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Bombonatti, D., C. Gralha, A. Moreira, J. Araújo, and M. Goulão, "Usability of Requirements Techniques: A Systematic Literature Review", The 31st ACM/SIGAPP Symposium on Applied Computing, Pisa, Italy, ACM/SIGAPP, 4-8 Apr., 2016. Abstract

The usability of requirements engineering (RE) techniques has been recognised as a key factor for their successful adoption by industry. RE techniques must be accessible to stakeholders with different backgrounds, so they can be empowered to effectively and efficiently contribute to building successful systems. When selecting an appropriate requirements engineering technique for a given context, one should consider the usability supported by each of the candidate techniques. The first step towards achieving this goal is to gather the best evidence available on the usability of RE approaches by performing a systematic literature review, to answer one research question: How is the usability of requirements engineering techniques and tools addressed? We systematically review articles published in the Requirements Engineering Journal, one of the main sources for mature work in RE, to motivate a research roadmap to make RE approaches more accessible to stakeholders with different backgrounds.

Silva, L., A. Moreira, J. Araújo, C. Gralha, M. Goulão, and V. Amaral, "Exploring Views for Goal-Oriented Requirements Models", 35th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling, ER2016, Gifu, Japan, 14-17 Nov., 2016. Abstract


Requirements documents and models need to be used by many stakeholders with di erent technological pro ciency, during software development. Each stakeholder may need to understand the entire (or simply part of the) requirements artifacts. To empower those stakeholders, views of the requirements should be con gurable to their particular needs. Information visualization techniques may help in this process. In this paper, we propose di erent views aimed at highlighting information that is relevant for a particular stakeholder, helping him to query requirements artifacts. We o er three kinds of visualization capturing language and domain elements, while providing a gradual model overview: the big picture view, the syntax-based view, and the concern-based view. We instantiate these views with i* models and introduce an implementation prototype in the iStarLab tool.

Santos, M., C. Gralha, M. Goulão, J. Araújo, A. Moreira, and J. Cambeiro, "What is the Impact of Bad Layout in the Understandability of Social Goal Models?", 24th IEEE International Conference on Requirements Engineering, Beijing, China, IEEE, 12-16, Sep., 2016. Abstractre_2016_eyetracker_istar.pdf

The i* community has published guidelines, including model layout guidelines, for the construction of models. Our goal is to evaluate the effect of the layout guidelines on the i* novice stakeholders’ ability to understand and review i* models. We conducted a quasi-experiment where participants were given two understanding and two reviewing tasks. Both tasks involved a model with a bad layout and another model following the i* layout guidelines. We evaluated the impact of layouts by combining the success level in those tasks and the required effort to accomplish them. Effort was assessed using time, perceived complexity (with NASA TLX), and eye-tracking data. Participants were more successful in understanding than in reviewing tasks. However, we found no statistically significant difference in the success, time taken, or perceived complexity, between tasks conducted with models with a bad layout and models with a good layout. Most participants had little to no prior knowledge in i*, making them more representative of stakeholders with no requirements engineering expertise. They were able to understand the models fairly well after a short tutorial, but struggled when reviewing models. Adherence to the existing i* layout guidelines did not significantly impact i* model understanding and reviewing performance.

Goulão, M., V. Amaral, and M. Mernik, "Quality in model-driven engineering: a tertiary study", Software Quality Journal, vol. 24, issue 3, pp. 601-633, 2016. Abstract


Model-driven engineering (MDE) is believed to have a significant impact in software quality. However, researchers and practitioners may have a hard time locating consolidated evidence on this impact, as the available information is scattered in several different publications. Our goal is to aggregate consolidated findings on quality in MDE, facilitating the work of researchers and practitioners in learning about the coverage and main findings of existing work as well as identifying relatively unexplored niches of research that need further attention. We performed a tertiary study on quality in MDE, in order to gain a better understanding of its most prominent findings and existing challenges, as reported in the literature. We identified 22 systematic literature reviews and mapping studies and the most relevant quality attributes addressed by each of those studies, in the context of MDE. Maintainability is clearly the most often studied and reported quality attribute impacted by MDE. Eighty out of 83 research questions in the selected secondary studies have a structure that is more often associated with mapping existing research than with answering more concrete research questions (e.g., comparing two alternative MDE approaches with respect to their impact on a specific quality attribute). We briefly outline the main contributions of each of the selected literature reviews. In the collected studies, we observed a broad coverage of software product quality, although frequently accompanied by notes on how much more empirical research is needed to further validate existing claims. Relatively, little attention seems to be devoted to the impact of MDE on the quality in use of products developed using MDE.

