Automated Software Engineering

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 1–43 | Cite as

Evaluation of a traceability approach for informal freehand sketches

  • Markus Kleffmann
  • Sebastian Röhl
  • Matthias Book
  • Volker Gruhn
Article
  • 555 Downloads

Abstract

Most engineers and designers prefer to use large drawing boards such as whiteboards or flip charts for the initial collaborative sketching of a system’s models. Large interactive displays have recently begun to replace these physical drawing boards, blurring the line between freehand sketching and toolkit-aided modeling. While digital boards offer more flexibility in drawing and navigating models, they must also provide appropriate cognitive support for frequent shifts of focus and navigation between related artifacts. Furthermore, automated assistance in uncovering potential inconsistencies and contradictions between model sketches would be beneficial so that users do not get lost amid their sketches. In this paper, we discuss an approach to create relationships between the elements of informal hand-drawn sketches on large interactive displays by combining fuzzy search with classic information retrieval techniques. The identification and maintenance of relationships is particularly challenging because we are working with hand-drawn and hand-lettered model sketches rather than the syntactically clean models created with digital modeling toolkits. We evaluated our approach by analyzing 89 model sketches from 16 industry projects and found that it identifies relations between sketched model elements with high precision and recall.

Keywords

Sketches Electronic whiteboards Traceability Cooperative design 

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.paluno - The Ruhr Institute for Software Technology, University of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computer ScienceUniversity of IcelandReykjavíkIceland

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