This Article 
   
 Share 
   
 Bibliographic References 
   
 Add to: 
 
Digg
Furl
Spurl
Blink
Simpy
Google
Del.icio.us
Y!MyWeb
 
 Search 
   
The Model Multiplicity Problem: Experimenting with Real-Time Specification Methods
August 2000 (vol. 26 no. 8)
pp. 742-759

Abstract—The Object-Process Methodology (OPM) specifies both graphically and textually the system's static-structural and behavioral-procedural aspects through a single unifying model. This model singularity is contrasted with the multimodel approach applied by existing object-oriented system analysis methods. These methods usually employ at least three distinct models for specifying various system aspects—mainly structure, function, and behavior. Object Modeling Technique (OMT), the main ancestor of the Unified Modeling Language (UML), extended with Timed Statecharts, represents a family of such multimodel object-oriented methods. Two major open questions related to model multiplicity vs. model singularity have been 1) whether or not a single model, rather than a combination of several models, enables the synthesis of a better system specification and 2) which of the two alternative approaches yields a specification that is easier to comprehend. In this study, we address these questions through a double-blind controlled experiment. To obtain conclusive results, real-time systems, which exhibit a more complex dynamic behavior than nonreal-time systems were selected as the focus of the experiment. We establish empirically that a single model methodology—OPM—is more effective than a multimodel one—OMT—in terms of synthesis. We pinpoint specific issues in which significant differences between the two methodologies were found. The specification comprehension results show that there were significant differences between the two methods in specific issues.

[1] Y. Wand and R.Y. Wang, (1994), “Anchoring data quality dimensions ontological foundations,” Comm. ACM, forthcoming.
[2] M. Peleg and D. Dori, “Extending the Object-Process Methodology to Handle Real-Time Systems,” J. Object-Oriented Programming, vol. 11, no. 8, pp. 53–58, Jan. 1999.
[3] D. Dori, “Object-Process Analysis: Maintaining the Balance Between System Structure and Behavior,” J. Logic and Computation, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 227–249, 1995.
[4] C.L. Chang, R.A. Stachowitz, and J.B. Combs, “Validation of Nonmonotonic Knowledge-Based Systems,” Proc. IEEE Int'l Conf. Tools for Artificial Intelligence, Nov. 1990.
[5] Y. Kesten and A. Pnueli, “Timed and Hybrid Statecharts and Their Textual Representation,” Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 571, pp. 591–620, Springer-Verlag, 1991.
[6] D. Drusinsky and D. Harel, “Using Statecharts for Hardware Description and Synthesis,” IEEE Trans. Computer-Aided Design, vol. 8, no. 7, 1989.
[7] P. Shoval and I. Frumermann, “OO and EER Conceptual Schemas: A Comparison of User Comprehension,” J. Database Management, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 28–38, 1994.
[8] D. Batra, J.A. Hoffer, and R.P. Bostrom, “Comparing Representations with Relational and EER Models,” Comm. ACM, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 126–139, 1990.
[9] Y. Kim and S. March, “Comparing Data Modeling Formalisms,” Comm. ACM, vol. 38, no. 6, pp. 103–115, 1995.
[10] P. Palvia, C. Liao, and P.L To, “The Impact of Conceptual Models on End-User Performance,” J. Database Management, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 4–15, 1992.
[11] P. Shoval and S. Shiran, “Entity-Relationship and Object-Oriented Data Modeling—an Experimental Comparison of Design Quality,” Data and Knowledge Eng., vol. 21, pp. 297–315, 1997.
[12] N. Gorla, H.C. Pu, and W.O. Rom, “Evaluation of Process Tools in System Analysis,” Information and Software Technology, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 119–126, 1995.
[13] D. Batra, “A Framework for Studying Human Error Behavior In Conceptual Database Modeling,” Information and Management, vol. 25, pp. 121–131, 1993.
[14] P. Laplante, Real-Time Systems Design and Analysis. IEEE Press, 1993.
[15] H. Toetenel and J.V. Katwijik, “Stepwise Development of Model-Oriented Real-Time Specifications From Action/Event Models,” Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 571, pp. 547–570, Springer-Verlag, 1991.
[16] S. Siegel and N.J. Castellan, Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988.
[17] G. Booch, I. Jacobson, and J. Rumbaugh, Unified Modeling Language (UML) Notation Guide Version 1.1, Rational Software Corp., Sept. 1997.
[18] D. Harel, “Statecharts: A Visual Approach to Complex Systems,” Science of Computer Programming, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 231–274, 1987.

Index Terms:
Analysis and design methodologies, real-time systems specification, object-oriented analysis, experimentation, quality of analysis, object-process methodology, software engineering, and empirical evaluation.
Citation:
Mor Peleg, Dov Dori, "The Model Multiplicity Problem: Experimenting with Real-Time Specification Methods," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 26, no. 8, pp. 742-759, Aug. 2000, doi:10.1109/32.879812
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.