Modelling of Non-functional Properties in UML

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Huszerl Gábor Tamás
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

Scaling is a significant part of designing technological systems, because they have to satisfy the required functions with a given capacity, performance, speed, reliability, safety etc. It is an important task of an engineering plan to support designing, calculating and verifying the non-functional requirements of the system. This classical engineering approach has become more popular in designing information systems.

Nowadays, using UML has become more and more dominant in designing information systems. Models (plans) being made in this language - after a more or less careful verifying - become the base of implementation. Originally UML does not support describing non-functional properties, hindering the extensive engineering.

Using built-in extension capabilities of UML new dialects(profiles) are defined to improve the language to be capable to deal with these faults. In fact, up to now standardized profiles are hard to use in engineering practice, because for example the description of composite or recurring non-functional properties in models are only weakly supported.

Non-functional properties describe the qualitative properties of a system. Not satisfying the qualitative requirements usually implies that the system is not able to supply its required functional properties - which specify the services and features of the system - with a given quality.

The aim of this thesis is to develop a method based on the profiles of MARTE to support the description of non-functional properties, and to demonstrate its applicability based on the requirement specification of a European research project, called SAFEDMI. The resulting model of the requirement specification is far from being perfect due to certain - mostly qualitative - requirements unable to be visualized with MARTE.

To create a model, we need a modelling tool to make models able to be processed with automatic mechanisms. Nowadays there are a great variety of modelling tools capable of creating valid UML models. Some of these are free to download, others are more demanding industrial projects. In my thesis I used the free-to-download Papyrus and the IBM Rational Software Architect (RSA) to create my models. While designing models, we should consider the capabilities of the modelling tool, because certain tools does not support every little part of UML (especially profiling). In case of RSA the reachability of libraries required to define profiles are not fit.

In my thesis I have developed a method to support the description of composite and recurring qualitative properties with MARTE's solution of modelling non-functional properties and showed the usability of RSA using the profiles of MARTE to create models.


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