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What is Use Case Model Quality

Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
The totality of characteristics of a use case model that bear on its ability to satisfy stated and implied needs.
Published in Chapter:
Pattern-Oriented Use Case Modeling
Pankaj Kamthan (Concordia University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch483
The majority of the present software systems, such as those that run on automatic banking machines (ABMs), on mobile devices, and on the Web, are interactive in nature. Therefore, it is critical to precisely understand, identify, and document the services that an interactive software system will provide from the viewpoint of its potential users. A large and important class of models that these services encapsulate is use cases (Jacobson, Christerson, Jonsson, & Övergaard, 1992). In the last few years, use cases have become indispensable as means for behavioral modeling of interactive software systems. They play a crucial role in various software development activities, including estimating development cost (Anda, 2003), eliciting behavioral requirements, and defining test cases. It is well known that addressing quality early is crucial to avoid the propagation of problems to later artifacts (Moody, 2005). With the increasing deployment of use cases as early artifacts in software process environments, the question of how these models should be developed so as to attain high quality arises. In response, this article focuses on the use case modeling process (the act of constructing use case models) and, based on the notion of patterns (Appleton, 1997), proposes a systematic approach towards the development of use case models. The rest of the article is organized as follows. The background and related work necessary for the discussion that follows is outlined. This is followed by the presentation of a pattern-oriented use case modeling process for systematically addressing the semiotic quality of use case models in a feasible manner. Next, challenges and directions for future research are outlined, and finally, concluding remarks are given.
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