Visitor from NTT Software Innovation Center Explores Business Process Understanding

From July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, ISR is hosting visiting researcher Dr. Shinobu Saito, Senior Research Engineer at the NTT Software Innovation Center, Software Engineering Project, in Tokyo, Japan.  Dr. Saito’s research interests are in software requirements engineering, design recovery, business modeling, and business process management.  He received his Ph.D. in systems engineering at Keio University in 2007.

Dr. Shinobu Saito with Director Richard N. Taylor

NTT Software Innovation Center (NTT SIC) believes in fostering global research projects with overseas universities and institutes.  When the opportunity arose for Saito to spend a year abroad, his colleague Prof. Mikio Aoyama at Nanzan University recommended he speak with ISR Director Richard N. Taylor about spending the year at UCI ISR.  Saito was familiar with Taylor’s software architecture work and with ISR through its support of ICSE 2011, and the match was made!

During his stay at ISR, Dr. Saito plans to focus on recovering business processes using information from enterprise system databases. Understanding business processes can be difficult as systems are often undocumented, or have documentation which no longer matches the system due to system changes over time. Saito is also interested in the challenges of automatic generation of business processes and analyzing and visualizing information in system databases. His goal is to streamline business/system comprehension.

Mr. Satoru Aihara,  Software Engineering Project, NTT SIC; Dr. Shinobu Saito, Software Engineering Project, NTT SIC and ISR visiting researcher; and Mr. Hikaru Suzuki, Vice President, NTT SIC.In September, Dr. Saito was honored by the Information Processing Society of Japan (IPSJ) Special Interest Group on Software Engineering, which bestowed on him the IPSJ SIG-SE Distinguished Research Award.  IPSJ gives this award to Japanese researchers who publish at top-level software engineering conferences and journals.  Saito was one of two people who received the award this year.  The award was given for his paper “Visualizing the Effects of Requirements Evolution” which was published at ICSE 2016, in the Software Engineering in Practice (SEIP) track.  The paper is co-authored by: Yukako Iimura, NTT SIC, Japan; Hirokazu Tashiro, NTT Data Corporation, Japan; Aaron K. Massey, University of Maryland; and Annie I. Antón, Georgia Tech. 

In November, ISR was pleased to host Mr. Hikaru Suzuki, Vice President, NTT SIC and Mr. Satoru Aihara, Senior Research Engineer, Software Engineering Project, NTT SIC, who visited Saito and UCI ISR for a day.  It was a great opportunity for ISR and NTT to exchange information on research projects and form a foundation for future interactions.

Dr. Saito is currently exploring means for collaborating with Prof. André van der Hoek and his research group, and interacting with Prof. Walt Scacchi, Assoc. Project Scientist Joshua Garcia, and fellow ISR visitor Prof. Zhenyu (Charles) Zhang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“Visitors from influential companies such as NTT give ISR researchers the ability to hone their research objectives through regular interactions,” says ISR Director Taylor.  “Shinobu is an excellent researcher in his own right;  we are privileged to have him resident in ISR this year.”

For more information on Dr. Saito, visit:

This article appeared in ISR Connector issue: