Migrating Computer Systems - By : Substance,

Migrating Computer Systems

We wish to thank Power Corporation of Canada for their generous contribution, which allowed us to fund this researcher’s position.

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“A car manufacturer will not discard the old model to make a newer version. Instead, they will itemize the salvageable components and integrate them into new cars to minimize development and production costs.”

Manel Abdellatif, Institutional Researcher in Software Engineering at ÉTS, is devoting her research to the evolution and migration of computer systems, the study of software evolution, and the verification process of artificial intelligence systems.

Save Time To Go Further

Migrating from one IT architecture to another, specifically from a monolithic architecture to a service-based architecture, can take three to six years. This transition from one version to another is very costly and time-consuming. Manel Abdellatif developed a scalable and highly automated approach that relies solely on studying the system source code to identify reusable components in the system to be migrated. These components are then classified by service type. “You don’t have to run the system to identify the services; only the source code is required,” she explains.

Why choose software engineering? When Manel was eight years old, she received her first black and white portable computer, giving her access to a world that still fascinates her. “What happens between the controller and the console?” It was this first scientific questioning that led her to explore the field of programming. She enrolled at the National School of Engineering in Tunis (ENIT) and completed her bachelor’s degree in 2013.

From Tunis to Montréal

ÉTS Institutional Researcher Manel Abdellatif

ÉTS Institutional Researcher Manel Abdellatif

Advised and supported by ÉTS professor Chamseddine Talhi, Manel chose to pursue her graduate program in Montréal. In her thesis, the young student demonstrated that graphic processing units (GPUs)—electronic chips that produce the images on the screen—can be used efficiently to detect malware in cell phones and for cryptographic processes. Manel Abdellatif earned her master’s degree in Information Technology Engineering in 2016 at ÉTS.

Then, at a crossroads, Manel decided to pursue her PhD studies at Polytechnique Montréal. “It was really a choice largely determined by the research topic I was offered, namely, service identification to support the migration of legacy object-oriented systems to service-oriented architecture.” This is considered the most difficult process during migration. Mentored by professors Yann-Gaël Guéhéneuc and Naouel Moha, the young PhD student focused on identifying potential service features and reusable artifacts from existing systems that can be developed in a cost-effective manner. She completed her PhD in 2021 and continued her research work with a postdoc at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Professor Lionel Briand, who holds a research chair in Intelligent Software Dependability and Compliance. During this period, she worked in collaboration with General Motors on testing deep neural networks and reinforcement learning-based systems to improve their performance and reliability.

Collaboration With World-Renowned Scholars

Manel Abdellatif has been collaborating with several world-renowned scholars throughout her research journey. In particular, she expresses deep appreciation for collaborating with Professors Yann-Gaël Guéhéneuc, Lionel Briand, and Naouel Moha. Their guidance empowered her to pursue her passion for software engineering and their support allowed her to broaden her field of expertise and bring her ideas to life.

Ensuring Continuity of Knowledge

In turn, she wants to pass on the confidence to overcome obstacles and the discipline to build credibility to students. Although Manel Abdellatif could easily make a living as an engineer in industry, having worked with several companies including General Motors, and Ericsson, her choice is set on teaching. “I prefer to stay in academia and maintain a close connection with industry. And ÉTS allows me to combine these two aspects.”

The Colours at Play

When Manel Abdellatif isn’t spotting system errors or teaching methodology to students, she’s indulging in her favourite hobby, crafting with epoxy resin. Depending on the moment’s inspiration, Manel mixes colours to give her work a flamboyant textured effect.


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