An ontology-based approach for complex software systems evolution planning

On the example of B2B  systems 

Yulia Madorskaya

St.-Petersburg State Polytechnic University, Department of Central Research Institute of Robotics and Technical Cybernetics


B2B systems are a striking example of a complex multicomponent system, evolutionary maintenance of which the most dramatically illustrates the problems of coordinated changes. The foundation for coordinated modifications is reliable planning. This paper describes the key problems of evolution planning of complex software systems and proposes a comprehensive ontology-based conception which is addressed to the entire set of the problems. This conception defines design principles and requirements to all components of the solution including metaontology for the traceability model. The solution satisfying these requirements have been developed, tested in projects including B2B system development and presented in this paper.


B2B systems are automated systems, designed for integration of industrial clusters. They are important tools for enhancing the competitiveness of each enterprise in the cluster and the cluster as a whole.

Desired improvements can be achieved in the case that B2B system evolves in time according to the needs of enterprises in the cluster. Simultaneously, the enterprises in the cluster must rapidly adapt their processes to comply with decisions taken at the level of the integrating system. Coordinated modifications of the business processes and corresponding B2B functions are crucial to the viability of the cluster.

The foundation for coordinated modifications is reliable planning. At the same time, in the conditions of growth of software systems complexity, planning is carried out with significant inaccuracy. This is well known and clearly confirmed by the Standish CHAOS reports (for example [3]), which show that in the planned terms holds less than 40% of all projects. To understand what specifically prevents the reliable planning it is necessary to carry out in-depth study of modifications planning process and to see what lies behind the definition of effort and duration during the plan preparation.

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