Automated Optimisation of Modern Software System PropertiesSpeaker: Federica Sarro – London, United Kingdom
Topic(s): Software Engineering and Programming
Realizing modern software systems poses new challenges to the software engineers: Users of applications running on limited capability devices still demand acceptable performance; users of systems relying on artificial intelligence to take decision (rightly) reclaim a fair treatment; users of social networking systems expect to be protected against malicious behaviours. Moreover, AI-enabled software systems are so energy-greedy that their usage is causing an alarming surge in energy consumption with a significant increase in CO2 emissions.
Equipping software with appealing functionalities and minimising faults, is not enough if the emerging non-functional properties of these systems, such as fairness, safety and sustainability, are not taken into account. Mobile users will stop using an app if it is too slow or uses much bandwidth. Human bias can be transferred to various real-word systems relying on ML: Bias has been found in advertisement, recruitment, admission processes, among others, and human rights. A growing number of malicious users use well-intentioned software platforms as a tool to attack the innocent users with whom they share the platform. Examples of such harmful acts are sadly too many to list; they include bullying, harassment, hate speech, misinformation, election interference, scamming and spamming. ChatGTP is an AI model able to answer a variety of questions, compose essays, have philosophical conversations, and even code or fix bugs. However, all these come at a high cost: ChatGPT has been estimated to consume the equivalent of the electricity consumed by 175,000 people in Denmark per month 1.
In this talk, I will discuss the necessity to take these properties into account when realizing these types of systems, and the extent to which it is possible to automate their optimization. I will discuss existing solutions mainly based, but not limited to, multi-objective optimisation. In fact, we cannot expect that a software engineer, regardless of their level of expertise, would be able to manually find all opportunities for optimising these non-functional properties. I will review research trends, presenting results from the SOLAR group and others. I will also discuss some directions for future work and open-challenges towards achieving better, fairer, safer and greener software.
About this LectureNumber of Slides: 90
Duration: 90 minutes
Languages Available: English, Italian
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