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Brendan Murphy

Short Bio

Brendan Murphy is a Principal Researcher at the Microsoft Research Centre in Cambridge UK. Brendan works in the Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESE) group at Microsoft focusing on software reliability, dependability, quality and process issues. Over the last year Brendan has been researching software development practices within Microsoft.

Prior to his current position at Microsoft, Brendan was at Compaq Corporation (previously Digital), Ayr Scotland till August 1999, where he ran the DPP program which collected and analysed dependability data from customer sites. Prior to working in Scotland, Brendan worked for Digital in Galway Ireland, UNISYS (Scotland and US) and ICL (West Gorton, Manchester).

Brendan graduated from Newcastle University. In his free time you can find him playing golf in and around Cambridge.

Research Interests

My research interests lie in the area of System Dependability which encompasses Measurement, Reliability and Availability. My areas of focus, using data currently available are:-

  • Software Development Practices

Through working with the product groups to interpret process and product metrics it is possible to get a holistic picture of a products development process. Through performing similar work across multiple diverse products it is possible to identify the effectiveness of different development methodologies to address different product spaces.

  • Process and Product Measurement

Developing metrics that characterize the way software systems are built. Prior work identified relationships between software development attributes and software quality. This work is being extended to identify the relationship between the software development process (people and tools) and software quality.

  • Failure prediction

Previous analysis of the data logged by applications identified burst of activity which appear to be indicative of potentially catastrophic problems. The focus of this work is now on failure predictions based on how the software is developed. Through analysing the profile of the software development it is possible to predict the ‘riskier’ software.

(Prior work)

  • System Fault Management architectures.
  • Correlating the availability and reliability as perceived by the end users, against the application, cluster and nodal behaviour occurring on the server.

Current Activities

I serve on the steering committee of ISSRE (IEEE International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering). I also participate actively in the DSN community and serve on several PCs.

I was the general chair for ISSRE 2008 in Redmond/Seattle.

Publications (selected)

Brendan Murphy, Jacek Czerwonka, Laurie Williams, Branching Taxonomy, Microsoft Research Tech Report

Brendan Murphy, Christian Bird, Thomas Zimmermann, Laurie Williams, Nachiappan Nagappan, Andrew Begel, Have Agile Techniques been the Silver Bullet for Software Development at Microsoft? in proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement ACM ESEM, Baltimore 2013.

Brendan Murphy, The difficulties of Building Generic Reliability Models for Software, Empirical Software Engineering Journal, 18-22 (2012).

Christian Bird, Nachiappan Nagappan, Brendan Murphy, Harald Gall, and Premkumar Devanbu, Don't Touch My Code! Examining the Effects of Ownership on Software Quality, in Proceedings of the the Eighth joint meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on The Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC-FSE), ACM, September 2011

Paul Li, Ryan Kivett, Zhiyuan Zhan, Sung-eok Jeon, Nachiappan Nagappan, Brendan Murphy and Andrew Ko, Characterizing the Differences Between Pre- and Post- release Versions of Software, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Engineering (Experience Track), Honolulu, Hawaii, 2011.

Christian Bird, Brendan Murphy, Nachi Nagappan, and Thomas Zimmermann, Empirical Software Engineering at Microsoft Research, in Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Association for Computing Machinery, Inc., 19 March 2011

Philip J. Guo, Thomas Zimmermann, Nachiappan Nagappan, and Brendan Murphy, "Not My Bug!" and Other Reasons for Software Bug Report Reassignments, in Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.,

Stefan Winter, Constantin Sârbu, Neeraj Suri, Brendan Murphy: The Impact of Fault Models on Software Robustness Evaluations. ICSE 2011: 51-60

Characterizing and predicting which bugs get fixed: an empirical study of Microsoft Windows, Philip J. Guo, Thomas Zimmermann, Nachiappan Nagappan, Brendan Murphy: Proceedings of ICSE 2010: pp. 495-504, Cape Town, South Africa

Putting It All Together: Using Socio-technical Networks to Predict Failures, Christian Bird, Nachiappan Nagappan, Harald Gall, Brendan Murphy, Premkumar T. Devanbu, Proceedings of ISSRE 2009, pp.109-119, Mysore, India

Cross-project defect prediction: a large scale experiment on data vs. domain vs. process, Thomas Zimmermann, Nachiappan Nagappan, Harald Gall, Emanuel Giger, Brendan Murphy, ESEC/SIGSOFT FSE 2009, pp. 91-100, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Does Distributed Development Affect Software Quality? An Empirical Case Study of Windows Vista, Christian Bird, Nachiappan Nagappan, Premkumar Devanbu, Harald Gall and Brendan Murphy, International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2009), Vancouver, Canada.

Post-Release Reliability Growth in Software Products, Pankaj Jalote, Brendan Murphy, Vibhu Saujanya Sharma,  ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM), Volume 17, Number 4, pp. 1-20,  2008.

Can Developer-Module Networks Predict Failures?, Martin Pinzger, Nachiappan Nagappan, Brendan Murphy, ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering, Atlanta, GA, 2008.

The Influence of Organizational Structure on Software Quality, Nachiappan Nagappan, Brendan Murphy, Victor Basili, International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2008), Leipzig, Germany, 2008.

Using Historical In-Process and Product Metrics for Early Estimation of Software Failures, Nagappan, N., Ball, T., Murphy, B., Proceedings of the International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering, Raleigh, NC, 2006.

Structure From Failure, Ralf Herbrich, Thore Graepel, Brendan Murphy, Workshop on Tackling Computer Systems Problems with machine Learning Techniques (SysML 07).

Brendan Murphy; Automatic Software Failure Reporting ( ) ACM Queue Vol 2 No 8, Nov 2004.

Pankaj Jalote, Brendan Murphy; Reliability Growth Of Software Products ( ) ISSRE 2004 St. Malo

Pankaj Jalote, Brendan Murphy, Mario Garzia, Ben Errez; Measuring Reliability Of Products ( ) Supplementary Proceeding of ISSRE 2004 St. Malo

Older papers

Brendan Murphy, Ted Gent; Measuring System and Software Reliability Using an Automated Data Collection Process; Quality and Reliability Engineering International Volume 11, 341-353

Bjorn Levidow, Brendan Murphy; Windows 2000 Dependability ( )

Brendan Murphy

Contact Information

Snail Mail: Brendan Murphy, Microsoft Research UK, 21 Station Road, Cambridge, UK CB1 2FB.

Email: /com/microsoft/bmurphy/