Non-functional Requirements in Model-driven Development

I’d like to give a small shout-out to an ongoing international collaboration with around 20 researchers from 8 countries, initiated and coordinated by David Ameller, Xavier Franch, and Cristina Gómez Seoane at the UPC. The goal of the collaboration is to survey industrial practices on the integration of non-functional requirements (NFR) and model-driven development (MDD), called NFR4MDD. At the moment, we are completing the first round of surveys and are about to begin the data analysis.

The study is insofar interesting as both topics are multi-faceted ones with various, non-standardised interpretations; and the integration of both topics adds one additional level of complexity.  You might object now that MDD has been standardised by the OMG, but paper on which standards are printed has always been very patient. Over the last years, we could experience that the adoption of MDD practices is far from becoming mature or even everyday practice, even, or especially, in industrial sectors that are known to put strong emphasis on models in their development chain, such as in the automotive sector. The notion of NFRs is even more complex as it manifests itself in different (sometimes even contradicting) understandings and interpretations. The whole project has therefore strong relations (and relevance) to further currently ongoing research endeavours exploring how to deal with NFRs in context of seamless modelling (see, e.g., here) — a topic we are still at the very beginning to understand in research as well as in practice.

An overview of the collaboration and the study design can be found in the talk Xavier Franch gave at the previous RE conference (the corresponding short paper can be found here).

In case I could pique your curiosity in this topic, please visit our project website. Feedback or even active support and participation is highly appreciated! On that website, you will also find publications that emerge from the study.