Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 3253–3269 | Cite as

MoTUO: An Approach for Optimizing Usability Within Model Transformations

  • Marwa HentatiEmail author
  • Abdelwaheb Trabelsi
  • Lassaad Ben Ammar
  • Adel Mahfoudhi
Research Article - Computer Engineering and Computer Science


Model transformation stands for an important issue to manipulate models in the model-driven engineering approach. Indeed, it consists of a set of transformation rules describing how a construct from a source model can be transformed to one or several ways in the target model. Though alternative target models may be equivalent from the functional perspective, they may differ from the non-functional perspective. Besides, they do not satisfy the same usability aspects. One of the main challenges of the transformation process is identifying the alternative transformation that generates a highly usable target model according to a set of desired usability attributes. Our research work addresses this issue by combining the power of model transformations engine and search techniques. Specifically, the proposed approach defines model transformation as a usability optimization problem. It allows the search of the optimal alternative transformation from a large search space taking into account an agreed usability model and using a metaheuristic search algorithm.


Model transformation User interface Usability optimization Evolutionary algorithm Fuzzy logic 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Abran, A.; Khelifi, A.; Suryn, W.; Seffah, A.: Usability meanings and interpretations in ISO standards. Softw. Qual. J. 11(4), 325–338 (2003)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Seffah, A.; Donyaee, M.; Kline, R.B.; Padda, H.K.: Usability measurement and metrics: a consolidated model. Softw. Qual. J. 14(2), 159–178 (2006)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Charfi, S.; Ezzedine, H.; Kolski, C.: Rita: a user interface evaluation framework. J. Univ. Comput. Sci. 21(4), 526–560 (2015)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Assila, A.; Marçal de Oliveira, K.; Ezzedine, H.: Integration of subjective and objective usability evaluation based on IEC/IEC 15939: a case study for traffic supervision systems. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Interact. 32(12), 931–955 (2016)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Fernandez, A.; AbrahãO, S.; Insfran, E.: Empirical validation of a usability inspection method for model-driven web development. J. Syst. Softw. 86(1), 161–186 (2013)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brambilla, M.; Cabot, J.; Wimmer, M.: Model-driven software engineering in practice. Synth. Lect. Softw. Eng. 3(1), 1–207 (2017)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ammar, L.B.; Trabelsi, A.; Mahfoudhi, A.: Incorporating usability requirements into model transformation technologies. Requir. Eng. 20(4), 465–479 (2015)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Panach, J.I.; Aquino, N.; Pastor, Ó.: A proposal for modelling usability in a holistic mdd method. Sci. Comput. Program. 86, 74–88 (2014)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Faunes, M.; Sahraoui, H.; Boukadoum, M.: Genetic-programming approach to learn model transformation rules from examples. In: International Conference on Theory and Practice of Model Transformations, pp. 17–32. Springer, Berlin (2013)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kessentini, M.; Sahraoui, H.; Boukadoum, M.: Model transformation as an optimization problem. In: International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems, pp. 159–173. Springer, Berlin (2008)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Harman, M.; Jones, B.F.: Search-based software engineering. Inf. Softw. Technol. 43(14), 833–839 (2001)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hentati, M.; Ammar, L.B.; Trabelsi, A.; Mahfoudhi, A.: Model-driven engineering for optimizing the usability of user interfaces. In: ICEIS 2016-Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, vol. 2, Rome, Italy, April 25–28, 2016, pp. 459–466 (2016)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Abrahão, S.; Iborra, E.; Vanderdonckt, J.: Usability evaluation of user interfaces generated with a model-driven architecture tool. In: Law, E.L.C., Hvannberg, E.T., Cockton, G. (eds.) Maturing Usability, pp. 3–32. Springer, Berlin (2008)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Panach, J.I.; Juristo, N.; Pastor, O.: Including functional usability features in a model-driven development method. Comput. Sci. Inf. Syst. 10(3), 999–1024 (2013)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ammar, L.B.; Trabelsi, A.; Mahfoudhi, A.: A model-driven approach for usability engineering of interactive systems. Softw. Qual. J. 24(2), 301–335 (2016)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Fleck, M.; Troya, J.; Wimmer, M.: Search-based model transformations with MOMoT. In: International Conference on Theory and Practice of Model Transformations, pp. 79–87. Springer, Berlin (2016)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gajos, K.Z.; Weld, D.S.; Wobbrock, J.O.: Automatically generating personalized user interfaces with supple. Artif. Intell. 174(12), 910–950 (2010)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mkaouer, M.W.; Kessentini, M.; Cinnéide, M.Ó.; Hayashi, S.; Deb, K.: A robust multi-objective approach to balance severity and importance of refactoring opportunities. Empir. Softw. Eng. 22(2), 894–927 (2017)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Raneburger, D.; Popp, R.; Kavaldjian, S.; Kaindl, H.; Falb, J.: Optimized gui generation for small screens. In: Hussmann, H., Meixner, G., Zuehlke, D. (eds.) Model-Driven Development of Advanced User Interfaces, pp. 107–122. Springer, Berlin (2011)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mkaouer, M.W.; Kessentini, M.; Bechikh, S.; Cinnéide, M.