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  • UML profile for MIF static models

     Villegas Niño, Antonio; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    HL7 International News
    Date of publication: 2014-05
    Journal article

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    This article summarizes our contribution to the 2012-2013 HL7 Tooling Challenge ¿Produce a UML Profile for MIF Static Models¿. The main goal of the profile is to enable the representation in UML of the MIF static models. This representation allows all members of the large software engineering community to understand those models without requiring additional training. Furthermore, the healthcare community can benefit from existing UML-based modeling tools and methodologies. Among others, there are tools that generate a significant part of the final code of a software system from its UML model. In what follows, we first briefly describe the proposed profile, and then we illustrate its use by means of a small example in the transformation of MIF models into equivalent UML models.

  • A Method for the Unified Definition and Treatment of Conceptual Schema Quality Issues

     Aguilera Moncusi, David
    Defense's date: 2014-06-06
    Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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    El món actual funciona a través del programari. Les infraestructures nacionals, els ordinador i telèfons inte¿ligents, els sistemes de salut, de comerç electrònic... tot depèn del programari. És, doncs, per aquest motiu que cal dissenyar solucions de programari d'alta qualitat.La modelització conceptual és una de les etapes inicials en el procés de desenvolupament de programari. El seu objectiu és definir l'esquema conceptual d'un domini. A mesura que el rol que juguen els esquemes conceptuals esdevé més i més rellevants dins d'aquest context (degut a, per exemple, l'aparició de metodologies de disseny de programari dirigides per models), la seva qualitat també esdevé un requisit elemental. La qualitat d'un esquema conceptual es pot analitzar a través de diferents "propietats de qualitat". Així, tenim que tots els esquemes conceptuals haurien de satisfer les propietats fonamentals de correctesa sintàctica i semàntica, rellevància i completesa, així com altres propietats que s'han proposat a la literatura i que el projecte on s'estigui desenvolupant l'esquema requereixi o recomani.Malauradament, ens trobem que només algunes propietats de qualitat s'han integrat als entorns de desenvolupament que utilitzen els professionals i els estudiants i, per tant, les propietats que podem assegurar se satisfaran són poques. Una possible explicació d'aquest fet és que les propostes existents es defineixen de maneres força diferents, cosa que en dificulta la integració a aquests entorns. L'objectiu de la tesi és pa¿liar aquesta situació i simplificar la integració d'aquelles propietats de qualitat que avaluen un esquema conceptual utilitzant la informació disponible al propi esquema.El mètode que proposem permet la definició i el tractament unificat de "quality issues" per a la modelització conceptual, els quals entenem com "tot allò que pot ser rellevant considerar per assegurar la qualitat d'un esquema". La feina inclou, per una banda, la caraterització i formalizació dels "quality issues" i, per l'altra, la creació d'un catàleg d'issues disponibles a la literatura i expressats mitjançant la nostra formalizació.A més a més, la tesi també inclou la implementació d'un prototipus que demostra com funciona el mètode. El prototipus integra el catàleg de "quality issues" dins una eina de modelització conceptual real i permet assistir als modeladors durant el desenvolupament d'esquemes. Finalment, la nostra feina també ofereix una breu discussió sobre la importància que tenen els mètodes incrementals d'avaluació d'expressions OCL, com es poden adaptar a la nostra definició de "quality issues" i descriu la seva integració a l'eina prototipus que hem desenvolupat.

  • A complete set of guidelines for naming UML conceptual schema elements

     Aguilera Moncusi, David; Gómez Seoane, Cristina; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Data and knowledge engineering
    Date of publication: 2013-11-01
    Journal article

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    We focus on the problem of naming conceptual schema elements in UML, which is faced by conceptual modelers every time they define a new element that requires a name. The problem is significant because in general there are many elements that require a name, and the names given have a strong influence on the understandability of that schema. We propose a guideline for every kind of element to which a conceptual modeler may give a name in UML. The guideline comprises the grammar form of the name and a pattern sentence. A name complies with our guideline if it has that form and the sentence generated from the pattern sentence is grammatically well-formed and semantically meaningful. The main novelty of our proposal is that it is (as far as we know) the first that provides a naming guideline for each kind of element of conceptual schemas in UML.

