I am extremely delighted to be part of the Program Committee for RE’14! The Program Committee for this prestigious conference has always consisted of cool researchers who have contributed significant work to the field. I am very honored to have been invited to join 🙂

RE’14 will be held in scenic Karlskrona, Sweden, from the 25th to the 29th of August, 2014.

Important Dates:
Jan 27th: Workshop Proposals
Feb 17th: Intent to Submit Tutorial Proposals
Mar 03rd: Tutorial Proposals
Mar 03rd: Abstracts for Research and Industry Papers
Mar 10th: Full Research and Industry Papers
Apr 14th: Panel & Interactive Proposals
Apr 14th: Doctoral Symposium Submissions
Apr 14th: Posters & Tool Demos
May 19th: Author Notification
Jun 20th: Camera Ready Submission
Aug 25th-29th: RE’14 Conference in Karlskrona


Infographic: Worldwide Survey of Mobile App Users

Many thanks to the 10,000+ people who participated in the survey! Here are the results.

Check out the interactive version of this infographic!


UCL Bite-Sized Lunchtime Lecture 11th May 2012

I am giving a Bite-Sized Lunchtime Lecture at UCL in May.

Everyone is welcome to attend! Admission is free and details are as follows.

Talk title: How to be a successful app developer

Abstract: It pays to be an app developer. Some of the world’s most recent millionaires made their money from mobile apps. Ethan Nicholas made his million from his iShoot app in less than a year. Rovio, the developer of Angry Birds, made a revenue of $100 million in 2011. With hundreds of thousands of apps in these online stores, what strategy should a developer use to be successful? Should they try many different ideas, make many similar apps, improve on their existing apps or just copy the apps of others? To answer these questions, we created AppEco, an agent- based model of mobile app ecosystems, and use it to simulate Apple’s iOS app ecosystem and investigate the effectiveness of different developer strategies. This talk presents our simulation, results, and lessons learnt.

Time: Friday 11th May 2012, 13:10 – 13:55

Place: Mully’s, UCL Lewis’s Building, Gower Street (map)

Nearest tube: Euston Square

Any questions?  Email me at

AppEco in New Scientist

My AppEco work has been featured as lead technology story in New Scientist this week!

The story focuses on our forthcoming paper for GECCO 2012, where we investigate the success of different app developer strategies.

The article is available on the New Scientist website here. I have also included the article below.

GECCO’12: How to be a successful app developer

Over the past few months, I have been very busy developing AppEco, a C++ simulation of mobile app ecosystems. I had a lot of fun with AppEco! It enables me to ask different kinds of “what if” questions about mobile app ecosystems. For example, with so many developers trying out different strategies to increase their downloads, I wanted to know if an innovative developer would receive more downloads compared to a copycat developer.

My collaborator, Peter Bentley (who created the No. 1 best-selling app iStethoscope Pro), and I used AppEco to simulate for popular developer strategies: Innovators, Milkers, Optimisers, and Copycats, and evaluate their performance in terms of number of downloads, app diversity, and adoption rate. We found that Innovators produce diverse apps, but they are hit or miss – some apps will be popular, some will not. Milkers may dwell on average or bad apps as they churn out new variations of the same idea. Optimisers produce diverse apps and tailor their development towards users’ needs. One interesting we did find is that Copycats receive the most downloads on average, but it can only work when there are enough other strategies to copy from. In addition, Copycats can only exist in a minority, otherwise the app store will have many duplicated apps and the ecosystem will suffer. Our paper “How to be a Successful App Developer” has been accepted at GECCO’12.



Copycats are the minority when developers choose their own strategies





*  *  *

AppEco has a lot of potential. In a separate study, we have also used AppEco to study the effects of publicity on app downloads. We simulated different apps, ranging from fabulous to terrible, and applied different publicity strategies to promote the apps. Appearing on the New and Noteworthy Chart is most likely to guarantee downloads. Our simulation shows that with so many apps in the app store, a fabulous app that is not publicised may go unnoticed and consequently receive no downloads at all. We also found that the spike in app downloads after a publicity event resembles a typical epidemic curve. For all the juicy bits, read our paper “App Epidemics: Modelling the Effects of Publicity in a Mobile App Ecosystem.”




The spread of a highly infectious app through the network of users after the app is broadcasted using mass media.

Visiting Professor, Technical University of Loja, Ecuador

I’ve been invited to be a visiting professor at the Technical University of Loja in Ecuador.

They are organising a workshop on requirements engineering using collaborative tools in May.

I am looking forward to visiting Ecuador and attending the workshop!

Ready, Set, Transfer Winner

I won the ready, set, transfer event at RE’11 for StakeSource! The event is organised by Daniela Damian and Jane Cleland-Huang to facilitate technology transfer from research to practice.

The session follows the format of Dragon’s Den, where entrepreneurs (I am one of them) get three minutes to pitch their business ideas to five multi-millionaires. A lot of people turned up – more than I expected.

I got the most claps for all 3 rounds, and the most votes from the audience.

Two of the dragon’s came up to tell me they really liked StakeSource.

As the winner, I received 160k Euros (in the form of a fake cheque) from Jane.

The Seilevel Software Requirements Blog describes this exciting event in detail. It’s a fabulous blog about the event – I couldn’t have done it better!