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Quality Aspects in Requirements Engineering

Foreword by the chairs

Maria Lencastre, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil
Alberto Silva, Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal

Quality is often considered something that must be in conformance with system requirements. However, such requirements keep changing to be aligned with the business needs, thus making quality a moving target! Requirements engineering helps to elicit the stakeholders requirements (such in a form of general goals, user stories, use cases, constraints etc.) with respect to the system of interested, to prioritize such requirements and, ultimately, to reach a common ground with other stakeholders with conflicting requirements. Furthermore, it helps stakeholders from different backgrounds to communicate among them, and with even with the project team, with systems designers, developers, testers, etc. The former are not necessarily interested in the implementation technical details, while the latter are specialized in designing, building and testing such systems. Caught in-between, requirements engineers must also keep up with newer development approaches.

The “Quality in ICT Requirements Engineering” Thematic Track 2016 has at its accepted papers a multitude of relevant topics such as: requirements elicitation and specification, requirements traceability, requirements prioritization, ontologies for embed systems, and requirements specification tools. This program includes five full papers and two work-in-progress papers, detailed next. 

The paper “Achieving better requirements to code traceability: Which refactoring should be done first?”, by researchers from University of Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Daffodil International University (Bangladesh) considers that refactoring methods - like rename identifier - have positive impact in supporting traceability. For this investigation four refactoring methods were used, and applied on two different code bases. From its reported experiment it was observed that: introducing a parameter object improves requirements to code traceability; inline class and conditional decomposition show a little but positive influence; and the pull up method shows no improvements in traceability respect.

The paper “Multi-VisioTrace: Traceability Visualization Tool”, by authors from Brazil (Pernambuco University and Federal Rural University of Pernambuco) details a tool to support traceability visualization that provides different visualization techniques, allowing the user to choose the most appropriate to execute his/her task. The evaluation results of the proposed tool are presented and evaluated through two examples.

The paper “Requirements Prioritization in Market-Driven Software: a case study based on large numbers of stakeholders and requirements” by three colleagues from Fortaleza University, Ceará (Brazil) presents a case study of COTS software requirements prioritization to be used by thousands of users. The Hierarchical Cumulative Voting requirements prioritization technique was addressed and applied through a web questionnaire directly to potential users. Eighty respondents answered the questionnaire, and a score of requirements in ratio scale of measurement was obtained. It was found that the applied technique can respond positively to the needs and characteristics of Market-Driven Software Development, in similar situations to those described.

The paper “Use of Ontologies in Embedded Systems: a Systematic Mapping”, by authors from University of Pernambuco together with Federal University of Pernanambuco (Brazil), presents a conducted systematic mapping, to collect evidences about the need of ontologies in embedded systems development. The focus was on the identification of an ontology that represents languages used for the development of embedded systems.

The paper “A fully automated approach to discovering non-determinism in state machine diagrams” by authors from University of Ottawa (Canada), presents an automated technique to detect non-determinism in state diagrams. The authors leverage the nuXmv model checker to analyze unbounded (i.e. integer and real) domains and implement an algorithm that systematically computes a minimal set of comparable transitions for the SUD yet eliminates false positives by model checking. To validate the approach, they analyze a real-world system and report discovered cases of non-determinism.

The works-in-progress paper “Comparison of Research and Practice Regarding What We Mean by “the Right Software Requirements Elicitation Technique”, from University of Atacama (Chile), presents a systematic mapping of constructs, which researchers define as good techniques, and compares with practitioners’ opinions. The results demonstrate the divergence of views between researchers and practitioners about the quality of software requirement elicitation techniques.

The works-in-progress paper “Implicit Priorities in Adaptation Requirements”, by authors from the University of Pernambuco and Federal University of Pernambuco (Brazil). In this work the authors analyze the relationship between requirements prioritization and software adaptation; and, through an analysis of two selected frameworks, present findings as well as an initial proposal for interleaving prioritization activities with adaptation activities.

Maria Lencastre
Maria Lencastre
 received her B.Sc, M.Sc and D.Sc. in Computer Science at the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil. She was a visiting professor at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal for the 2008 academic year. She is a professor of the University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil, since 2004. She was the head of Computer Engineering Department in 2010 and 2011.
She is the general co-chair of the 31 the ACM Symposium on Applied Computing (ACMSAC'16), that will occur in Pisa-Italy in 2016, and the secretary of the ACM Special Interest Group on Applied Computing (SIGAPP).
Maria Lencastre was the PC Chair of Requirements Engineering-Track, part of ACMSAC, from 2008 to 2015. She was the PC Chair of Software Requirements Engineering Track on CIBse 2014, and also the Chair of the thematic track “Quality in ICT Requirements Engineering” part of the 9th International Conference on the Quality of Information and Communications Technology. Maria Lencastre was the Tutorial Co-Chair of 21st IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE´13), and the Panel Chair at RE@Brazil’13. She was the Chair of the Thematic Track Quality in ICT Requirements Engineering, part of 8th QUATIC´12. She was the general chair of IDEAS 2008 – 11th Ibero-American Workshop on Requirement Engineering. She was the chair of the seven editions of RE-Track (ACM-SAC’08 to ACM-SAC’15). She was the co-chair of Workshop on Requirement Engineering (WER´11) part of Cibse´11 in Rio Janeiro-Brazil. She was also a member of the local organizer committee of 6th Latin American Conference on Pattern Languages of Programming (SugarLoafPLoP´07). She is a member of the program committee of several international events in the area.