  • A Filtering Engine for Large Conceptual Schemas  Open access

     Villegas Niño, Antonio
    Defense's date: 2013-01-29
    Department of Software, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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    Actualment, la necessitat de representar i conceptualitzar la informació del món real ha augmentat de forma dramàtica. Per a què les empreses evolucionin i es diversifiquin cal gestionar i mantenir grans quantitats d'informació dels seus dominis d'interés. Aquest creixement també té un impacte en les dimensions dels esquemes conceptuals dels sistemes d'informació, ja que els fa més grans. El fet que siguin esquemes de grans dimensions els converteix en artefactes molt útils per a les comunitats i empreses per a les quals han estat desenvolupats. No obstant, aquestes mateixes dimensions, així com la seva estructura i organització, fan que sigui difícil extreure'n el coneixement que contenen, comprendre'n les característiques i canviar-los. Hi ha moltes activitats de desenvolupament de sistemes d'informació en què es necessita obtenir el coneixement que hi ha en un esquema conceptual com, per exemple, quan un modelador conceptual necessita comprovar amb un expert en el domini que el coneixement representat és correcte, quan un dissenyador de bases de dades necessita implementar aquest mateix coneixement en una base de dades relacional, quan un verificador de programari necessita escriure proves que comprovin que la implementació del sistema és correcta, o quan un membre de l'equip de manteniment ha de canviar l'esquema. Tractar amb esquemes conceptuals de grans dimensions és un dels objectius més importants dins l'àmbit de la modelització conceptual. El propòsit d'aquesta tesi és definir formalment una nova metodologia de filtratge d'informació que ajudi als usuaris d'esquemes conceptuals de grans dimensions a entendre'n les característiques i el coneixement que aquests esquemes contenen. Aquesta tesi analitza i descriu, doncs, les diferents etapes del procés de filtratge d'informació, identifica i estudia diferents propostes per a calcular la rellevància dels elements de grans esquemes conceptuals, ofereix un catàleg de peticions de filtratge específiques que permeten explorar l'esquema des de diferents escenaris de filtratge i implementa i avalua l'eficiència i l'efectivitat d'un prototipus mitjançant diversos casos d'estudi reals. La metodologia de filtratge estudia les característiques del coneixement que es troba contingut en un esquema conceptual de grans dimensions i proposa diferents mecanismes per seleccionar i representar allò que interessa a l'usuari i, així, retornar-li els resultats adequats. D'aquesta manera, doncs, l'usuari se centra en un fragment de l'esquema conceptual en què està interessat i la nostra metodologia obté, automàticament, un nou esquema conceptual de dimensions reduïdes obtingut a partir de l'esquema inicial, però centrat en aquell coneixement que està més estretament relacionat amb el fragment d'interés de l'usuari. Aquest esquema filtrat és un subconjunt de l'inicial i, tenint en compte que és de dimensions reduïdes, és també més comprensible per a l'usuari. La nostra proposta de filtratge ofereix tècniques d'extracció del coneixement que tenen en compte la representació de l'interès de l'usuari i presenta aquest coneixement d'una manera tal que la seva comprensió es vegi simplificada. A més a més, la utilització d'aquesta proposta de filtratge permet explorar els esquemes conceptuals de grans dimensions més ràpidament, augmentant-ne la usabilitat i reduïnt l'esforç per part de l'usuari.

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    Former students¿ perception of improvement potential of requirements engineering in practice  Open access

     Tort Pugibet, Albert; Olive Ramon, Antoni; Pastor Collado, Juan Antonio
    Date: 2013-06-28
    Report

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    Several authors have pointed out a significant gap between Requirements Engineering (RE) theory and practice. It is then natural that we try to find answers to questions such as: What is the nature of the gap? Which is the magnitude of the gap? Why does the gap exist? and What could be done to narrow the gap? In this paper, we try to answer those questions from the point of view of the former students of a RE course that have been involved in projects with a significant RE activity. We have surveyed over 70 former students to know how they perceive the degree to which a set of six RE artifacts are created in practice, and how they perceive the improvement potential of the creation of those artifacts in practice. For each artifact, we asked a question on the use of the artifact, and one on the recommendation of use of the artifact. The usage question aimed at knowing the degree to which the artifact is explicitly created in practice. The recommendation question aimed at knowing whether or not the respondent would have recommended the creation of the artifact when it was not created. We believe that there may be an improvement opportunity of the RE practice when a significant number of respondents would have recommended the creation of an artifact in the cases in which it was not created. In the paper, we report the results of the survey. We try to identify the reasons why the artifacts were not created, and what would be needed to convince stakeholders and developers to create the artifact, when it is recommended to do it. Finally, we point out a few implications for RE practice and research that are suggested by the results of the survey.

    Several authors have pointed out a significant gap between Requirements Engineering (RE) theory and practice. It is then natural that we try to find answers to questions such as: What is the nature of the gap? Which is the magnitude of the gap? Why does the gap exist? and What could be done to narrow the gap? In this paper, we try to answer those questions from the point of view of the former students of a RE course that have been involved in projects with a significant RE activity. We have surveyed over 70 former students to know how they perceive the degree to which a set of six RE artifacts are created in practice, and how they perceive the improvement potential of the creation of those artifacts in practice. For each artifact, we asked a question on the use of the artifact, and one on the recommendation of use of the artifact. The usage question aimed at knowing the degree to which the artifact is explicitly created in practice. The recommendation question aimed at knowing whether or not the respondent would have recommended the creation of the artifact when it was not created. We believe that there may be an improvement opportunity of the RE practice when a significant number of respondents would have recommended the creation of an artifact in the cases in which it was not created. In the paper, we report the results of the survey. We try to identify the reasons why the artifacts were not created, and what would be needed to convince stakeholders and developers to create the artifact, when it is recommended to do it. Finally, we point out a few implications for RE practice and research that are suggested by the results of the survey

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    Survey on requirements engineering and conceptual modeling in practice  Open access

     Tort Pugibet, Albert; Olive Ramon, Antoni; Pastor Collado, Juan Antonio
    Date: 2013-06-28
    Report

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    This questionnaire aims to collect opinions of students from the Barcelona School of Informatics (FIB) who attended the Requirements Engineering course and that have participated in professional software development projects. The views collected will be used exclusively for a study undertaken at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia - BarcelonaTech that aims to see what could be done to improve the requirements engineering practice and to improve the education in requirements engineering. We estimate that the average response time of the survey is around 20-25 minutes.

