skip to main content

Title: Quality Assessment for Large-Scale Industrial Software Systems: Experience Report at Alibaba
To assure high software quality for large-scale industrial software systems, traditional approaches of software quality assurance, such as software testing and performance engineering, have been widely used within Alibaba, the world's largest retailer, and one of the largest Internet companies in the world. However, there still exists a high demand for software quality assessment to achieve high sustainability of business growth and engineering culture in Alibaba. To address this issue, we develop an industrial solution for software quality assessment by following the GQM paradigm in an industrial setting. Moreover, we integrate multiple assessment methods into our solution, ranging from metric selection to rating aggregation. Our solution has been implemented, deployed, and adopted at Alibaba: (1) used by Alibaba's Business Platform Unit to continually monitor the quality for 60+ core software systems; (2) used by Alibaba's R&D Efficiency Unit to support group-wide quality-aware code search and automatic code inspection. This paper presents our proposed industrial solution, including its techniques and industrial adoption, along with the lessons learned during the development and deployment of our solution.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1816615
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10190940
Journal Name:
Quality Assessment for Large-Scale Industrial Software Systems: Experience Report at Alibaba
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
142 to 149
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The DeepLearningEpilepsyDetectionChallenge: design, implementation, andtestofanewcrowd-sourced AIchallengeecosystem Isabell Kiral*, Subhrajit Roy*, Todd Mummert*, Alan Braz*, Jason Tsay, Jianbin Tang, Umar Asif, Thomas Schaffter, Eren Mehmet, The IBM Epilepsy Consortium◊ , Joseph Picone, Iyad Obeid, Bruno De Assis Marques, Stefan Maetschke, Rania Khalaf†, Michal Rosen-Zvi† , Gustavo Stolovitzky† , Mahtab Mirmomeni† , Stefan Harrer† * These authors contributed equally to this work † Corresponding authors: rkhalaf@us.ibm.com, rosen@il.ibm.com, gustavo@us.ibm.com, mahtabm@au1.ibm.com, sharrer@au.ibm.com ◊ Members of the IBM Epilepsy Consortium are listed in the Acknowledgements section J. Picone and I. Obeid are with Temple University, USA. T. Schaffter is with Sage Bionetworks, USA. E. Mehmet is with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. All other authors are with IBM Research in USA, Israel and Australia. Introduction This decade has seen an ever-growing number of scientific fields benefitting from the advances in machine learning technology and tooling. More recently, this trend reached the medical domain, with applications reaching from cancer diagnosis [1] to the development of brain-machine-interfaces [2]. While Kaggle has pioneered the crowd-sourcing of machine learning challenges to incentivise data scientists from around the world to advance algorithm and model design, the increasing complexity of problem statements demands of participants to be expert datamore »scientists, deeply knowledgeable in at least one other scientific domain, and competent software engineers with access to large compute resources. People who match this description are few and far between, unfortunately leading to a shrinking pool of possible participants and a loss of experts dedicating their time to solving important problems. Participation is even further restricted in the context of any challenge run on confidential use cases or with sensitive data. Recently, we designed and ran a deep learning challenge to crowd-source the development of an automated labelling system for brain recordings, aiming to advance epilepsy research. A focus of this challenge, run internally in IBM, was the development of a platform that lowers the barrier of entry and therefore mitigates the risk of excluding interested parties from participating. The challenge: enabling wide participation With the goal to run a challenge that mobilises the largest possible pool of participants from IBM (global), we designed a use case around previous work in epileptic seizure prediction [3]. In this “Deep Learning Epilepsy Detection Challenge”, participants were asked to develop an automatic labelling system to reduce the time a clinician would need to diagnose patients with epilepsy. Labelled training and blind validation data for the challenge were generously provided by Temple University Hospital (TUH) [4]. TUH also devised a novel scoring metric for the detection of seizures that was used as basis for algorithm evaluation [5]. In order to provide an experience with a low barrier of entry, we designed a generalisable challenge platform under the following principles: 1. No participant should need to have in-depth knowledge of the specific domain. (i.e. no participant should need to be a neuroscientist or epileptologist.) 2. No participant should need to be an expert data scientist. 3. No participant should need more than basic programming knowledge. (i.e. no participant should need to learn how to process fringe data formats and stream data efficiently.) 