Bombonatti, D., A. Moreira, and M. Goulão, "Synergies and tradeoffs in software reuse – a systematic mapping study", Software Practice & Experience, 2016. AbstractWebsite

Software reuse is a broadly accepted practice to improve software development quality and productivity. Although an object of study in software engineering since the late sixties, achieving effective reuse remains challenging for many software development organizations. This paper reports a systematic mapping study on how reusability relates to other non-functional requirements and how different contextual factors influence the success of a reuse initiative. The conclusion is that the relationships are discussed rather informally, and that human, organizational, and technological domain factors are extremely relevant to a particular reuse context. This mapping study highlights the need for further research to better understand how exactly the different non-functional requirements and context factors affect reusability.

Störrle, H., M. R. V. Chaudron, V. Amaral, and M. Goulão, "First International Workshop on Human Factors in Modeling (HuFaMo 2015) @ MODELS 2015 - Preface", First International Workshop on Human Factors in Modeling (HuFaMo 2015) @ MODELS 2015, Ottawa, Canada, 28 Sep., 2015.
Ameller, D., X. Franch, C. Gómez, J. Araújo, R. B. Svensson, S. Biffl, J. Cabot, V. Cortellessa, M. Daneva, D. M. Fernández, A. Moreira, H. Muccini, A. Vallecillo, M. Wimmer, V. Amaral, H. Brunelière, L. Burgueño, M. Goulão, B. Schätz, and S. Teufl, "Handling Non-Functional Requirements in Model-Driven Development: An Ongoing Industrial Survey", 23rd International Conference on Requirements Engineering (RE'15) - RE: Next!, Ottawa, Canada, IEEE Computer Society, 24-28 August, 2015.
Goulão, M., and S. Matalonga, "Experimental Software Engineering Latin America Workshop (ESELAW 2015)", CIbSE 2015, Lima, Peru, 2015.
Gralha, C., J. Araújo, and M. Goulão, "Metrics for measuring complexity and completeness for social goal models", Information Systems, 2015. AbstractWebsite

Goal-oriented Requirements Engineering approaches have become popular in the Requirements Engineering community as they provide expressive modelling languages for requirements elicitation and analysis. However, as a common challenge, such approaches are still struggling when it comes to managing the accidental complexity of their models. Furthermore, those models might be incomplete, resulting in insufficient information for proper understanding and implementation. In this paper, we provide a set of metrics, which are formally specified and have tool support, to measure and analyse complexity and completeness of goal models, in particular social goal models (e.g. i⁎). Concerning complexity, the aim is to identify refactoring opportunities to improve the modularity of those models, and consequently reduce their accidental complexity. With respect to completeness, the goal is to automatically detect model incompleteness. We evaluate these metrics by applying them to a set of well-known system models from industry and academia. Our results suggest refactoring opportunities in the evaluated models, and provide a timely feedback mechanism for requirements engineers on how close they are to completing their models.

Barišić, A., V. Amaral, M. Goulão, and A. Aguiar, "Introducing usability concerns early in the DSL development cycle: FlowSL experience report", Model-Driven Development Processes and Practices Workshop Proceedings, MD2P2 2014, Valencia, Spain, September, 2014. Abstractflowslmodelsdraft.pdf

Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs) developers aim to narrow the gap between the level of abstraction used by domain users and the one provided by the DSL, in order to help taming the increased complexity of computer systems and real-world problems. The quality in use of a DSL is essential for its successful adoption. We illustrate how a usability evaluation process can be weaved into the development process of a concrete DSL - FlowSL - used for specifying humanitarian campaign processes lead by an international Non-Governmental Organization. FlowSL is being developed following an agile process using Model-Driven Development (MDD) tools, to cope with vague and poorly understood requirements in the beginning of the development process.

Gralha, C., M. Goulão, and J. Araújo, "Identifying modularity improvement opportunities in goal-oriented requirements models", 26th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering, CAiSE 2014, Thessaloniki, Greece, 16-20 Jun., 2014. Abstract

Goal-oriented Requirements Engineering approaches have become popular in the Requirements Engineering community as they provide expressive model elements for requirements elicitation and analysis. However, as a common challenge, they are still struggling when it comes to managing the accidental complexity of their models. In this paper, we provide a set of metrics, which are formally specified and have tool support, to measure and analyze the complexity of goal models, in particular i* models. The aim is to identify refactoring opportunities to improve the modularity of those models, and consequently reduce their complexity. We evaluate these metrics by applying them to a set of well-known case studies from industry and academia. Our results allow the identification of refactoring opportunities in the evaluated models.

