University of Twente Student Theses


Analysis of indirect influence relations in goal-oriented requirements engineering

Teka, Abelneh Y. (2012) Analysis of indirect influence relations in goal-oriented requirements engineering.

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Abstract:Business environments nowadays are becoming increasingly more dynamic, demanding continuous adaptation in business process designs and realizations. Regardless of their causes, most changes in the business environment have often dramatic consequences upon business processes and supporting/enabling IT systems. In most cases, these changes manifest as alterations in one or more goals of stakeholders of the system. These goal changes will then propagate to the requirements, designs, implementations and test cases of a system development process. Along with recent trends in using goal-oriented approaches for requirements engineering, various techniques for managing evolutionary goals and requirements are proposed and used by the software engineering community. Enterprise Architecture (EA) models which tie business goals, business processes and supporting IT systems are also expected to have a technique for analyzing changes in goals and requirements. Unfortunately common Enterprise Architecture (EA) frameworks like The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) and EA modeling languages like ArchiMate lacks support for analyzing goal and requirement change impacts. This reduces the adaptability of EA in addition to limiting the dynamicity of the organization employing the EA. Furthermore, lack of reasoning support on influence relations on goal models limits the decision-making capability of EA users by reducing the amount of available information about goal change impacts. This thesis endeavors to fill these gaps by extending a metamodel of an existing requirements modeling language called ARMOR. Our approach proposes well-defined semantics for goal influence relations that can support reasoning on indirect influence relations. Since ARMOR is now part of the motivation aspect of ArchiMate, our approach will be tailored to the context of ArchiMate modeling language. To leverage existing change impact-analysis techniques, a literature review was conducted on existing goal-oriented requirements engineering techniques. Two types of reasoning techniques are selected from a comparative analysis performed on the results of the literature review: TROPOS-based Qualitative reasoning and Fuzzy-logic based Quantitative reasoning. These two techniques support different levels of reasoning abstractions and help in entertaining different types of users (technical and non-technical). This report also proposes a quantitative-reasoning based approach to model and simulate feedback loops of goal influences relations. Adapted algorithms as well as tool support for the reasoning techniques are realized and validated on a test case study. The test case study shows that both approaches are applicable to analyze indirect influence relations and they generate reasonably consistent results. Furthermore the test case study reveals that each approach has its own merits and demerits. The Fuzzy logic based quantitative approach is better in providing concrete values for more detailed goal analysis. But it tends to result undetermined (zero level) goal satisfaction values. The TROPOS-based qualitative approach is suitable in providing high level goal analysis and detecting conflicting goal contributions. It is also usable for non technical users since it uses more understandable textual specifications though its textual specification can be ambiguous.
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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