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Smart Contract Languages: A Multivocal MappingStudy

During the last years, blockchain and smart contracts are receiving substantial mainstream attention from academia and industry. Blockchain is a distributed database that can be seen as a ledger that records all transactions that have ever been executed. In this context, smart contracts are pieces of software used to facilitate, verify, and enforce the negotiation of a transaction on a blockchain platform. This study aims to (1) identify and categorise the state-of-the-art related to smart contract languages, in terms of the existing languages and their main features, and (2) identify new research opportunities. As a result of the review protocol, 4,119 papers were gathered, and 109 of them were selected for extraction. The contributions are twofold: (1) 101 different smart contract languages have been identified and classified according to a variety of criteria; (2) a discussion on the findings and their implications for future research have been outlined. At first, almost 36% of the studies have been collected from grey literature (GitHub, webpages, etc.), which proves the importance of the industry in this field. We have identified the current challenges to reveal several gaps and raise open problems within the field. The most interesting open problems include the need to improve the developer coding experience by providing tools to write smart contracts as human-readable as possible, and the need to deal with Oracles and trusted off-chain information and processes. We find out many smart contract languages and blockchain platforms, making the ecosystem rather chaotic. However, there is no common or standard language to specify smart contracts that are valid regardless of the blockchain platform. This multivocal mapping study provides a snapshot of the smart contract languages field that serves as a baseline and a tool for future work, e.g., future surveys or future literature reviews in which particular issues or aspects such as security and privacy might be studied in further detail. To do that, we provide a bundle with all the resources at

Autores: Angel Jesus Varela Vaca / Antonia M. Reina-Quintero / 
Palabras Clave: Blockchain - Multivocal literature mapping study - Smart contract language - Systematic literature review

Empirical software product line engineering: A systematic literature review. An IST journal publication

The adoption of Software Product Line Engineering (SPLE) is usually only based on its theoretical benefits instead of empirical evidences. In fact, there is no work that synthesizes the empirical studies on SPLE. This makes it difficult for researchers to base their contributions on previous works validated with an empirical strategy. The objective of this work is to discover and summarize the studies that have used empirical evidences in SPLE limited to those ones with the intervention of humans. This will allow evaluating the quality and to know the scope of these studies over time. Doing so, research opportunities can arise. A systematic literature review was conducted. The scope of the work focuses on those studies in which there is human intervention and were published between 2000 and 2018. We considered peer-reviewed papers from journals and top software engineering conferences. Out of a total of 1880 studies in the initial set, a total of 62 primary studies were selected after applying a series of inclusion and exclusion criteria. We found that, approximately 56+AFwAJQ of the studies used the empirical case study strategy while the rest used experimental strategies. Around 86+AFwAJQ of the case studies were performed in an industrial environment showing the penetration of SPLE in industry. The interest of empirical studies has been growing since 2008. Around 95.16+AFwAJQ of the studies address aspects related to domain engineering while application engineering received less attention. Most of the experiments and case study evaluated showed an acceptable level of quality. The first study found dates from 2005 and since then, the interest in the empirical SPLE has increased.

Autores: Ana E. Chacón-Luna / Antonio Manuel Gutiérrez / José A. Galindo / David Benavides / 
Palabras Clave: Case Study - Empirical strategies - experiment - software product lines - Systematic literature review

A multivocal literature review on serious games for software process standards education (RELEVANTE YA PUBLICADO)

AUTHORSAlejandro Calderón, Mercedes Ruiz & Rory V. O’ConnorJOURNALComputer Standards & Interfaces (vol. 57, pp. 36-48, 2018). IF: 1.633 (2017), Q2 (47/104) in “Computer Science, Software Engineering” category.DOI The interest in the use of serious games as learning resources for software process standards education and training has increased significantly in recent years. Objective: The main purpose of this work is to record, analyze and characterize the state of the art related to serious games for software process standards education with the goal of identifying the current serious games in terms of the scope, their main features and the perceived benefits of integrating them in software process education, as well as, identifying new research opportunities. Method: The study was conducted as a multivocal literature review that follows a predefined procedure in which studies from the scientific and grey literature are analyzed. Results: A new selection process within the search strategy was defined to conduct this review. 190 papers were retrieved from the literature and 7 papers were selected as primary studies. Our multivocal literature review identified six different serious games for software process education, at the same time analyzed the main methods used to assess them as well as their main outcomes as learning resources. Conclusion: The results of this review reveal that serious games have potential as supporting tools for software process standards education, but that more research and experimental outcomes are needed in order to observe the full potential of serious games as learning resources.

Autores: Alejandro Calderón Sánchez / Mercedes Ruiz / Rory O'Connor / 
Palabras Clave: Education - Multivocal literature review - Serious games - Software process standard - Systematic literature review

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