Nelly's Corner ( Nelly Bencomo )

        nelly bencomo                                

Nelly Bencomo (PhD)                                                               
Senior Lecturer in Computer Science
Aston University, UK
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Web page at Aston

Member of

SEA: the Software Engineering at Aston research group,

: Aston Lab for Intelligent Collectives Engineering,

e-mail: nelly at
Nelly at
Google Scholar citations     DBLP 
twitter: @nellybencomo   ACM


I will have no teaching duties during the academic year 2019-20 (as I am working on a Research Fellowship).

I usually (co) teach
   CS3360 Software Project Management (TP1)

   CS3910 Computational Intelligence (TP1)

   CS1410 Java Program Dvelopment (TP2)

OFFICE HOURS: you can make an appointment to see me either email (preferred) or WASS.

Publications     Resume/CV(long) (short-2pagesResearch Statement    Teaching  Teaching Statement  PhD Opportunities with me   Miscellaneous (or the important stuff)

Summary about me:

I exploit the interdisciplinary aspects of software engineering, comprising both technical and human concerns, while developing techniques for intelligent, autonomous and highly distributed systems.

I am a Senior Lecturer (equiv.  Associate Professor) in the Computer Science Department in Aston University (School of Engineering and Applied Science). In 2019 I was granted  the Leverhulme Fellowship "QuantUn: quantification of uncertainty using Bayesian surprises." Before, I was a Marie Curie Fellow at INRIA Paris - Roquencourt. The Marie Curie project is called Requirements-aware Systems (nickname:  Requirements@run.time). Before, that I was a Senior Research Associate in Lancaster University (UK) where I also got my PhD and I am a Visiting Researcher. Earlier, I was a Lecturer in the Computing School at the Universidad Central de Venezuela.

Wokshop AIRE 2020 is running in RE 2020. Hope to see you in RE 2020

- Sept 2019 until Sept 2020. Research working only: Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship QuantUn (expending time in Inria-France).

I am always looking for highly-motivated PhD students to work closely with me on the multi-disciplinary research areas in self-adaptive, self-aware systems and models@run.time. 
Drop me an email if interested.

Funding / Grants:

- Twenty20Insight funded under the EPSRCs People at the Heart of Software
Engineering programme to work on Software Engineering, RE and AI (2020-2023)

- UK Leverhulme Fellowship "QuantUn: quantification of uncertainty using Bayesian surprises." 2019-2020

- Marie-Curie Fellowship (Grant) Requirements@run.time: Requirements-aware Systems, (2011-2013)

Awards /Rewards:

- 10 year Most Influential Paper Award 2019, RELAX: Incorporating Uncertainty into the Specification of Self-Adaptive Systems, by Jon Whittle, Pete Sawyer, Nelly Bencomo, Betty H.C. Cheng, Jean-Michel Bruel, Proceedings of 17th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE09), pp. 7988, September 2009, Atlanta, Georgia.
- 10 year Most Influential Paper Award 2019, A Goal-Based Modeling Approach to Develop Requirements of an Adaptive System with Environmental Uncertainty by Betty H.C. Cheng, Pete Sawyer, Nelly Bencomo, Jon Whittle, in the Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (MoDELS 2009), pp. 468483, Denver, Colorado, 2009.

Editorial Boards
Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE) (2019-Present)
Editorial Board Member, Journal of Software and Systems Modeling (2019-Present)

My research drivers:
    - The need of theory to better understand the world and to develop new methods
    - The pursuit of impact on better life and I seek to apply my methods on real-world applications
    - Curiosity
  [ - and  quiet frequently the pursuit of fun and happiness :) ]

I enjoy and can be productive working alone but I also enjoy collaboration and interdisciplinarity in my research activities.

My research context: Modern  software  systems  are  highly  distributed  and  software  engineering  (SE)  is  inherently  interdisciplinary, comprising both technical and human concerns.  SE provides me with my preferred style of research,which is collaborative and interdisciplinary. I seek to apply SE on real-world applications and that has taken me to work in research labs that are not inherently related to SE, such as the ARLES team in Inria- France(a lab on software architecture and distributed systems in French), the reflective middleware group in Lancaster University, a math models Lab at the UCV in Venezuela and more recently the research lab, which I co-founded, ALICE at Aston (the Aston Lab for Intelligent Collectives Engineering).  I have built a portfolio of successful collaborative and innovative research in areas such as decision making under uncertainty and distributed, self-adaptive and autonomous systems where I have successfully applied innovative SE techniques. A copy of my current research statement can be found here
Keywords: Decision making, Uncertainty, Self-adaptive and Highly Distributed Systems,  Systems of Systems, Models@run.time, MDE.
Further, I am interested in all aspects of software modelling and specially the application of model-driven techniques, during the development and operation of dynamically adaptive systems. Lately, I have focused on the quantification of uncertainty and the use of Bayesian learning to support decision-making for self-adaptatiom (see my publications). This work led me to co-found the International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence for Requirements Engineering (AIRE) with Professors Cleland-Huang (DePaul University, USA) and Rachel Harrison (Oxford Brookes University, UK).

With other colleagues I have coined the research topics models@run.time and requirements@run.time co-founding the 2 workshop series Models@run.time (usually run at the MODELS Conference) and Requirements@run.time.

