Introducing a New Frameworkfor Modelling Requirements,Traceability, and Patterns in UML

University essay from KTH/Skolan för datavetenskap och kommunikation (CSC)

Author: Mikael Simonsson; [2013]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: This thesis introduces a new framework for modelling requirements and traceability using the Unified Modelling Language (UML). It also shows how this framework successfully can be used for modelling traceability patterns. There is no complete framework for modelling all aspects of requirements and traceability in the software industry today, according to our research. The most widely used framework is UML’s use case diagrams but these diagrams are not complete in the sense of the ability of modelling a requirement’s whole life cycle, such as its breakdown structure and its dependencies to other project artefacts, such as processes diagrams and test cases, etc. Use case diagrams focus on describing the user’s requirements but omit the connection to over- and underlying requirements such as overlying needs and underlying system requirements, etc. By introducing a new generic modelling framework for requirements, the requirements issue discussed above may be solved. This framework will hopefully ease many requirements modelling issues which can emerge, especially in large software projects where complex requirements sets are not uncommon. For example, the framework could be useful for communicating requirements best practices (in terms of patterns) to other software projects. The assignment of this thesis was to create a new modelling framework for requirements which could model requirements in a much wider context than the existing requirements diagrams used in the software industry today. The framework should at least be able to model different types of requirements, a requirements’ break down structure, attributes and traceability to other requirements and project artefacts. The framework should also be suitable for modelling traceability patterns in order to communicate best practices to other software projects. The ambition was that the framework should be as easy to understand and adapt as possible; hence, a focus on an elaboration on existing UML diagrams, which today are widely known and accepted in the software industry. The conclusion is that it is possible to create a framework according to the assignment. It was proven that UML’s existing class and object diagrams are sufficient for reaching the objective. Also, the framework proved to be suitable for modelling traceability patterns. The framework was then tested on two real projects and it was shown to be efficient for communicating the projects’ requirements design and sharing best practices among the project members.

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