Sabino, A., Armanda Rodrigues, M. Goulão, and J. Gouveia, "Indirect Keyword Recommendation", International Conference on Intelligent Agent Technology, WIC 2014, Warsaw, Poland, IEEE/WIC/ACM, 11-14 August, 2014. Abstractsabino2014wic.pdf

Helping users to find useful contacts or potentially interesting subjects is a challenge for social and productive
networks. The evidence of the content produced by users must be considered in this task, which may be simplified by the use of the meta-data associated with the content, i.e., the categorization supported by the network – descriptive keywords, or tags. In this paper we present a model that enables keyword discovery
methods through the interpretation of the network as a graph, solely relying on keywords that categorize or describe productive items. The model and keyword discovery methods presented in this paper avoid content analysis, and move towards a generic approach to the identification of relevant interests and, eventually,
contacts. The evaluation of the model and methods is executed by two experiments that perform frequency and classification analyses over the Flickr network. The results show that we can efficiently recommend keywords to users.

Machado, R., M. Goulão, F. B. e Abreu, and J. Pascoal Faria, "Introduction to Special Issue: Quality in Information and Communications Technology", Innovations in Systems and Software Engineering, vol. 10, issue 1, pp. 1-2, 2014. machado2014isse.pdfWebsite
Fernandes, A. I., M. Goulão, and Armanda Rodrigues, "A Comparison of Maps Application Programming Interfaces", 16th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science, AGILE 2013, Leuven, Belgium, May 14-17, 2013. Abstractagile2013fernandesetalcameraready.pdf

The development of web applications that manipulate geo-referenced information is often supported by Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), allowing a fast development cycle for high quality applications. APIs can be used by programmers with different expertise levels and choosing an adequate API may
have a dramatic impact on the productivity achieved by those programmers. Our goal is to compare maps APIs with respect to their usability. We compare three different APIs: the Google Maps JavaScript API, the ArcGIS API for JavaScript, and the OpenLayers JavaScript Mapping Library. Our comparison is supported by
a set of software metrics and is performed in two orthogonal ways: the comparison of three implementations of the same system prototype, each using one of the APIs under scrutiny; the comparison of the APIs specifications. The main results of the study are related to the size of the APIs, with the Google API being significantly smaller than the others.

Araújo, J., M. Goulão, A. Moreira, I. Simão, V. Amaral, and E. Baniassad, "Advanced Modularity for Building SPL Feature Models: a Model-Driven Approach", 28th ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, Requirements Engineering Track, ACM-SAC 2013, Coimbra, Portugal, ACM, 18-22 Mar., 2013. Abstractaraujo2013sac.pdf

Feature Models are commonly used to specify commonalities and variabilities in Software Product Lines (SPL). Our goal is to enhance feature modeling with traceability and improved support for crosscutting concerns. While traceability will show the features’ requirement-origins, providing means to reason about
their existence, crosscutting concerns will be handled through advanced modularity mechanisms (e.g. aspects), making the impact of changes to SPL models less difficult to understand and analyze. The result is Theme/SPL, a novel SPL requirements technique based on a concern-driven approach (Theme/Doc). Theme/SPL includes the proposal of a domain-specific language for specifying Theme/Doc models and uses model-driven development to generate automatically feature models from them. We show the applicability of the technique through a case study using a within-group design to evaluate the final results and tools developed.

Espada, P., M. Goulão, and J. Araújo, "A Framework to Evaluate Complexity and Completeness of KAOS Goal Models", 25th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering, CAiSE 2013, Valencia, Spain, 17-21 Jun., 2013. Abstractespadagoulaoaraujocaise2013.pdf

Goal-Oriented Requirements Engineering (GORE) approaches have been developed to facilitate the requirements engineers work by, for example, providing abstraction mechanisms to help eliciting and modeling requirements. One of the well-established GORE approaches is KAOS. Nevertheless, in large-scale systems building KAOS models may result in incomplete and/or complex goal models, which are difficult to understand and change. This may lead to an increase in costs of product development and evolution. Thus, for large-scale systems, the effective management of complexity and completeness of goal
models is vital. In this paper, we propose a metrics framework for supporting the quantitative assessment of complexity and completeness of KAOS goal models. Those metrics are formally specified, implemented and incorporated in a KAOS modeling tool. We validate the metrics with a set of real-world case studies and discuss the identified recurring modeling practices.