I am also interested in giving some space to serendipity, an aspect of research that sometimes is forgotten, and having a bit of  life outside my job.

This is a list of my publications.

Current PhD Students

    Luis Hernan Garcia Paucar, Graduated, March 2020

    Juan Marcelo Parra, since October 2018 (co-supervision with Antonio Garcia)

    Owen Reynold, since January 2019 (co-supervision with Antonio Garcia)

    Huma Samin, since April 2019 (co-supervision with Pete Sawyer)

   (students under my supervision in the past)

    Amel Belaggoun, Master Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and TELECOM SudParis and Inria, France, 2013

    Ross Edwards, 2018

Teaching: In addition to my research record, I also have substantial teaching experience. I like teaching.

Since May 2013 I have been a lecturer at Aston University where I have had the opportunity to teach different modules (such as Java Programming, Computational Intelligence and Software Project Management) with different roles. I have been a module leader but also have shared the duties of modules with other staff members. I have also had other roles such as supervisor of Final Year Projects, Group projects, Personal tutor and Final Year Tutor for Computing for Business (2014-16).  

At Lancaster, I taught a first year module on Discrete Mathematics. I also design and taught the module Web Technologies (practice) and Computational Fundamentals (Theory). As a junior lecturer in the Computing School of the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) in 2000-2003, most of my teaching focused on Statistics, Probability and Object-Oriented Simulation.

Students Supervision: At Aston, I am the supervisor for a PhD student investigating decision-making under uncertainty for self-adaptive systems who is currently in his 1st year. I have co-supervise several PhD Students, 2 in Brazil (with Prof. Thais Batista), 1 in Chile, and currently 1 student in Brimigham (with Dr. Rami Bahsoon) who started in 2015.

Professional Service and Activities:

Currently, I am co-ordinating

- Wokshop AIRE 2020 is running in RE 2020.

Program committees

I am or have been a PC member of ICSE, MODELS, RE, SEAMS, ESEC-FSE, ICSE-NIER, ASE, REFSQ, SAC-RE, CibSE,WICSA/ECSA. The full list can be found here.

I am part of the Editoril Board of

- Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE) (2019-Present),

- Member of Editor Board of Software and Systems Modeling (SoSym)

- Member of Editor Board of Journal of Software Engineering Research and Development JSERD

I have co-ordinated:

- SAS0 2018  ConferenceSelf-Adaptive and Self-Organizing systems, Trento, Italy, 2018

- SEAMS 2014 Symposium Software Engineering for Adaptive and Self-Managing Systems (SEAMS), Hyderabad, India, June 2014
- Workshop Models@run.time 2006-2019
Workshop MoDRE 2013 (3rd International Model-Driven Requirements Engineering Workshop @ RE 2013, 2019
- 1st Latin-American School on Software Engineering ELA-ES 2013
- Workshop  Modeling Outside the Box at MODELS 2013 @ MODELS 2013
- Dagstuhl Seminar on Models@run.time , November 27 - December 2nd, 2011, Daghstul, Germany
- Workshop  2nd Requirements@run.time 2010 at RE'11,trento, Italy, 29th August - September 2th 2011
- Workshop Requirements@run.time 2010 at RE'10,Sydney, Australia, September 27th - October 1st 2010
- Workshop ViDaS'10   Validation and Verification of Dynamic Software Systems at the Third International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation ICST 2010,Paris, France, April 6-9 2010
- Workshop Model-Driven Software Adaptation 07   M-ADAPT'07 at ECOOP'07, 30th July 2006, Berlin
- Working Meeting "Models and Aspects for Product Families: A Roadmap for Research"   1st Nov 2006, Lancaster, UK

This is my PhD dissertation. In my PhD research I explored how synergies between System Families, Model-Driven Engineering (MDE), and Generative Software Development (GSD) help to produce new development paradigms to support the life cycle including the phases design, programming, testing, deployment and also execution, of reflective middleware families.

A particular and novel contribution of my research is the modelling of two different dimensions of dynamic variability, namely structural variability and environment and context variability. I developed an approach called Genie as part of my PhD. The supervision of my PhD work was done by Prof. Gordon Blair.

In Lancaster, I was working for the project the EU CONNECT  I also worked for the EU DiVA (Dynamic Variability in complex, Adaptive systems) and the Divergent Grid project, an SPRC funded project.

Miscellaneous: in other words, what is really important!

When I am not working I like walking on the hills (the Malvern Hills, Snowdonia and Lake District among other beautiful places) or running, or perhaps dancing or taking pictures or hanging around with my family and friends and of course Talisker my dog. I enjoy running by the canal in Birmigham. I wish I could have more time for these activities.

During my time in Paris I used to go Museums & Cafes :) if my daughter did not decide something else. I also did some exercise with my dog running near Inria and by the river Siene in Paris. Happy days!

I love eating good food and I am MAD about sushi. I LOVE chocolate, BTW dark and bitter chocolate, if it is not at least 75% Cocoa that is not chocolate :). If chocolate is from Venezuela even better!

School of Engineering and Applied Science,
Computer Science Group, MB211M
Aston University,
B4 7ET, Birmingham, UK
Phone ++44 (0)121 204 3392