Performance requirements verification during software systems development
AlAbdullatif, Abdullatif M.
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Requirements verification refers to the assurance that the implemented system reflects the specified requirements. Requirement verification is a process that continues through the life cycle of the software system. When the software crisis hit in 1960, a great deal of attention was placed on the verification of functional requirements, which were considered to be of crucial importance. Over the last decade, researchers have addressed the importance of integrating non-functional requirement in the verification process. An important non-functional requirement for software is performance. Performance requirement verification is known as Software Performance Evaluation. This thesis will look at performance evaluation of software systems. The performance evaluation of software systems is a hugely valuable task, especially in the early stages of a software project development. Many methods for integrating performance analysis into the software development process have been proposed. These methodologies work by utilising the software architectural models known in the software engineering field by transforming these into performance models, which can be analysed to gain the expected performance characteristics of the projected system. This thesis aims to bridge the knowledge gap between performance and software engineering domains by introducing semi-automated transformation methodologies. These are designed to be generic in order for them to be integrated into any software engineering development process. The goal of these methodologies is to provide performance related design guidance during the system development. This thesis introduces two model transformation methodologies. These are the improved state marking methodology and the UML-EQN methodology. It will also introduce the UML-JMT tool which was built to realise the UML-EQN methodology. With the help of automatic design models to performance model algorithms introduced in the UML-EQN methodology, a software engineer with basic knowledge of performance modelling paradigm can conduct a performance study on a software system design. This was proved in a qualitative study where the methodology and the tool deploying this methodology were tested by software engineers with varying levels of background, experience and from different sectors of the software development industry. The study results showed an acceptance for this methodology and the UML-JMT tool. As performance verification is a part of any software engineering methodology, we have to define frame works that would deploy performance requirements validation in the context of software engineering. Agile development paradigm was the result of changes in the overall environment of the IT and business worlds. These techniques are based on iterative development, where requirements, designs and developed programmes evolve continually. At present, the majority of literature discussing the role of requirements engineering in agile development processes seems to indicate that non-functional requirements verification is an unchartered territory. CPASA (Continuous Performance Assessment of Software Architecture) was designed to work in software projects where the performance can be affected by changes in the requirements and matches the main practices of agile modelling and development. The UML-JMT tool was designed to deploy the CPASA Performance evaluation tests.