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Cognitive software--which uses machine learning and data science to enable the software to "partner" with humans and augment human abilities--is here. Cognitive software engineering poses some unique challenges to the software practitioner and research communities. One of these is embodied in the cognitive components themselves: they must be trained and tuned appropriately, so that they can understand and respond correctly to users of the cognitive application. It is, however, very difficult to train these components so that they produce good results in your application; to diagnose issues that are impeding their performance; and even to know when they are "good enough" for use. Traditionally, only machine learning and data science experts have been able to produce well-performing cognitive components successfully. Most developers do not have the required knowledge and expertise, but they are the ones creating and evolving cognitive software.
In this talk, I will describe some of the challenges that cognitive software engineering poses for the software engineering research and practitioner communities. I will also demonstrate FARCAST, a framework and tool that aims to help software engineering experts to produce well-performing cognitive components for cognitive applications. FARCAST leverages knowledge expert knowledge and insights to help reduce the time and expertise required to produce an appropriately trained model for your cognitive application.
Peri Tarr received her BS in Zoology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1986, and her MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1992 and 1996, respectively). Between her BS and MS/PhD, she worked full-time at the University of Massachusetts Physical Plant, attempting to introduce an automated system to help with the Plant's operations. After receiving her PhD, she joined the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center as a Research Staff Member in 1996, where she worked on and led various projects relating to issues of software composition, morphogenic software, and aspect-oriented software development.
Her work on multi-dimensional separation of concerns was recognized as the Most Influential Paper at the 2009 International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE). She currently serves as chief architect for Governance of Software Development, an IBM Research initiative that ties together the tools for teams of developers with the planning and financial management aspects required by enterprises.
Dr. Tarr was the 2005 program chair of the Aspect-Oriented Software Development conference and was the 2006 general chair of ACM SIGPLAN's OOPSLA 2006 Conference.