FIPA Design Process Documentation and Fragmentation

It is currently recognised in both mainstream Software Engineering and Agent-Oriented Software Engineering that there is no one-size-fit-all methodology or process. One solution to overcome this problem is proposed by the Situational Method Engineering (SME) paradigm. It consists in providing means for constructing ad-hoc software engineering processes following an approach based on the reuse of portions of existing design processes, the so called method fragments, stored in a repository called method base. One problem raised by this sort of approaches is to describe or document processes and fragments and to choose among existing fragments in order to build a new process.

The efforts of the FIPA Design Process Documentation and Fragmentation (FIPA-DPDF) Working Group aim at providing the possibility of representing design processes and method fragments through the use of  standardised templates thus allowing the creation of sharable repositories and enabling an easier composition of new design processes.

Even if the idea of the standard templates for documenting processes and fragments was born in the context of the multi-agent systems (MAS) design processes, the templates will be conceived without considering any particular process or methodology, and this should guarantee that all processes and fragments can be documented using the proposed templates. 

The use of the templates will be easy for any software engineer as it relies on very few previous assumptions, like the suggested notation, the OMG’s standard Software Process Engineering Metamodel (SPEM) with a few extensions.