New Lab to lead human-centred approach for inclusive software solutions

A world-leading research program that aims to incorporate unique aspects of peoples’ needs and abilities into software engineering practices was launched at Monash University today.

Image credit:  Pexels/ ThisIsEngineering

The HumaniSE (Human-Centric Software Engineering) Lab, part of the Faculty of Information Technology (IT), has been established to focus on engineering intelligent, human-centred future software systems.

Four key interconnected themes of the Lab:

  • Engineering future software systems - new human-centred software engineering paradigms for future AI-driven systems
  • Future machine intelligence - better harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for human benefit
  • Trust and security for future software - addressing critical issues including fairness, privacy, security, auditability, transparency, verifiability and socio-legal aspects of trust like ethics and regulation
  • Future software for humans - advancing multi-disciplinary research in human-led design to ensure future AI-based software systems understand and meet diverse human needs.

The Lab has already led research projects to create software to :

  • Better support end users with physical and mental disabilities
  • Make advertisements for software engineering jobs more gender inclusive
  • Address privacy issues in mobile applications
  • Create user-friendly options to observe and assess emotions of team members in Agile work environments.

Australian Laureate Fellow and HumaniSE Lab Director Professor John Grundy said the purpose of software is to solve human problems but current software development techniques forget to take into account the various diversities of end users.

“HumaniSE Lab will focus on the inclusion of peoples' unique qualities such as their age, culture, gender, cognitive ability, emotions and personality, into creating new software solutions,” Professor Grundy said.

“Our work will create a world-first evidence-base of human-centric modelling, tools, and processes for future software engineers while improving their productivity and reducing costs.”

The Lab will be collaborating with international teams across the world ranging from Canada, Singapore, Vienna and the United States. In Australia, the team will be working with local and federal government agencies, community organisations and industry collaborators from the health, finance and software sectors.

Faculty of IT Dean Professor Ann Nicholson warmly welcomed the new research lab to the faculty.

“We are proud that in addition to the thought leadership of researchers like Professor Grundy, the HumaniSE Lab also includes researchers from varied diverse backgrounds along with a majority of female researchers in a male-dominated sector,” Professor Nicholson said.

“Research resulting from HumaniSE Lab projects are sure to create real-world impact for the software engineering sector that will be felt throughout the global community.”

The HumaniSE Lab is supported by the Australian Research Council’s Laureate Fellowship, Discovery Project and Industry Transformation Funding Schemes in partnership with Monash University.

Professor John Grundy is available for interviews.

To learn more about HumaniSE Lab, please visit: https://www.monash.edu/it/humanise-lab