    This questionnaire aims to collect opinions of students from the Barcelona School of Informatics (FIB) who attended the Requirements Engineering course and that have participated in professional software development projects. The views collected will be used exclusively for a study undertaken at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia - BarcelonaTech that aims to see what could be done to improve the requirements engineering practice and to improve the education in requirements engineering. We estimate that the average response time of the survey is around 20-25 minutes.

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    UML profile for MIF static models. Version 1.0  Open access

     Villegas Niño, Antonio; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Date: 2013-09-26
    Report

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    HL7 provides standards for interoperability that improve care delivery, optimize workflow, reduce ambiguity and enhance knowledge transfer among all of our stakeholders, including healthcare providers, government agencies, the vendor community, fellow SDOs and patients. In all of our processes we exhibit timeliness, scientific rigor and technical expertise without compromising transparency, accountability, practicality, or our willingness to put the needs of our stakeholders first. HL7 is holding a contest to encourage the development of HL7 tools. This document describes the specification of a UML Profile for MIF Static Models as a particular submission to the HL7 2012-2013 Tooling Challenge

  • HL7 Tooling Challenge

     Villegas Niño, Antonio; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Award or recognition

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  • Former students' perception of improvement potential of conceptual modeling in practice

     Tort Pugibet, Albert; Olive Ramon, Antoni; Pastor Collado, Juan Antonio
    International Conference on Conceptual Modeling
    Presentation's date: 2013-11-11
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Several authors have pointed out a significant gap between Conceptual Modeling (CM) theory and practice. It is then natural that we try to find answers to questions such as: What is the nature of the gap? Which is the magnitude of the gap? Why does the gap exist? and What could be done to narrow the gap? In this paper, we try to answer those questions from the point of view of the former students of a Requirements Engineering and Conceptual Modeling course that have been involved in professional projects. We have surveyed over 70 former students to know how they perceive the degree to which a set of four conceptual modeling artifacts are created in practice, and how they perceive the improvement potential of the creation of those artifacts in practice. For each artifact, we asked a question on the use of the artifact, and one on the recommendation of use of the artifact. We believe that there may be an improvement opportunity of the CM practice when a significant number of respondents would have recommended the creation of an artifact in the cases in which it was not created. We try to identify the reasons why the artifacts were not created, and what would be needed to convince stakeholders and developers to create the artifact, when it is recommended to do it.

    Several authors have pointed out a significant gap between Conceptual Modeling (CM) theory and practice. It is then natural that we try to find answers to questions such as: What is the nature of the gap? Which is the magnitude of the gap? Why does the gap exist? and What could be done to narrow the gap? In this paper, we try to answer those questions from the point of view of the former students of a Requirements Engineering and Conceptual Modeling course that have been involved in professional projects. We have surveyed over 70 former students to know how they perceive the degree to which a set of four conceptual modeling artifacts are created in practice, and how they perceive the improvement potential of the creation of those artifacts in practice. For each artifact, we asked a question on the use of the artifact, and one on the recommendation of use of the artifact. We believe that there may be an improvement opportunity of the CM practice when a significant number of respondents would have recommended the creation of an artifact in the cases in which it was not created. We try to identify the reasons why the artifacts were not created, and what would be needed to convince stakeholders and developers to create the artifact, when it is recommended to do it.

    Postprint (author’s final draft)

  • Enforcement of conceptual schema quality issues in current integrated development environments

     Aguilera Moncusi, David; Gómez Seoane, Cristina; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering
    Presentation's date: 2013-06-21
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    We believe that one of the most effective ways of increasing the quality of conceptual schemas in practice is by using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that enforces all relevant quality criteria. With this view, in this paper we analyze the support provided by current IDEs in the enforcement of quality criteria and we compare it with the one that could be provided given the current state of the art. We show that there is a large room for improvement. We introduce the idea of a unified catalog that would include all known quality criteria. We present an initial version of this catalog. We then evaluate the effectiveness of the additional support that could be provided by the current IDEs if they enforced all the quality criteria defined in the catalog. We focus on conceptual schemas written in UML/OCL, although our approach could be applied to other languages.

    We believe that one of the most effective ways of increasing the quality of conceptual schemas in practice is by using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that enforces all relevant quality criteria. With this view, in this paper we analyze the support provided by current IDEs in the enforcement of quality criteria and we compare it with the one that could be provided given the current state of the art. We show that there is a large room for improvement. We introduce the idea of a unified catalog that would include all known quality criteria. We present an initial version of this catalog. We then evaluate the effectiveness of the additional support that could be provided by the current IDEs if they enforced all the quality criteria defined in the catalog. We focus on conceptual schemas written in UML/OCL, although our approach could be applied to other languages.

