A Lightweight State Machine for Validating Use Case Descriptions

This source preferred by Keith Phalp

Authors: Kanyaru, J.M. and Phalp, K.T.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/11354/

http://dec.bournemouth.ac.uk/ESERG/Technical_Reports/TR04-01/TR04-01.pdf

Publisher: ESERG

Place of Publication: Bournemouth

This paper presents a tool to provide an enaction capability for use case descriptions. Use cases have wide industry acceptance and are well suited for constructing initial approximations of the intended behaviour. However, use case descriptions are still relatively immature with respect to precise syntax and semantics. Hence, despite promising work on providing writing guidelines, rigorous validation of use case descriptions requires further support.

One approach to supporting validation is to use enaction. Indeed, enactable models have been used extensively within process modelling to clarify understanding of descriptions.

Given the importance of requirements validation, such automated support promises significant benefits.

However, the need to produce formal descriptions, to drive enaction, is often seen as a barrier to the takeup of such technologies. That is, developers have traditionally been reluctant to increase the proportion of effort devoted to requirements activities. Our approach involves the development of a lightweight state-machine, which obviates any need to create intermediate formal descriptions, thereby maintaining the simple nature of the use case description.

Hence, this 'lightweight' approach, which provides an enaction capability ‘for minimal effort’, increases the likelihood of industrial take-up.

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