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Completeness Concerns in Requirements Engineering

Completeness Concerns in Requirements Engineering
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Author(s): Jorge H. Doorn (INTIA, Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina & Universidad Nacional de La Matanza, Argentina) and Marcela Ridao (INTIA, Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch101

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Abstract

The difficulties that software developers must face to understand and elicit clients’ and users’ necessities are widely known. The more complex the context of the problem, the more difficult the elicitation of software requirements becomes. Many times, requirements engineers must become themselves problem-domain experts during the acquisition of knowledge about the context of the application. The requirements engineering (RE) objective is to systematize the process of requirements definition (Maculay, 1993; Maté & Silva, 2005; Reubenstein & Waters, 1991) along with creating a compromise among clients and users with developers since they must both participate and collaborate together. The requirements engineering process consists of three main activities: elicitation, modeling, and analysis of the application domain (Kotonya & Sommerville, 1998; Sommerville & Sawyer, 1997). Later, requirements management deals with the changes in the requirements and the irruption of new ones. RE provides methods, techniques, and tools to help requirements engineers elicit and specify requirements, ensuring their highest quality and completeness. However, the problem of completeness is a certain menace to requirements quality and casts a serious doubt on the whole RE process. Completeness is an unreachable goal, and to estimate the degree of completeness obtained at a certain step in the project is even more difficult. The requirements engineer faces a universe of discourse (UofD) that he or she will hardly ever fully know. This situation is not unique during the whole software development process since something similar happens while testing. The use of statistical models to predict the number of defects in a software artifact was successfully introduced some time ago (Petersson, Thelin, Runeson, & Wohlin, 2003). In this article, the use of capture and recapture information is applied in the RE field in order to make an estimation of the number of undiscovered requirements after a requirements elicitation process. The following section analyses the validation problem in RE. Then, a section describing the use of LEL (languageextended lexicon) and scenarios in requirements engineering is included. After that, the problem of estimating closed populations is studied. Later, the use of capture and recapture in the RE domain is introduced, and finally, some future work and conclusions are presented.

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