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Software design guidance by process-scoped inconsistency management

Aaron G Cass, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Software design is the complex activity of producing a model of a system that gives assurance both that the system can be built and that the built system will satisfy the requirements placed on the system. The model must therefore, at its completion, be both internally consistent and consistent with the requirements model. In this work, we investigate technologies for helping the (novice) designer to produce a high-quality design more expeditiously by helping with the management of inconsistency. We propose and evaluate an approach for providing inconsistency feedback to designers. This work combines process programming and inconsistency management. It employs a process program as a mechanism for scoping the application of, and responses to violations of, consistency rules. The approach promises to give novices precise and timely context-specific feedback. To evaluate the approach, we have undertaken a factored experiment based on the hypothesis that our approach will help novice designs to produce designs quickly and with high quality. The experimental results support the hypothesis that process guidance has positive effects on design speed and design quality.

Subject Area

Computer science

Recommended Citation

Cass, Aaron G, "Software design guidance by process-scoped inconsistency management" (2005). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3163653.