Almeida, C., M. Goulão, and J. Araújo, "A Systematic Comparison of i* Modelling Tools Based on Syntactic and Well-Formedness Rules", 6th International i* (iStar) Workshop, Valencia, Spain, 17-18 Jun. , 2013. Abstractalmeidagoulaoaraujo2013istar.pdf

There are several tools currently available in the i * community. These tools have diff erent features and purposes. Choosing the most adequate tool for a specifi c modelling situation can be a challenge. To overcome this diffculty, we present a systematic comparison of the i * tools listed in the i * wiki page, according to their features, syntax coverage and semantic analysis support. Our comparison highlights the
diff erent strengths of those tools, to help identifying situations for which each tool might be particularly useful. We contribute with an aggregated vision of current i * tool support to the body of knowledge of the i * community. In addition, this comparison also helps identifying opportunities for further evolution of the surveyed tools.

Monteiro, R., J. Araújo, V. Amaral, M. Goulão, and P. Patrício, "Adding Interoperability to Requirements Models", Software Quality Professional Journal, vol. 15, issue 4, pp. 16-27, 2013. Abstract

(c) American Society for Quality


Complex software systems inherently require a variety of models used in all of the development stages. A general concern is to guarantee consistency and traceability among these models. Model-driven development (MDD) can help tackle this concern. Although MDD has been mainly used in later development stages, it is relatively unexplored in requirements engineering. In this article, the authors discuss how to
leverage MDD to support consistency and traceability in requirements modeling. To illustrate this, they apply MDD to goaloriented requirements engineering (GORE) by making bidirectional mappings between two well-known GORE approaches (i* and KAOS). The result is an interoperable framework that can be used to migrate from one goal model to another through automatic model transformations, keeping consistency and traceability, so requirements engineers can make the best use of each approach.

Moreira, A., J. Araújo, A. Rashid, and M. Goulão, "Using Aspects to Model Volatile Concerns", Aspect-Oriented Requirements Engineering, Berlin Heidelberg, Springer, pp. 183-205, 2013. Abstract

A rapidly changing market leads to software systems with highly volatile requirements. In many cases, new demands in software can often be met by extending the functionality of systems already in operation. By modularizing volatile requirements that can be altered at the client’s initiative or according to market demands, we can build a stepping-stone for management of requirements change. The volatility must be managed in a way that reduces the time and costs associated with updating a system to meet the new requirements. In this chapter, we present an approach for handling volatile concerns during early life cycle software modeling. The key insight is that techniques for aspect-oriented software development can be applied to modularize volatility and to weave volatile concerns into the base software artifacts.

Goulão, M., N. Fonte, M. Wermelinger, and F. B. Abreu, "Software Evolution Prediction Using Seasonal Time Analysis: a Comparative Study", 16th European Conference on Software Maintenance and Reengineering (CSMR 2012), Szeged, Hungary, IEEE Computer Society, 30 Mar., 2012. Abstract


Prediction models of software change requests are useful for supporting rational and timely resource
allocation to the evolution process. In this paper we use a time series forecasting model to predict software
maintenance and evolution requests in an open source software project (Eclipse), as an example of projects with seasonal release cycles. We build an ARIMA model based on data collected from Eclipse’s change request tracking system since the project’s start. A change request may refer to defects found in the software, but also to suggested improvements in the system under scrutiny. Our model includes the identification of seasonal patterns and tendencies, and is validated through the forecast of the change requests evolution for the next 12 months. The usage of seasonal information significantly improves the estimation ability of this model, when compared to other ARIMA models found in the literature, and does so for a much longer estimation period. Being able to accurately forecast the change requests’ evolution over a fairly long time period is an important ability for enabling adequate process control in maintenance activities, and facilitates
effort estimation and timely resources allocation. The approach presented in this paper is suitable for projects with a relatively long history, as the model building process relies on historic data.

Barišić, A., V. Amaral, and M. Goulão, "Usability Evaluation of Domain-Specific Languages", Simpósio de Estudantes de Doutoramento em Engenharia de Software (SEDES 2012), hosted by QUATIC 2012, Lisbon, Portugal, IEEE CPS, 3 Sep., 2012. Abstractbarisic2012sedes.pdf

Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs) are claimed to bring important productivity improvements to developers,
when compared to General-Purpose Languages (GPLs). The increased Usability is regarded as one of the key benefits of DSLs when compared to GPLs, and has an important impact on the achieved productivity of the DSL users. So, it is essential to build in good usability while developing the DSL. The purpose of this proposal is to contribute to the systematic activity of Software Language Engineering by focusing on the
issue of the Usability evaluation of DSLs. Usability evaluation is often skipped, relaxed, or at least omitted from papers reporting development of DSLs. We argue that a systematic approach based on User Interface experimental validation techniques should be used to assess the impact of new DSLs. For that purpose, we propose to merge common Usability evaluation processes with the DSL development process. In order to provide reliable metrics and tools we should reuse and identify good practices that exist in Human-Computer
Interaction community.

