Formalizing Informal Requirements
Objectives: Develop alternative methods for
bridging the gap between informal inputs and a requirements specification.
"We believe the following represent major challenges
for Requirements Engineering (RE) in the years ahead: […]
2. Bridging the gap between requirements elicitation approaches
based on contextual enquiry and more formal specification and
analysis techniques." (B. Nuseibeh, S. Easterbrook)
Approach: Discuss the EasyWinWin negotiation
method and analyze different bridging approaches for formalizing
informal requirements inputs into more formal representations.
Determine an appropriate degree of formality to serve as the initial
target for methods of strengthening informal requirement inputs.
Investigate how the EasyWinWin negotiation process itself supports
the refinement and formalization of informal, vague ideas into
more precise artifacts and analyzed quantity and quality characteristics
of negotiation results. Identify requirements negotiation post-processing
techniques to specify more precise and realistic requirements
from informal inputs. Develop alternative methods for formalizing
informal requirements inputs using the following gap-bridging
1. Human-Initiated Template:
System analyst manually identifies the requirements from the
agreed-upon Win Conditions and fills the requirements template.
2. Computer-Initiated Template: A computer program
operates on the EasyWinWin data to produce draft templates.
3. Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP techniques
and tools can be used to extract template-relevant meaning from
the EasyWinWin win conditions.
4. Keyword Analysis: A keyword analyzer produces summary
information to facilitate specification development.
5. Formal Method Experts: experts refine the appropriate
template elements into formal specifications.
6. Inspections: External stakeholders and experts inspect
the EasyWinWin statements and post-process them into more precise
and appropriate specifications.
- Kitapci, H., Boehm, B. W., Grunbacher, P., Halling, M., Biffl,
S., "Formalizing Informal Stakeholder Requirements Inputs",
Proceedings INCOSE 2003 conference, Washington DC. [Best Paper
Award in System Engineering Management Category]
Focus on identifying and optimizing hybrid methods of gap-bridging
Use linguistic information and keyword analysis for better requirements
negotiation results and requirements specification.