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Grant to research environment
Title [en]
SERT- Software Engineering ReThought
Abstract [en]
SERT – Software Engineering ReThought is a groundbreaking research project with the aim to take on the next generation challenges facing companies developing software intensive systems and products. We as an engineering lab are blazing the road introducing 3:rd generation empirical software engineering – denoting close co-production of pragmatic problem solving in close collaboration with our industrial partners as we perform engineering research into topics critical for engineering and business success. SERTs formulation of 3:rd generation empirical software engineering will utilize related knowledge areas as catalysts to solve challenges. Value-based engineering, Data-driven evidence based engineering, and Human-based development will complement software engineering competence in an integrated eco-system of competence focused on the challenges at hand.All areas in software engineering, ranging from inception, realization to evolution are part of the research venture – reflecting that companies need solutions covering their entire ecosystem.
Publications (10 of 112) Show all publications
Treidler, O., Kunz, T.-E., Capraro, M. & Dorner, M. (2024). Sustaining Arm’s Length Cost Allocations for Highly Integrated Development Functions: An Explorative Case Study of Transfer Pricing for InnerSource Communities. Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustaining Arm’s Length Cost Allocations for Highly Integrated Development Functions: An Explorative Case Study of Transfer Pricing for InnerSource Communities
2024 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Most contemporary developments in transfer pricing relate to intangibles. Appropriately coping with increasingly highly integrated value chains constitutes another driving force. This article examines the application of the arm’s length principle in the context of a related-party transaction characterized by integrated collaboration among decentralized business units and the joint utilization and development of intangibles. While the underlying theoretical transfer pricing concepts will be touched upon, we aim to present a case-based application of the arm’s length principle. The pragmatic approach presented in this article aims to support practitioners navigating the tradeoff between finding arm’s length solutions for increasingly complex, digitized organizations and effectively utilizing available internal data for transfer pricing purposes.

While the OECD recently started tinkering with formulary apportionment approaches for marketing intangibles in the context of the Pillar 1 reforms, day-to-day transfer pricing remains focused on applying transfer prices that are commensurate with the arm’s length principles. As such, Chapter VI of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines of 2017 remains perhaps the most important source of reference for practitioners when it comes to intangibles. The same applies to Chapter VIII when it comes to cost contribution arrangements (CCAs). For this article, it is deemed sufficient to limit the references to Chapter VI and Chapter VIII of the OECD guidelines.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2024. p. 10
Series
Blekinge Tekniska Högskola Forskningsrapport, ISSN 1103-1581 ; 2024:01
Keywords
transfer pricing, taxation, inner source, innersource, software engineering, tax, collaboration
National Category
Computer Systems
Research subject
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-25962 (URN)BTH-RES-01/24-SE (ISRN)
Note

The OECD guidelines were updated in January 2022 (as this article was prepared), but the concepts discussed herein remain valid, and thus, the references were sustained.

Available from: 2024-02-13 Created: 2024-02-13 Last updated: 2024-02-20Bibliographically approved
Unterkalmsteiner, M. & Abdeen, W. (2023). A compendium and evaluation of taxonomy quality attributes. Expert systems (Print), 40(1), Article ID e13098.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A compendium and evaluation of taxonomy quality attributes
2023 (English)In: Expert systems (Print), ISSN 0266-4720, E-ISSN 1468-0394, Vol. 40, no 1, article id e13098Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Taxonomies capture knowledge about a particular domain in a succinct manner and establish a common understanding among peers. Researchers use taxonomies to convey information about a particular knowledge area or to support automation tasks, and practitioners use them to enable communication beyond organizational boundaries. Aims: Despite this important role of taxonomies in software engineering, their quality is seldom evaluated. Our aim is to identify and define taxonomy quality attributes that provide practical measurements, helping researchers and practitioners to compare taxonomies and choose the one most adequate for the task at hand. Methods: We reviewed 324 publications from software engineering and information systems research and synthesized, when provided, the definitions of quality attributes and measurements. We evaluated the usefulness of the measurements on six taxonomies from three domains. Results: We propose the definition of seven quality attributes and suggest internal and external measurements that can be used to assess a taxonomy’s quality. For two measurements we provide implementations in Python. We found the measurements useful for deciding which taxonomy is best suited for a particular purpose. Conclusion: While there exist several guidelines for creating taxonomies, there is a lack of actionable criteria to compare taxonomies. In this paper, we fill this gap by synthesizing from a wealth of literature seven, non‐overlapping taxonomy quality attributes and corresponding measurements. Future work encompasses their further evaluation of usefulness and empirical validation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2023
Keywords
evaluation, measurements, quality attributes, taxonomy
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-23499 (URN)10.1111/exsy.13098 (DOI)000822883400001 ()2-s2.0-85133700489 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Transport Administration, D-CATKnowledge Foundation, 20180010
Available from: 2022-08-08 Created: 2022-08-08 Last updated: 2023-02-08Bibliographically approved
Zabardast, E., Gonzalez-Huerta, J., Gorschek, T., Šmite, D., Alégroth, E. & Fagerholm, F. (2023). A taxonomy of assets for the development of software-intensive products and services. Journal of Systems and Software, 202, Article ID 111701.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A taxonomy of assets for the development of software-intensive products and services
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2023 (English)In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 202, article id 111701Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context:Developing software-intensive products or services usually involves a plethora of software artefacts. Assets are artefacts intended to be used more than once and have value for organisations; examples include test cases, code, requirements, and documentation. During the development process, assets might degrade, affecting the effectiveness and efficiency of the development process. Therefore, assets are an investment that requires continuous management.

