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Modeling is a fundamental activity within the requirements engineering process and concerns the construction of abstract descriptions of requirements that are amenable to interpretation and validation. The choice of a modeling technique is critical whenever it is necessary to discuss the interpretation and validation of requirements. This is particularly true in the case of functional requirements and stakeholders with divergent goals and different backgrounds and experience. This paper presents the results of a family of experiments conducted with students and professionals to investigate whether the comprehension of functional requirements is influenced by the use of dynamic models that are represented by means of the UML sequence diagrams. The family contains five experiments performed in different locations and with 112 participants of different abilities and levels of experience with UML. The results show that sequence diagrams improve the comprehension of the modeled functional requirements in the case of high ability and more experienced participants.
Date of Publication: March 2013