Consistency Checking between Use Case Scenarios and UML Sequence Diagrams

K. Bartsch, M. Robey, J. Ivins, and C.P. Lam (Australia)


Consistency checking, validation, UML, Use Case


In software engineering projects consistency checking is both essential and expensive. Over the course of a software project, requirements often change, resulting in changes to design artifacts. The task of maintaining consistency between requirements and design is a difficult and time consuming task. Provided it is possible to provide consistency rules and a mapping between requirements artifacts and design artifacts, it is possible to automate the task of maintaining consistency between the two. Automation can take one of two forms: mapping and consistency rules are used to auto-generate sections of the UML design. For example if a message passing sequence is used to implement a scenario step then the same set of message passing should occur in every sequence diagram which maps to a scenario containing that step. Secondly a series of consistency checks can be conducted and the results reported. This paper describes a proof of concept software tool, known as EnsureUML, which can be used to perform consistency checks. EnsureUML proves that it is possible to run a series of checks over use case scenario texts and their corresponding UML sequence diagrams to highlight inconsistencies within the scenarios and diagrams, and between corresponding scenario / diagram pairs.

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