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An accurate set of traceability relations between software development artifacts is desirable to support evolutionary development. However, even where an initial set of traceability relations has been established, their maintenance during subsequent development activities is time consuming and error prone, which results in traceability decay. This paper focuses solely on the problem of maintaining a set of traceability relations in the face of evolutionary change, irrespective of whether generated manually or via automated techniques, and it limits its scope to UML-driven development activities post-requirements specification. The paper proposes an approach for the automated update of existing traceability relations after changes have been made to UML analysis and design models. The update is based upon predefined rules that recognize elementary change events as constituent steps of broader development activities. A prototype traceMaintainer has been developed to demonstrate the approach. Currently, traceMaintainer can be used with two commercial software development tools to maintain their traceability relations. The prototype has been used in two experiments. The results are discussed and our ongoing work is summarized.
Date of Conference: 8-12 Sept. 2008