Development of an Ontology-based Approach for Knowledge Management in Software Testing

an Experience Report


  • Érica Ferreira de Souza Federal University of Technology - Paraná
  • Ricardo de Almeida Falbo Federal University of Espírito Santo
  • Nandamudi L. Vijaykumar National Institute for Space Research
  • Katia R. Felizardo Federal University of Technology - Paraná
  • Giovani V. Meinerz Federal University of Technology - Paraná
  • Marcos S. Specimille Federal University of Espírito Santo
  • Alexandre G. N. Coelho Federal University of Espírito Santo



Knowledge Management, Knowledge Management System, Software Testing, Testing Ontology


Software development organizations are seeking to add quality to their products. Testing processes are strategic elements to manage projects and product quality. However, advances in technology and the emergence of increasingly critical applications make testing a complex task and large volumes of information are generated. In fact, software testing is a knowledge intensive process. Because of this, these organizations have shown a growing interest in Knowledge Management (KM) programs, which in turn support the improvement of testing procedures. KM emerges as a means to manage testing knowledge, and, consequently, to improve software quality. However, there are only a few KM solutions supporting software testing. This paper reports experiences from the development of an approach, called Ontology-based Testing Knowledge Management (OntoT-KM), that aims to assist in launching KM initiatives in the software testing domain with the support of Knowledge Management Systems (KMSs).  OntoT-KM provides a process guiding how to start applying KM in software testing. OntoT-KM is based on the findings of a systematic mapping on KM in software testing and the results of a survey with testing practitioners. Moreover, OntoT-KM considers the conceptualization established by a Reference Ontology on Software Testing (ROoST). As a proof of concept, OntoT-KM was applied to develop a KMS called Testing KM Portal (TKMP), which was evaluated in terms of usefulness, usability, and functional correctness. Results show that the developed KMS from OntoT-KM is a potential system for managing knowledge in software testing, so, the approach can guide KM initiatives in software testing.


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Author Biographies

Érica Ferreira de Souza, Federal University of Technology - Paraná

Érica Ferreira de Souza holds a degree in Data Processing from Faculdade de Tecnologia do Estado de São Paulo (2005). She has Masters (2010) and PhD (2014) degrees from the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE) in Brazil. She is a Professor at Federal University of Technology – Parana (UTFPR), Brazil. She has experience in software engineering and knowledge management. Her main research interests include model-based testing, knowledge management applied in software engineering, and systematic literature review.

Ricardo de Almeida Falbo, Federal University of Espírito Santo

Ricardo de Almeida Falbo (1964 – 2020) foi professor da Universidade Federal do Espírito (UFES) desde 1989, tendo atuado no Departamento de Informática desde sua criação até 2019, quando se aposentou como professor titular. Graduado em Engenharia Mecânica (1988) e mestre em Engenharia Ambiental (1993) pela UFES, recebeu, em 1998, seu diploma de doutorado pelo Instituto Alberto Luiz Coimbra de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa de Engenharia da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (COPPE/UFRJ). Em 1999, criou o LabES, Laboratório de Engenharia de Software, com o objetivo de investigar a aplicação de técnicas baseadas em ontologias em Engenharia de Software. Em 2006, o LabES foi integrado ao NEMO (Núcleo de Estudos em Modelagem Conceitual e Ontologias).

Nandamudi L. Vijaykumar, National Institute for Space Research

Nandamudi Lankalapalli Vijaykumar holds an MSc (1984) in Applied Computing from the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE) and a PhD (1999) in Informatics from the Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA). He has been an employee of INPE since 1978 at the Laboratório Associado de Computação e Matemática Aplicada (LAC) working on performance modelling and formal modelling for software testing.  Currently, he is a Visiting Associate Professor at Federal University of São Paulo - UNIFESP in São José dos Campos, Brazil.

Katia R. Felizardo, Federal University of Technology - Paraná

Katia Romero Felizardo received the Post-Doctoral degree in Computer Science from the University of São Paulo (ICMC-USP), in 2014. Actually, she is Assistant Professor in Software Engineering at Federal University of Technology – Parana (UTFPR), Brazil. Her research interests are in systematic literature review, information visualization and visual data mining. A list of her main publications can be found in

Giovani V. Meinerz, Federal University of Technology - Paraná

Giovani Volnei Meinerz holds a PhD in Eletronic and Computer Engineering from Aeronautics Institute of Technology (ITA), Brazil, in 2011, partially executed at Berlin University of Technology (TU-Berlin), Germany. Received his MSc degree in Eletronic and Computer Engineering also from ITA, Brazil, in 2005 and, in 2001 he got his Bachelor on Computer Science from Regional Integrated University of High Uruguay and Missions (URI), Brazil. Currently he is adjunct professor at Federal University of Technology – Parana (UTFPR), Brazil. His main research area of interests is Data Science, with focus on (i) big volume of NoSQL data management technologies, (ii) machine learning modeling techniques, and (iii) natural language processing tasks for extraction of sentiment analysis purposes.


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How to Cite

de Souza, Érica F., de Almeida Falbo, R., L. Vijaykumar, N., Felizardo, K. R., Meinerz, G. V., S. Specimille, M., & N. Coelho, A. G. (2021). Development of an Ontology-based Approach for Knowledge Management in Software Testing: an Experience Report. Journal of Software Engineering Research and Development, 9(1), 12:1 – 12:21.



Research Article