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Rubén Heradio Gil

Spanish version

Assistant Professor at the Spanish Open University

Ph.D. in Computer Science (Spanish Open University)
Bs.D. in Computer Science (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid)





Phone number:

(+34) 91 398 8242

Postal address:

Departamento de Ingenieria de Software y Sistemas Informaticos
E.T.S.I. Informatica, UNED
C/ Juan del Rosal, 16
Ciudad Universitaria,28040 Madrid




Recent Publications


Ruben Heradio, David Fernandez-Amoros, Jose Antonio Cerrada, Ismael Abad. A Literature Review on Feature Diagram Product Counting and Its Usage in Software Product Line Economic Models. International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, 23(8), 2013.

Abstract: In software product line engineering, feature diagrams are a popular means to represent the similarities and differences within a family of related systems. In addition, feature diagrams implicitly model valuable information that can be used in economic models to estimate the cost savings of a product line. In particular, this paper reviews existing proposals on computing the total number of products modeled with a feature diagram and, given a feature, the number of products that implement it. The paper also reviews the economic information that can be estimated when such numbers are known. Thus, this paper contributes by bringing together previously-disparate streams of work: the automated analysis of feature diagrams and economic models for product lines.


de la Torre, L. and Heradio, R. and Jara, C.A. and Sanchez, J. and Dormido, S. and Torres, F. and Candelas, F.A. Providing Collaborative Support to Virtual and Remote Laboratories. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 6(4): 312-323, 2013.

Abstract: Virtual and Remote Laboratories (VRLs) are e-learning resources that enhance the accessibility of experimental setups providing a distance teaching framework which meets the student’s hands-on learning needs. In addition, online collaborative communication represents a practical and a constructivist method to transmit the knowledge and experience from the teacher to students, overcoming physical distance and isolation. This paper describes the extension of two open source tools: (i) the learning management system Moodle, and (ii) the tool to create VRLs Easy Java Simulations (EJS). Our extension provides: (i) synchronous collaborative support to any VRL developed with EJS (i.e., any existing VRLwritten in EJS can be automatically converted into a collaborative lab with no cost), and (ii) support to deploy synchronous collaborative VRLs into Moodle. Using our approach students and/or teachers can invite other users enrolled in a Moodle course to a real-time collaborative experimental session, sharing and/or supervising experiences at the same time they practice and explore experiments using VRLs.


Luis de la Torre, Juan P. Sanchez, Ruben Heradio, Carmen Carreras, Manuel Yuste, Jose Sanchez, Sebastian Dormido. Creating web experimentation portals. International Conference on Interactive Computer aided Blended Learning, 2013, Florianópolis, Brasil.

Abstract: There are two main obstacles for supporting lab experimentation in distance learning institutions, such as the Turkish Anadolu University, the UK Open University and the Spanish Open University (UNED): (i) their high number of students, and (ii) the fact that students are usually scattered around the world. Both problems make impossible to provide the scientific and technical courses with traditional labs at a reasonable cost. To overcome those problems, we propose an approach to developing webbased, deploying them into a learning management system and reducing their cost by reusing software intensively.


Ruben Heradio, Francisco Javier Cabrerizo, David Fernandez-Amoros, Manuel Herrera and Enrique Herrera-Viedma. A fuzzy linguistic model to evaluate the quality of Library 2.0 functionalities. International Journal of Information Management, 33(4): 642-654, 2013.

Abstract: Libraries incessantly undergo change determined by evolving user needs. These are often induced by the emergence of previously unavailable tools. Web 2.0 represents an example of such a need-shifting technology, which has led to an embrace of new user interactivity services for many library websites, thus coined Library 2.0. This paradigm shift calls for new evaluation models to include the implementation of Web 2.0 technologies. The aim of this paper is to present such a model, and to evaluate the quality of Library 2.0 functionalities, measuring the quality of the 2.0 services offered through the websites based on user perception. We adopt fuzzy linguistic modeling to represent user perception, and apply aggregation operations to linguistic labels in order to evaluate the quality of the new services. Furthermore, our model subsumes the LibQUAL+ methodology, allowing for the identification of specific 2.0 functionalities in need of improvement and of those outstandingly satisfied by the system.


