FEAST/2 Feedback, Evolution and Software Technology  

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    FEAST/2 Feedback, Evolution and Software Technology



    Imperial College, London


    FEAST/1 October 1996 and terminated in September 1998.
    FEAST/2 commenced on 1st April 1999 and terminated in March 2001.

    From the FEAST Homepage:
    Based on an observation first made in 1971 /Lehman, 1985a/ and three international workshops in 1993 and 1994, the FEAST/1 project was set up to explore the hypothesis that to improve real world software processes one must take into account the multi loop feedback structure of such processes. With the successful conclusion of this project, a second project, FEAST/2, was initiated to broaden and extend the conclusions. The FEAST projects terminated officially in March 2001, FEAST/1 /Lehman, 1996/ having run from October 1996 to September 1998 and FEAST/2 /Lehman, 1998c/ from April 1999 to March 2001 but group activity continued till September 2001. A fourth international workshop with 40 participants from 11 countries took place in July 2000. Though initially intended to investigate the FEAST hypothesis, the projects were broadened to study software evolution as a phenomenon in its own right [leh94,98a]. As evidenced by the observed regularities in patterns and trends of evolutionary attributes, the FEAST observations support the hypothesis that process behaviour is constrained by its system dynamics [for61]. The latter relates to the feedback mechanisms and loop-structures of the full process /Lehman, 1994a/,/Lehman, 1998/ that involves analysts, developers, domain specialists, support personnel, marketeers, managers, other agents, methods applied, tools used, users, etc. Success depends on their aggregated activity and is ultimately reflected in stakeholder satisfaction. Sustainable improvement requires feedback mechanisms to be tuned. In the software process this is, however, rarely done. Thus, the complex communication and control loop-structure with its many forward and feedback paths, implies amongst other things, that the scope for manoeuvre, in terms of achievable system growth or evolution rate for example, is more constrained than is normally assumed.

    [for61] Forrester JW, Industrial Dynamics, Productivity Press, Cambridge, MA, 1961


    FEAST 2000: July 10 - 12, 2000

    FEAST III - 1995: February 28-March 1st, 1995

    FEAST II - 1994: October, 24-25,1994

    FEAST I - 1994: July, 16-17,1994


    /Lehman, 1998b/ On Evidence Supporting the FEAST Hypothesis and the Laws of Software Evolution
    /Lehman, 1998c/ FEAST/2: Case for Support
    /Wernick, 1998/ Software Process White Box Modelling for FEAST/1

    /Lehman, 1996/ FEAST/1: Case for Support

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