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Software, IET

Issue 2 • Date April 2010

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Displaying Results 1 - 6 of 6
  • Iterative criteria-based approach to engineering the requirements of software development methodologies

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 91 - 104
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (492 KB)  

    Software engineering endeavours are typically based on and governed by the requirements of the target software; requirements identification is therefore an integral part of software development methodologies. Similarly, engineering a software development methodology (SDM) involves the identification of the requirements of the target methodology. Methodology engineering approaches pay special attention to this issue; however, they make little use of existing methodologies as sources of insight into methodology requirements. The authors propose an iterative method for eliciting and specifying the requirements of a SDM using existing methodologies as supplementary resources. The method is performed as the analysis phase of a methodology engineering process aimed at the ultimate design and implementation of a target methodology. An initial set of requirements is first identified through analysing the characteristics of the development situation at hand and/or via delineating the general features desirable in the target methodology. These initial requirements are used as evaluation criteria; refined through iterative application to a select set of relevant methodologies. The finalised criteria highlight the qualities that the target methodology is expected to possess, and are therefore used as a basis for defining the final set of requirements. In an example, the authors demonstrate how the proposed elicitation process can be used for identifying the requirements of a general object-oriented SDM. Owing to its basis in knowledge gained from existing methodologies and practices, the proposed method can help methodology engineers produce a set of requirements that is not only more complete in span, but also more concrete and rigorous. View full abstract»

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  • Framework for high-quality software design and development: a systematic approach

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 105 - 118
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (668 KB)  

    Software design and development coexist and co-evolve with quality provision, assessment and enforcement. However, most and also modern research `provides only bread-and-butter lists of useful properties without giving a systematic structure for evaluating them`. Software engineers have been putting forward several three-score quantities of metrics for software products, processes and resources whereas a theoretical foundation is still missing. A framework for quality property specification, quality control, quality utilisation and quality establishment is proposed. This framework has a theoretical basis that is adaptable to all stages of software development. View full abstract»

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  • Design tool to express failure detection protocols

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 119 - 133
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1154 KB)  

    Failure detection protocols - a fundamental building block for crafting fault-tolerant distributed systems - are in many cases described by their authors making use of informal pseudo-codes of their conception. Often these pseudo-codes use syntactical constructs that are not available in COTS programming languages such as C or C++. This translates into informal descriptions that call for ad hoc interpretations and implementations. Being informal, these descriptions cannot be tested by their authors, which may translate into insufficiently detailed or even faulty specifications. This study tackles this problem by introducing a formal syntax for those constructs and a C library that implements them - a tool set to express and reason about failure detection protocols. The resulting specifications are longer but non-ambiguous, and eligible for becoming a standard form. View full abstract»

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  • Assessing communication media richness in requirements negotiation

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 134 - 148
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (579 KB)  

    A critical claim in software requirements negotiation regards the assertion that group performances improve when a medium with different richness level is used. Accordingly, the authors have conducted a study to compare traditional face-to-face communication, the richest medium and two less rich communication media, namely a distributed three-dimensional virtual environment and a text-based structured chat. This comparison has been performed with respect to the time needed to accomplish a negotiation. Furthermore, as the only assessment of the time could not be meaningful, the authors have also analysed the media effect on the issues arisen in the negotiation process and the quality of the negotiated software requirements. View full abstract»

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  • Formal analysis and design for engineering security automated derivation of formal software security specifications from goal-oriented security requirements

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 149 - 160
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (505 KB)  

    Formal methods have long been advocated for the development of provably secure software. However, the lack of formal requirements elaboration and the limited scalability afforded by such methods have led to employing informal or semi-formal methods for large-scale software development. In our effort to produce highly secure software in a systematic, provable and cost-effective manner, the authors have proposed formal analysis and design for engineering security (FADES) as the first goal-oriented software security engineering approach that provides an automated bridge between the goal-oriented semi-formal Knowledge Acquisition for autOmated Specifications (KAOS) framework and the B formal method. Automating the transition from requirements to specifications; considered one of the most difficult steps in the software development lifecycle, is vital to the success of FADES. Further, the automated derivation of a suite of acceptance test cases from the requirements model in FADES provides means to verify security implementation against the requirements model. In this study, the authors propose an automated process using FADES to systematically derive B specifications and a suite of acceptance test cases from goal-oriented security requirements. Further, the authors empirically validate the effectiveness of the FADES automated bridge that paves the grounds for formal design and implementation. The empirical validation involves both security engineering practitioners and experts in formal methods for security. The extensive results obtained demonstrate the effectiveness of the FADES automated bridge in producing secure software in a cost-effective manner. View full abstract»

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  • Understanding the complexity embedded in large routine call traces with a focus on program comprehension tasks

    Publication Year: 2010 , Page(s): 161 - 177
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (263 KB)  

    The analysis of execution traces has been shown to be useful in many software maintenance activities that require a certain understanding of the systems' behaviour. Traces, however, are extremely large, hence are difficult for humans to analyse without effective tools. These tools usually support some sort of trace abstraction techniques that can help users understand the essence of a trace despite the trace being massive. Designing such tools requires a good understanding of the amount of complexity embedded in traces. Trace complexity has traditionally been measured using the file size or the number of lines in the trace. In this study, the authors argue that such metrics provide limited indication of the complexity of a trace. The authors address this issue by presenting a catalogue of metrics for assessing the various facets of traces of routine calls, with the ultimate objective being to facilitate the development of tools for the exploration of lengthy traces. The authors show the effectiveness of our metrics by applying them to 35 traces generated from four software systems. View full abstract»

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