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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.

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.

Baroni, A. L., M. Goulão, and F. B. Abreu, "Avoiding the Ambiguity of Quantitative Data Extraction: An Approach to Improve the Quality of Metrics Results", Work in Progress Session at the 28th EUROMICRO Conference, Dortmund, Germany, 2002. Abstract

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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

http://hillside.net/plop/2012/papers/Group%203%20-%20Coyote/Patterns%20for%20Evaluating%20Usability%20of%20Domain-Specific%20Languages.pdf

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, "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.

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., 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.

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.

Barišić, A., V. Amaral, M. Goulão, and B. Barroca, "How to reach a usable DSL? Moving toward a Systematic Evaluation", Electronic Communications of the EASST (MPM), 2011. Abstract

Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) are claimed to increase productivity, while reducing the required maintenance and programming expertise. In this context, DSL usability by domain experts is a key factor for its successful adoption. Evidence that support those improvement claims is mostly anecdotal. Our systematic literature review showed that a usability evaluation was 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 where fixing problems identified is too expensive. We argue that a systematic approach based on User Interface experimental validation techniques should be used to assess the impact of the new DSLs. The rationale is that assessing important and specially tailored usability attributes for DSLs early in language construction will ultimately foster a higher productivity of the DSL users. This paper, besides discussing the quality criteria, proposes a development and evaluation process that can be used to achieve usable DSLs in a better way.

Barišić, A., V. Amaral, M. Goulão, and B. Barroca, "Quality in Use of Domain Specific Languages: a Case Study", 3rd ACM SIGPLAN workshop on Evaluation and Usability of Programming Languages and Tools (PLATEAU 2011), Portland, USA, ACM, pp. 65-72, 2011. Abstract

http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2089155.2089170

plateau2011-barisic.pdf

Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) are claimed to increment productivity, while reducing the required maintenance and programming expertise. In this context, DSLs usability is a key factor for its successful adoption.

In this paper, we propose a systematic approach based on User Interfaces Experimental validation techniques to assess the impact of the introduction of DSLs on the productivity of domain experts. To illustrate this evaluation approach we present a case study of a DSL for High Energy Physics (HEP).

The DSL on this case study, called Pheasant (PHysicist’s EAsy Analysis Tool), is assessed in contrast with a pre-existing baseline, using General Purpose Languages (GPLs) such as C++. The comparison combines quantitative and qualitative data, collected with users from a real-world setting. Our assessment includes Physicists with programming experience with two profiles; ones with no experience with the previous framework used in the project and other experienced.

This work’s contribution highlights the problem of the absence of systematic approaches for experimental validation of DSLs. It also illustrates how an experimental approach can be used in the context of a DSL evaluation during the Software Languages Engineering activity, with respect to its impact on effectiveness and efficiency.