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A configurable use case modeling metamodel with superimposed variants

  • SI: Engineering of Computer-Based Systems
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There are a variety of approaches to use case modeling, especially regarding textual use case description as their true form. Under certain circumstances, the use of each one of these approaches may be justified. It appears that use case modeling notations are close enough to each other to allow for constructing a common, configurable use case modeling metamodel. Such a metamodel is proposed in this paper. It adapts and extends UML metamodel elements relevant to use cases that covers their graphical portion to cover different use case modeling notations with a special attention given to the elements of textual expression of flows of events in use cases. The configuration options of the proposed use case modeling metamodel and its configurations representing Jacobson’s and Cockburn’s notation are presented and discussed. To better express configuration dependencies and avoid option interaction (due to which an unexpected behavior occurs), revealed in a practical evaluation by a configurable use case modeling tool prototype, the options have been arranged into a feature model and the approach of superimposed variants has been applied to the metamodel. The metamodel may serve as a basis for a configurable use case modeling tool or notation-specific tools. More important, it provides a framework for a consistent application of the use case modeling notation in one or across several organizations. It can also be used to facilitate a use case model interchange between notation-specific tools based on the metamodel.

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  1. This paper is an extended version of the paper presented at ECBS-EERC 2009 [25]. Some findings presented there have been revised and the configuration of the metamodel has been supported by a feature model and the approach of superimposed variants.

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    Fig. 8
    figure 8

    Configuring a model containing superimposed variants


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The work was supported by the Scientific Grant Agency of Slovak Republic (VEGA) grant No. VG 1/0508/09.

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Correspondence to Valentino Vranić.

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Vranić, V., Zelinka, L. A configurable use case modeling metamodel with superimposed variants. Innovations Syst Softw Eng 9, 163–177 (2013).

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