4. No participant should need to provide their own computing resources. In addition to the above, our platform should further • guide participants through the entire process from sign-up to model submission, • facilitate collaboration, and • provide instant feedback to the participants through data visualisation and intermediate online leaderboards. The platform The architecture of the platform that was designed and developed is shown in Figure 1. The entire system consists of a number of interacting components. (1) A web portal serves as the entry point to challenge participation, providing challenge information, such as timelines and challenge rules, and scientific background. The portal also facilitated the formation of teams and provided participants with an intermediate leaderboard of submitted results and a final leaderboard at the end of the challenge. (2) IBM Watson Studio [6] is the umbrella term for a number of services offered by IBM. Upon creation of a user account through the web portal, an IBM Watson Studio account was automatically created for each participant that allowed users access to IBM's Data Science Experience (DSX), the analytics engine Watson Machine Learning (WML), and IBM's Cloud Object Storage (COS) [7], all of which will be described in more detail in further sections. (3) The user interface and starter kit were hosted on IBM's Data Science Experience platform (DSX) and formed the main component for designing and testing models during the challenge. DSX allows for real-time collaboration on shared notebooks between team members. A starter kit in the form of a Python notebook, supporting the popular deep learning libraries TensorFLow [8] and PyTorch [9], was provided to all teams to guide them through the challenge process. Upon instantiation, the starter kit loaded necessary python libraries and custom functions for the invisible integration with COS and WML. In dedicated spots in the notebook, participants could write custom pre-processing code, machine learning models, and post-processing algorithms. The starter kit provided instant feedback about participants' custom routines through data visualisations. Using the notebook only, teams were able to run the code on WML, making use of a compute cluster of IBM's resources. The starter kit also enabled submission of the final code to a data storage to which only the challenge team had access. (4) Watson Machine Learning provided access to shared compute resources (GPUs). Code was bundled up automatically in the starter kit and deployed to and run on WML. WML in turn had access to shared storage from which it requested recorded data and to which it stored the participant's code and trained models. (5) IBM's Cloud Object Storage held the data for this challenge. Using the starter kit, participants could investigate their results as well as data samples in order to better design custom algorithms. (6) Utility Functions were loaded into the starter kit at instantiation. This set of functions included code to pre-process data into a more common format, to optimise streaming through the use of the NutsFlow and NutsML libraries [10], and to provide seamless access to the all IBM services used. Not captured in the diagram is the final code evaluation, which was conducted in an automated way as soon as code was submitted though the starter kit, minimising the burden on the challenge organising team. Figure 1: High-level architecture of the challenge platform Measuring success The competitive phase of the "Deep Learning Epilepsy Detection Challenge" ran for 6 months. Twenty-five teams, with a total number of 87 scientists and software engineers from 14 global locations participated. All participants made use of the starter kit we provided and ran algorithms on IBM's infrastructure WML. Seven teams persisted until the end of the challenge and submitted final solutions. The best performing solutions reached seizure detection performances which allow to reduce hundred-fold the time eliptologists need to annotate continuous EEG recordings. Thus, we expect the developed algorithms to aid in the diagnosis of epilepsy by significantly shortening manual labelling time. Detailed results are currently in preparation for publication. Equally important to solving the scientific challenge, however, was to understand whether we managed to encourage participation from non-expert data scientists. Figure 2: Primary occupation as reported by challenge participants Out of the 40 participants for whom we have occupational information, 23 reported Data Science or AI as their main job description, 11 reported being a Software Engineer, and 2 people had expertise in Neuroscience. Figure 2 shows that participants had a variety of specialisations, including some that are in no way related to data science, software engineering, or neuroscience. No participant had deep knowledge and experience in data science, software engineering and neuroscience. Conclusion Given the growing complexity of data science problems and increasing dataset sizes, in order to solve these problems, it is imperative to enable collaboration between people with differences in expertise with a focus on inclusiveness and having a low barrier of entry. We designed, implemented, and tested a challenge platform to address exactly this. Using our platform, we ran a deep-learning challenge for epileptic seizure detection. 87 IBM employees from several business units including but not limited to IBM Research with a variety of skills, including sales and design, participated in this highly technical challenge.« less
