Use Case Patterns
Call For Participation

What Are We About?
Use cases are a popular method of requirements modeling. They provide a mechanism for determining system boundaries, as well as a user-oriented requirements model. However, creating meaningful use cases is difficult. Practitioners have reported problems in several areas of use case development, notably: how to begin, how to decide how much detail belongs in a use case, and how to organize use cases.

While several different processes and templates exist for developing and documenting use cases, they may still be insufficient because each development organization is different. Each organization targets a different industry and product suite, each uses different processes, and each has its own culture. In short, different forces are at work. Patterns provide a mechanism for capturing people's experiences and documenting their solutions in a manner that is adaptable to different situations by considering the forces involved. Thus they provide one solution to the problem of describing generic methods for capturing use cases. When combined into a language, they present a unified solution to more complex problems.

Participants in a workshop at OOPSLA 98 established the framework for a use case pattern language by categorizing the forces the participants had observed or encountered developing use cases. The group felt that this approach provides a useful starting point for pattern mining. Several members of the workshop have continued to pursue this topic and have developed what they believe to be the start of a use case pattern language.

The goal of this workshop is to further this effort by utilizing these findings to define one or more pattern languages for developing, documenting or using Use Cases. Patterns submitted to the workshop may be included in a forthcoming book on Use Case patterns.

Attendance in the previous workshop is not required.

What Will We Do?
This workshop will have potential impact in a number of areas:
  • The development of an on-going interest group who can share ideas and work to the mutual benefit of all.
  • The development of a standard terminology or language for use case patterns and for use case concepts.
  • The exposition of core ideas required for the development of use cases.
  • A sharing of ideas and concepts about use case.
How Will We Do It?
The format of this Hot Topic might take a number of forms:
  • Open dialogue to frame the issues of primary interest.
  • Break out sessions to write new use case patterns or revise existing patterns.
  • Pattern writer's workshop for existing and new use case patterns.
  • Develop a common use case vocabulary.
  • planning activities beyond ChiliPLoP.

It is difficult to get too specific about the workshop plan. No doubt, therefore that the following plan will not survive contact with the enemy, as the saying goes! For what its worth, I propose the following outline structure:

Pre-Workshop Preparation
  • Obtain a copy of the existing use case patterns by submitting an e-mail to Steve Adolph. Apologies that there is no website available at this time.
  • Review existing use case patterns, and submit comments.
  • Submit your candidate use case patterns.
Day 1
  • A short opening session to introduce everyone and to frame the goals of the workshop.
  • A couple of demonstrations of use case patterns.
  • Break-out sessions to work on use case patterns.
Day 2
  • Readers workshops of some of the use case patterns.
  • Break-out sessions to continue work on use case patterns.
Day 3
  • Workshop the materials developed during the preceding two days [this is the climax of the workshop].
  • An open forum to review the work and summarize what we have achieved.
Who Should Participate?
Anyone with an interest in use cases, requirements modeling and pattern languages. This includes both creators and users of use cases. I hope that a balance between industry and academia and between use cases and 'hard core' develop folks can be achieved.
What Are the Important Dates?

January 15th, 2000
Final date to submit your request to participate.

February 4th, 2000
We notify all applicants whether they have been accepted to participate or not. Workshop participants commence e-mail discussion to tailor the goals and activities of the workshop.

February 25, 2000
We will make all resources submitted by the participants for reading and discussion.
March 14-17, 2000
We gather at the Wickenburg Inn and (set out to) accomplish our goals!
How Do I Apply?
Submit a request to participate by e-mail to Steve Adolph by Saturday, January 15th, 2000. You may submit ASCII text, HTML, or a URL where we can find your submission. Your proposal should be three to five pages long and include a set of use case patterns, forces, or a position with respect to use case patterns.: If you are invited to participate, you will be expected to:
  • Participate in e-mail discussion prior to the workshop, as described above, to tailor the goals and activities of the workshop to the selected participants.
  • Prepare for the workshop through study and writing, as described above.
  • Come to ChiliPLoP prepared to participate actively and to help achieve the workshop goals!
How Do I Find Out More?
For more information, contact
Steve Adolph
WSA Consulting Inc.
P.O. Box 190
Britannia Beach
B.C. Canada
V0N 1J0

Note: PLoP is a trademark of The Hillside Group, Inc.