Efficient Modelling and Reasoning with Constrained Goal Models

PhD Candidate Nguyen Chi Mai

April 19, 2017
Versione stampabile

Time: April 19, 2017, h. 03:00 pm
Location: Room Ofek, Polo scientifico e tecnologico “Fabio Ferrari”, Building Povo 1 - Povo (Trento)

PhD Candidate

Dr. Nguyen Chi Mai

Abstract of Dissertation

Goal models have been widely used in Computer Science to represent software requirements, business objectives, and design qualities. Existing goal modelling techniques, however, have shown limitations of expressiveness and/or tractability in coping with complex real-world problems. In this work, we exploit advances in automated reasoning technologies, notably Satisfiability and Optimization Modulo Theories (SMT/OMT), and we propose and formalize:

  • an extended modelling language for goals, namely the Constrained Goal Model (CGM), which makes explicit the notion of goal refinements and of domain as- sumptions, allows for expressing preferences between goals and refinements, and allows for associating numerical attributes to goals and refinements for defining constraints and optimization goals over multiple bjective functions, refinements and their numerical attributes;
  • a novel set of automated reasoning functionalities over CGMs, allowing for au- tomatically generating suitable realization of input CGMs, under user-specified assumptions and constraints, that also maximize preferences and optimize given objective functions.

We are also interested in supporting software evolution caused by changing require- ments and/or changes in the operational environment of a software system. For example, users of a system may want new functionalities or performance enhancements to cope with growing user population (requirements evolution). Alternatively, vendors of a sys- tem may want to minimize costs in implementing requirements changes (evolution requirements).

We propose to use CGMs to represent the requirements of a system and capture requirements changes in terms of incremental operations on a goal model. Evolution requirements are then represented as optimization goals that minimize implementation costs or customer value. We can then exploit reasoning techniques to derive optimal new specifications for an evolving software system.
We have implemented these modelling and reasoning functionalities in a tool, named CGM-Tool, using the OMT solver OptiMathSAT as automated reasoning backend. Moreover, we have conducted an experimental evaluation on large CGMs to support the claim that our proposal scales well for goal models with thousands of elements. To assess our framework usability, we have employed a user-oriented evaluation using enquiry evaluation method.