Identifying assets is the first step for their effective management. However, there is a lack of awareness of what assets and types of assets are common in software-developing organisations. Most types of assets are understudied, and their state of quality and how they degrade over time have not been well-understood.

Methods:We performed an analysis of secondary literature and a field study at five companies to investigate and identify assets to fill the gap in research. The results were analysed qualitatively and summarised in a taxonomy.

Results:We present the first comprehensive, structured, yet extendable taxonomy of assets, containing 57 types of assets.

Conclusions:The taxonomy serves as a foundation for identifying assets that are relevant for an organisation and enables the study of asset management and asset degradation concepts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2023
Keywords
Assets in software engineering, Asset management in software engineering, Assets for software-intensive products or services, Taxonomy
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-24426 (URN)10.1016/j.jss.2023.111701 (DOI)000984121100001 ()2-s2.0-85152899759 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20170176Knowledge Foundation, 20180010
Available from: 2023-04-11 Created: 2023-04-11 Last updated: 2023-06-02Bibliographically approved
Tanveer, B., Zabardast, E. & Gonzalez-Huerta, J. (2023). An approach to align socio-technical dependencies in large-scale software development. In: Proceedings - IEEE 20th International Conference on Software Architecture Companion, ICSA-C 2023: . Paper presented at 20th IEEE International Conference on Software Architecture Companion, ICSA-C 2023, L'Aquila, 13 March through 17 March 2023 (pp. 341-347). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An approach to align socio-technical dependencies in large-scale software development
2023 (English)In: Proceedings - IEEE 20th International Conference on Software Architecture Companion, ICSA-C 2023, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2023, p. 341-347Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Seeking the advantages delivered by agile methods in small-scale software development, large organisations are also adopting agile methods. However, scaling results in a huge growth of socio-technical dependencies that can lead to waiting time, delays, and defects and hinder the teams' ability to recognize their own responsibilities. This research proposes an approach to enable teams' autonomy and clarifies teams' responsibility assignments by aligning socio-technical dependencies. By utilising compile-time, run-time, and task dependencies, our approach identifies the wasteful dependencies between the social structures (teams) and the corresponding technical structures (architecture) and also suggests improvements. The initial results suggest that the approach correctly identifies the wasteful dependencies that are hindering teams' responsibility assignments. The suggested solution proposals are also considered useful. Awareness of such wasteful dependencies is the first step toward being able to handle them successfully. © 2023 IEEE.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2023
Keywords
Agile methods, Compile time, Large organizations, Large-scales, Runtimes, Scaling results, Small scale, Sociotechnical, Time-delays, Waiting time, Software design
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-25263 (URN)10.1109/ICSA-C57050.2023.10167722 (DOI)2-s2.0-85166269144 (Scopus ID)9781665464598 (ISBN)
Conference
20th IEEE International Conference on Software Architecture Companion, ICSA-C 2023, L'Aquila, 13 March through 17 March 2023
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20180010
Available from: 2023-08-11 Created: 2023-08-11 Last updated: 2023-11-06Bibliographically approved
Frattini, J., Fucci, D., Mendez, D., Spinola, R., Mandic, V., Tausan, N., . . . Gonzalez-Huerta, J. (2023). An initial Theory to Understand and Manage Requirements Engineering Debt in Practice. Information and Software Technology, 159, Article ID 107201.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An initial Theory to Understand and Manage Requirements Engineering Debt in Practice
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2023 (English)In: Information and Software Technology, ISSN 0950-5849, E-ISSN 1873-6025, Vol. 159, article id 107201Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context

Advances in technical debt research demonstrate the benefits of applying the financial debt metaphor to support decision-making in software development activities. Although decision-making during requirements engineering has significant consequences, the debt metaphor in requirements engineering is inadequately explored.

