The virtue of quality is not itself a subject; it depends on a subject. In the software engineering field, quality means good software products that meet customer expectations, constraints, and requirements. Despite the numerous approaches, methods, descriptive models, and tools, that have been developed, a level of consensus has been reached by software practitioners. However, in the model-driven engineering (MDE) field, which has emerged from software engineering paradigms, quality continues to be a great challenge since the subject is not fully defined. The use of models alone is not enough to manage all of the quality issues at the modeling language level. In this work, we present the current state and some relevant considerations regarding quality in MDE, by identifying current categories in quality conception and by highlighting quality issues in real applications of the model-driven initiatives. We identified 16 categories in the definition of quality in MDE. From this identification, by applying an adaptive sampling approach, we discovered the five most influential authors for the works that propose definitions of quality. These include (in order): the OMG standards (e.g., MDA, UML, MOF, OCL, SysML), the ISO standards for software quality models (e.g., 9126 and 25,000), Krogstie, Lindland, and Moody. We also discovered families of works about quality, i.e., works that belong to the same author or topic. Seventy-three works were found with evidence of the mismatch between the academic/research field of quality evaluation of modeling languages and actual MDE practice in industry. We demonstrate that this field does not currently solve quality issues reported in industrial scenarios. The evidence of the mismatch was grouped in eight categories, four for academic/research evidence and four for industrial reports. These categories were detected based on the scope proposed in each one of the academic/research works and from the questions and issues raised by real practitioners. We then proposed a scenario to illustrate quality issues in a real information system project in which multiple modeling languages were used. For the evaluation of the quality of this MDE scenario, we chose one of the most cited and influential quality frameworks; it was detected from the information obtained in the identification of the categories about quality definition for MDE. We demonstrated that the selected framework falls short in addressing the quality issues. Finally, based on the findings, we derive eight challenges for quality evaluation in MDE projects that current quality initiatives do not address sufficiently.
Software Quality Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 19, 2016
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