An Ontological Software Comprehension Process Model for Component Substitution


  1. Charland, P.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
Software component substitution is a common maintenance activity. It can informally be defined as the process of replacing an existing component in a system by a candidate component meeting new functional or non-functional requirements. There exist several software maintenance process models that are well documented in the literature. Although software maintenance involves various resources and tools support, the existing process models do not specify how any available supporting resources (e.g., tools, methods, and techniques) should be integrated within the process in a given maintenance context. This technical report describes a formal process model to support the comprehension and maintenance of software systems by using ontologies and description logics. This formal representation uses reasoning services across different knowledge resources and therefore, provides users with guidance during the maintenance process which is context sensitive to their particular comprehension task. This ontological model is supported by a tool implemented as Eclipse plug-ins. Using this environment, a case study illustrates how maintainers can be assisted with contextual guidance during typical maintenance tasks through the use of ontologies and reasoning services.

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Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-TR-2011-562 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Dec 2011
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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