  2. Obeid, Iyad Selesnick (Ed.)
    The Temple University Hospital EEG Corpus (TUEG) [1] is the largest publicly available EEG corpus of its type and currently has over 5,000 subscribers (we currently average 35 new subscribers a week). Several valuable subsets of this corpus have been developed including the Temple University Hospital EEG Seizure Corpus (TUSZ) [2] and the Temple University Hospital EEG Artifact Corpus (TUAR) [3]. TUSZ contains manually annotated seizure events and has been widely used to develop seizure detection and prediction technology [4]. TUAR contains manually annotated artifacts and has been used to improve machine learning performance on seizure detection tasks [5]. In this poster, we will discuss recent improvements made to both corpora that are creating opportunities to improve machine learning performance. Two major concerns that were raised when v1.5.2 of TUSZ was released for the Neureka 2020 Epilepsy Challenge were: (1) the subjects contained in the training, development (validation) and blind evaluation sets were not mutually exclusive, and (2) high frequency seizures were not accurately annotated in all files. Regarding (1), there were 50 subjects in dev, 50 subjects in eval, and 592 subjects in train. There was one subject common to dev and eval, five subjects common to dev andmore »train, and 13 subjects common between eval and train. Though this does not substantially influence performance for the current generation of technology, it could be a problem down the line as technology improves. Therefore, we have rebuilt the partitions of the data so that this overlap was removed. This required augmenting the evaluation and development data sets with new subjects that had not been previously annotated so that the size of these subsets remained approximately the same. Since these annotations were done by a new group of annotators, special care was taken to make sure the new annotators followed the same practices as the previous generations of annotators. Part of our quality control process was to have the new annotators review all previous annotations. This rigorous training coupled with a strict quality control process where annotators review a significant amount of each other’s work ensured that there is high interrater agreement between the two groups (kappa statistic greater than 0.8) [6]. In the process of reviewing this data, we also decided to split long files into a series of smaller segments to facilitate processing of the data. Some subscribers found it difficult to process long files using Python code, which tends to be very memory intensive. We also found it inefficient to manipulate these long files in our annotation tool. In this release, the maximum duration of any single file is limited to 60 mins. This increased the number of edf files in the dev set from 1012 to 1832. Regarding (2), as part of discussions of several issues raised by a few subscribers, we discovered some files only had low frequency epileptiform events annotated (defined as events that ranged in frequency from 2.5 Hz to 3 Hz), while others had events annotated that contained significant frequency content above 3 Hz. Though there were not many files that had this type of activity, it was enough of a concern to necessitate reviewing the entire corpus. An example of an epileptiform seizure event with frequency content higher than 3 Hz is shown in Figure 1. Annotating these additional events slightly increased the number of seizure events. In v1.5.2, there were 673 seizures, while in v1.5.3 there are 1239 events. One of the fertile areas for technology improvements is artifact reduction. Artifacts and slowing constitute the two major error modalities in seizure detection [3]. This was a major reason we developed TUAR. It can be used to evaluate artifact detection and suppression technology as well as multimodal background models that explicitly model artifacts. An issue with TUAR was the practicality of the annotation tags used when there are multiple simultaneous events. An example of such an event is shown in Figure 2. In this section of the file, there is an overlap of eye movement, electrode artifact, and muscle artifact events. We previously annotated such events using a convention that included annotating background along with any artifact that is present. The artifacts present would either be annotated with a single tag (e.g., MUSC) or a coupled artifact tag (e.g., MUSC+ELEC). When multiple channels have background, the tags become crowded and difficult to identify. This is one reason we now support a hierarchical annotation format using XML – annotations can be arbitrarily complex and support overlaps in time. Our annotators also reviewed specific eye movement artifacts (e.g., eye flutter, eyeblinks). Eye movements are often mistaken as seizures due to their similar morphology [7][8]. We have improved our understanding of ocular events and it has allowed us to annotate artifacts in the corpus more carefully. In this poster, we will present statistics on the newest releases of these corpora and discuss the impact these improvements have had on machine learning research. We will compare TUSZ v1.5.3 and TUAR v2.0.0 with previous versions of these corpora. We will release v1.5.3 of TUSZ and v2.0.0 of TUAR in Fall 2021 prior to the symposium. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Research reported in this publication was most recently supported by the National Science Foundation’s Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) Research Experience for Undergraduates award number 1827565. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official views of any of these organizations. REFERENCES [1] I. Obeid and J. Picone, “The Temple University Hospital EEG Data Corpus,” in Augmentation of Brain Function: Facts, Fiction and Controversy. Volume I: Brain-Machine Interfaces, 1st ed., vol. 10, M. A. Lebedev, Ed. Lausanne, Switzerland: Frontiers Media S.A., 2016, pp. 394 398. