Special Session on Conceptual Integrity of Software Systems


Conceptual Integrity has been declared the most important feature for software system successful design and development. The notion of software .Conceptual Integrity. was first introduced by Frederick Brooks in his well-known book .The Mythical Man-Month. and reiterated in his later book .The Design of Design.. Although the notion was proposed and its importance was stressed, it has been only vaguely delineated, lacking a clear definition.

Brooks also suggested that in order to achieve Conceptual Integrity a single brilliant architect should be in charge of the software system design, as a way to enforce Integrity. This idea has been compared to the work of an architect designing a cathedral say that in Firenze inspired by the great mind of Brunelleschi. Richard Gabriel challenged Brooks' single architect idea, in his paper "Designed as Designer", implying that masterworks are the collective works of interacting minds, in particular through the very system being designed.

Conceptual Integrity has been characterized by the principles of .orthogonality, propriety and generality.. Daniel Jackson and co-workers have proposed formulations for these three principles and analyzed software systems in these terms. For instance, they studied the conceptual design of Git, the basis of the widely used GitHub service which enables concurrent distributed development of various versions of software systems.

Recently, Iaakov Exman proposed the Modularity Matrix as a possible source of the above mentioned principles of Conceptual Integrity. Orthogonality, propriety and generality follow very nicely from the desirable characteristics of the Modularity Matrix of a given software system.

This special session overviews the current research status, and then will enable discussions of novel approaches to Software Theory encompassing Conceptual Integrity.


Researchers and practitioners working in areas relevant to Software Conceptual Integrity are invited to submit papers describing their research and experimental work, including but not restricted to the following topics:


Prospective authors should submit their papers through the regular SEKE Conference easychair submission mechanism, selecting the track "Conceptual Integrity of Software Systems".


The purpose of these special sessions, to be held annually within the SEKE Conferences, is to bring specific research areas of Software Theory to the attention of the conference audience. In each year there will be a different research area as the focus of the Software Theory Special Session. These sessions aim to provide an up-to-date review of the field by experts' invited lectures in the chosen research area and enabling lively discussions of current research, presented by authors of contributed papers.


Professor Iaakov Exman
The Jerusalem College of Engineering