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A behavior-driven approach for specifying and testing user requirements in interactive systems

Thiago Rocha Silva 1
1 IRIT-ICS - Interactive Critical Systems
IRIT - Institut de recherche en informatique de Toulouse
Abstract : In a user-centered design process, artifacts evolve in iterative cycles until they meet user requirements and then become the final product. Every cycle gives the opportunity to revise the design and to introduce new requirements which might affect the artifacts that have been set in former development phases. Keeping the consistency of requirements in such artifacts along the development process is a cumbersome and time-consuming activity, especially if it is done manually. Nowadays, some software development frameworks implement Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) and User Stories as a means of automating the test of interactive systems under construction. Automated testing helps to simulate user's actions on the user interface and therefore check if the system behaves properly and in accordance with the user requirements. However, current tools supporting BDD requires that tests should be written using low-level events and components that only exist when the system is already implemented. As a consequence of such low-level of abstraction, BDD tests can hardly be reused with more abstract artifacts. In order to prevent that tests should be written to every type of artifact, we have investigated the use of ontologies for specifying both requirements and tests once, and then run tests on all artifacts sharing the ontological concepts. The resultant behavior-based ontology we propose herein is therefore aimed at raising the abstraction level while supporting test automation on multiple artifacts. This thesis presents this ontology and an approach based on BDD and User Stories to support the specification and the automated assessment of user requirements on software artifacts along the development process of interactive systems. Two case studies are also presented to validate our approach. The first case study evaluates the understandability of User Stories specifications by a team of Product Owners (POs) from the department in charge of business trips in our institute. With the help of this first case study, we designed a second one to demonstrate how User Stories written using our ontology can be used to assess functional requirements expressed in different artifacts, such as task models, user interface (UI) prototypes, and full-fledged UIs. The results have shown that our approach is able to identify even fine-grained inconsistencies in the mentioned artifacts, allowing establishing a reliable compatibility among different user interface design artifacts.
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Thiago Rocha Silva. A behavior-driven approach for specifying and testing user requirements in interactive systems. Artificial Intelligence [cs.AI]. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018TOU30075⟩. ⟨tel-02129355⟩

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