Objective

We aim to conceptualize how the debt metaphor applies to requirements engineering by organizing concepts related to practitioners’ understanding and managing of requirements engineering debt (RED).

Method

We conducted two in-depth expert interviews to identify key requirements engineering debt concepts and construct a survey instrument. We surveyed 69 practitioners worldwide regarding their perception of the concepts and developed an initial analytical theory.

Results

We propose a RED theory that aligns key concepts from technical debt research but emphasizes the specific nature of requirements engineering. In particular, the theory consists of 23 falsifiable propositions derived from the literature, the interviews, and survey results.

Conclusions

The concepts of requirements engineering debt are perceived to be similar to their technical debt counterpart. Nevertheless, measuring and tracking requirements engineering debt are immature in practice. Our proposed theory serves as the first guide toward further research in this area.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2023
Keywords
Requirements Engineering; Requirements Engineering Debt; Interview Study; Online Survey; Theory
National Category
Software Engineering
Research subject
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-23945 (URN)10.1016/j.infsof.2023.107201 (DOI)000982204000001 ()2-s2.0-85151526874 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-11-18 Created: 2022-11-18 Last updated: 2023-05-19Bibliographically approved
Ouriques, R., Fagerholm, F., Mendez, D. & Bern, B. G. (2023). An investigation of causes and effects of trust in Boundary Artefacts. Information and Software Technology, 158, Article ID 107170.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An investigation of causes and effects of trust in Boundary Artefacts
2023 (English)In: Information and Software Technology, ISSN 0950-5849, E-ISSN 1873-6025, Vol. 158, article id 107170Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context: Boundary Artefacts (BAs) support software development activities in many aspects because it carries lots of information in the same object that can be used and interpreted by several social groups within an organisation. When the BAs are inconsistent regarding their content, such as many meanings or lack of contextual information, their efficiency is reduced because stakeholders will not trust them. Objective: This study aimed to understand the implications of differences in the perception of trust on software projects and their influence on stakeholders' behaviour. Methods: We conducted an exploratory case study to observe the creation and utilisation of one specific BA and the implications of differences in trust and their influence on stakeholders' behaviour. Results : Our investigation has shown that practitioners adding and adjusting existing content do not entirely understand the stakeholders' needs. Together with the partial management of the content, trust is impacted. When the content of BAs does not meet the trust factors, specifically reliability and predictability, the stakeholders cannot execute their tasks appropriately, and several implications affect the software development project. Additionally, they create workarounds to supply their needs. Conclusion: The differences in trust in BAs affect software projects in different areas of the organisation and interfere with the task execution of various stakeholders. The decrease in trust results from inconsistencies in the content associated with the lack of management of the BA. A structured strategy for representing and managing a BA's content seems appropriate to increase trust levels and efficiency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2023
Keywords
Software development, Boundary Artefact, Trust, Trusting beliefs
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-24414 (URN)10.1016/j.infsof.2023.107170 (DOI)000943641800001 ()
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20180010
Available from: 2023-04-05 Created: 2023-04-05 Last updated: 2023-08-18Bibliographically approved
Yu, L., Alégroth, E., Chatzipetrou, P. & Gorschek, T. (2023). Automated NFR testing in continuous integration environments: a multi-case study of Nordic companies. Empirical Software Engineering, 28(6), Article ID 144.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Automated NFR testing in continuous integration environments: a multi-case study of Nordic companies
2023 (English)In: Empirical Software Engineering, ISSN 1382-3256, E-ISSN 1573-7616, Vol. 28, no 6, article id 144Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context: Non-functional requirements (NFRs) (also referred to as system qualities) are essential for developing high-quality software. Notwithstanding its importance, NFR testing remains challenging, especially in terms of automation. Compared to manual verification, automated testing shows the potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of quality assurance, especially in the context of Continuous Integration (CI). However, studies on how companies manage automated NFR testing through CI are limited. Objective: This study examines how automated NFR testing can be enabled and supported using CI environments in software development companies. Method: We performed a multi-case study at four companies by conducting 22 semi-structured interviews with industrial practitioners. Results: Maintainability, reliability, performance, security and scalability, were found to be evaluated with automated tests in CI environments. Testing practices, quality metrics, and challenges for measuring NFRs were reported. Conclusions: This study presents an empirically derived model that shows how data produced by CI environments can be used for evaluation and monitoring of implemented NFR quality. Additionally, the manuscript presents explicit metrics, CI components, tools, and challenges that shall be considered while performing NFR testing in practice. © 2023, The Author(s).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2023
Keywords
Automated testing, Case study, CI, Continuous integration, Metrics, NFR, Non-functional requirements, Automation, Integration, Integration testing, Quality control, Software design, Case-studies, Continuous integrations, Integration environments, Metric, Nordic companies, System quality, Quality assurance
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-25556 (URN)10.1007/s10664-023-10356-1 (DOI)001087927600001 ()2-s2.0-85174862814 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20180010Knowledge Foundation, 20170213
Available from: 2023-11-06 Created: 2023-11-06 Last updated: 2024-01-02Bibliographically approved
Fischbach, J., Frattini, J., Vogelsang, A., Mendez, D., Unterkalmsteiner, M., Wehrle, A., . . . Wiecher, C. (2023). Automatic creation of acceptance tests by extracting conditionals from requirements: NLP approach and case study. Journal of Systems and Software, 197, Article ID 111549.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Automatic creation of acceptance tests by extracting conditionals from requirements: NLP approach and case study
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2023 (English)In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 197, article id 111549Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Acceptance testing is crucial to determine whether a system fulfills end-user requirements. However, the creation of acceptance tests is a laborious task entailing two major challenges: (1) practitioners need to determine the right set of test cases that fully covers a requirement, and (2) they need to create test cases manually due to insufficient tool support. Existing approaches for automatically deriving test cases require semi-formal or even formal notations of requirements, though unrestricted natural language is prevalent in practice. In this paper, we present our tool-supported approach CiRA (Conditionals in Requirements Artifacts) capable of creating the minimal set of required test cases from conditional statements in informal requirements. We demonstrate the feasibility of CiRA in a case study with three industry partners. In our study, out of 578 manually created test cases, 71.8% can be generated automatically. Additionally, CiRA discovered 80 relevant test cases that were missed in manual test case design. CiRA is publicly available at www.cira.bth.se/demo/. © 2022

