Francis Palma

Francis’s research aims to make web-based software better

Under the surface of the world wide web, layers of interfaces are used to connect clients with applications and data of various kinds. This is where Francis Palma’s research takes place, with the aim of giving client developers a better software development experience.

The web isn’t just about showing texts and images. A lot of the pages you visit on the internet use programs or applications to present their content to you and to interact with you.

In order to make these pages work in the best possible way, designers and developers need to ensure interface designs of high quality for web-based applications.

“Thus, research efforts should be made on assessing the quality, both syntactical and semantic, of web interfaces. This quality should be judged from both structural and linguistic/semantic perspectives”, says Francis Palma.

To develop a unified approach for modelling and evaluating the design of so-called service-based systems (SBSs) is what Francis Palma’s research targets. He joined Linnaeus University in late 2018, making him one of the newest senior lecturers at the Department of computer science and media technology. Francis is Canadian with Bangladeshi origin, with a PhD in software engineering from the University of Montreal.

“Using research of this type, several design quality issues have been identified and validated. Well-known web interfaces such as Dropbox, Facebook, and Twitter all suffer from either syntactic or semantic issues in their design”, says Francis.

Explore new areas

At Linnaeus University, Francis will focus on both research and teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In particular, his research will explore new areas – the application of reinforcement learning in the domain of Internet of Things (IoT), for example.

“I also plan to focus on studying and exploring the best practices in Web of Things (WoT), that is, software patterns and programming styles that allow real-world objects to be part of the web”.

Francis thinks that the most exciting thing about working at Linnaeus University is its flexible research and teaching environment leveraging, which will allow him to build his own research sphere.

“Most importantly, Linnaeus University is offering me brand new cultural and societal perspectives that will make this journey more exciting and self-discovering”, he concludes.