Rodi Jolak is a PhD candidate at the software engineering division, joint department of computer science and engineering - Chalmers University of Technology and Gothenburg University, Sweden. His research activities focus on software design and human computer interfaces. He graduated (BSc) in Information Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, Italy 2010. He got a master of science (MSc) in Engineering of Computing Systems from Politecnico di Milano, 2014. He also practiced his role as a software engineer in industry for more than two years.



Software Engineering; Software Design; Software Modeling; HCI.

The overall goal of my research is to support a realistic software design process by understanding software design practices, as well as proposing and assessing a new generation of software design environments.

1. A New Generation of Software Design Environments

On the one hand, whiteboards are commonly used for sketching initial software design, quite often by many people simultaneously. They support informal design and do not constrain the notation being used. However, standard whiteboards lack of integration with subsequent software elaboration tools. Hence, re-modelling is difficult and a time-consuming task.
On the other hand, CASE tools (e.g. StarUML, Rational Rose, Enterprise Architect, etc.) provide means to store and modify designs. However, they support one or more formal notations and hence restrictively require designers to use those specific notations for modelling. Actually, designers often sketch and use ad hoc notations that rarely adhere to standards like the Unified Modelling Language UML. We aim to create a new generation software design environment in order to provide a more intuitive, inspiring and efficient tool to support exploratory and collaborative software design.

Some key aspects are:
a) Integration of informal and formal notations.
b) Support for software design collaboration sessions.
c) Support for multiple modes of interaction.
d) Integration of other Software Engineering (SE) tools.

See publications

2. Is Modelling a Waste of Time?

Several studies provided evidence that the adoption of model-based approaches can significantly enhance both developer productivity and product quality [1], [2], [3]. However, many software practitioners consider such approaches time-consuming, hence prefer to avoid using models which are believed as excessive, superfluous and unnecessary artifacts. As a result, software modeling is still not widely adopted in software development. We think that modeling is not time-consuming per se: it is the designing of the solution (i.e. pondering and making the design decisions) that consumes most of the time. If this is the case, it means that the fault of supposedly unproductive processes should not be blamed on modeling, but to the (anyhow necessary) effort devoted to thinking about the problem and identifying the solution. We want to run some experiments in order to reveal whether it is actually modeling or designing that dominates the effort in the creative process of modeling software systems.

See publications



M.R.V. Chaudron and R. Jolak.

"A Vision on a New Generation of Software Design Environments" In First International Workshop on Human Factors in Modeling (HuFaMo 2015). CEUR-WS, pp. 11-16. 2015. Link

B. Karasneh, R. Jolak, M.R.V. Chaudron.

"Using Examples for Teaching Software Design: An Experiment Using a Repository of UML Class Diagrams." 2015 Asia-Pacific Software Engineering Conference (APSEC). IEEE, 2015. Link


R. Jolak, B. Vesin, M. Isaksson, M.R.V. Chaudron.

"Towards a New Generation of Software Design Environments: Supporting the Use of Informal and Formal Notations with OctoUML" In Second International Workshop on Human Factors in Modeling (HuFaMo 2016). CEUR-WS, pp. 3-11. 2016. Link - Conference Presentation


Rodi Jolak, Boban Vesin and M.R.V. Chaudron.

"OctoUML: An Environment for Exploratory and Collaborative Software Design". In Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Software Engineering, page: 7-10, 2017. Link

Rodi Jolak, Boban Vesin and M.R.V. Chaudron.

"Using Voice Commands for UML Modelling Support on Interactive Whiteboards: Insights and Experiences". CibSE 2017 @ICSE17, pp. in print, 2017. Link

Rodi Jolak, Eric Umuhoza, Truong Ho-Quang, M.R.V. Chaudron and Marco Brambilla

"Dissecting Design Effort and Drawing Effort in UML Modeling". Euromicro SEAA 2017, pp. 384-391, 2017. Link - Conference Presentation

Rodi Jolak

"Understanding Software Design for Creating Better Design Environments". Licentiate Thesis, pages: 137, 2017. Link


M.R.V. Chaudron, Ana Fernandes-Saez, Regina Hebig, Truong Ho-Quang, Rodi Jolak

"Diversity in UML Modeling Explained: Observations, Classifications and Theorizations". In International Conference on Current Trends in Theory and Practice of Informatics, page: 47-66, 2018. Link

Rodi Jolak, Khanh-Duy Le, Kaan Burak Sener, Michel R.V. Chaudron

"OctoBubbles: A Multi-View Interactive Environment for Concurrent Visualization and Synchronization of UML Models and Code". In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution and Reengineering, SANER 2018. To Appear

My Google Scholar Page


A New Generation Software Design Environmnet

OctoUML is an intuitive, inspiring and efficient tool to support exploratory and collaborative software design. Key innovations of our approach are:
(i) enabling users to create and mix both informal hand-drawn sketches and formal computer-drawn notations at the same time on the same canvas,
(ii) providing a selective recognition mechanism that is used to transform hand-drawn sketches into formalized contents,
(iii) enabling of multi-user support on a single input device.


  • The cosmos is within us. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.

    Carl Sagan
  • Good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.

    N.D. Tyson

Contact Details

Office: +46 (0) 31 772 61 75
E-mail: jolak_at_chalmers_dot_se