Industrial collaboration on model-driven software engineering (MDE)
Posted by Dr Serena Coetzee on 28 Jan 2010, 08:57
Since the beginning of this year, our Computer Science department has a new industrial-academic collaboration, supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) in the context of their THRIP programme which is designed to foster industrial-academic cooperation for the benefit of the South African society and economy. The approval of our new THRIP project has just been confirmed by the research support office of the University of Pretoria.
Our new cooperation project operates in the field of model-driven software engineering (MDE) and is jointly managed by Stefan Gruner from this department (research group for Software Science and Formal Methods), and Fritz Solms from the company Solms Training Consulting and Development (STCD), Johannesburg.
Our new project is focused on the software development methodology URDAD, which stands for Use-Cases and Responsibility-Driven Analysis and Design. This development methodology assists application domain experts to generate sound and consistent domain models. URDAD is already widely used by business analysts (particularly in the financial and insurance sectors) in South Africa to generate business models containing technology neutral business process specifications, thereby reducing development times and cost as well as the failure rates of associated software development projects. STCD have developed the URDAD methodology and provide a range of training and consulting services, assisting larger corporations to use the methodology to improve the efficiency and quality of the business process designs.
The new cooperation project aims at completing the formalization of the URDAD model, as well as to provide further evidence that URDAD is a complete technology neutral model in the sense that only the implementation architecture and technologies need to be specified to be able to do a complete implementation mapping.
Sub-goals to this overall goal entail, for example:
# to formulate a set of quantitative model quality measures and apply these measures to measure model quality;
# to develop a model validation suite which validates whether a model is correct, complete/sufficient, consistent and of minimal complexity;
# to use OMG QVT technologies to define the implementation mapping for commonly used enterprise reference architectures including SOA and JavaEE;
# to formalize the mapping between UML specifications (domain experts) and common language (English, for non-expert clients);
# to develop documentation generation tools which generate human consumable documentation of an URDAD domain model using those mappings;
# to carry out the research to elicit the requirements for URDAD tools which makes it easier for domain specialists (e.g. business analysts) to generate a URDAD domain model.
Prospective research students (Hons.-level, MSc.-level), who would like to do their project in this area, are welcome to contact Stefan Gruner via eMail for further details. We are also seeking a student-programmer, on an hourly basis, to help us with the prototype implementations.
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