Ó.; Deb, K.: On the use of many quality attributes for software refactoring: a many-objective search-based software engineering approach. Empir. Softw. Eng. 21(6), 2503–2545 (2016)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ouni, A.; Kessentini, M.; Sahraoui, H.; Boukadoum, M.: Maintainability defects detection and correction: a multi-objective approach. Autom. Softw. Eng. 19, 1–33 (2013)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Boussaïd, I.; Siarry, P.; Ahmed-Nacer, M.: A survey on search-based model-driven engineering. Autom. Softw. Eng. 24(2), 233–294 (2017)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Fleck, M.; Troya, J.; Kessentini, M.; Wimmer, M.; Alkhazi, B.: Model transformation modularization as a many-objective optimization problem. IEEE Trans. Softw. Eng. 43, 1009–1032 (2017)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Fleck, M.; Troya, J.; Wimmer, M.: Search-based model transformations. J. Softw. Evolut. Process 28(12), 1081–1117 (2016)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    da Silva, A.R.: Model-driven engineering: a survey supported by the unified conceptual model. Comput. Lang. Syst. Struct. 43, 139–155 (2015)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lúcio, L.; Amrani, M.; Dingel, J.; Lambers, L.; Salay, R.; Selim, G.M.; Syriani, E.; Wimmer, M.: Model transformation intents and their properties. Softw. Syst. Model. 15(3), 647–684 (2016)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hussmann, H.; Meixner, G.; Zuehlke, D.: Model-Driven Development of Advanced User Interfaces, vol. 340. Springer, Berlin (2011)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Calvary, G.; Coutaz, J.; Thevenin, D.; Limbourg, Q.; Bouillon, L.; Vanderdonckt, J.: A unifying reference framework for multi-target user interfaces. Interact. Comput. 15(3), 299–308 (2003)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Chang, E.; Dillon, T.S.: A usability-evaluation metric based on a soft-computing approach. IEEE Trans. Syst. Man Cybern. Part A Syst. Hum. 36(2), 356–372 (2006)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ngo, D.C.L.; Samsudin, A.; Abdullah, R.: Aesthetic measures for assessing graphic screens. J. Inf. Sci. Eng 16(1), 97–116 (2000)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Zen, M.; Vanderdonckt, J.: Towards an evaluation of graphical user interfaces aesthetics based on metrics. In: 2014 IEEE Eighth International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science (RCIS), pp. 1–12. IEEE (2014)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hentati, M.; Trabelsi, A.; Ammar, L.B.; Mahfoudhi, A.: Towards optimizing the usability of user interface generated with model-driven development process. In: Human System Interactions (HSI), 2015 8th International Conference on, pages 206–212. IEEE (2015)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hentati, M.; Ammar, L.B.; Trabelsi, A.; Mahfoudhi, A.: An approach for incorporating the usability optimization process into the model transformation. In: International Conference on Intelligent Systems Design and Applications, pp. 879–888. Springer, Berlin (2016)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Panach, J.I.; Condori-Fernández, N.; Vos, T.; Aquino, N.; Valverde, F.: Early usability measurement in model-driven development: definition and empirical evaluation. Int. J. Software Eng. Knowl. Eng. 21(03), 339–365 (2011)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Hentati, M.; Ammar, L.B.; Trabelsi, A.; Mahfoudhi, A.: A fuzzy-logic system for the user interface usability measurement. In: 2016 17th IEEE/ACIS International Conference on Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Networking and Parallel/Distributed Computing (SNPD), pp. 133–138. IEEE (2016)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Mamdani, E.H.; Assilian, S.: An experiment in linguistic synthesis with a fuzzy logic controller. Int. J. Man Mach. Stud. 7(1), 1–13 (1975)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Bechikh, S.; Said, L.B.; Ghédira, K.: Searching for knee regions of the pareto front using mobile reference points. Soft. Comput. 15(9), 1807–1823 (2011)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Rachmawati, L.; Srinivasan, D.: Multiobjective evolutionary algorithm with controllable focus on the knees of the pareto front. IEEE Trans. Evolut. Comput. 13(4), 810–824 (2009)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Caldiera, V.; Rombach, H.D.: The goal question metric approach. Encycl. Softw. Eng. 2(1994), 528–532 (1994)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Bouchelligua, W.; Mahfoudhi, A.; Mezhoudi, N.; Daassi, O.; Abed, M.: User interfaces modelling of workflow information systems. In: Workshop on Enterprise and Organizational Modeling and Simulation, pp. 143–163. Springer, Berlin (2010)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Falessi, D.; Juristo, N.; Wohlin, C.; Turhan, B.; Münch, J.; Jedlitschka, A.; Oivo, M.: Empirical software engineering experts on the use of students and professionals in experiments. Empir. Softw. Eng. 23(1), 1–38 (2017)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Holzinger, A.: Usability engineering methods for software developers. Commun. ACM 48(1), 71–74 (2005)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Wohlin, C.; Runeson, P.; Höst, M.; Ohlsson, M.C.; Regnell, B.; Wesslén, A.: Experimentation in Software Engineering. Springer, Berlin (2012)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Campbell, D.; Fiske, D.: Convergent and discriminant validation by the multitrait-multimethods matrix. Personality 56, 162 (1998)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CES Laboratory, National School of EngineeringUniversity of SfaxSfaxTunisia
  2. 2.College of Computation and InformaticsSaudi Electronic UniversityDammamSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.College of Computers and Information TechnologyTaif UniversityTaifSaudi Arabia

Personalised recommendations