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  • 1.
    Bjarnason, Elizabeth
    et al.
    Lund University, Sweden.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Borg, Markus
    RISE, Swedish ICT, SICS, Security Lab.
    Engström, Emelie
    Lund University, Sweden.
    A Multi-Case Study of Agile Requirements Engineering and the Use of Test Cases as Requirements2016In: Information and Software Technology, ISSN 0950-5849, E-ISSN 1873-6025, Vol. 77, p. 61-79Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    [Context] It is an enigma that agile projects can succeed "without requirements" when weak requirements engineering is a known cause for project failures. While agile development projects often manage well without extensive requirements test cases are commonly viewed as requirements and detailed requirements are documented as test cases. [Objective] We have investigated this agile practice of using test cases as requirements to understand how test cases can support the main requirements activities, and how this practice varies. [Method] We performed an iterative case study at three companies and collected data through 14 interviews and 2 focus groups. [Results] The use of test cases as requirements poses both benefits and challenges when eliciting, validating, verifying, and managing requirements, and when used as a documented agreement. We have identified five variants of the test-cases-as-requirements practice, namely de facto, behaviour-driven, story-test driven, stand-alone strict and stand-alone manual for which the application of the practice varies concerning the time frame of requirements documentation, the requirements format, the extent to which the test cases are a machine executable specification and the use of tools which provide specific support for the practice of using test cases as requirements. [Conclusions] The findings provide empirical insight into how agile development projects manage and communicate requirements. The identified variants of the practice of using test cases as requirements can be used to perform in-depth investigations into agile requirements engineering. Practitioners can use the provided recommendations as a guide in designing and improving their agile requirements practices based on project characteristics such as number of stakeholders and rate of change.

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  • 2.
    Borg, Markus
    et al.
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, ICT, SICS.
    Chatzipetrou, Panagiota
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden; Örebro University, Sweden.
    Wnuk, Krzysztof
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Alégroth, Emil
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Papatheocharous, Efi
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, ICT, SICS.
    Shah, Syed
    iZettle, Sweden.
    Axelsson, Jakob
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, ICT, SICS.
    Selecting component sourcing options: A survey of software engineering's broader make-or-buy decisions2019In: Information and Software Technology, ISSN 0950-5849, E-ISSN 1873-6025, Vol. 112, p. 18-34Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Component-based software engineering (CBSE) is a common approach to develop and evolve contemporary software systems. When evolving a system based on components, make-or-buy decisions are frequent, i.e., whether to develop components internally or to acquire them from external sources. In CBSE, several different sourcing options are available: (1) developing software in-house, (2) outsourcing development, (3) buying commercial-off-the-shelf software, and (4) integrating open source software components. Objective: Unfortunately, there is little available research on how organizations select component sourcing options (CSO) in industry practice. In this work, we seek to contribute empirical evidence to CSO selection. Method: We conduct a cross-domain survey on CSO selection in industry, implemented as an online questionnaire. Results: Based on 188 responses, we find that most organizations consider multiple CSOs during software evolution, and that the CSO decisions in industry are dominated by expert judgment. When choosing between candidate components, functional suitability acts as an initial filter, then reliability is the most important quality. Conclusion: We stress that future solution-oriented work on decision support has to account for the dominance of expert judgment in industry. Moreover, we identify considerable variation in CSO decision processes in industry. Finally, we encourage software development organizations to reflect on their decision processes when choosing whether to make or buy components, and we recommend using our survey for a first benchmarking.

  • 3.
    Chatzipetrou, Panagiota
    et al.
    Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.
    Papatheocharous, Efi
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, ICT, SICS. University of Cyprus, Cyprus.
    Angelis, Lefteris
    Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.
    Andreou, Andreas S.
    Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus.
    A multivariate statistical framework for the analysis of software effort phase distribution2015In: Information and Software Technology, ISSN 0950-5849, E-ISSN 1873-6025, Vol. 59, p. 149-169Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context

    In software project management, the distribution of resources to various project activities is one of the most challenging problems since it affects team productivity, product quality and project constraints related to budget and scheduling.

    Objective

    The study aims to (a) reveal the high complexity of modelling the effort usage proportion in different phases as well as the divergence from various rules-of-thumb in related literature, and (b) present a systematic data analysis framework, able to offer better interpretations and visualisation of the effort distributed in specific phases.

