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Using i* and UML for Blockchain Oriented Software Engineering: Strengths, Weaknesses, Lacks and Complementarity

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

New blockchain-based projects do appear every day. The technology has indeed been popularized by cryptocurrencies but is now gaining interest in various domains and new types of applications are evaluated constantly. Understanding the impact of blockchain adoption on the organization and the internals of blockchain-related behavior nevertheless remains a challenge for managers but also for IT professionals. This article studies how two existing organizational and software modeling languages can be fit to document a blockchain development project in Supply Chain Management (SCM) at its earliest stages. These two frameworks are i* on the one side and the Unified Modeling Language (UML) use case and sequence diagrams on the other side. The real life project used as a case study in this application is ‘Farm-to-Fork’ where a blockchain solution for the Supply Chain (SC) of farm animals is developed. The application of the frameworks is intended to identify their strengths and weaknesses. An extension of i* is proposed to deal with blockchain privacy issues as well as laws and norms. We finally point to the complementarity of i* and UML use case and sequence diagrams in a Blockchain-Oriented Software Engineering (BOSE) context. The i* framework indeed supports early requirements to understand the impact of the project on stakeholders while UML use case and sequence diagrams support the late requirements and the design by depicting the use of blockchain and some of its behavioral mechanisms.
Journal: Complex Systems Informatics and Modeling Quarterly
Issue: 26
Pages: 26 - 45
Publication year:2021