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Title:
Investigating dependencies in software requirements for change propagation analysis
Author: Zhang, He (1) ; Li, Juan (3) ; Zhu, Liming (2) ; Jeffery, Ross (2) ; Liu, Yan (4) ; Wang, Qing (3) ; Li, Mingshu (3)
Corresponding Author: Zhang, H.(dr.hezhang@gmail.com)
Keyword: Requirement dependency ; Requirement traceability ; Requirement relationship ; Change propagation ; Impact analysis ; Case study
Source: Information and Software Technology
Issued Date: 2014
Volume: 56, Issue:1, Pages:40-53
Indexed Type: SCI ; EI
Department: (1) State Key Laboratory of Novel Software Technology, Software Institute, Nanjing University, Jiangsu, China; (2) NICTA, University of New South Wales, Australia; (3) Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China; (4) Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science, Concordia University, Canada
Abstract: Context The dependencies between individual requirements have an important influence on software engineering activities e.g., project planning, architecture design, and change impact analysis. Although dozens of requirement dependency types were suggested in the literature from different points of interest, there still lacks an evaluation of the applicability of these dependency types in requirements engineering. Objective Understanding the effect of these requirement dependencies to software engineering activities is useful but not trivial. In this study, we aimed to first investigate whether the existing dependency types are useful in practise, in particular for change propagation analysis, and then suggest improvements for dependency classification and definition. Method We conducted a case study that evaluated the usefulness and applicability of two well-known generic dependency models covering 25 dependency types. The case study was conducted in a real-world industry project with three participants who offered different perspectives. Results Our initial evaluation found that there exist a number of overlapping and/or ambiguous dependency types among the current models; five dependency types are particularly useful in change propagation analysis; and practitioners with different backgrounds possess various viewpoints on change propagation. To improve the state-of-the-art, a new dependency model is proposed to tackle the problems identified from the case study and the related literature. The new model classifies dependencies into intrinsic and additional dependencies on the top level, and suggests nine dependency types with precise definitions as its initial set. Conclusions Our case study provides insights into requirement dependencies and their effects on change propagation analysis for both research and practise. The resulting new dependency model needs further evaluation and improvement. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
English Abstract: Context The dependencies between individual requirements have an important influence on software engineering activities e.g., project planning, architecture design, and change impact analysis. Although dozens of requirement dependency types were suggested in the literature from different points of interest, there still lacks an evaluation of the applicability of these dependency types in requirements engineering. Objective Understanding the effect of these requirement dependencies to software engineering activities is useful but not trivial. In this study, we aimed to first investigate whether the existing dependency types are useful in practise, in particular for change propagation analysis, and then suggest improvements for dependency classification and definition. Method We conducted a case study that evaluated the usefulness and applicability of two well-known generic dependency models covering 25 dependency types. The case study was conducted in a real-world industry project with three participants who offered different perspectives. Results Our initial evaluation found that there exist a number of overlapping and/or ambiguous dependency types among the current models; five dependency types are particularly useful in change propagation analysis; and practitioners with different backgrounds possess various viewpoints on change propagation. To improve the state-of-the-art, a new dependency model is proposed to tackle the problems identified from the case study and the related literature. The new model classifies dependencies into intrinsic and additional dependencies on the top level, and suggests nine dependency types with precise definitions as its initial set. Conclusions Our case study provides insights into requirement dependencies and their effects on change propagation analysis for both research and practise. The resulting new dependency model needs further evaluation and improvement. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Language: 英语
WOS ID: WOS:000329151900005
Citation statistics:
Content Type: 期刊论文
URI: http://ir.iscas.ac.cn/handle/311060/16892
Appears in Collections:软件所图书馆_期刊论文

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Recommended Citation:
Zhang, He ,Li, Juan ,Zhu, Liming ,et al. Investigating dependencies in software requirements for change propagation analysis[J]. Information and Software Technology,2014-01-01,56(1):40-53.
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