    Method

    The basis for the proposed multivariate statistical framework is Compositional Data Analysis, a methodology appropriate for proportions, along with other methods like the deviation from rules-of-thumb, the cluster analysis and the analysis of variance. The effort allocations to phases, as reported in around 1500 software projects of the ISBSG R11 repository, were transformed to vectors of proportions of the total effort and were analysed with respect to prime project attributes.

    Results

    The proposed statistical framework was able to detect high dispersion among data, distribution inequality and various interesting correlations and trends, groupings and outliers, especially with respect to other categorical and continuous project attributes. Only a very small number of projects were found close to the rules-of-thumb from the related literature. Significant differences in the proportion of effort spent in different phrases for different types of projects were found.

    Conclusion

    There is no simple model for the effort allocated to phases of software projects. The data from previous projects can provide valuable information regarding the distribution of the effort for various types of projects, through analysis with multivariate statistical methodologies. The proposed statistical framework is generic and can be easily applied in a similar sense to any dataset containing effort allocation to phases.

  • 4.
    Lindström, Birgitta
    et al.
    University of Skövde, Sweden.
    Offutt, Jeff
    George Mason University, USA.
    Sundmark, Daniel
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, ICT, SICS.
    Andler, Sten F.
    University of Skövde, Sweden .
    Pettersson, Paul
    Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Using mutation to design tests for aspect-oriented models2017In: Information and Software Technology, ISSN 0950-5849, E-ISSN 1873-6025, Vol. 81, p. 112-130Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Testing for properties such as robustness or security is complicated because their concerns are often repeated in many locations and muddled with the normal code. Such “cross-cutting concerns” include things like interrupt events, exception handling, and security protocols. Aspect-oriented (AO) modeling allows developers to model the cross-cutting behavior independently of the normal behavior, thus supporting model-based testing of cross-cutting concerns. However, mutation operators defined for AO programs (source code) are usually not applicable to AO models (AOMs) and operators defined for models do not target the AO features. Objective: We present a method to design abstract tests at the aspect-oriented model level. We define mutation operators for aspect-oriented models and evaluate the generated mutants for an example system. Method: AOMs are mutated with novel operators that specifically target the AO modeling features. Test traces killing these mutant models are then generated. The generated and selected traces are abstract tests that can be transformed to concrete black-box tests and run on the implementation level, to evaluate the behavior of the woven cross-cutting concerns (combined aspect and base models). Results: This paper is a significant extension of our paper at Mutation 2015. We present a complete fault model, additional mutation operators, and a thorough analysis of the mutants generated for an example system. Conclusions: The analysis shows that some mutants are stillborn (syntactically illegal) but none is equivalent (exhibiting the same behavior as the original model). Additionally, our AOM-specific mutation operators can be combined with pre-existing operators to mutate code or models without any overlap.

  • 5.
    Papatheocharous, Efi
    et al.
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, ICT, SICS.
    Wnuk, Krzysztof
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Petersen, Kai
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Sentilles, Severine
    Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Cicchetti, Antonio
    Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Shah, Syed M. A.
    RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, ICT, SICS.
    The GRADE taxonomy for supporting decision-making of asset selection in software-intensive system development2018In: Information and Software Technology, ISSN 0950-5849, E-ISSN 1873-6025, Vol. 100, p. 1-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: The development of software-intensive systems includes many decisions involving various stakeholders with often conflicting interests and viewpoints. Objective: Decisions are rarely systematically documented and sporadically explored. This limits the opportunity for learning and improving on important decisions made in the development of software-intensive systems. Method: In this work, we enable support for the systematic documentation of decisions, improve their traceability and contribute to potentially improved decision-making in strategic, tactical and operational contexts. Results: We constructed a taxonomy for documentation supporting decision-making, called GRADE. GRADE was developed in a research project that required composition of a common dedicated language to make feasible the identification of new opportunities for better decision support and evaluation of multiple decision alternatives. The use of the taxonomy has been validated through thirty three decision cases from industry. Conclusion: This paper occupies this important yet greatly unexplored research gap by developing the GRADE taxonomy that serves as a common vocabulary to describe and classify decision-making with respect to architectural assets.

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