An Empirical Investigation to Understand the Difficulties and Challenges of Software Modellers When Using Modelling Tools
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Software modelling is a challenging and error-prone task. Existing Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) tools provide modellers with little aid, partly because tool providers have not investigated users' difficulties through empirical investigations such as field studies. This paper presents the results of a two-phase user study to identify the most prominent difficulties that users might face when developing UML Class and State-Machine diagrams using UML modelling tools. In the first phase, we identified the preliminary modelling challenges by analysing 30 Class and State-Machine models that were previously developed by students as a course assignment. The result of the first phase helped us design the second phase of our user study where we empirically investigated different aspects of using modelling tools: the tools' effectiveness, users' efficiency, users' satisfaction, the gap between users' expectation and experience, and users' cognitive difficulties. Our results suggest that users' greatest difficulties are in (1) remembering contextual information and (2) identifying and fixing errors and inconsistencies.
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Parsa Pourali, Joanne M. Atlee (2018). An Empirical Investigation to Understand the Difficulties and Challenges of Software Modellers When Using Modelling Tools. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15370