Luis de la Torre, Ruben Heradio, Sebastian Dormido, Carlos Jara. Real-time Collaboration for Web-Based Labs. 10th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning: 161-168, University of Wisconsin, Madison, June 2013.

Abstract: Web–based labs are key tools for distance education that help to illustrate scientific phenomena which require costly or difficult-to-assemble equipment. We propose the extension of two open source tools: (i) the learning management system Moodle, and (ii) the application to create web–based labs Easy Java Simulations (EJS). Our extension provides: (i) synchronous collaborative support to any lab developed with EJS (i.e., existing labs written in EJS can be automatically converted into collaborative with no cost), and (ii) support to deploy synchronous collaborative labs into Moodle. Thanks to our approach, students and/or teachers can invite other users enrolled in a Moodle course to a real-time collaborative experimental session, sharing and/or supervising experiences at the same time they practice and explore experiments using labs. The experimental evaluation of our work shows statistical significant (i) increase in student engagement and (ii) higher exam grades for students trained with collaborative labs.


Jose R. Coz.Fernandez, Ruben Heradio, David Fernandez-Amoros, Jose A. Cerrada. A Domain Engineering Approach to Increase Productivity in the Development of a Service for Changes Notification of the Configuration Management Database. Journal of Software Engineering and Applications, 6(4): 207-220, 2013.

Abstract: This paper presents a domain engineering approach to build a software product line that supports the change notification service in a Configuration Management Database (CMDB) according to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practices. For the development of this product line, the proposed approach makes use of a construction of products methodology by analogy: this is a new notation which reports the variability of the products, obtaining metrics as important as the number of products and uses a language that enables, by means of the flexibilization of a product and the development of some generators, to build the rest of the product line. In addition the paper offers a standard for the analysis and design of the CMDB as well. Finally, the paper presents an economic model for the product line, where the profitability and productivity of the proposed solution are analyzed.


Luis de la Torre, Sebastian Dormido, Ruben Heradio, Jose Sanchez, Juan Pedro Sanchez-Fernandez, Carmen Carreras, and Manuel Yuste. Laboratorios remotos de Física. Revista Española de Física, 27(1): 57-60, 2013.

Abstract: Este trabajo presenta un portal web de laboratorios virtuales y remotos, UNEDLabs, que reúne aplicaciones de experimentación (laboratorios) y un entorno web (basado en un sistema de gestión de aprendizaje) juntos. Los laboratorios virtuales son utilizados por los estudiantes como una primera toma de contacto con los fenómenos estudiados, pero también les proporcionan resultados teóricos de los experimentos (basados en simulaciones). Los laboratorios remotos permiten a los usuarios llevar a cabo actividades de laboratorio de una manera real, controlar los equipos a distancia, a través de Internet, y  obtener datos experimentales reales. El entorno web contiene y soporta los laboratorios virtuales y remotos, así como la documentación asociada: introducciones teóricas a los experimentos, manuales de uso, etc.  El conjunto de experiencias en UNEDLabs ya es suficiente para cubrir las principales disciplinas de la Física y, por lo tanto, ofrece una enseñanza completa, de acuerdo con el currículo oficial.


Antonio Adan, Andres Vazquez, Pilar Merchan, and Ruben Heradio. Direction kernels: using a simplified 3D model representation for grasping. Machine Vision and Applications, 24(1): 351-370, 2013.

Abstract: Humans decide how to carry out a spontaneous interaction with an object by using the whole geometric information obtained from their eyes. The aim of this paper is to present how our object representation model MWS (Adán in Comput Vis Image Underst 79:281–307, 2000) can help a robot manipulator to make a single and reliable interaction. The contribution of this paper is particularly focused on the grasp synthesis stage. The main idea is that the grasping system, through MWS, can use non-strict-local features of the contact points to find a consistent grasping configuration. The Direction Kernels (DK) concept, which is integrated into the MWS model, is used to define a set of candidate contact-points and interaction regions. The set of DK is a global feature which represents the principal normal vectors of the object and their relative weight in a three-connectivity mesh model. Our method calculates the optimal grasp points (which are ordered according to the quality function) for two-finger grippers, whilst maintaining the requirements of force closure and safety of the grasp. Our strategy has been extensively tested on real free-shape objects using a 6 DOF industrial robot.



