SUNY Poly Professor Dr. Tarannum Zaman Receives $175K Grant from
National Science Foundation

Project will develop framework for addressing challenges in modern software systems

Dr. Tarannum Shaila Zaman, an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at SUNY
Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly), recently received a $175,000 National Science Foundation Computer and Information Science and Engineering Research Initiation Initiative (NSF CRII) grant to support her project entitled, “An Automated and User-centered Framework for Reproducing System-level Concurrency Bugs by Analyzing Bug Reports.” Ultimately, this research will create a novel framework named RepSON, that addresses challenges caused by system-level concurrency bugs that frequently appear in modern software systems, thus lessening the burden faced by developers, who must currently troubleshoot them manually.

“I applaud Dr. Zaman’s efforts on this project, which will develop a game changing resource for those in the software industry,” said SUNY Poly Interim Dean of the College of Engineering and Associate Provost for Research Dr. Michael Carpenter. “Furthermore, this project will increase workplace efficiency, cutting down the amount of time developers spend debugging software, so they can focus on other important tasks.”

According to Zaman, reproducing software bugs is necessary to ensure that they exist so that their behavior can be observed and that they can ultimately be fixed. Reproducing system-level concurrency bugs requires not only input data but also the interleaving order of system calls. Manually reproducing this type of bug from bug reports is challenging, Zaman explains, due to its elusive nature and the need for supplementary details. Moreover, bug reports composed in Natural Language software are frequently unstructured, posing a challenge when it comes to extracting
essential information. Zaman notes that existing bug reproduction tools are incompatible with this type of bug due to their inability to deal with the specific interleaving schedule at the system call level.

“I’m grateful for this investment by the National Science Foundation that will allow this incredibly important research to come to fruition,” said Dr. Zaman. “In addition to the creation of a novel framework [RepSON], this project will also develop a technique for extracting information and generating executable inputs from bug reports that can also be applied to other types of software bugs.”

Dr. Zaman joined SUNY Poly’s College of Engineering faculty in August 2022, after graduating with her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Kentucky. Prior to this, she obtained her MS and BSc. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2013 and 2011, respectively. Additionally, she accumulated valuable insights while employed at multiple software industries in Bangladesh, with a notable stint at Samsung Research and Development from 2012 to 2013. Dr. Zaman’s research focuses on devising novel techniques that make computer systems more
efficient, reliable, autonomous, and user-friendly. To achieve her research objectives, she utilizes methodologies like Data Mining, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Information Retrieval, and Program Analysis.