Using Concept Maps to Produce Sequence Diagrams

V.Y. Sien (Malaysia) and D. Carrington (Australia)


Software Engineering, concept maps, and sequence diagrams.


Students and software developers have found difficulty in developing abstractions of real-world problems within the context of object-oriented analysis and design (OOAD). They have especially found difficulties in deriving sequence diagrams from the problem domain because they are unable to find the appropriate level of abstraction. They essentially do not know ‘what’ to model. We present an approach to introduce concept mapping as a tool to help novices in OOAD understand and master the technique of abstraction. A concept map derived from an expanded use case (use case narrative) can subsequently evolve into a sequence diagram containing information on the interaction of objects (and their messages) to fulfill the responsibilities of a particular scenario of the use case. Our approach of incorporating concept mapping helps students and software developers achieve an adequate standard of appreciation and proficiency in producing sequence diagrams. This paper contains results of our evaluation of the effectiveness of concept mapping to help students with their abstraction techniques.

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