University of Twente Student Theses


Change management within SysML requirements models

Hove, D. ten (2010) Change management within SysML requirements models.

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Abstract:The need to properly manage change within software projects is very real. Not the least of the consequences of unmanaged or poorly managed change is decreased software maintainability. As changes in higher abstraction levels always propagate to the lower levels, it is important to manage change not only in code and design, but in requirements documents and requirements models as well. We propose a method for managing changes within requirements. This method is based on keeping requirements models (expressed in SysML) in sync with what the stakeholders want, also known as the application domain. It focusses on determining which model elements are impacted, how they are impacted and how the impact has to be dealt with. Changes in the application domain are identified, a model element is designated to be affected and from this, the complete impact of the change on the model is calculated using the requirement relations as trace links. This calculation is performed using propagation rules, which are derived from the formalization of requirements, requirement relations and applicatoin domain changes we have created. A running example is used to show the usage and practicality of the method. Some application domain changes of varying complexity are applied to an example requirements model to illustrate how the method performs in practice and how useful it can be. Furthermore, we provide tool support in the form of a prototype. This prototype, an extension of the commercial tool Blueprint, illustrates the user interactions in the process. The method we propose has some limitations. First of all, it is partially automated. The experience and knowledge of a requirements engineer is still required for proper use. Second, it is based upon a very specific interpretation of the requirements relations in use. As there are many other viable interpretations possible, this method may not be applicable to every software project without adaptation. Apart from these limitations however, we believe the method does provide meaningful support to change management within software requirements models.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Computer Science MSc (60300)
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