Goal Flow Diagram (GFD) – A Model to Derive Use Cases and a Means for the Elicitation and Tracing of Stakeholder Goals

J. Wong (PRC)


Goal Flow Diagram, Use Case Diagram, Software Requirements, Traceability.


It is quite common, nowadays, to use goals as a starting point for eliciting software requirements. However, it is a common misunderstanding that goal-oriented approaches are inherently top-down methods. Some researchers are of the opinion that goals from various sources should be considered. In this paper, we propose a model for goals, called a goal flow diagram (GFD). This model supports the examination of the interplay among stakeholders’ goals (which can originate at all levels), and it can be used to derive use cases. A goal flow diagram is similar to a data flow diagram (DFD) in the sense that it is based on similar concepts involving refinement of the level of abstraction and balancing the models across these different levels. The basic modeling primitives of this model are called the “focus of interests”, the “goal flow” and the “stakeholder”. The refinement and balancing operations of this model are defined using the focus of interests and the goal flow. There is also a relationship between goal flow diagrams and use-case diagrams. The output from goal flow diagrams can be used to define the use-case diagram of a system. A goal flow diagram allows traceability of the goals. This paper also proposes a model with a 5-tuple for the traceability of the stakeholders’ goals.

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