Design-Code Traceability for Object Oriented Systems

Abstract

Traceability is a key issue to ensure consistency among software artifacts of subsequent phases of the development cycle. However, few works have so far addressed the theme of tracing object oriented (OO) design into its implementation and evolving it.

This paper presents an approach to checking the compliance of OO design with respect to source code and support its evolution. The process works on design artifacts expressed in the OMT (Object Modeling Technique) notation and accepts C++ source code. It recovers an ``as is'' design from the code, compares recovered design with the actual design and helps the user to deal with inconsistencies.

The recovery process exploits the edit distance computation and the maximum match algorithm to determine traceability links between design and code. The output is a similarity measure associated to design-code class pairs, which can be classified as matched and unmatched by means of a maximum likelihood threshold. A graphic display of the design with different green levels associated to different levels of match and red for the unmatched classes, is provided as a support to update the design and improve its traceability to the code.