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Goal-Centric Traceability: Using Virtual Plumblines to Maintain Critical Systemic Qualities

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3 Author(s)
Jane Cleland-Huang ; DePaul University, Chicago ; Will Marrero ; Brian Berenbach

Successful software development involves the elicitation, implementation, and management of critical systemic requirements related to qualities such as security, usability, and performance. Unfortunately, even when such qualities are carefully incorporated into the initial design and implemented code, there are no guarantees that they will be consistently maintained throughout the lifetime of the software system. Even though it is well known that system qualities tend to erode as functional and environmental changes are introduced, existing regression testing techniques are primarily designed to test the impact of change upon system functionality rather than to evaluate how it might affect more global qualities. The concept of using goal-centric traceability to establish relationships between a set of strategically placed assessment models and system goals is introduced. This paper describes the process, algorithms, and techniques for utilizing goal models to establish executable traces between goals and assessment models, detect change impact points through the use of automated traceability techniques, propagate impact events, and assess the impact of change upon systemic qualities. The approach is illustrated through two case studies.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 5 )