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To UML or not to UML? – Empirical Study on the Approachability of Software Architecture Diagrams

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ASWEC 2015 24th Australasian Software Engineering Conference (ASWEC ' 15 Vol. II)
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-3796-0
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventAustralasian Software Engineering Conference -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …


ConferenceAustralasian Software Engineering Conference
Period1/01/00 → …


Software architecture design is key to building systems that meet quality demands. Choosing the appropriate way to model the architecture ensures it is rightly understood by everyone involved. UML diagrams are commonly used in software engineering but free-form diagrams are almost as common. In this paper, we study the factors influencing the approachability of diagrams, and particularly whether there is a difference in the approachability between UML and non-UML diagrams and colored and black & white di- agrams. Our results show that colors do not necessarily increase the approachability of diagrams and free-form di- agrams can suffer from ambiguousness. We conclude that simplicity and correctness are key factors when modeling architectures.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland