Hanieh Zakeri Fard

Thesis Title: A Use-Case-Based Methodology for Situational Method Engineering (SME)                  


After using software development methodologies for decades, developers have realized that there is no general-purpose methodology that suits every project situation. The need for project-specific methodologies has resulted in the emergence of Situational Method Engineering (SME), which is specifically concerned with the construction/adaptation of a methodology according to the specific characteristics of the project at hand. In this approach, the first step is to precisely define the project situation and methodology requirements, based on which the target methodology will then be constructed. Requirements Engineering (RE) in SME is concerned with the elicitation, specification, modeling and validation of methodology requirements, and is considered a key activity. However, unlike requirements engineering in software development, the RE methods currently practiced in SME are still immature; methodology engineering has a lot to learn from software engineering in this regard.
Use Cases are widely used in software engineering to express the functional requirements of software systems. In a use-case-based specification of the requirements, the interactions between the system and external actors are defined by providing step-by-step accounts of the activities performed by the system and the actors in typical usage cases of the system. The use case model thus produced is an effective means for capturing stakeholder requirements in a clearly understandable and unambiguous fashion. Despite its potential benefits, the use-case-based approach has not been used in SME yet.
The main objective of this research is to present a use-case-based methodology for situational method engineering; in this approach, methodology requirements are completely expressed in terms of use cases, and then these use cases are utilized in a situational method engineering process for developing the target methodology. To this aim, the research previously conducted on requirements engineering in SME will first be studied. The next stage is to define a use-case-based process for requirements engineering in SME. In the final stage, a complete use-case-based methodology for situational method engineering will be developed; the validity of the proposed methodology will be assessed based on special evaluation criteria, and also through a case study.

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Contact Information

   Email: hzakeri[at] ce [dot] sharif [dot] edu