  • On checking executable conceptual schema validity by testing

     Tort Pugibet, Albert; Olive Ramon, Antoni; Sancho Samsó, Maria Ribera
    Lecture notes in computer science
    Date of publication: 2012
    Journal article

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  • On computing the importance of associations in large conceptual schemas

     Villegas Niño, Antonio; Olive Ramon, Antoni; Sancho Samsó, Maria Ribera
    Date of publication: 2012-01-01
    Book chapter

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    The visualization and the understanding of large conceptual schemas require the use of specific methods. These methods generate clustered, summarized or focused schemas that are easier to visualize and to understand. All of these methods require computing the importance of the elements in the schema but, up to now, only the importance of entity types has been taken into account. In this paper, we present three methods for computing the importance of associations by taking into account the knowledge defined in the structural and behavioral parts of the schema. We experimentally evaluate these methods with large real-world schemas and present the main conclusions we have drawn from the experiments.

  • TESTING AND TEST-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT OF CONCEPTUAL SCHEMAS  Open access

     Tort Pugibet, Albert
    Defense's date: 2012-04-11
    Department of Software, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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    The traditional focus for Information Systems (IS) quality assurance relies on the evaluation of its implementation. However, the quality of an IS can be largely determined in the first stages of its development. Several studies reveal that more than half the errors that occur during systems development are requirements errors. A requirements error is defined as a mismatch between requirements specification and stakeholders¿ needs and expectations. Conceptual modeling is an essential activity in requirements engineering aimed at developing the conceptual schema of an IS. The conceptual schema is the general knowledge that an IS needs to know in order to perform its functions. A conceptual schema specification has semantic quality when it is valid and complete. Validity means that the schema is correct (the knowledge it defines is true for the domain) and relevant (the knowledge it defines is necessary for the system). Completeness means that the conceptual schema includes all relevant knowledge. The validation of a conceptual schema pursues the detection of requirements errors in order to improve its semantic quality. Conceptual schema validation is still a critical challenge in requirements engineering. In this work we contribute to this challenge, taking into account that, since conceptual schemas of IS can be specified in executable artifacts, they can be tested. In this context, the main contributions of this Thesis are (1) an approach to test conceptual schemas of information systems, and (2) a novel method for the incremental development of conceptual schemas supported by continuous test-driven validation. As far as we know, this is the first work that proposes and implements an environment for automated testing of UML/OCL conceptual schemas, and the first work that explores the use of test-driven approaches in conceptual modeling. The testing of conceptual schemas may be an important and practical means for their validation. It allows checking correctness and completeness according to stakeholders¿ needs and expectations. Moreover, in conjunction with the automatic check of basic test adequacy criteria, we can also analyze the relevance of the elements defined in the schema. The testing environment we propose requires a specialized language for writing tests of conceptual schemas. We defined the Conceptual Schema Testing Language (CSTL), which may be used to specify automated tests of executable schemas specified in UML/OCL. We also describe a prototype implementation of a test processor that makes feasible the approach in practice. The conceptual schema testing approach supports test-last validation of conceptual schemas, but it also makes sense to test incomplete conceptual schemas while they are developed. This fact lays the groundwork of Test-Driven Conceptual Modeling (TDCM), which is our second main contribution. TDCM is a novel conceptual modeling method based on the main principles of Test-Driven Development (TDD), an extreme programming method in which a software system is developed in short iterations driven by tests. We have applied the method in several case studies, in the context of Design Research, which is the general research framework we adopted. Finally, we also describe an integration approach of TDCM into a broad set of software development methodologies, including the Unified Process development methodology, MDD-based approaches, storytest-driven agile methods and goal and scenario-oriented requirements engineering methods.

