An Experimental Investigation of UML Modeling Conventions

  • Christian F. J. Lange
  • Bart DuBois
  • Michel R. V. Chaudron
  • Serge Demeyer
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4199)


Modelers tend to exploit the various degrees of freedom provided by the UML. The lack of uniformity and the large amount of defects contained in UML models result in miscommunication between different readers. To prevent these problems we propose modeling conventions, analogue to coding conventions for programming. This work reports on a controlled experiment to explore the effect of modeling conventions on defect density and modeling effort. 106 masters’ students participated over a six-weeks period. Our results indicate that decreased defect density is attainable at the cost of increased effort when using modeling conventions, and moreover, that this trade-off is increased if tool-support is provided. Additionally we report observations on the subjects’ adherence to and attitude towards modeling conventions. Our observations indicate that efficient integration of convention support in the modeling process, e.g. through training and seamless tool integration, forms a promising direction towards preventing defects.


Defect Density Class Diagram Modeling Convention IEEE International Workshop IEEE Software 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian F. J. Lange
    • 1
  • Bart DuBois
    • 2
  • Michel R. V. Chaudron
    • 1
  • Serge Demeyer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceTechnische Universiteit EindhovenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Lab On REengineering (LORE)University of AntwerpBelgium

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