Taxonomy of Software Types. A Review of Information Systems and Software Engineering Literature

Seminararbeit, 2014

37 Seiten, Note: 1,3


Table of Contents

List of Figures ... iii

List of Tables ... iv

List of Abbreviations ... v

1 Introduction ... l
1.1 Goal of the Paper ... 2
1.2 Structure of the Paper ... 2

2 Research Methodology ... 3

3 Literature Review on Software Types in the Information Systems and Software Engineering Literature ... 5
3.1 Results of the Literature Search ... 5
3.2 Taxonomy Development in the Information Systems Field... 7
3.3 Taxonomies of Software Types in the Information Systems and Software Engineering Literature ... 9
3.3.1 Taxonomies of Software Types in General ... 12
3.3.2 Taxonomies of Specific Software Systems and Applications ... 15

4 Summary, Conclusion, Limitations and Future Work ... 23

Bibliography ... 26

Appendix A ... vi

List of Figures

Figure 1: Types of Software Engineering Tools based on SWEBOK... 15
Figure 2: Taxonomy of Collaborative AR Applications by Brockmann et al. (2013) ... 17
Figure 3: Taxonomy of Global lnfonnation Sharing Systems by Bright et al. (1992) ... 18

List of Tables

Table I: Key Word Lists ... 3
Table 2: Selected Search Results ... 6
Table 3: Overview ofTaxonomies ... 11
Table 4: Dimensions of a Mobile Application Taxonomy by Nickerson et al (2007) ... 21

List of Abbreviations

ACM Association for Computing Machinery
AR Augmented reality
GIS Geographical Information System
IS Information System
IT Information Technology
RQ Research question
SMSbIR Short Message Service based Information
SWEBOK Software Engineering Body of Knowledge

I Introduction

Nowadays, more and more problems in business and in everyday life are solved by software. While our grandparents know almost all the streets they live in by heart, our generation uses navigation software on mobile devices to get from one place to another place that is only a few kilometers away. 20 years ago, nobody could imagine such a digital world we are living in today. Probably nobody would believe that a supercomputer, IBM's intelligent Watson , would ever beat human beings in the Jeopardy television show.

With considerable improvements and innovations in technology in the recent years, the software industry has seen many changes and has made substantial advancements. New software development techniques, procedures and capabilities have evolved. Also, the variety of types of software products has further diversified and application areas of software both in business and in the private sector have immensely extpanded (Park et al., 2003). E.g., real-time data processing applications and software for big data analytics have gained high importance to face the trend of big data in today's business environment

The increasing number of sofware types, however, increases the research efforts of researchers as long as newly developed software types are not well classified. Appropriate taxonomies are important in research and practice since the structurization of objects helps researchers and practitioners understand similarities, differences and relationships within complex fields and consequently facililates research.

Grishaw (1996) formulated this problem very appropriately:

"The lack of a commonly agreed taxonomy raises the barriers to entry to the subject of information Systems and potentially leads to a waste of energies chasing the same thing by a different name. Many disciplines contribute to information systems - this is a healthy state. However, this leads to a tendency for each discipline to use its own framework as the basis of research depending on whether the study has, for example, an organisation, a technology, or a System perspective."

1.1 Goal of the Paper

The goal of this seminar paper is to provide a literature review on the current state of research on software product types in the information Systems and software engineering literature. In particular, this paper will provide an overview of currently developed software types by examining existing taxonomies and classification approaches in this field. Additionally, it will be analyzed according to which procedure taxonomies are developed and whether there exists a well-recognized taxonomy development procedure in information systems and software engineering.

The following research questions (RQ) are to be addressed by the literature review:

RQ1: What is the state of research on software product types in the Information Systems and Software Engineering literature?

RQ2: What different types of software are developed?

1.2 Structure of the Paper

Section 2 provides a detailed introduction to the research methodology that will be applied The research method for the literature review is mainly based on the Systematic Literature Review in Software Engineering approach by Kitchenham (2012). Section 3 addresses the two aforementioned research questions and thereby encompasses the main work of this paper. In particular, the literature search results will be presented (subsection 3.1), a taxonomy development procedure will be discussed and existing taxonomies in IS and software engineering literature will be analyzed. The final section 4 summarizes and concludes the work of this paper and comments on limitations and future research work.

2 Research Methodology

The research methodology that is applied to perform the literature review in this paper is mainly based on Kitchenham's approach of performing a Systematic Literature Review in Software Engineering (2012).

The first step is the identification of research, as suggested by Kitchenham (2012). This step comprises identifying a significant number of primary studies relating to the research questions. For the identification process, Kitchenham (2012) suggests a specific search process that will be pursued. in this paper. The two key word lists that will be used are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1: Key Word Lists

[Tables not shown in this preview]

The initial search for primary studies was performed by scanning databases with sophisticated search strings, including logical combinations of key words, such as "taxonomy+ 'information systems'". Further primary studies were found by searching reference lists from relevant primary studies, as proposed by Kitchenham (2012).

Following electronic databases were primarily used for the literature identification: IEEExplore, ACM Digital Library, Google scholar and Citeseer library.

Table 1 represents the final version of the key word lists. During the process of scanning databases for key word combinations, however, some initially chosen key words proved to be inadequate because they led to too many irrelevant search results (see. section 3.1 for detailed search results). Thus, the initial key word lists were iteratively adapted. E.g., "IT systems", was removed from key word list 2, whereas "software tools" was added to the key word list 2.

During the process of finding relevant literature, each study was checked for relevance based on the title and abstract and, in case, added to the literature list. A further investigation of the studies for their relevance was performed in a later step. The relevance of the studies was recorded in the literature list by ranking the studies' relevance from 1 (less relevant) to 3 (highly relevant).

First, all highly relevant studies (rank: 3) were examined, then the medium-relevant, then the less relevant studies.

Additionally, for each study, the number of its occurences in the overall search results was recorded. E.g., some studies were- found through different search queries. Studies that were identified by a high number of search queries were also considered as highly relevant


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Taxonomy of Software Types. A Review of Information Systems and Software Engineering Literature
Universität Mannheim
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taxonomy, classification, software types, software, information systems, literature review
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Can Paul Bineytioglu (Autor:in), 2014, Taxonomy of Software Types. A Review of Information Systems and Software Engineering Literature, München, GRIN Verlag,


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