Test Based Architecture Reconstruction and Documentation

Software documentation is widely considered to be important but it is often neglected and not kept up-to date. Therefore the automation of creating and maintaining software documentation is an important direction in current research. By automating this process the invested time and resources used for manually editing software documentation can be reduced while also ensuring accuracy, consistency and up-to-dateness. This thesis aims at providing a valuable insight into how existing software development artefacts can be utilized to automatically generate architecture documentation. Therefore the current state of architecture documentation is analysed, covering architectural views and surveys on importance and usage of documentation artefacts. On this basis a concept is developed that includes which data can be extracted from tests and how this data can be suitably presented for the purpose of providing software architecture documentation. The concept is applied by implementing a web-application that for a given input of test cases automatically generates on the one hand a component diagram for the whole system and on the other sequence diagrams depicting the message flow during a specific test case. Additionally a traceability matrix is automatically derived, mapping test cases to covered use-cases, to easily identify untested use-cases. Besides the automatically generated visual models the tool also allows for the manual creation and maintenance of a use-case diagram. By applying the concept, this paper offers a valuable insight into a promising approach to automatically generate architecture documentation from existing software artefacts.

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Thesis for degree:



Florian Braun