Benefits of supplementing use case narratives with activity diagrams - An exploratory study

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

11 Scopus Citations
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  • Narasimha Bolloju
  • Sherry X.Y. Sun

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2182-2191
Journal / PublicationJournal of Systems and Software
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


Use case narratives modeling the complex functionality of a given system often extend for several pages due to the need to include numerous alternative scenario specifications. In such situations, it is difficult to ensure the completeness and validity of the process logic embedded in such lengthy text narratives. This exploratory study investigates the benefits of supplementing each complex and lengthy use case narrative with an activity diagram for analysts and clients during requirements gathering and analysis. Our findings indicate that the process logic in corresponding activity diagrams is more complete and offers a greater degree of validity than that used in use case narratives. In addition, the quality of the process logic in these artifacts is not negatively affected by a use case narrative's length or complexity when they are used together to capture system requirements. Our research provides empirical evidence of beneficial improvements in the quality of these widely used artifacts that subsequently help eliminate or minimize inconsistencies among the requirements specified in different artifacts. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Activity diagrams, Process logic, Quality improvement, Unified Modeling Language, Use case narratives