Esra Kahya Özyirmidokuz – Erciyes University

Researcher Links Travel Grants Recipient

Research Topic: mining users feedback for evolving socio-technical systems

Improving socio-technical systems will increase the efficiency,  productivity and engagement in software systems

I am Esra Kahya Ozyirmidokuz, Assistant Professor at Erciyes University. I was a Katip Çelebi-Newton Fund Travel Grants researcher at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University between the dates of 11 April and 11 July 2015.

On my research visit to the UK, I examined the interaction between technology and users, and explored how this interaction meets the users’ requirements to increase performance in software quality. I had the opportunity to work with Dr Raian Ali, who was the coordinator of the Marie Curie award winning EU 7FP project SOCIAD. Working with Dr Ali was an incredible experience to further my knowledge and expertise in my research field. The experienced colleagues at the Faculty of Science and Technology provided me with varied perspectives to examine the relationship between technology and users. In addition to this, the research visit to Bournemouth University allowed me to experience a new country, culture and research environment. 

The meaning attached to technology is only applicable when we consider the interactive communication between technology and users. In recent years, the use of mobile network connections has increased dramatically. This forces people to interact with systems on networks regularly throughout their daily activities. There rises a necessity to use socio-technical systems (STS); which are human in human-computer interaction systems. In the near future, people will start to live with these systems while giving feedback at run-time. Due to this increased attention on technology-user relationship, socio-technical feedback has gained significant importance. 

STS integrates both technical and social features into a system; this includes everyday life systems, such as energy, disaster management, agricultural management, tourism information systems, food  production and consumption, traffic management, economised software evaluation, economised resources, national security, etc. Consequently, this study becomes applicable to many different sectors of vital importance to the economy and society. 

An STS must capture the dynamism of life throughout the process to stay up to date and validate the software by the users’ themselves. The analysis of users’ feedback will help bridge the gap between developers and managers and the actual users. This research will enable a reconfiguration of the system at runtime according to the users’ specific needs. It will enrich the literature on STS and following the completion of the project, we are aiming to design an adaptive STS system specifically for Turkey. Meeting users’ needs will positively contribute to Turkey’s economic development by increasing performance and productivity in important sectors of the economy. 

In this research visit, we specifically worked to create a framework that helps to understand users’ requirements by system designers. Our research employed a rule based model to analyse the STS users’ feedback in real time. This allowed us to comprehend users’ expressions and from that we were able to extract information to find interesting, hidden and unknown patterns in large volumes of users’ feedback. 

We are currently working on future collaborations with Dr Raian Ali to prepare joint publications and future collaborations. Through this grant we were able to establish the background for a higher scale collaboration and knowledge exchange between our universities. We are continuing our work on papers and we are trying to deepen the institutional cooperation between our universities with Dr Raian Ali. We have started to present our findings in conferences and are planning to submit new joint projects in the near future. We also applied to be a participant in one of the Newton-Katip Çelebi supported workshops. Overall, this research visit has been a great opportunity for future collaboration and cooperation between my university and Bournemouth University.  

In addition to providing a research expertise and environment, this travel was one of the most exciting adventures for me and my daughter which we have ever embarked on in our lives. We had an enjoyable time in the UK. Consequently, we became more independent and culturally aware.

I am very happy that I had the chance to do research at Bournemouth University, it has been a great opportunity for my career and personal development. Thanks Katip Celebi-Newton Fund for this incredible opportunity!