Distributed Computing 25 (1) : 63- 81 Download publication

(2011) Hierons, RM., Merayo, MG. and Núñez, M., Implementation relations and test generation for systems with distributed interfaces, Distributed Computing Online Paper - Download publication

(2011) Kalaji, AS., Hierons, RM. and Swift, S., An integrated search-based approach for automatic testing from extended finite state machine (EFSM) models, Information and Software Technology 53 1297- 1318 Download publication

(2011) Hierons, RM., Controllable testing from nondeterministic finite state machines with multiple ports, IEEE Transactions on Computers 60 (12) : 1818- 1822 Download publication

(2011) Danicic, S., Hierons, RM. and Laurence, M., On the computational complexity of dynamic slicing problems for program schemas, Mathematical Structures in Computer Science 21 1339- 1362 Download publication

(2011) Danicic, S., Hierons, RM. and Laurence, MR., Characterizing minimal semantics-preserving slices of predicate-linear, free, liberal program schemas, Journal of Logic and Algebraic Programming 80 (8) : 481- 496 Download publication

(2011) Mubarak, A., Counsell, S. and Hierons, RM., An evolutionary study of fan-in and fan-out metrics in OSS, International Journal of Information System Modelling and Design 2 (4) : 1- 26

(2011) Segura, S., Hierons, RM., Benavides, D. and Ruiz-Cortes, A., Mutation testing on an object-oriented framework: An experience report, Information and Software Technology 53 (10) : 1124- 1136 Download publication

(2011) Hierons, RM., Merayo, MG. and Nunez, M., Scenarios-based testing of systems with distributed ports, Software: Practice and Experience 41 (10) : 999- 1026 Download publication

(2011) Segura, S., Hierons, RM., Benavides, D. and Ruiz-Cortes, A., Automated metamorphic testing on the analyses of feature models, Information and Software Technology 53 (3) : 245- 258 Download publication

(2011) Danicic, S., Hierons, RM. and Laurence, MR., Decidability of strong equivalence for subschemas of a class of linear, free, near-liberal program schemas, Journal of Logic and Algebraic Programming 80 (2) : 92- 112 Download publication

(2011) Derderian, K., Merayo, MG., Hierons, RM. and Núñez, M., A case study on the use of genetic algorithms to generate test cases for temporal systems, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) 6692 LNCS (PART 2) : 396- 403

(2011) Cavalcanti, A., Gaudel, M-C. and Hierons, RM., Conformance relations for distributed testing based on CSP, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) 7019 LNCS 48- 63

(2011) Khan, IA., Brinkman, W-P. and Hierons, RM., Do moods affect programmers' debug performance?, Cognition, Technology and Work 13 (4) : 245- 258

(2011) Molinero, C., Núñez, M. and Hierons, RM., Experimental comparison of different techniques to generate adaptive sequences, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) 6692 LNCS (PART 2) : 404- 411

(2010) Kalaji, AS., Hierons, RM. and Swift, S., An integrated search-based approach for automatic testing from extended finite state machine (EFSM) models, Information and Software Technology 53 (12) : 1297- 1318

(2010) Khan, IA., Brinkman, W-P. and Hierons, RM., Do moods affect programmers' debug performance?, Cognition, Technology and Work 1- 14

(2010) Counsell, S., Hierons, RM., Hamza, H., Black, S. and Durrand, M., Exploring the eradication of code smells: An empirical and theoretical perspective, Advances in Software Engineering 2010 820103- Download publication

(2010) Hierons, RM. and Ural, H., Generating a checking sequence with a minimum number of reset transitions, Automated Software Engineering 17 (3) : 217- 250 Download publication

(2010) Hierons, RM., Checking experiments for stream X-machines, Theoretical Computer Science 411 (37) : 3372- 3385 Download publication

(2010) Barraclough, RW., Binkley, D., Danicic, S., Harman, M., Hierons, RM., Kiss, A., Laurence, M. and Ouarbya, L., A trajectory-based strict semantics for program slicing, Theoretical Computer Science 411 (11-13) : 1372- 1386 Download publication

(Accepted) Nunez, A. and Hierons, RM., A methodology for validating cloud models using metamorphic testing, Annals of Telecommunications

(Accepted) Hierons, RM., Combining centralised and distributed testing, ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology

Conference Papers

(2014) Androutsopoulos, K., Clark, D., Dan, H., Hierons, RM. and Harman, M., An Analysis of the Relationship between Conditional Entropy and Failed Error Propagation in Software Testing, 36th International Conference on Software Engineering

(2011) AbouTrab, MS., Counsell, S. and Hierons, RM., GeTex: A tool for testing real-time embedded systems using can applications, 18th IEEE International Conference and Workshops on Engineering of Computer Based Systems (ECBS), Proceedings of the 18th IEEE International Conference and Workshops on Engineering of Computer Based Systems (ECBS) 61- 70