J. R. Coz Fernandez, E. Fojon Chamorro, R. Heradio Gil, J. A. Cerrada Somolinos. Evaluación de la Privacidad de una Red Social Virtual. Iberian Journal of Information Systems and Technologies, 9: 59-73, 2012.

Abstract: Tanto para las organizaciones y empresas como para la Sociedad en su conjunto, la protección del ciberespacio constituye un aspecto crucial y la privacidad de la información es uno de los pilares sobre los que descansa esta protección. En el proceso de construcción del ciberespacio, las redes sociales virtuales se han convertido en uno de los elementos más relevantes para el intercambio de información, y su utilización de forma global y masiva pone de relevancia su gran importancia estratégica. En este artículo se propone la evaluación de la privacidad en las redes sociales virtuales, mediante un modelo de madurez, un marco para la evaluación y un cuadro integral de mandos.


Dormido, S.; Sanchez, J.; de la Torre, L.; Heradio, R.; Carreras, C.; Sanchez, J.P.; Yuste, M. Physics Experiments at the UNEDLabs Portal. International Journal of Online Engineering, vol 8:26-27.

Abstract: UNEDLabs is a web portal based on a free, modern, open source, and well-known learning management system: Moodle. This portal joins two theme networks of virtual and remote laboratories (one for Control Engineering and another one for Physics, named AutomatL@bs and FisL@bs, respectively) together. AutomatL@bs has been operative for five years now. Following AutomatL@bs’ scheme, FisL@bs was created as a network of remote and virtual laboratories for physics university education via the Internet to offer students the possibility of performing hands-on experiences in different fields of physics in two ways: simulation and real remote operation. Now, both FisL@bs and AutomatL@bs join together (while maintaining their independency) into an unique new web portal called UNEDLabs. This work focuses on this new web environment and gives a detailed account of a novel way in Physics to let distance learning students gain practical experience autonomously. This paper explains how the new portal works and the software tools used for creating it. In addition, it also describes the physics experiments which are already operative.


Ismael Abad, Carlos Cerrada, Jose A. Cerrada, Ruben Heradio, and Enrique Valero. Managing RFID sensors networks with a general purpose RFID middleware. Sensors, 12(6):7719-7737, 2012.

Abstract: RFID middleware is anticipated to one of the main research areas in the field of RFID applications in the near future. The Data EPC Acquisition System (DEPCAS) is an original proposal designed by our group to transfer and apply fundamental ideas from System and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems into the areas of RFID acquisition, processing and distribution systems. In this paper we focus on how to organize and manage generic RFID sensors (edge readers, readers, PLCs, etc…) inside the DEPCAS middleware. We denote by RFID Sensors Networks Management (RSNM) this part of DEPCAS, which is built on top of two new concepts introduced and developed in this work: MARC (Minimum Access Reader Command) and RRTL (RFID Reader Topology Language). MARC is an abstraction layer used to hide heterogeneous devices inside a homogeneous acquisition network. RRTL is a language to define RFID Reader networks and to describe the relationship between them (concentrator, peer to peer, master/submaster).


Ruben Heradio, David Fernandez-Amoros, Luis de la Torre, and Ismael Abad. Exemplar driven development of software product lines. Expert Systems with Applications, 19(17): 12885-12896.

Abstract: The benefits of following a product line approach to develop similar software systems are well documented. Nevertheless, some case studies have revealed significant barriers to adopt such approach. In order to minimize the paradigm shift between conventional software engineering and software product line engineering, this paper presents a new development process where the products of a domain are made by analogy to an existing product. Furthermore, this paper discusses the capabilities and limitations of different techniques to implement the analogy relation and proposes a new language to overcome such limitations.


Ismael Abad Cardiel, Ruben Heradio Gil, Carlos Cerrada Somolinos, and Jose Cerrada Somolinos. A SCADA oriented middleware for RFID technology. Expert Systems with Applications, 39(12):11115-11124, 2012.

