The following three guiding themes have been identified and will be used to structure the research programme:
- Knowledge Carrying Software. The knowledge contained in software or underlying its design needs to be integrated and made accessible in the resulting artefacts, both for functional and for extra-functional properties. Sophisticated meta-models with specific support for continuous evolution of software and software/hardware systems need to be developed for defining and managing suitable models, particularly for advancing model-based and model-driven software engineering.
- Methods and Processes. Design and evolution of software need to be supported by methods ensuring that knowledge is preserved and integrated. A new model for the life cycle of software or software/hardware systems needs to be developed, allowing and considering differing evolution cycles on different levels of the software/platform/hardware stacks.
- Platforms and Environments for Evolution. Infrastructure for the evolution of software or software/hardware systems in terms of suitable middleware and robust runtime environments, for monitoring and changing during operation, needs to be provided. Design- and runtime information needs to be made accessible wherever needed during the operation of systems.