Empirically Evaluating the Effect of the Physics of Notations on Model Construction
Source of Publication
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
In 2009, Moody introduced nine principles for evaluating, improving and designing cognitively effective notations called the 'Physics of Notations'  motivating many research works ever since, being cited more than 1250 times at the time of writing this paper. Many research works have adopted the nine principles of the Physics of Notations to improve existing notations or devise new notations. Modeling is a two-step process that has the goal of communicating a mental concept by a model constructor (step one) to a model reader (step two). A subset of the research works utilizing the Physics of Notations have empirically validated the cognitive effectiveness of the new notations by their readers. However, there lacks any empirical evidence that investigates the effect of using Physics of Notations-enabled notations in model construction. This is a serious matter to be investigated as naturally model construction preludes model comprehension. Poorly constructed models can at best be poorly comprehended by its readers having dire consequences in downstream development activities. This paper reports on three different experiments that use software engineering professionals as subjects. The experiments investigate the effect of using notations that adhere to the Physics if Notations principles on model construction efforts. The results do not indicate an outright advantage for model constructors who utilize Physics of Notations-enabled notations in comparison to using their original versions of these notations.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
feature diagrams, misuse case diagrams, Physics of notations, subject-based experiment, UML statechart diagrams
El-Attar, Mohamed, "Empirically Evaluating the Effect of the Physics of Notations on Model Construction" (2022). All Works. 5251.
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