Experiences developing a requirements language based on the psychological framework activity theory

Geri Georg, Lucy Troup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


We have developed a Domain Specific Language (DSL) for requirements elicitation that is based on the psychological framework of Activity Theory (AT). AT emphasizes the social context in which human activity takes place, and thus is useful to systematically develop models of social contexts, validate these contexts with stakeholders, and identify potential sources of system evolution based on identified changing social constraints. AT holds potential
as a requirements elicitation tool for complex human interactive systems with a diverse set of stakeholders that do not have common goals. Our adaptation of AT for use in software engineering has evolved over time as we have
used it in a case study and developed limited tools that can support designers both during initial system design and during system evolution. Here we describe how the USE tool was applied to develop the DSL and how we have
used this tool to create instances of AT models and analyze them for structural constraint inconsistencies. We identify some of the issues encountered in this process and some of the remaining open issues regarding a USE model as an
implementation of our DSL.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventObject Constraint Language 2013: MODELS 2013 OCL Workshop - Miami, United States
Duration: 30 Sep 2013 → …


  • activity theory
  • DSL
  • USE tool
  • modeling social behavior


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