(2010) Dan, H., Hierons, RM. and Counsell, S., Non-local choice and implied scenarios, 8th IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering and Formal Methods (SEFM 2010), Proceedings of the 8th IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering and Formal Methods 2010 53- 62

(2010) AbouTrab, M., Alrouh, B., Counsell, S., Hierons, RM. and Ghinea, G., A multi-criteria decision making framework for real time model-based testing, Testing: Academic & Industrial Conference Practice and Research Techniques, 2010 (TAIC PART 2010), Proceedings of Testing: Academic & Industrial Conference Practice and Research Techniques, 2010 (TAIC PART 2010)

(2010) Counsell, S., Hamza, H. and Hierons, RM., The ‘deception’ of code smells: An empirical investigation, 32nd International Conference on Information Technology Interfaces (ITI 2010), Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference on Information Technology Interfaces (ITI 2010) 683- 688

(2010) Mubarak, A., Counsell, S. and Hierons, RM., An evolutionary study of fan-in and fan-out metrics in OSS, Fourth International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science (RCIS 2010)

(2010) Kalaji, AS., Hierons, RM. and Swift, S., Generating feasible transition paths for testing from an extended finite state machine (EFSM) with the counter problem, Third IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification, and Validation Download publication

(2001) Harman, M., Hierons, R., Fox, C., Danicic, S. and Howroyd, J., Pre/post conditioned slicing, , Conference on Software Maintenance 138- 147

(2002) Harman, M., Fox, C., Hierons, R., Hu, L., Danicic, S. and Wegener, J., VADA: A transformation-based system for variable dependence analysis, 2nd IEEE International Workshop on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation, SCAM 2002: SECOND IEEE INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON SOURCE CODE ANALYSIS MANIPULATION, PROCEEDINGS 55- 64 Download publication

(2010) Mubarak, A., Counsell, S. and Hierons, RM., An empirical study of "removed" classes in Java open-source systems, , Advanced Techniques in Computing Sciences and Software Engineering 99- 104

(2012) Hierons, RM., Merayo, MG. and Núñez, M., Using time to add order to distributed testing, , Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (7436 LNCS) : 232- 246

(2012) Saeed Aboutrab, M., Counsell, S. and Hierons, RM., Specification mutation analysis for validating timed testing approaches based on timed automata, , Proceedings - International Computer Software and Applications Conference 660- 669

(2013) Lin, L., Poore, JH., Eschbach, R., Hierons, RM. and Robinson-Mallett, C., Augmenting sequence enumeration with string-rewriting for requirements analysis and behavioral specification, , Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (7793 LNCS) : 179- 193

(2013) Cavalcanti, A. and Hierons, RM., Testing with inputs and outputs in CSP, , Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (7793 LNCS) : 359- 374

(2013) Counsell, S., Gatrell, M., Hierons, R., Murgia, A., Tonelli, R., Marchesi, M. and Concas, G., Conditional-based refactorings and fault-proneness: An empirical study, , Proceedings - IEEE 6th International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation Workshops, ICSTW 2013 80- 85

(2013) Hierons, RM., Merayo, MG. and Núñez, M., Passive testing with asynchronous communications, , Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (7892 LNCS) : 99- 113

(2013) Gaston, C., Hierons, RM. and Le Gall, P., An implementation relation and test framework for timed distributed systems, , Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (8254 LNCS) : 82- 97

(2014) Hierons, RM. and Türker, UC., Distinguishing sequences for partially specified FSMs, , Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (8430 LNCS) : 62- 76

(2012) Dan, H. and Hierons, RM., SMT-C: A semantic mutation testing tools for C, , Proceedings - IEEE 5th International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation, ICST 2012 654- 663

(2012) Dan, H. and Hierons, RM., Semantic mutation analysis of floating-point comparison, , Proceedings - IEEE 5th International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation, ICST 2012 290- 299

(2010) Counsell, S., Hierons, RM., Hamza, H., Black, S. and Durrand, M., Is a strategy for code smell assessment long overdue?, , Proceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering 32- 38

(2011) Dan, H. and Hierons, RM., Conformance testing from message sequence charts, , Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation 279- 288

(2011) Molinero, C., Núñez, M. and Hierons, RM., Creating adaptive sequences with genetic algorithms to reach a certain state in a non-deterministic FSM, , IEEE SSCI 2011 - Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence - IEEE ALIFE 2011: 2011 IEEE Symposium on Artificial Life 22- 29

(2010) Clark, JA., Dan, H. and Hierons, RM., Semantic mutation testing, , Software Testing, Verification, and Validation Workshops (ICSTW), 2010 Third International Conference on 100- 109

Page last updated: Friday 29 August 2014