国家自然科学基金(60970017, 60873083, 60803025); 国家重点基础研究发展计划(973)(2007CB310800); 高等学校博士学科点专项科研基金(20070486065, 20090141120022); 湖北省自然科学基金(2008CDB351, 2008ABA379); 中央高校基本科研业务费专项资金(6082005)
The popularity of the Internet and the boom of the World Wide Web foster innovative changes in software technology that give birth to a new form of software—networked software, which delivers diversified and personalized on-demand services to the public. With the ever-increasing expansion of applications and users, the scale and complexity of networked software are growing beyond the information processing capability of human beings, which brings software engineers a series of challenges to face. In order to come to a scientific understanding of this kind of ultra-large-scale artificial complex systems, a survey research on the infrastructure, application services, and social interactions of networked software is conducted from a three-dimensional perspective of cyberization, servicesation, and socialization. Interestingly enough, most of them have been found to share the same global characteristics of complex networks such as “Small World” and “Scale Free”. Next, the impact of the empirical study on software engineering research and practice and its implications for further investigations are systematically set forth. The convergence of software engineering and other disciplines will put forth new ideas and thoughts that will breed a new way of thinking and input new methodologies for the study of networked software. This convergence is also expected to achieve the innovations of theories, methods, and key technologies of software engineering to promote the rapid development of software service industry in China.