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2016.00196. [2] V. Shah et al., “The Temple University Hospital Seizure Detection Corpus,” Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, vol. 12, pp. 1–6, 2018. https://doi.org/10.3389/fninf.2018.00083. [3] A. Hamid et, al., “The Temple University Artifact Corpus: An Annotated Corpus of EEG Artifacts.” in Proceedings of the IEEE Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology Symposium (SPMB), 2020, pp. 1-3. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9353647. [4] Y. Roy, R. Iskander, and J. Picone, “The NeurekaTM 2020 Epilepsy Challenge,” NeuroTechX, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://neureka-challenge.com/. [Accessed: 01-Dec-2021]. [5] S. Rahman, A. Hamid, D. Ochal, I. Obeid, and J. Picone, “Improving the Quality of the TUSZ Corpus,” in Proceedings of the IEEE Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology Symposium (SPMB), 2020, pp. 1–5. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9353635. [6] V. Shah, E. von Weltin, T. Ahsan, I. Obeid, and J. Picone, “On the Use of Non-Experts for Generation of High-Quality Annotations of Seizure Events,” Available: https://www.isip.picone press.com/publications/unpublished/journals/2019/elsevier_cn/ira. [Accessed: 01-Dec-2021]. [7] D. Ochal, S. Rahman, S. Ferrell, T. Elseify, I. Obeid, and J. Picone, “The Temple University Hospital EEG Corpus: Annotation Guidelines,” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 2020. https://www.isip.piconepress.com/publications/reports/2020/tuh_eeg/annotations/. [8] D. Strayhorn, “The Atlas of Adult Electroencephalography,” EEG Atlas Online, 2014. [Online]. Availabl« less
  3. 1. Description of the objectives and motivation for the contribution to ECE education The demand for wireless data transmission capacity is increasing rapidly and this growth is expected to continue due to ongoing prevalence of cellular phones and new and emerging bandwidth-intensive applications that encompass high-definition video, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), intelligent transportation systems (ITS) including autonomous vehicles, and others. Meanwhile, vital military and public safety applications also depend on access to the radio frequency spectrum. To meet these demands, the US federal government is beginning to move from the proven but inefficient model of exclusive frequency assignments to a more-efficient, shared-spectrum approach in some bands of the radio frequency spectrum. A STEM workforce that understands the radio frequency spectrum and applications that use the spectrum is needed to further increase spectrum efficiency and cost-effectiveness of wireless systems over the next several decades to meet anticipated and unanticipated increases in wireless data capacity. 2. Relevant background including literature search examples if appropriate CISCO Systems’ annual survey indicates continued strong growth in demand for wireless data capacity. Meanwhile, undergraduate electrical and computer engineering courses in communication systems, electromagnetics, and networks tend to emphasize mathematical and theoretical fundamentals and higher-layer protocols, withmore »less focus on fundamental concepts that are more specific to radio frequency wireless systems, including the physical and media access control layers of wireless communication systems and networks. An efficient way is needed to introduce basic RF system and spectrum concepts to undergraduate engineering students in courses such as those mentioned above who are unable to, or had not planned to take a full course in radio frequency / microwave engineering or wireless systems and networks. We have developed a series of interactive online modules that introduce concepts fundamental to wireless communications, the radio frequency spectrum, and spectrum sharing, and seek to present these concepts in context. The modules include interactive, JavaScript-based simulation exercises intended to reinforce the concepts that are presented in the modules through narrated slide presentations, text, and external links. Additional modules in development will introduce advanced undergraduate and graduate students and STEM professionals to configuration and programming of adaptive frequency-agile radios and spectrum management systems that can operate efficiently in congested radio frequency environments. Simulation exercises developed for the advanced modules allow both manual and automatic control of simulated radio links in timed, game-like simulations, and some exercises will enable students to select from among multiple pre-coded controller strategies and optionally edit the code before running the timed simulation. Additionally, we have developed infrastructure for running remote laboratory experiments that can also be embedded within the online modules, including a web-based user interface, an experiment management framework, and software defined radio (SDR) application software that runs in a wireless testbed initially developed for research. Although these experiments rely on limited hardware resources and introduce additional logistical considerations, they provide additional realism that may further challenge and motivate students. 3. Description of any assessment methods used to evaluate the effectiveness of the contribution, Each set of modules is preceded and followed by a survey. Each individual module is preceded by a quiz and followed by another quiz, with pre- and post-quiz questions drawn from the same pool. The pre-surveys allow students to opt in or out of having their survey and quiz results used anonymously in research. 4. Statement of results. The initial modules have been and are being used by three groups of students: (1) students in an undergraduate Introduction to Communication Systems course; (2) an interdisciplinary group of engineering students, including computer science students, who are participating in related undergraduate research project; and (3) students in a graduate-level communications course that includes both electrical and computer engineers. Analysis of results from the first group of students showed statistically significant increases from pre-quiz to post-quiz for each of four modules on fundamental wireless communication concepts. Results for the other students have not yet been analyzed, but also appear to show substantial pre-quiz to post-quiz increases in mean scores.« less
