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Towards a Formalization of a Framework to Express and Reason about Software Engineering Methods

Miguel Morales-Trujillo, Hanna Oktaba, Francisco Hernández-Quiroz, Boris Escalante-Ramírez


Software Engineering is considered a knowledge-intensive discipline, in which knowledge creation, collection and sharing is an uninterrupted process. However, a large part of this knowledge exists in a tacit form and depends on practitioners. Therefore defining a mechanism to transform tacit knowledge into explicit one is of upmost importance. This paper presents a formalization approach to represent Software Engineering practitioners' tacit knowledge, which is related to their ways of working, as a set of explicit statements. The formalization is based on KUALI-BEH, which is a normative kernel extension of ESSENCE formal specification, and consists of three parts: an ontology to share a common representation of knowledge as a set of concepts; a Situational Method Engineering based algebra that represents well-defined method properties and operations; and a knowledge representation of the ontology and algebra using Description Logics. The main objectives of this initial formalization are to improve communication among humans and machines, computational inference and reuse of knowledge.

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