    Els enfocaments per assegurar la qualitat deis sistemes d'informació s'han basal tradicional m en! en l'avaluació de la seva implementació. No obstan! aix6, la qualitat d'un sis tema d'informació pot ser ampliament determinada en les primeres fases del seu desenvolupament. Diversos estudis indiquen que més de la meitat deis errors de software són errors de requisits . Un error de requisit es defineix com una desalineació entre l'especificació deis requisits i les necessitats i expectatives de les parts im plicades (stakeholders ). La modelització conceptual és una activitat essencial en l'enginyeria de requisits , l'objectiu de la qual és desenvolupar !'esquema conceptual d'un sistema d'informació. L'esquema conceptual és el coneixement general que un sistema d'informació requereix per tal de desenvolupar les seves funcions . Un esquema conceptual té qualitat semantica quan és va lid i complet. La valides a implica que !'esquema sigui correcte (el coneixement definit és cert peral domini) i rellevant (el coneixement definit és necessari peral sistema). La completes a significa que !'esquema conceptual inclou tot el coneixement rellevant. La validació de !'esquema conceptual té coma objectiu la detecció d'errors de requisits per tal de millorar la qualitat semantica. La validació d'esquemes conceptuals és un repte crític en l'enginyeria de requisits . Aquesta te si contribueix a aquest repte i es basa en el fet que els es quemes conceptuals de sistemes d'informació poden ser especificats en artefactes executables i, per tant, poden ser provats. Les principals contribucions de la te si són (1) un enfocament pera les pro ves d'esquemes conceptuals de sistemes d'informació, i (2) una metodología innovadora pel desenvolupament incremental d'esquemes conceptuals assistit per una validació continuada basada en proves . Les pro ves d'esquemes conceptuals poden ser una im portant i practica técnica pera la se va validació, jaque permeten provar la correctesa i la completesa d'acord ambles necessitats i expectatives de les parts interessades. En conjunció amb la comprovació d'un conjunt basic de criteris d'adequació de les proves, també podem analitzar la rellevancia deis elements definits a !'esquema. L'entorn de test proposat inclou un llenguatge especialitzat per escriure proves automatitzades d'esquemes conceptuals, anomenat Conceptual Schema Testing Language (CSTL). També hem descrit i implementa! a un prototip de processador de tes tos que fa possible l'aplicació de l'enfocament proposat a la practica. D'acord amb l'estat de l'art en validació d'esquemes conceptuals , aquest és el primer treball que proposa i implementa un entorn pel testing automatitzat d'esquemes conceptuals definits en UML!OCL. L'enfocament de proves d'esquemes conceptuals permet dura terme la validació d'esquemes existents , pero també té sentit provar es quemes conceptuals incomplets m entre estant sent desenvolupats. Aquest fet és la base de la metodología Test-Driven Conceptual Modeling (TDCM), que és la segona contribució principal. El TDCM és una metodología de modelització conceptual basada en principis basics del Test-Driven Development (TDD), un métode de programació en el qual un sistema software és desenvolupat en petites iteracions guiades per proves. També hem aplicat el métode en diversos casos d'estudi en el context de la metodología de recerca Design Science Research. Finalment, hem proposat enfocaments d'integració del TDCM en diverses metodologies de desenvolupament de software.

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    A web-based filtering engine for understanding event specifications in large conceptual schemas  Open access

     Villegas Niño, Antonio; Olive Ramon, Antoni; Sancho Samsó, Maria Ribera
    International Conference on Conceptual Modeling
    Presentation's date: 2012-10-16
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    A complete conceptual schema must include all relevant general static and dynamic aspects of an information system. Event types describe a nonempty set of allowed changes in the population of entity or relationship types in the domain of the conceptual schema. The conceptual schemas of many real-world information systems that include the speci cation of event types are too large to be easily managed or understood. There are many information system development activities in which people need to understand the eff ect of a set of events. We present an information filtering tool in which a user focuses on one or more event types of interest for her task at hand, and the tool automatically filters the schema in order to obtain a reduced conceptual schema that illustrates all the elements affected by the given events.

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    An approach to test-driven development of conceptual schemas  Open access

     Tort Pugibet, Albert; Olive Ramon, Antoni; Sancho Samsó, Maria Ribera
    Jornadas de Ingenería del Software y Bases de Datos
    Presentation's date: 2012-09-18
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The proposed method is applicable to different kinds of projects and may be integrated into existing software development methods when they are based on iterative paradigms and they include artifacts to specify conceptual schemas. TDCM can also be used even if the conceptual schema to be developed is the main purpose of the project. Using TDCM, conceptual modelers have at any time fully tested schemas

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    Understanding constraint expressions in large conceptual schemas by automatic filtering  Open access

     Villegas Niño, Antonio; Olive Ramon, Antoni; Sancho Samsó, Maria Ribera
    International Conference on Conceptual Modeling
    Presentation's date: 2012-10-15
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Human understanding of constraint expressions (also called schema rules) in large conceptual schemas is very di cult. This is due to the fact that the elements (entity types, attributes, relationship types) involved in an expression are de ned in di fferent places in the schema, which may be very distant from each other and embedded in an intricate web of irrelevant elements. The problem is insignifi cant when the conceptual schema is small, but very signi cant when it is large. In this paper we describe a novel method that, given a set of constraint expressions and a large conceptual schema, automatically filters the conceptual schema, obtaining a smaller one that contains the elements of interest for the understanding of the expressions. We also show the application of the method to the important case of understanding the specication of event types, whose constraint expressions consists of a set of pre and postconditions. We have evaluated the method by means of its application to a set of large conceptual schemas. The results show that the method is eff ective and e cient. We deal with conceptual schemas in UML/OCL, but the method can be adapted to other languages.