Alberto Silva
Alberto Manuel Rodrigues da Silva
is Associate Professor with Habilitation at the Computer and Information Systems Department of the University of Lisbon (Instituto Superior Técnico – Universidade de Lisboa, IST-UL), Portugal. He is also a senior researcher at INESC-ID Lisboa, and a partner at the company SIQuant – Engenharia do Território e Sistemas de Informação.
He did his Habilitation in Information Systems and Computer Engineering (2016), Ph.D. in Computer Science and Computer Engineering (1996-1999), Master in Electrical and Computer Engineering (1990-1992), both from the Technical University of Lisbon, and a Graduation in Informatics Engineering (1984-1989), from the New University of Lisbon.
He teaches or has taught courses at undergraduate, master, and doctoral programs. He supervises or has supervised many students undertaking work in master's theses and doctoral dissertations, including about 8 PhDs, 45 Masters, and 43 Undergraduate Final-Year Projects.
He has interests in information systems, software engineering, model-driven engineering, requirements engineering, social computing and project management, with multidisciplinary application domains.
He has been responsible for courses related to the topics of requirements engineering, software development methodologies and analysis and modeling of information systems. More recently he has been responsible for the courses “Systems Analysis and Modeling” and "IT Project Management", offered at the BSc and MSc in the computer science and engineering programs of IST-UL.
He has coordinated and/or participated in multiple R&D projects including EU, FCT, PRIME, CYTED or bilateral projects, namely: RSLingo4Privacy (FCT/CMU-Portugal), Timbus (FP7), ProjectIT (FCT), gestBarragens (PRIME), PUC (Bilateral), AgentSpace, COSMOS (ESPRIT), WebStatEdu (Bilateral), SCREEN (ACTS), SRV-SerraEstrela (Bilateral), Solite (CYTED), Audit-Mobie.E (FAI). He is currently coordinating and participating in the following R&D initiatives: DataStorm (FCT), TT-MDE-Mindbury (Bilateral Mindbury), and E-ARK (FP7).
He is (co)author of 5 technical books and over 200 publications in journals, conferences, and workshops with peer reviewing, and he is also the (co)editor of 4 scientific books.
He is a member of the OE (Portuguese Engineers Association), ACM (Association for Computer Machinery) and PMI (Project Management Institute). He received the following awards or professional certifications: JEEP 2003, Scrum Master and PMP.
He has been served in multiple university management roles, namely he was the Coordinator/Director of the LEIC-A BSc, MEIC MSc, and DEIC Ph.D. programs at the IST. He was also the coordinator/leader of the Information Systems research group at INESC-ID.

Track Committee

Chair: Maria Lencastre, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil
Co-Chair: Alberto Silva, Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal

Program Committee:

Hernan Astudillo, Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa María, Chile
Jean-Michel Bruel, IUT de Blagnac, France
Jaelson Castro, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil
Nelly Condori Fernandez, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Luiz Cysneiros, York University, Canada
Luiz Eduardo Galvão, Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil
Graciela Hadad, Universidad Nacional del Oeste, Argentina
Rosângela Penteado, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil
João Pimentel, Universidade de Pernambuco, Brazil
José Luis de La Vara, Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain

Call for papers:

Quality is often seen as conformance to requirements. However, the latter keep on changing on ICT systems to guarantee business alignment, thus making quality a moving target! Requirements Engineering helps stakeholders to elicit their expectancies with respect to ICT systems, to prioritize such expectancies and, ultimately, to reach a common ground with other stakeholders with conflicting requirements. Furthermore, it helps stakeholders from different backgrounds to communicate among them, and with the systems developers. The former are not necessarily interested in the technical details of the implementation of the systems, while the latter are specialized in building systems, rather than on the specific applications of the systems they build. Caught in-between, requirements engineers must also keep up with development approaches such as Software Product Lines (SPL), Model Driven Development (MDD), Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) or Aspect Oriented Software Development (AOSD).
We seek novel contributions on how to leverage ICT systems quality with requirements engineering techniques, as well as case studies reporting how requirements engineering is setting the stage for quality, both at development and run-time. Suggested topics of interest include, but are not restricted to:
  • Assessing and promoting the quality of requirements
  • Requirements elicitation, analysis, documentation, validation and verification
  • How visualization can improve the quality of requirements specification
  • Conflicting requirements management among stakeholders
  • Leveraging business goals through requirements
  • Keeping consistency and completeness on large requirements specifications
  • Requirements evolution
  • Risk management in the context of requirements engineering
  • Requirements engineering in the context of specific development approaches (e.g. SPL, MDD, SOA or AOSD)
  • Tools, techniques, and methods to support requirements engineering
  • Non-functional requirements specification, verification and validation
  • Tracing requirements throughout the lifecycle
  • Using requirements in resource estimation and project management
  • The economics of requirements engineering
  • Empirical studies in the context of requirements engineering

Submission process:

Authors should submit to a PDF version of their paper. Full Papers must be in CPS format and not exceed 6 pages, including figures, references, and appendices. Work In Progress (WIP) works with relevant preliminary results are limited to 3 pages. Submissions must be original and will be reviewed by the Track Program Committee. Accepted papers will be included in the electronic proceedings of QUATIC’2016 published by Conference Publishing Services (CPS),  submitted for archiving in Xplore and CSDL, and submitted for indexing in ISI Web of Science, SCOPUS, ACM Portal, DBLP and DOI System, subject to one of the authors registering for the conference. The authors of the best papers of this thematic track will be invited to submit extended versions to the main track of the conference.

Important dates:

  • Paper submission: Sunday, April 17, May 15, 2016
  • Author's notifications: Sunday, May 15, June 12, 2016
  • Camera ready submission: Sunday, June 19, June 26, 2016

Previous Edition:

See details of the QUATIC 2014 edition of this track.
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