Abstract: Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) has emerged as the new technology paradigm for acquisition and information management. RFID can be used to improve significantly the efficiency of business processes by providing the capability of automatic identification and data capture. This technology introduces new challenges on data and process information management in current systems. RFID data are time-dependent and dynamically changing. In addition, data carry implicit semantics. The homogeneous data processing of such implicit semantics allows us to propose RFID middleware as a WHO–WHEN–WHERE data problem. This paper presents DEPCAS, a new middleware for RFID information based on the SCADA architecture for control systems. An application of DEPCAS is the resolution of heterogeneous situations, which solves the WHAT or context-aware to apply the auto identification data received from RFID systems in business applications.


Ruben Heradio, David Fernandez-Amoros, Luis Torre-Cubillo, and Alberto Perez Garcia-Plaza. Improving the accuracy of coplimo to estimate the payoff of a software product line. Expert Systems with Applications, 39(9):7919–7928, 2012.

Abstract: Software product line engineering pursues the efficient development of families of similar products. COPLIMO is an economic model that relies on COCOMO II to estimate the benefits of adopting a product line approach compared to developing the products one by one. Although COPLIMO is an ideal economic model to support decision making on the incremental development of a product line, it makes some simplifying assumptions that may produce high distortions in the estimates (e.g., COPLIMO takes for granted that all the products have the same size). This paper proposes a COPLIMO reformulation that avoids such assumptions and, consequently, improves the accuracy of the estimates. To support our proposal, we present an algorithm that infers the additional information that our COPLIMO reformulation requires from feature diagrams, which is a widespread notation to model the domain of a product line.


Ruben Heradio, David Fernandez-Amoros, Francisco Javier Cabrerizo, and Enrique Herrera-Viedma. A  review of quality evaluation of digital libraries based on users’ perceptions. Journal of Information Science, 38(3):269–283, 2012.

Abstract: In the past two decades, the use of digital libraries (DLs) has grown significantly. Accordingly, questions about the utility, usability and cost of DLs have started to arise, and greater attention is being paid to the quality evaluation of this type of information system. Since DLs are destined to serve user communities, one of the main aspects to be considered in DL evaluation is the user’s opinion. The literature on this topic has produced a set of varied criteria to judge DLs from the user’s perspective, measuring instruments to elicit users’ opinions, and approaches to analyse the elicited data to conclude an evaluation. This paper provides a literature review of the quality evaluation of DLs based on users’ perceptions. Its main contribution is to bring together previously disparate streams of work to help shed light on this thriving area. In addition, the various studies are discussed, and some challenges to be faced in the future are proposed.



R. Heradio, D. Fernandez-Amoros, J.A. Cerrada, and C. Cerrada. Supporting commonality-based analysis of software product lines. IET Software, 5(6):496 –509, dec. 2011.

Abstract: Software Product Line (SPL) engineering is a cost effective approach to developing families of similar products. Key to the success of this approach is to correctly scope the domain of the SPL, identifying the common and variable features of the products and the interdependencies between features. In this paper, we show how the commonality of a feature (i.e., the reuse ratio of the feature among the products) can be used to detect scope flaws in the early stages of development. SPL domains are usually modeled by means of feature diagrams following the FODA notation. We extend classical FODA trees with unrestricted cardinalities, and present an algorithm to compute the number of products modeled by a feature diagram and the commonality of the features. Finally, we compare the performance of our algorithm with two other approaches built on top of boolean logic SAT-solver technology such as cachet and relsat.


David Fernandez-Amoros and Ruben Heradio. Understanding the role of conceptual relations in word sense disambiguation. Expert Systems with Applications, 38(8):9506–9516, 2011.

Abstract: In this article, we concentrate in conceptual relations as a source of information for Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD) systems. We start with a review the most relevant research in the field, then we implement our own algorithm. As a starting point we have chosen the conceptual density algorithm of Agirre and Rigau. We generalize the original algorithm, parameterizing many aspects. This new algorithm obtains a relative improvement of 24% in terms of precision and recall. We also offer comparative evaluation of our system with respect to the participants in the SENSEVAL-2 disambiguation competition. We conclude that conceptual relations provide a source of information that is insufficient by itself to achieve good disambiguation results, but can, however, be a very accurate heuristic in a combined system.


Ruben Heradio, Luis de la Torre, Jose Sanchez, Sebastian Dormido, and Hector Vargas. An architecture for virtual and remote laboratories to support distance learning. In Research in Engineering Education Symposium, pages 579–587, Madrid, Spain, October 2011.

