Concept Location Modeling Through Business Process Views

R. Pérez-Castillo, M. Piattini and B. Weber

International Journal of Cooperative Information Systems 22(1), 2013.

Abstract. Concept location is a key activity during software modernization since it allows maintainers to exactly determine what pieces of source code support a specific concept. Real-world business processes and information systems providing operational IT support for respective processes can be misaligned as a consequence of uncontrolled maintenance over time. When concepts supported by an information system are getting outdated or misaligned, concept location becomes a time-consuming and error-prone task. Moreover, enterprise information systems (which implement business processes) embed significant business knowledge over time that is neither present nor documented anywhere else. To support the evolution of existing information systems, the embedded knowledge must first be retrieved and depicted in up-to-date business process models and then be mapped to the source code. This paper addresses this issue through a concept location approach that considers business activities as the key concept to be located and discovers different partial business process views for each piece of source code. Thus, the concept location problem becomes the problem of extracting such views. This approach follows model-driven development principles and an automatic model transformation is implemented to facilitate its adoption. Moreover, a case study involving two real-life information system demonstrates its feasibility.

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Barbara Weber