  4. Additive manufacturing (AM) is prevalent in academic, industrial, and layperson use for the design and creation of objects via joining materials together in a layer upon layer fashion. However, few universities have an undergraduate course dedicated to it. Thus, using NSF IUSE support [grant number redacted for review] from the Exploration and Design Tier of the Engaged Student Learning Track, this project has created and implemented such a course at three large universities: Texas Tech (a Carnegie high research productivity and Hispanic Serving Institution), Kansas State (a Carnegie high research productivity and land grant university) and California State, Northridge (the largest of all the California State campuses and highly ranked in serving underprivileged students). Our research team includes engineering professors and a sociologist trained in assessment and K-12 outreach to determine the effects of the course on the undergraduate and high school students. We are currently in year two of the three years of NSF support. The course focuses on the fundamentals of the three families of prevailing AM processes: extrusion-based, powder-based, and liquid-based, as well as learning about practical solutions to additive manufacturing of common engineering materials including polymers, metals and alloys, ceramics, and composites. It has a lecturemore »plus lab format, in that students learn the fundamentals in a classroom, but then apply and broaden their knowledge in lab projects and independent studies. Additionally, as outreach, we host field trips from local high schools during which the undergraduates give presentations about discrete AM skills, then lead the high school students through a lab project focused on those skills. This creates a pipeline of knowledge about AM for younger students as well as an opportunity for undergraduates to develop leadership and speaking skills while solidifying their knowledge. We are also in the process of uploading videos and lab projects to an online Google Classroom so that those with access to 3D printers in other areas can learn online for free. We are also self-publishing an accompanying textbook and lab manual. Beyond the course itself, one of the innovations of our project is the assessment strategy. For both undergraduates and high school students, we have been able to collect content area knowledge both before and after the class, as well as information about their attitudes towards engineering and self-efficacy beliefs. This has been particularly illuminating in regards to subgroups like women and students of color. Our research questions include: i) what is the knowledge growth about AM during this course? ii) does this differ by university? iii) does this differ by gender or race? iv) what are the best ways to make this course portable to other universities? Preliminary results indicate a statistically significant improvement in knowledge for all students. This was particularly true for women, which may indicate the promise of AM courses in decreasing the female dropout rate in engineering. Attitudes towards engineering and self-efficacy perceptions also differed after the class, but in varying ways by demographic subgroups and university. This will be explored more in the paper.« less
  5. Lierler, Yuliya ; Morales, Jose F ; Dodaro, Carmine ; Dahl, Veroniica ; Gebser, Martin ; Tekle, Tuncay (Ed.)
    Knowledge representation and reasoning (KRR) systems represent knowledge as collections of facts and rules. Like databases, KRR systems contain information about domains of human activities like industrial enterprises, science, and business. KRRs can represent complex concepts and relations, and they can query and manipulate information in sophisticated ways. Unfortunately, the KRR technology has been hindered by the fact that specifying the requisite knowledge requires skills that most domain experts do not have, and professional knowledge engineers are hard to find. One solution could be to extract knowledge from English text, and a number of works have attempted to do so (OpenSesame, Google's Sling, etc.). Unfortunately, at present, extraction of logical facts from unrestricted natural language is still too inaccurate to be used for reasoning, while restricting the grammar of the language (so-called controlled natural language, or CNL) is hard for the users to learn and use. Nevertheless, some recent CNL-based approaches, such as the Knowledge Authoring Logic Machine (KALM), have shown to have very high accuracy compared to others, and a natural question is to what extent the CNL restrictions can be lifted. In this paper, we address this issue by transplanting the KALM framework to a neural natural languagemore »parser, mStanza. Here we limit our attention to authoring facts and queries and therefore our focus is what we call factual English statements. Authoring other types of knowledge, such as rules, will be considered in our followup work. As it turns out, neural network based parsers have problems of their own and the mistakes they make range from part-of-speech tagging to lemmatization to dependency errors. We present a number of techniques for combating these problems and test the new system, KALMFL (i.e., KALM for factual language), on a number of benchmarks, which show KALMFL achieves correctness in excess of 95%.« less