Early identification of problem interactions: A tool-supported approach

Tun, Thein Than; Yu, Yijun; Laney, Robin and Nuseibeh, Bashar (2009). Early identification of problem interactions: A tool-supported approach. In: Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality, 15th International Working Conference (Glinz, Martin and Heymans, Patrick eds.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer Verlag, Germany, pp. 74–88.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-02050-6


The principle of "divide and conquer" suggests that complex software problems should be decomposed into simpler problems, and those problems should be solved before considering how they can be composed. The eventual composition may fail if solutions to simpler problems interact in unexpected ways. However, early identification of concrete scenarios where interactions happen remains an outstanding issue. In this paper, we propose that logical abduction can be used to efficiently identify all possible failure scenarios when the composition cannot be achieved fully. We present an tool-supported framework that (i) provides a simple diagramming editor for drawing problem diagrams and describing them using the Event Calculus, (ii) structures the Event Calculus formulae of individual problem diagrams for the abduction procedure, (iii) communicates with an off-the-shelf abductive reasoner in the background and relates the results of the abduction procedure to the problem diagrams. With this tool, it becomes possible to highlight at an early stage, problem diagrams that will interact when composed together. The proposed theory and the tool framework are illustrated with an interaction problem from the smart home application.

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