Goal and Agent Modelling Support for Software Engineering
Communications and Information Technology Ontario (CITO)
Principal Investigator: Prof. Eric Yu
Industry Partner: Mitel Corp.
This project aims to use goal and agent modelling techniques to improve
the speed, quality, traceability and accountability of software engineering
activities, and hence the flexibility and robustness of the software.
These novel mechanisms for modelling software (during development and throughout
their lifetime of execution and evolution) are needed in today’s environment
of constant and rapid change, open networked systems, and high expectation
for reliability and robustness.
Goals (and other intentional modelling constructs such as belief, ability,
commitment, etc.) will be used to explicitly relate the many steps and
(intermediate) products in software engineering from business and product
objectives and plans to requirements, architecture, design, to run-time
execution. Goals and methods for achieving goals are used to help
generate and analyze the space of alternatives and to support decision-making
throughout. Non-functional qualities (such as time-to-market, flexibility,
openness, performance, robustness, security, maintainability, evolvability,
etc.) and their interactions are dealt with systematically using the concept
of softgoals [MCY99].
Agent modelling constructs (e.g., roles, positions, and other social actor
concepts) will be used to encapsulate complexity in large-scale systems.
Agents have autonomy (local decision-making abilities based on their goals,
know-how, and resources) but depend on each other. Complex software
systems are modelled and analyzed as networks of autonomous but inter-dependent
agents during development and at run-time.
The project will build on techniques and experiences from
previous CITO/ITRC projects which developed goal and agent modelling at
the business process level and at the software architecture level.
This project will extend the techniques to link across diverse software
engineering activities, with emphasis on the use of goal and agent techniques
in conjunction with other existing or emerging software engineering techniques.
The investigations will be conducted in industrial settings on actual development
projects with the industrial partner.
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