Title page for ETD etd-03072008-165726

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Douglas, Coretta Willis
Author's Email Address douglas@csc.lsu.edu
URN etd-03072008-165726
Title Visual Language Representation for Use Case Evolution and Traceability
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Computer Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Doris Carver Committee Chair
Donald Kraft Committee Member
Jianhua Chen Committee Member
Ye-Sho Chen Committee Member
Lu Peng Dean's Representative
  • traceability
  • domain modeling
  • visual modeling
  • context-free grammar
  • use case refinement
  • requirements evolution
Date of Defense 2008-02-01
Availability unrestricted
The primary goal of this research is to assist non-technical stakeholders involved in requirements engineering with a comprehensible method for managing changing requirements within a specific domain. An important part of managing evolving requirements over time is to maintain a temporal ordering of the changes and to support traceability of the modifications. This research defines a semi-formal syntactical and semantic definition of such a method using a visual language, RE/TRAC (Requirements Evolution with Traceability), and a supporting formal semantic notation RE/TRAC-SEM. RE/TRAC-SEM is an ontological specification employing a combination of models, including verbal definitions, set theory and a string language specification RE/TRAC-CF. The language RE/TRAC-CF enables the separation of the syntactical description of the visual language from the semantic meaning of the model, permitting varying target representations and taking advantage of existing efficient parsing algorithms for context-free grammars. As an application of the RE/TRAC representation, this research depicts the hierarchical step-wise refinement of UML use case diagrams to demonstrate evolving system requirements. In the current arena of software development, where systems are described using platform independent models (PIMs) which emphasize the front-end design process, requirements and design documents, including the use cases, have become the primary artifacts of the system. Therefore the management of requirements’ evolution has become even more critical in the creation and maintenance of systems.
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