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Comprehensibility of UML-B - A Series of Controlled Experiments

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This paper summarises two controlled experiments conducted on a model that integrates the use of semi-formal notation, the Unified Modelling Language (UML) and a formal notation, B. The experiments assessed the comprehensibility of the model, namely UML-B. The first experiment compared the comprehensibility of a UML-B model and a B model. In the second experiment, the model was compared with an Event-B model, a new generation of B. The experiments assessed the ability of the model to present information and to promote problem domain understanding. The measurement focused on the efficiency in performing the comprehension tasks. The experiments employed a cross-over design and were conducted on third-year and masters students. The results suggest that the integration of semi-formal and formal notations expedites the subjects’ comprehension tasks with accuracy even with limited hours of training.

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