Software Engineering Collaboratories (SEClabs) and Collaboratories as a Service (CaaS)

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Conference Proceeding

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Novel research ideas require strong evaluations. Modern software engineering research evaluation typically requires a set of benchmark programs. Open source software repositories have provided a great opportunity for researchers to find such programs for use in their evaluations. Many tools/techniques have been developed to help automate the curation of open source software. There has also been encouragement for researchers to provide their research artifacts so that other researchers can easily reproduce the results. We argue that these two trends (i.e., curating open source software for research evaluation and the providing of research artifacts) drive the need for Software Engineer Collaboratories (SEClabs). We envision research communities coming together to create SEClab instances, where research artifacts can be made publicly available to other researchers. The community can then vet such artifacts and make them available as a service, thus turning the collaboratory into a Collaboratory as a Service (CaaS). If our vision is realized, the speed and transparency of research will drastically increase.