  • An Eclipse plugin for improving the quality of UML conceptual schemas

     Aguilera Moncusi, David; Gómez Seoane, Cristina; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    International Conference on Conceptual Modeling
    Presentation's date: 2012-10-16
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The development of an information system requires its conceptual schema to be of high quality. Classically, this quality comprises properties such as syntactic and semantic correctness, relevance, and completeness, but many other quality properties have been proposed in the literature. In this demonstration we integrate some published quality properties in Eclipse by extending the core functionalities of MDT. These properties include syntactic issues, naming guidelines, and best practices. A quality property is defined using OCL and is specified in an XML file. The set of quality properties included in our tool is available on an online public catalog that can be extended to include new quality properties. We use XSLT to present this catalog in a friendly manner to users that access it using a web browser.

  • A method for the definition and treatment of conceptual schema quality issues

     Aguilera Moncusi, David; Gómez Seoane, Cristina; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    International Conference on Conceptual Modeling
    Presentation's date: 2012-10-17
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    n the literature, there are many proposals of quality properties of conceptual schemas, but only a few of them (mainly those related to syntax) have been integrated into the development environments used by professionals and students. A possible explanation of this unfortunate fact may be that the proposals have been defined in disparate ways, which makes it difficult to integrate them into those environments. In this paper we define quality properties in terms of quality issues, which essentially are conditions that should not happen, and we propose a unified method for their definition and treatment. We show that our method is able to define most of the existing quality properties in a uniform way and makes it possible to integrate quality issues into development environments. The method can be adapted to several languages. We present a prototype implementation of our method as an Eclipse plugin. We have evaluated the potential usefulness of our method by analyzing the presence of a set of quality issues in a set of conceptual schemas developed by students as part of their projects.

  • On checking executable conceptual schema validity by testing

     Tort Pugibet, Albert; Olive Ramon, Antoni; Sancho Samsó, Maria Ribera
    International Conference on Database and Expert Systems Applications
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Ensuring the semantic quality of a conceptual schema is a fundamental goal in conceptual modeling. Conceptual schema testing is an emerging approach that helps to achieve this goal. In this paper, we focus on “what to test” and, more specifically, on the properties that test sets of conceptual schemas should have. We propose and formally define a set of four adequacy criteria which can be automatically checked in order to ensure, by testing, the necessary conditions for schema validity (correctness and relevance). The proposed criteria are independent from the languages of the schema and of the testing program. The criteria have been implemented in a prototype of a test processor able to execute test sets. The criteria have been applied to the test sets of large conceptual schemas.

  • An approach to test-driven development of conceptual schemas

     Tort Pugibet, Albert; Olive Ramon, Antoni; Sancho Samsó, Maria Ribera
    Data and knowledge engineering
    Date of publication: 2011
    Journal article

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    Test-Driven Development (TDD) is an extreme programming development method in which a software system is developed in short iterations. In this paper we present the Test-Driven Conceptual Modeling (TDCM) method, which is an application of TDD for conceptual modeling, and we show how to develop a conceptual schema using it. In TDCM, a system's conceptual schema is incrementally obtained by performing three kinds of tasks: (1) Write a test the system should pass; (2) Change the schema to pass the test; and (3) Refactor the schema to improve its qualities. We also describe an integration approach of TDCM into a broad set of software development methodologies, including the Unified Process development methodology, the MDD-based approaches, the storytest-driven agile methods and the goal and scenario-oriented requirements engineering methods. We deal with schemas written in UML/OCL, but the TDCM method could be adapted to the development of schemas in other languages.

  • A tool for filtering large conceptual schemas

     Villegas Niño, Antonio; Sancho Samsó, Maria Ribera; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    International Conference on Conceptual Modeling
    Presentation's date: 2011-10-31
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The wealth of knowledge the conceptual schemas of many real-world information systems contain makes them very useful to their potential target audience. However, the sheer size of those schemas makes it difficult to extract knowledge from them. There are many information system development activities in which people needs to get a piece of the knowledge contained in a large conceptual schema. We present an information filtering tool in which a user focuses on one or more entity types of interest for her task at hand, and the tool automatically filters the schema in order to obtain a reduced conceptual schema including a set of entity and relationship types (and other knowledge) relevant to that task.

  • Panel: new directions for conceptual modeling

     Parsons, Jeffrey; Olive Ramon, Antoni; Ram, Sudha; Wagner, Gerd; Wand, Yair; Yu, Eric
    International Conference on Conceptual Modeling
    Presentation's date: 2011-11-01
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • The CSTL processor: a tool for automated conceptual schema testing

     Tort Pugibet, Albert; Olive Ramon, Antoni; Sancho Samsó, Maria Ribera
    International Conference on Conceptual Modeling
    Presentation's date: 2011-10-31
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    In this demonstration paper, we present the CSTL Processor, a tool to support the validation of two fundamental quality properties of conceptual schemas (correctness and completeness) by testing. The CSTL Processor supports the management, execution and automatic computation of the verdicts of test cases which formalize stakeholders’ needs and expectations.

