An Experimental Comparison of Er and Uml Class Diagrams for Data Modelling

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By hklkl
Words 16567
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Empir Software Eng (2010) 15:455–492 DOI 10.1007/s10664-009-9127-7

An experimental comparison of ER and UML class diagrams for data modelling
Andrea De Lucia · Carmine Gravino · Rocco Oliveto · Genoveffa Tortora

Published online: 11 December 2009 © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009 Editor: Erik Arisholm

Abstract We present the results of three sets of controlled experiments aimed at analysing whether UML class diagrams are more comprehensible than ER diagrams during data models maintenance. In particular, we considered the support given by the two notations in the comprehension and interpretation of data models, comprehension of the change to perform to meet a change request, and detection of defects contained in a data model. The experiments involved university students with different levels of ability and experience. The results demonstrate that using UML class diagrams subjects achieved better comprehension levels. With regard to the support given by the two notations during maintenance activities the results demonstrate that the two notations give the same support, while in general UML class diagrams provide a better support with respect to ER diagrams during verification activities. Keywords Controlled experiments · Entity-relation diagrams · UML class diagrams · Design notations · Comprehension · Maintenance · Verification

The work described in this paper is supported by the project METAMORPHOS (MEthods and Tools for migrAting software systeMs towards web and service Oriented aRchitectures: exPerimental evaluation, usability, and tecHnOlogy tranSfer), funded by MiUR (Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca) under grant PRIN-2006-2006098097. A. De Lucia · C. Gravino · R. Oliveto (B · G. Tortora ) Department of Mathematics and Informatics, University of Salerno, via Ponte don Melillo, 84084 Fisciano, Salerno, Italy e-mail: roliveto@unisa.it…...

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