Quality Assurance of Software Models - A Structured Quality Assurance Process Supported by a Flexible Tool Environment in the Eclipse Modeling Project
The paradigm of model-based software development (MBSD) has become more and more popular since it promises an increase in the efficiency and quality of software development. In this paradigm, software models play an increasingly important role and software quality and quality assurance consequently...
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|The paradigm of model-based software development (MBSD) has become more and more popular since it promises an increase in the efficiency and quality of software development. In this paradigm, software models play an increasingly important role and software quality and quality assurance consequently leads back to the quality and quality assurance of the involved models.
The fundamental aim of this thesis is the definition of a structured syntax-oriented process for quality assurance of software models that can be adapted to project-specific and domain-specific needs. It is structured into two sub-processes: a process for the specification of project-specific model quality assurance techniques, and a process for applying them on concrete software models within a MBSD project. The approach concentrates on quality aspects to be checked on the abstract model syntax and is based on quality assurance techniques model metrics, smells, and refactorings well-known from literature. So far, these techniques are mostly considered in isolation only and therefore the proposed process integrates them in order to perform model quality assurance more systematically. Three example cases performing the process serve as proof-of-concept implementations and show its applicability, its flexibility, and hence its usefulness.
Related to several issues concerning model quality assurance minor contributions of this thesis are (1) the definition of a quality model for model quality that consists of high-level quality attributes and low-level characteristics, (2) overviews on metrics, smells, and refactorings for UML class models including structured descriptions of each technique, and (3) an approach for composite model refactoring that concentrates on the specification of refactoring composition.
Since manually reviewing models is time consuming and error prone, several tasks of the proposed process should consequently be automated. As a further main contribution, this thesis presents a flexible tool environment for model quality assurance which is based on the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF), a common open source technology in model-based software development. The tool set is part of the Eclipse Modeling Project (EMP) and belongs to the Eclipse incubation project EMF Refactor which is available under the Eclipse public license (EPL). The EMF Refactor framework supports both the model designer and the model reviewer by obtaining metrics reports, by checking for potential model deficiencies (called model smells) and by systematically restructuring models using refactorings. The functionality of EMF Refactor is integrated into standard tree-based EMF instance editors, graphical GMF-based editors as used by Papyrus UML, and textual editors provided by Xtext. Several experiments and studies show the suitability of the tools for supporting the techniques of the structured syntax-oriented model quality assurance process.