Automated Process-Centric Quality Constraints Checking for Quality Assurance in Safety-critical Systems
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This abstract summarizes the work published as an ICSE 2021 research track paper ''Supporting Quality Assurance with Automated Process-Centric Quality Constraints Checking'' available at https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSE43902.2021.00118 . We propose an approach that, on the one hand, assists in checking compliance with traceability requirements but, on the other hand, allows engineers to temporarily deviate from the prescribed software engineering process. Through the observation of developer activities in the form of changes to engineering artifacts in tools such as Jira or Jama, we build up a representation of the ongoing process progress. This tracking in the background does not force the software developer to work only on activities as defined in a process description. At the same time, it enables us to provide timely feedback to the developer on whether tasks fulfill all QA criteria. This approach lifts the burden off QA engineers in manually checking QA constraints, often a time-consuming, tedious, and error-prone task where feedback reaches developers usually very late. We evaluate our approach by applying it to two different case studies; one open source community system and a safety-critical system in the air-traffic control domain. Results from the analysis show that trace links are often corrected or completed after the fact and thus timely and automated constraint checking support has significant potential on reducing rework.