Descriptive Process Model  

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Descriptive Process Model


Reference /Scacchi, 2001/ Process Models in Software Engineering
A descriptive model describes the history of how a particular software system was developed. Descriptive models may be used as the basis for understanding and improving software development process, or for building empirically grounded prescriptive models.
Descriptive lifecycle models, characterize how particular software systems are actually developed in specific settings. As such, they are less common and more difficult to articulate for an obvious reason: one must observe or collect data throughout the life cycle of a software system, a period of elapsed time often measured in years. Also, descriptive models are specific for the system observed and only generalized through systematic comparative analysis. Therefore, it suggests the prescriptive software life cycle models will dominate attention until a sufficient base of observational data is available to articulate empirically grounded descriptive lifecycle models.
Reference /Wang Y., 2000/ Software Engineering Processes: Principles and Applications
A descriptive process model is a model that describes "what to do" according to a certain software process system.
Reference /Lonchamp, 1993/ A Structured Conceptual and Terminological Framework for Software Process Engineering
People dealing with software processes may adopt a descriptive attitude of mind. They study the existing processes to answer the question "how software is (or has been) actually developed?

They may aim at:

  • expressing the actual or desired process is just described more or less formally for understanding, communication, education, reuse, or standardization.
  • analysing the description of the actual or desired process is studied through more or less formal techniques (such as validation, e.g. simulation, or property verification) For a deeper understanding, comparisons, improvement, impact analysis, or forecasting.
Reference /Madhavji, 1991/ The process cycle
A starting point for process improvement is to describe the current process as used in software development. The process model inherent in this description is called a descriptive model.

Related terms in the glossary

Preceptive Process Model
Prescriptive Process Model
Proscriptive Process Model
Process Definition (Prescription)
Process Description
Process Model

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