News Column

"Automatic Identification of Affected Product Assets with Work Items" in Patent Application Approval Process

August 7, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- A patent application by the inventors Kaplinger, Todd Eric (Durham, NC); Woods, Eric (Durham, NC), filed on January 14, 2013, was made available online on July 24, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to International Business Machines Corporation.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In the context of the present disclosure and the related art, 'work items' represent a unit of work to be taken against a software base, such as bug reports, feature requests, new development tasks, and other human-entered assignment. Today, work items are not correlated with the software code to which they are targeting. This correlation must be manually established by a software developer familiar with the code base. Because significant familiarity with the software code base is required for a human to identify which product assets must be revised, updated, changed, or even written from scratch, this poses a cost and efficiency bottleneck to development, installation, and upgrading of computing systems. Since the relevant sections of the code must first be identified by a high-expertise person, work items take longer to complete.

"This problem is especially applicable to product acquisitions, in which products must undergo transformations to become conformant to the acquirer's corporate product standards (e.g. rebranding). For example, if Company Z acquires software Product Y from Company X, someone with familiarity of all the components of Product Y must identify all components which must be revised to show the logo and contact information of Company Z, to present user interfaces consistent with Company Z's UI standard, to implement security consistent with Company Z's policies, etc.

"A similar situation may arise for 'private labeling' of software products, such as web browser which can be customized to appear to be produced by a company but which are in fact sourced from another company.

"Further, such software products may include products beyond traditional executable programs, such as web pages, scripts associated with web pages, and mobile 'apps'.

"And, similar situations may arise as products are 'localized' for other jurisdictions, countries, and cultures, in which logos, warnings, license agreements, contact information, and the like must be revised and updated throughout multiple software components per local requirements."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "A work description for a computing system or environment is automatically associated with the affected source components, such as source code modules, web pages, icons, etc., by analyzing the textual description for a change to produce keywords, concepts, and metadata from the textual description; analyzing the source components in a component repository against the keywords, the concepts, and the metadata; identifying source code areas within the source components for changing according to the keywords, concepts, and metadata; and producing a report indicating the source areas for changing. The analysis may employ pattern matching, deep semantic relationship detection, shallow semantic relationship detection, scoring, weighting, logic matching, and other natural language processing techniques.


"The description set forth herein is illustrated by the several drawings.

"FIG. 1 provides an example configuration and model of cooperation between computer system components according to the invention to identify and report which product components are affected by the work item.

"FIG. 2a illustrates an example logical process according to the present invention and correlating to the cooperation shown in FIG. 1, and FIG. 2b provides additional details to the exemplary logical process to perform the relevancy search and to produce an affected components report as referenced in FIG. 2a.

"FIG. 3 depicts an example configuration and model of cooperation between computer system components according to the invention to automatically create a work package for one or more developers.

"FIG. 4 illustrates an example logical process according to the present invention and correlating to the cooperation shown in FIG. 3.

"FIG. 5 sets forth a generalized architecture of computing platforms suitable for at least one embodiment of the present and the related inventions."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Kaplinger, Todd Eric; Woods, Eric. Automatic Identification of Affected Product Assets with Work Items. Filed January 14, 2013 and posted July 24, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Software, International Business Machines Corporation.

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Source: Computer Weekly News

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