Timestamp-based Consistency Checking of Collaboratively Developed Engineering Artifacts
Engineering projects typically involve many engineers who work concurrently on a multitude of engineering artifacts such as requirements, models, code, or even non-software artifacts, e.g., drawings or computations. These projects require tight collaboration within and across engineering disciplines in order to guarantee a consistent engineering process. Existing collaborative engineering tools provide limited functionality in this regard. Inconsistencies among engineering artifacts are currently identified only after all involved engineers merge their artifacts. This is problematic because considerable amount of time may elapse between these merges and engineers inadvertently may spend considerable time working under wrong/changed assumptions. This leads to more inconsistencies. This paper proposes an approach for checking the consistency of the engineers’ artifacts against the continuously evolving, timestamped version history of a public artifact storage. This avoids costly reworks as engineers understand the implications of their work long before they merge their engineering artifacts. To evaluate our work, we conducted an empirical study utilizing the proposed approach.