Carlo Ghezzi

Current research

My current research is focusing on understanding the requirements and defining the foundations for the engineering of dependable software systems that can behave in a situational, self-managed manner. I am interested in all aspects of software evolution to respond to changing requirements, and adaptations to respond to changes in the environment in which the software is embedded. In focusing on the development of foundations, I am interested in the formal methods that can be applied, and specially on methods that support quantitative reasoning. I am also looking at adaptation approaches that can combine the software engineering model-based view with control theory.

This work is funded by the EU through ERC Advanced Investigator Grant N. 227977 [2008-2013]--Self Managing Situated Computing. Follow this link if you wish to know more about SMScom.

Perspective students and research collaborators

If you are a student and you are looking for a challenging Master Thesis or a perspective PhD student, please do not hesitate to contact me. Working with students is my way to do research. I can stimulate, guide (and criticize) them and they can bring new fresh ideas. I am also very interested in getting in touch with perspective post-docs to continue fuel my research group with new talents.

Editorial activities

I am on the editorial board of Communications of the ACM, the flagship wide-spectrum journal of Computer Science. I am also on the editorial board of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, one of the two flagship journals of Software Engineering. I served as editor in chief of the other (ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology) from 2001 till 2006.
I am on the editorial board of two more specialized journals: Computing and Service Oriented Computing and Applications.

Research evaluation

I am very interested in understanding how research can be evaluated. This theme is especially hot because society at large is becoming more and more concerned about research evaluation. Funding bodies, universities, governments are interested in evaluating how research can contribute to society through the quality of its outcomes. Very often, quality is measured through very poor numerical proxies (impact factor, h-index, etc.), mostly based on citation counting. Very often, both the measuring criteria and the quantities to measure are defined by people who do not know research. This of course avoids the danger of being self-referential, but is equally negatively affected by other problems (most notably, conflict of interest when this is done by publishers!)
The questions I am interested in are: Can we find reliable criteria to assess research quality? Which quantitative data provide useful insights? What is the role of peer review? What is specific of different research areas? In particular, what is specific of computer science/informatics?
This report by the International Mathematical Union (IMU) provides thoughtful insights into the role of citations. Informatics Europe produced an excellent report on the evaluation of Computer Science/Informatics research. A shorter version has been published on Communications of the ACM.