A Heuristics-Based Approach to Reverse Engineering of Electronic Services

Costas Vassilakis, George Lepouras, Akrivi Katifori
Information and Software Technology, Volume 51, Issue 2 (February 2009), Pages 325-336

Since the beginning of the electronic era, public administrations and enterprises have been developing services, through which citizens, businesses and customers can conduct their transactions with the offering entity. Each electronic service contains a substantial amount of knowledge in the form help texts, rules of use or legislation excerpts, examples, validation checks etc. This knowledge has been extracted from domain experts when the services were developed, especially in the phases of analysis and design and was subsequently translated into software. In the latter format though, knowledge cannot be readily used in organizational processes, such as knowledge sharing and development of new services. In this paper, we present an approach for reverse engineering electronic services, in order to create knowledge items of high levels of abstraction, which can be used in knowledge sharing environments as well as in service development platforms. The proposed approach has been implemented and configured to generate artifacts for the SmartGov service development platform. Finally, an evaluation of the proposed approach is presented to assess its efficiency regarding various aspects of the reverse engineering process.

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