June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Software Engineering Constituent Committee
22.1558.1 - 22.1558.14
UMLint: Identifying Defects in UML Diagrams We present UMLint, a tool for detecting defects in Uniﬁed Modeling Lan-guage (UML) diagrams. This tool is designed to improve object-oriented modelsdeveloped by students. At many institutions, students use professional tools suchas IBM Rational Rose to learn to create models. However, such tools are neces-sarily ﬂexible, supporting a wide range of processes and standards. As a conse-quence, there are few restrictions on the usage of UML elements. This ﬂexibilityis appropriate for industry, but suboptimal for students. It results in little directfeedback helping students to learn standard modeling practices. Instead, studentsmust rely on feedback from instructors and graders. Grading UML diagrams isdetailed work, so the turnaround time can often be measured in weeks. Studentsneed more immediate feedback. Following the tradition of the C programming utility lint, UMLint uses con-sistency checks to identify common errors. It currently checks over 30 issuesranging from missing documentation to reversed generalization relationships andincorrect applications of stereotypes. While these problems are more at the syn-tactic level, they do represent common problems we have identiﬁed while teachinghundreds of students over the past decade. The result is a tighter loop: studentscan use the tool to eliminate the simpler problems. Another result is to free theinstructor from checking such details. Students and instructors are then able tospend more effort examining deeper issues. UMLint has been implemented as a web service to allow use by the commu-nity at large. This paper presents the checks made by UMLint, suggests possiblefuture directions, and invites discussion about what standards should be expectedof models created by students.
Hasker, R. W., & Rowe, M. (2011, June), UMLint: Identifying Defects in UML Diagrams Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18929
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