Supporting Requirements Feedback Flows in Iterative System Development

Complex, inter-connected systems make it hard to do upfront requirements analysis, as many requirements only surface when the system is used in its intended context. Does this mean that engineers cannot rely on systematic requirements approaches? Based on a case study at Volvo Cars we say “no”.

Agility does not have to contradict systematic RE!

Iterative development and field tests with early versions of the system are a great chance for requirements engineering! We will discuss our findings at REFSQ conference in Essen:

Knauss, E.; Andersson, A.; Rybacki, M. & Israelsson, E. Research Preview: Supporting Requirements Feedback Flows in Iterative System Development. Proceedings of 21st International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality (REFSQ’ 15), 2015

Abstract

Context & motivation: Today, embedded systems are increasingly interconnected and operate in a rich context of systems and internet-based services. Iterative development is one strategy of developing such cyber-physical systems. It enables exploration of early prototypes of a feature in the context of its intended use and collecting telemetric data from test-runs. This is a rich data source that can be leveraged for learning behavioural requirements for a feature.

Question/problem: However, we found practitioners struggling with deriving requirements for the next iteration from such test-runs in a systematic and repeatable way.

Principal ideas/results: We allow test drivers to add markers when the system behaves unexpectedly by introducing a dedicated feedback tool. Preliminary evaluation shows that these markers lead to better feedback to the development team and indicates a positive impact on the development cycle.

Contribution: We give an example, report experiences, and discuss industrial implications of feedback systems and in situ requirements gathering in iterative system development.

Keywords: in situ requirements, feedback system, requirements and continuous integration

Read the paper: reqt-flow-in-iterative-system-development.pdf

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