טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
Ph.D Thesis
Ph.D StudentSoffer Avraham
SubjectBridging Information Gaps in Object-Process
Methodology-Based System Development
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Professor Dov Dori
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

Software engineering strives to respond to the growing demands of software systems development in a reality of increasing complexity and rapidly changing requirements. In spite of efforts to improve the flow of engineering information throughout the development process, often times the implemented system does not fully match the desired one and the users' needs.

The Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) paradigm has received wide acceptance in recent years. However, this stage-oriented modeling approach introduces disruptions in the flow of information during transitions between the various stage models. Modeling integrity must be maintained to avoid, or at least significantly reduce, detrimental information gaps that are created as a result of these transitions.

This thesis proposes a systems modeling methodology which enables reducing information gaps that undermine the quality of lifecycle-long model-based software development. The proposed approach is substantiated via the Modeling Continuity Principle (MCP), a new concept that promotes coherent modeling and gradual transitions across lifecycle stages through the use of a single, unified model that continuously represents the system as it evolves. An Integrated Modeling Paradigm (IMP) that conforms with the MCP was developed. The IMP combines separate domain models to create an integrated system model. At the heart of IMP is a new modeling component termed "model connector", which is an inter-model coupling mechanism that carries modeling information. IMP also prescribes a methodology for incorporating the creation of connectors, the binding of model elements and the documentation of engineering rationale behind the stage transitions into the hosting modeling methodology.

The MCP was realized via Object-Process Methodology (OPM), a comprehensive approach to systems modeling, engineering, and lifecycle support. OPM was extended so that both the requirements and design models can be represented in an integrated OPM model via a model-connecting component and the create-link-document method prescribed by IMP and incorporated into the OPM development process.

The results of a users' survey, which was based on an application example, corroborated the research hypotheses. We verified that information discontinuity is indeed a significant problem in model-based development and has adverse effects on the quality of developed systems. Furthermore, bridging the requirements-design gap to achieve modeling continuity, results in a higher quality system. The new enhancement to OPM is easy to use and will indeed help to bridge the information gap and yield a better match between the required and resultant systems.