Abstract: This work describes the experience of the authors regarding the design, development, analysis, and exploitation of Web-based technologies for creating an online experimentation framework with distance education purposes. This framework is specially design for scientific and technical courses that require a quite important presence of experimentation. Every component belonging to the proposed structure for these kind of portals is integrated into a free modern Learning Management System (LMS) that enhances collaborative work. The features, use, and integration of this LMS (Moodle) along with the other required tools are detailed. The proposed framework was used to implement a network of remote and virtual laboratories for control engineering education (AutomatLabs) that is presented here too as an example of its application.



Francisco Javier Cabrerizo, Ruben Heradio, Ignacio Javier Perez, and Enrique Herrera-Viedma. A selection process based on additive consistency to deal with incomplete fuzzy linguistic information. Journal of Universa Computer Science, 16(1):62–81, jan 2010.

Abstract: In group decision making situations, there may be cases in which experts do not have an in-depth knowledge of the problem to be solved and, as a result, they may present incomplete information. In this paper, we present a new selection process to deal with incomplete fuzzy linguistic information. As part of it, we use an iterative procedure to estimate the missing information. This procedure is guided by the additive consistency property and only uses the preference values provided by the experts. In addition, the additive consistency property is also used to measure the level of consistency of the information provided by the experts. The main novelties of this selection process are both the possibility to manage decision situations under incomplete fuzzy linguistic information and the importance of the experts' preferences in the aggregation processes is modeled by means of the experts' consistency.


David Fernandez-Amoros, Ruben Heradio, José Cerrada, and Carlos Cerrada. Automatic word sense disambiguation using cooccurrence and hierarchical information. In Christina Hopfe, Yacine Rezgui, Elisabeth Mtais, Alun Preece, and Haijiang Li, editors, Natural Language Processing and Information Systems, volume 6177 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 60–67. Springer Berlin–Heidelberg, 2010.

Abstract: We review in detail here a polished version of the systems with which we participated in the Senseval-2 competition English tasks (all words and lexical sample). It is based on a combination of selectional preference measured over a large corpus and hierarchical information taken from WordNet, as well as some additional heuristics. We use that information to expand sense glosses of the senses in WordNet and compare the similarity between the contexts vectors and the word sense vectors in a way similar to that used by Yarowsky and Schuetze. A supervised extension of the system is also discussed. We provide new and previously unpublished evaluation over the SemCor collection, which is two orders of magnitude larger than SENSEVAL-2 collections as well as comparison with baselines. Our systems scored first among unsupervised systems in both tasks. We note that the method is very sensitive to the quality of the characterizations of word senses; glosses being much better than training examples.



Moodle plugins for Virtual and Remote Laboratories

EFL (Exemplar Flexibilization Language)

PhD. Dissertation: "Metodologia de desarrollo de software basada en el paradigma generativo. Realizacion mediante la transformacion de ejemplares"

Technology Transfer / Cooperation with Industry

1.   2007-2008: Collaboration Agreement, between the Spanish Exchequer and the Spanish National University Based on Distance Learning, for the Automatic Refactoring of a Monolingual Web Application into Multilingual (“Convenio de Colaboración entre la Intervención General de la Administración del Estado y la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia para el Desarrollo de un Traductor de JSPs”).


Radio Programs

  1. Heradio, R.; Fernández D.; Coz J. R; Sáiz C. La ciberseguridad. Estado del arte de la criptografía. Emitido por RADIO 3 (RNE) el 30 de Noviembre de 2011.


  1. Heradio, R.; Fernández D.; Coz J. R. La ciberseguridad. Historia y evolución de la criptología. Emitido por RADIO 3 (RNE) el 23 de Noviembre de 2011.


  1. Heradio, R.; Estivariz, J. F. Metodologías ágiles y pesadas de desarrollo de software. Emitido por RADIO 3 (RNE) el 17 de Marzo de 2010.
  2. Heradio, R.; Estivariz, J. F.; Coz, J.R. Seguridad y control de acceso basado en sistemas biométricos. Emitido por RADIO 3 (RNE) el 26 de Marzo de 2008.
  3. Heradio Gil, R., Morales Puerta, J. Las pruebas en la ingeniería del software. Emitido por RADIO 3 (RNE) el 9 de Mayo de 2007.