  • An Eclipse plugin for validating names in UML conceptual schemas

     Aguilera Moncusi, David; García Ranea, Raúl; Gómez Seoane, Cristina; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    International Conference on Conceptual Modeling
    Presentation's date: 2011-10-31
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • An approach to testing conceptual schemas

     Tort Pugibet, Albert; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Data and knowledge engineering
    Date of publication: 2010-06
    Journal article

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    Extending the methods for computing the importance of entity types in large conceptual schemas  Open access

     Villegas Niño, Antonio; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Journal of universal computer science
    Date of publication: 2010-11-01
    Journal article

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    Visualizing and understanding large conceptual schemas requires the use of specific methods. These methods generate clustered, summarized, or focused schemas that are easier to visualize and understand. All of these methods require computing the importance of each entity type in the schema. In principle, the totality of knowledge defined in the schema could be relevant for the computation of that importance but, up to now, only a small part of that knowledge has been taken into account. In this paper, we extend seven existing methods for computing the importance of entity types by taking into account more relevant knowledge defined in the structural and behavioural parts of the schema. We experimentally evaluate the original and extended versions of these methods with three large real-world schemas. We present the two main conclusions we have drawn from the experiments.

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    Testing conceptual schema satisfiability  Open access

     Olive Ramon, Antoni; Tort Pugibet, Albert
    Date of publication: 2010-05-01
    Book chapter

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    The i* framework is a widespread formalism in the software engineering discipline that allows expressing intentionality of system actors. From the time it was issued, in the mid-nineties, a growing research community has adopted it either in its standard form or formulating variations in order to adapt it to some particular purpose. New methods, techniques and tools have made evolve the framework in a way that it may be currently considered quite mature from the scientific perspective. However, the i* framework has not been transferred to practitioners at the same extent yet: industrial experiences using i* are not many and have been mainly conducted by i* experts that are part of that very research community. Therefore, it may be argued that some steps are needed for boosting the adoption of i* by practitioners. In this chapter, we identify some scientific challenges whose overcoming could represent a step towards this goal. For each challenge, we present the problem that is addressed, its current state of the art and some envisaged lines of research.

  • ER Fellow

     Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Award or recognition

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    Improving the usability of HL7 information models by automatic filtering  Open access

     Villegas Niño, Antonio; Olive Ramon, Antoni; Vilalta, Josep
    IEEE World Congress on Services
    Presentation's date: 2010-07-07
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The amount of knowledge represented in the Health Level 7 International (HL7) information models is very large. The sheer size of those models makes them very useful for the communities for which they are developed. However, the size of the models and their overall organization makes it difficult to manually extract knowledge from them. We propose to extract that knowledge by using a novel filtering method that we have developed. Our method is based on the concept of class interest as a combination of class importance and class closeness. The application of our method automatically obtains a filtered information model of the whole HL7 models according to the user preferences. We show that the use of a prototype tool that implements that method and produces such filtered model improves the usability of the HL7 models due to its high precision and low computational time.

  • A method for filtering large conceptual schemas

     Villegas Niño, Antonio; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    International Conference on Conceptual Modeling
    Presentation's date: 2010-11-03
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    We focus on the problem of filtering a fragment of the knowledge contained in a large conceptual schema. The problem appears in many information systems development activities in which people need to operate with a piece of the knowledge contained in that schema. We propose a new method in which a user focuses on one or more entity types of interest for her task at hand, and the method automatically filters the schema in order to obtain a set of entity and relationship types (and other knowledge) relevant to that task, taking into account the interest of each entity type with respect to the focus, computed from the measures of importance and closeness of entity types. The method has been implemented in a prototype tool, and it has been experimented with the schema of the osCommerce and the ResearchCyc ontology.

  • Diseño y construcción de un asistente al modelado conceptual

     Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Participation in a competitive project

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  • DISEÑO Y CONSTRUCCION DE UN ASISTENTE AL MODELADO CONCEPTUAL

     Pastor Collado, Juan Antonio; Tort Pugibet, Albert; Conesa Caralt, Jordi; Queralt Calafat, Anna; Sancho Samsó, Maria Ribera; Villegas Niño, Antonio; Raventós Pagès, Ruth; Gómez Seoane, Cristina; Costal Costa, Maria Dolors; Mayol Sarroca, Enric; Aguilera Moncusi, David; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Participation in a competitive project

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    First steps towards conceptual schema testing  Open access

     Tort Pugibet, Albert; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering
    Presentation's date: 2009-06-11
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Like any software artifact, conceptual schemas of information systems can be tested. Testing conceptual schemas has some similarities with testing programs, but there are important differences. We present a list of six kinds of tests that can be applied to conceptual schemas. Some of them require complete schemas comprising both the structural and the behavioral parts, but we show that it is useful to test incomplete schema fragments. We introduce CSTL, a language for writing automated tests of executable schemas written in UML/OCL. We sketch the implementation of a test processor to automatically execute CSTL tests as many times as needed, following the style of the modern xUnit testing frameworks.

  • On computing the importance of entity types in large conceptual schemas

     Villegas Niño, Antonio; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    International Conference on Conceptual Modeling
    Presentation's date: 2009-11-09
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The visualization and the understanding of large conceptual schemas require the use of specific methods. These methods generate clustered, summarized or focused schemas that are easier to visualize and to understand. All of these methods require computing the importance of each entity type in the schema. In principle, the totality of knowledge defined in the schema could be relevant for the computation of that importance but, up to now, only a small part of that knowledge has been taken into account. In this paper, we extend six existing methods for computing the importance of entity types by taking into account all the relevant knowledge defined in the structural and behavioural parts of the schema. We experimentally evaluate the original and the extended versions of those methods with two large real-world schemas. We present the two main conclusions we have drawn from the experiments.

