Goal Flow Diagram – The Underlying Concepts

J. Wong (PRC)


use case derivation, goal flow diagram, software requirements, refinement patterns.


A model for goals, called a goal flow diagram (GFD), is proposed with the aim to derive use cases. Complementary goals define an area of interests that we call a “focus of interests” (FOI). An FOI is refined into lower-level FOIs. When we cannot decompose a FOI any further, that FOI becomes a use case. The same process can be applied to conflicting goals when a compromise cannot be reasonably found. Conflicting goals define an area of conflicts that we call a “focus of conflicts” (FOC). The FOI and FOC represent a dichotomy and present a viewpoint that emphasizes the dual nature of many requirements for software systems. With this viewpoint in mind, this paper proposes the idea that there are patterns of refinement based on the FOI and FOC, which is similar (in spirit) to the increasingly popular idea of design patterns. This idea is illustrated with a few patterns of refinement that are proposed in this paper.

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