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2013 3rd International Workshop on Requirements Patterns (RePa), July 16, 2013, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

RePa 2013 – Proceedings

Contents - Abstracts - Authors

2013 3rd International Workshop on Requirements Patterns (RePa)


Title Page

Developing a good understanding of software requirements is critical to the success of any software development project. However, this task is oftentimes challenging and requires a large amount of knowledge and experience. “Patterns” have been used to capture different kinds of software engineering knowledge, particularly concerning software architectures, component designs and programs, and (more recently) requirements. This workshop is the third edition of the International Workshop on Requirements Patterns (RePa). RePa provides an open forum for researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas and experience, regarding pattern-based approaches to capturing, organizing, and reusing knowledge pertaining to all aspects of requirements engineering, from both product and process perspectives.

Pattern Paper

A Pattern for Structuring the Behavioural Requirements of Features of an Embedded System
David Dietrich and Joanne M. Atlee
(University of Waterloo, Canada)
Feature-oriented software requirements specify features in a product line as separate modules. In this paper, we present the Mode-Based Behaviour pattern that provides advice on how to structure the behavioural requirements of an individual feature using state machines. The pattern not only defines the control flow of a feature, but also places constraints on the kinds of behaviour that a feature can perform while in certain operating modes. The pattern has been created by examining several production-grade automotive features and identifying commonalities in their high-level behaviours; however the pattern is not automotive specific.
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Sustainability Requirement Patterns
Kristin Roher and Debra Richardson
(UC Irvine, USA)
In light of the looming threats of global climate change and environmental degradation, the software research community has begun to recognize the need to transition toward environmental sustainability. However, the process of detecting, specifying and evaluating requirements related to environmental sustainability within industry is often neglected or at best performed after the system is built. Most software engineering teams do not include any environmental sustainability expertise to account for the broad range of sustainability concerns related to software systems. To overcome the barriers of incorporating environmental sustainability into the requirements engineering process, this paper suggests the use of sustainability requirement patterns (SRPs), which will provide software engineers with guidance on how to write specific types of sustainability requirements. SRPs contain information on the situations in which the pattern should be used, a starting point for developing sustainability requirements, and any other information needed to develop requirements of a specific type. This research is part of an overarching research project on Software Engineering for Sustainability.
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Technical Paper

A Requirements Pattern Language for Informing Design
Alistair Sutcliffe
(University of Lancaster, UK)
A pattern language for self aware adaptive systems is proposed as a high level systems architecture. More detailed patterns for two major components- sensing/monitoring and adapting/acting are described as architecture components. These components are set in the context of pattern languages from a separate viewpoint based on a generalisation specialisation hierarchy of abstract models for sensing and acting components. The discussion argues for pattern languages from different perspective as a means of organising the diversity of RE patterns.
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RSL-PL: A Linguistic Pattern Language for Documenting Software Requirements
David de Almeida Ferreira and Alberto Rodrigues da Silva
(IST, Portugal)
Software requirements are traditionally documented in natural language (NL). However, despite being easy to understand and having high expressivity, this approach often leads to well-known requirements quality problems. In turn, dealing with these problems warrants a significant amount of human effort, causing requirements development activities to be error-prone and time-consuming. This paper introduces RSL-PL, a language that enables the definition of linguistic patterns typically found in well-formed individual NL requirements, according to the field’s best practices. The linguistic features encoded within RSL-PL patterns enable the usage of information extraction techniques to automatically perform the linguistic analysis of NL requirements. Thus, in this paper we argue that RSL-PL can improve the quality of requirements specifications, as well as the productivity of requirements engineers, by mitigating the continuous effort that is often required to ensure requirements quality criteria, such as clearness, consistency, and completeness.
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The Challenges of Representing Transparency as Patterns
Hebet Cunha, Julio Cesar Sampaio do Prado Leite, Leticia Duboc, and Vera Werneck
(PUC-Rio, Brasil; UERJ, Brasil)
Patterns are an invaluable tool for capturing and reusing Non-Functional Requirements (NFR) knowledge. Their construction, however, requires one to pay close attention to the semantics of its elements. This paper reports two important insights realized when developing a collection of Transparency patterns; they concern the semantics of the HELP contribution link and of the correlation link between NFR softgoals. The drawbacks of using these interdependency types are discussed and solutions are presented. The discussion is relevant to anyone attempting to develop precise catalogs for capturing NFR knowledge.
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Using Grammatical Knowledge Patterns for Structuring Requirements Specifications
Jaspreet Bhatia, Richa Sharma, Kanad K. Biswas, and Smita Ghaisas
(IIT Delhi, India; Tata Consultancy Services, India)
Natural Language is the general norm for representing requirements in industry. Such representation of requirements cannot be subjected to automated reasoning and is, often, ambiguous and inconsistent. Structuring the natural language requirements can significantly improve reasoning the requirements as well as reusing them in related future projects. We present a novel automated approach to utilize Grammatical Knowledge Patterns for structuring the natural language requirements in the form of Frames.
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Uncovering Product Line Variability from Early Requirement Documents
Eduardo Almentero, Elder Cirilo, Carlos Lucena, Julio Cesar Sampaio do Prado Leite, and André Luiz de Castro Leal
(PUC-Rio, Brasil; UFRRJ, Brasil)
Mass production of customer-specific software application through software product lines has been gaining great attention in the past years. A software product line supports fast production of customized software applications by the composition of variable requirements, namely variability. Practitioners and researchers suggest that the efficient construction of software product lines depends on the ability of domain engineers to early identify potential variability. Controversially, uncovering product line variability from elicited requirements remains one of the main challenges in domain engineering. The current practice is an ad-hoc, tacit and consequently error-prone identification of variable requirements by domain experts while reviewing different versions of specification documents for similar products. Therefore, variability uncovering could represent an adoption barrier for many companies that should otherwise benefit. To cope with this challenge on product line requirement engineering, we propose in this paper a novel technique for uncovering variability from early requirement documents, specially, from existing Language Extended Lexicons (LEL). The technique suggests the analysis of LEL following a set of heuristics, which therefore, supports the precise grouping, identification and relation of potential variable requirements. In this paper we also illustrate the proposed technique through examples for the meeting scheduler domain.
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