  • n object-oriented approach to the translation between MOF metaschemas  Open access  awarded activity

     Raventós Pagès, Ruth
    Defense's date: 2009-02-27
    Department of Software, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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    Since the 1960s, many formal languages have been developed in order to allow software engineers to specify conceptual models and to design software artifacts. A few of these languages, such as the Unified Modeling Language (UML), have become widely used standards. They employ notations and concepts that are not readily understood by "domain experts," who understand the actual problem domain and are responsible for finding solutions to problems.The Object Management Group (OMG) developed the Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Rules (SBVR) specification as a first step towards providing a language to support the specification of "business vocabularies and rules." The function of SBVR is to capture business concepts and business rules in languages that are close enough to ordinary language, so that business experts can read and write them, and formal enough to capture the intended semantics and present them in a form that is suitable for engineering the automation of the rules.The ultimate goal of business rules approaches is to build software systems directly from vocabularies and rules. One way of reaching this goal, within the context of model-driven architecture (MDA), is to transform SBVR models into UML models. OMG also notes the need for a reverse engineering transformation between UML schemas and SBVR vocabularies and rules in order to validate UML schemas. This thesis proposes an automatic approach to translation between UML schemas and SBVR vocabularies and rules, and vice versa. It consists of the application of a new generic schema translation approach to the particular case of UML and SBVR.The main contribution of the generic approach is the extensive use of object-oriented concepts in the definition of translation mappings, particularly the use of operations (and their refinements) and invariants, both formalized in the Object Constraint Language (OCL). Translation mappings can be used to check that two schemas are translations of each other, and to translate one into the other, in either direction. Translation mappings are declaratively defined by means of preconditions, postconditions and invariants, and they can be implemented in any suitable language. The approach leverages the object-oriented constructs embedded in Meta Object Facility (MOF) metaschemas to achieve the goals of object-oriented software development in the schema translation problem.The generic schema translation approach and its application to UML schemas and SBVR vocabularies and rules is fully implemented in the UML-based Specification Environment (USE) tool and validated by a case study based on the conceptual schema of the Digital Bibliography & Library Project (DBLP) system.

  • An object-oriented operation-based approach to translation between MOF metaschemas

     Raventós Pagès, Ruth; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Data and knowledge engineering
    Date of publication: 2008-12
    Journal article

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  • Evolving Temporal Conceptual Schemas: The Reification Case

     Gómez Seoane, Cristina; Olive Ramon, Antoni; López, J R
    Date of publication: 2008-10
    Book chapter

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  • Conceptual modeling - er2008

    Date of publication: 2008-10-31
    Book

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  • 27TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CONCEPTUAL MODELING (ER 2008))

     Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Participation in a competitive project

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  • ER 2008: INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CONCEPTUAL MODELING

     Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Participation in a competitive project

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  • Pruning and Refactoring Ontologies in the Development of Conceptual Schemas of Information Systems

     Conesa Caralt, Jordi
    Defense's date: 2008-01-22
    Department of Software, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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  • 25th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER 2006)

     Embley, D W; Olive Ramon, Antoni; Chen, P
    Data and knowledge engineering
    Date of publication: 2007-12
    Journal article

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  • A research agenda for conceptual schema-centric development

     Olive Ramon, Antoni; Jordi, Cabot
    Date of publication: 2007-06-30
    Book chapter

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  • A Method for Pruning Ontologies in the Development of Conceptual Schemas of Information Systems

     Conesa Caralt, Jordi; Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Lecture notes in computer science
    Date of publication: 2006-01
    Journal article

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  • A method for the definition of integrity constraints in object-oriented conceptual modeling languages

     Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Data and knowledge engineering
    Date of publication: 2006-12
    Journal article

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  • Modeling events as entities in object-oriented conceptual modeling languages

     Olive Ramon, Antoni; Raventós Pagès, Ruth
    Data and knowledge engineering
    Date of publication: 2006-09
    Journal article

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  • Conceptual modeling - er2006

    Date of publication: 2006-11-30
    Book

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  • Conceptual- Schema-Centric Development: A Grand Challenge for Information Systems Research

     Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Lecture notes in computer science
    Date of publication: 2005-06
    Journal article

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  • Construcción de un entorno integrado para el desarrollo centrado en el esquema conceptual de sistemas de información

     Olive Ramon, Antoni; Mayol Sarroca, Enric; Gómez Seoane, Cristina; Costal Costa, Maria Dolors; Raventós Pagès, Ruth
    Participation in a competitive project

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  • Definition of Events and Their Effects in Object-Oriented Conceptual Modeling Languages

     Olive Ramon, Antoni
    Lecture notes in computer science
    Date of publication: 2004-11
    Journal article

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