Advanced and Delayed Information in Requirements Engineering

Advanced and Delayed Information in Requirements Engineering

Gladys N. Kaplan (Universidad Nacional de La Matanza, Argentina) and Jorge H. Doorn (INTIA, Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina & DIIT, Universidad Nacional de La Matanza, Argentina)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch688
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Background

The Requirements Engineering process has several activities which involve elicitation of knowledge and creation of one or more models to record it. Eliciting and modeling software requirements or related information are two highly related activities (Zowghi & Coulin, 2005; Hull, Jackson & Dick, 2005). They may be coupled in several ways, being canonicals: “model driven elicitation” and “elicitation driven modeling.” In the former, the requirements engineer tries to capture only the information that he or she needs for the model under construction. In the latter, the requirements engineer creates all models at the same time recording every piece of information gathered in the model to which it belongs. Each of these approaches has advantages and drawbacks.

If the information is elicited for a given model, the requirements engineer pays attention only to some part of what he or she is watching, reading or listening to. Then, he or she will discard any information which is not focus-oriented. When the requirements engineer starts the creation of another model, he or she will change the focus and perhaps will now pay attention to information previously disregarded, provided that he or she comes across with the same information. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, especially when the source of information is people. In other words, model driven elicitation tends to make completeness difficult.

If all information obtained is registered at the same time, every model of the process is “opened” at the same time, and also, none is finished during an important period. Lack of coherence among models, poor understanding of the information gathered and misplaced information are the main drawbacks of this approach. However, the loss of information is reduced.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Extemporaneous Information: Information acquired before or after the moment when it is needed.

Advanced Information: Information acquired when it is not needed yet.

Elicitation: The activity of acquiring knowledge of a given kind during the requirements engineering process. There exist several techniques for elicitation such as Interviews, Observation, Document Reading, among others.

Delayed Information: Information acquired after the moment in which is needed.

Sources of Information: Documents, key people, books, etc. that can provide useful information about the subject-matter under study.

Requirements Engineering: An area of Software Engineering which is responsible for acquiring and defining the software system needs. The aims of Requirements Engineering are to improve the way in which the services should behave in the future. It covers all activities involved in discovering, understanding, modeling, analyzing and maintaining the set of requirements for a software system.

Requirements Modeling: The activity that represent, organizes and registers the information gathered during elicitation. The model itself may be composed by more than one representation.

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