Evaluating the Effort of Composing Design Models: A Controlled Experiment

  • Kleinner Farias
  • Alessandro Garcia
  • Jon Whittle
  • Christina Chavez
  • Carlos Lucena
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7590)


The lack of empirical knowledge about the effects of model composition techniques on developers’ effort is the key impairment for their widespread adoption in practice. This problem applies to both existing categories of model composition techniques, i.e. specification-based (e.g. Epsilon) and heuristic-based (e.g. IBM RSA) techniques. This paper reports on a controlled experiment that investigates the effort to: (1) apply both categories of model composition techniques, and (2) detect and resolve inconsistencies in the output composed models. The techniques are investigated in 144 evolution scenarios, where 2304 compositions of elements of class diagrams were produced. The results suggest that: (1) the employed heuristic-based techniques require less effort to produce the intended model than the chosen specification-based technique, (2) the correctness of the output composed models generated by the techniques is not significantly different, and (3) the use of manual heuristics for model composition outperforms their automated counterparts.


Model composition effort empirical studies effort measurement 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kleinner Farias
    • 1
  • Alessandro Garcia
    • 1
  • Jon Whittle
    • 2
  • Christina Chavez
    • 3
  • Carlos Lucena
    • 1
  1. 1.OPUS Research Group/LES, Informatics DepartmentPUC-RioBrazil
  2. 2.School of Computing and CommunicationsLancaster UniversityUK
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceFederal University of BahiaBrazil

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