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Engineering annotations for supporting the design process of interactive systems: A model-based approach and a tool suite

Jean-Luc Hak 1, 2
2 IRIT-ICS - Interactive Critical Systems
IRIT - Institut de recherche en informatique de Toulouse
Abstract : During the development process of an interactive system, different actors collaborate in the activities of this process and several design choices are made to converge to a solution that meets both user needs and requirements. To achieve this solution, many artifacts are produced, used and reviewed by the various stakeholders of the process. In order to communicate on particular points of an artifact, to collaborate in its elaboration or simply to add additional information, annotations can be created on these artifacts. Depending on the annotations and their contents, some artefacts may subsequently evolve, thus reflecting the influence of annotations on these artifacts and therefore reflecting their influence on the project. Thus, it is possible to consider annotations as a versatile tool playing a significant role in the design process.Nevertheless, several issues can be identified regarding the integration of annotations within the activities of the design process of interactive systems. First, the role of annotations is not clearly defined in the different design processes. While there is a widespread and a ubiquitous use of annotations in the design of interactive systems, current design processes do not address how to relate them to the tasks to be performed and the artifacts to be produced. Secondly, an annotation can be related to several artifacts as each models are giving a complementary representation of the interactive system. However, the multiplicity of artifact types and tools for creating these artifacts is a problem since each tool that provide features for annotations implements their own annotation model. These models are usually restricted to one type of artifact: the one handled by the tool. This implies that the annotations produced within a project are scattered by sets and that each these annotation set is closed to a single type of artifact.This PhD thesis is based on an analysis of annotations and their uses as well as on the W3C “Web Annotation Data Model” recommendation to propose an annotation model and an architecture to centralize the annotations of a project. This architecture also allows to include the annotations support on various tools and type of artifacts. This contribution has been applied on three different case studies to explore the possible integrations of annotations within a design process. The first case study demonstrates the integration and customization of annotations within a prototyping tool. The second case study focuses on the presentation of a tool allowing to consult in a single view all the annotations created on different artefacts and on different models of a project. The third case study illustrates an integration of annotations into an industrial environment that includes existing tools and an existing design process.Thus, these contributions around annotations are used as a basis for the realization of complementary works such as the use of annotations to structure and connect the different models of an interactive system, the use of annotations as a resource for the decisions making processes, and the use of annotations to study the traceability of the evolution of an interactive system. Indeed, by linking the artifacts to each other using annotations and justifying the choice of designs with annotations, it would be possible to ensure the traceability of the different design choices made during a project as well as the traceability of the impact of these different choices on the artifacts.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 3:01:42 PM
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Jean-Luc Hak. Engineering annotations for supporting the design process of interactive systems: A model-based approach and a tool suite. Computer Science [cs]. Université Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier (UT3 Paul Sabatier), 2019. English. ⟨tel-02268176⟩

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