Research fields


Data, in all their current forms, are at the core of information systems: databases store corporate information, electronic messages are exchanged between business processes, unstructured documents convey essential information and the web stores and provides a gigantic amount of data. To ensure and maintain high quality data and data structures, strong methodologies and CASE tools are needed for the development, evolution and integration of databases.

Information systems are among the most complex artefacts ever built. They are to meet constantly changing requirements, they interact with a variety of users and other systems, they are made up of many interacting and heterogeneous components, they must be able to adapt quickly to changing technologies, and they often exist in many different variants that live in parallel.

The Model-driven engineering (MDE) discipline favors models over source code to build information systems. Models are abstractions of software systems details but also of part of their environment. They are thus more convenient: engineers can use dedicated modelling languages, models can be checked or transformed, and the code can be automatically generated. Hence, MDE makes it possible to develop higher quality software systems, that are easier to maintain, that evolve gracefully, with a better return on investment.

Quality is a major concern in Software Engineering as well as Software Management. The issues are to define precisely quality criteria for software artefacts (including databases schemas, various diagrams and test plans) and for processes, to monitor them all along the lifecycle, to check them at delivery time and to improve them when required. Though several quality models exist to define quality criteria and to structure them, it appears that more refined quality models, including better measurement methods, are needed to perform quantitative assessment supporting comparison and decision making

The success of information systems is strongly linked with their ability to meet the purposes and needs of users and to fit the particularities of a specific organisation. Meeting those compliance characteristics requires (1) elicitation, documentation and assessment of adequate requirements through innovative techniques and tools, and (2) ensuring the alignment between business and technological objectives. This topic is an essential bridge between the needs of real world stakeholders and their realization through software and ICT. It is thus at the intersection of business design and ICT engineering

Information systems are becoming increasingly complex notably by crossing traditional organization boundaries and exposing resources and services to internal and external clients. Security is classically defined as a combination of several criteria, confidentiality, integrity and availability, but new aspects are also becoming prominent in today’s context, like reliability, authenticity, trust, and non-repudiation.

Service-based information systems offer new opportunities to deploy distributed business processes inside or across companies. They require novel approaches for all steps of service-based systems engineering processes.