Barišić, A., P. Monteiro, V. Amaral, M. Goulão, and M. Pessoa Monteiro, "Patterns for Evaluating Usability of Domain-Specific Languages", Proceedings of the Pattern Languages of Programs Conference, PLoP 2012: ACM, 19-21 October, 2012. Abstract

For years the development of software artifacts was the sole domain of developers and project
managers. However, experience has taught us that the Users play a very important role in
software development and construction. On Domain Specific Languages the inclusion of the
domain experts directly in the development cycle is a very important characteristic, as they have
often an important role in making and constraining the domain of the language.
DSLs are credited with increased productivity and ease of use, but this fact is hardly ever proven.
Moreover, usability tests are frequently only performed at the final stages of the project when
changes have a significant impact on the budget. To help prevent this, in this paper we present a
pattern language for evaluating the usability of DSLs. Our patterns can help show how to use an
iterative usability validation development strategy to produce DSLs that can achieve a high
degree of usability.

Barišić, A., V. Amaral, M. Goulão, and B. Barroca, "Evaluating the Usability of Domain-Specific Languages", Formal and Practical Aspects of Domain-Specific Languages: Recent Developments: IGI Global, 2012. Abstract

We can regard Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs) as User Interfaces (UIs) because they bridge the gap
between the domain experts and the computation platforms. Usability of DSLs by domain experts is a key
factor for their successful adoption. The few reports supporting improvement claims are persuasive, but
mostly anecdotal. Systematic literature reviews show that evidences on the effects of the introduction of
DSLs are actually very scarce. In particular, the evaluation of usability is often skipped, relaxed, or at
least omitted from papers reporting the development of DSLs. The few exceptions mostly take place at
the end of the development process, when fixing problems is already too expensive. A systematic
approach, based on techniques for the experimental evaluation of UIs, should be used to assess suitability
of new DSLs. This chapter presents a general experimental evaluation model, tailored for DSLs’
experimental evaluation, and instantiates it in several DSL’s evaluation examples.

Monteiro, R., J. Araújo, V. Amaral, M. Goulão, and P. Patrício, "Model-Driven Development for Requirements Engineering: The Case of Goal-Oriented Approaches", 8th International Conference on the Quality of Information and Communications Technology (QUATIC 2012), Lisbon, Portugal, IEEE CPS, 2012. Abstractquatic2012-full-crmg.pdf

Goal-Oriented Requirements Engineering (GORE) has received increasing attention over the past few years.
There are several goal-oriented approaches, each one using different kinds of models. We argue that it would be useful to relate them or even perform transformations among them automatically, in order to understand their similarities and differences, their advantages and disadvantages, allowing a possible migration or comparison between approaches. This is something that has not received enough attention. In this paper
we propose the definition and implementation of goal model transformations between i* and KAOS. As an immediate contribution, the approach can be used to migrate from one goal model to another through automatic model transformations. This approach also contributes to relate the concepts of i* and KAOS models and will help, for example, a development team in making the decision on which approach to follow, according to the nature of the project and the expressiveness of an approach to represent certain concepts
(e.g., obstacles are represented explicitly in KAOS, but not in i*). Another contribution is to facilitate communication among members of the same team, if they are specialized in different approaches.

Barišić, A., V. Amaral, M. Goulão, and B. Barroca, "Quality in Use of DSLs: Current Evaluation Methods", 3rd INForum - Simpósio de Informática (INForum2011), Coimbra, Portugal, 8-9 Sep., 2011. Abstractinforum_2011_submission_174.pdf

Domain Speci c Languages (DSLs) are claimed to contribute
to increment productivity, while reducing the required maintenance and
programming expertise. In this context, the usability of these languages
becomes a major issue: if the language is not easy to learn and use, it is
unlikely to be successfully adopted.

It is important to foster high quality DSLs during its engineering process.
We argue that a systematic approach based on User Interface Experi-
mental validation techniques should be used to assess the impact of the
introduction of DSLs in the productivity of DSL user. Productivity can
be fostered by assessing important usability attributes early in the lan-
guage construction . This work's contribution, besides highlighting the
problem of the absence of systematic approaches for experimental vali-
dation of DSLs in general, is to identify existing evaluation approaches
that can be adapted from the eld of User Interfaces.