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2023
Keywords
Acceptance testing, Automatic test case creation, Causality extraction, Natural language processing, Requirements engineering, Natural language processing systems, Software testing, Automatic creations, Case-studies, Language processing, Natural languages, Requirement engineering, Test case, Acceptance tests
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-24047 (URN)10.1016/j.jss.2022.111549 (DOI)000926985500008 ()2-s2.0-85142730522 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20180010
Available from: 2022-12-12 Created: 2022-12-12 Last updated: 2023-03-09Bibliographically approved
Frattini, J., Fischbach, J., Mendez, D., Unterkalmsteiner, M., Vogelsang, A. & Wnuk, K. (2023). Causality in requirements artifacts: prevalence, detection, and impact. Requirements Engineering, 28(1), 49-74
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Causality in requirements artifacts: prevalence, detection, and impact
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2023 (English)In: Requirements Engineering, ISSN 0947-3602, E-ISSN 1432-010X, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 49-74Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Causal relations in natural language (NL) requirements convey strong, semantic information. Automatically extracting such causal information enables multiple use cases, such as test case generation, but it also requires to reliably detect causal relations in the first place. Currently, this is still a cumbersome task as causality in NL requirements is still barely understood and, thus, barely detectable. In our empirically informed research, we aim at better understanding the notion of causality and supporting the automatic extraction of causal relations in NL requirements. In a first case study, we investigate 14.983 sentences from 53 requirements documents to understand the extent and form in which causality occurs. Second, we present and evaluate a tool-supported approach, called CiRA, for causality detection. We conclude with a second case study where we demonstrate the applicability of our tool and investigate the impact of causality on NL requirements. The first case study shows that causality constitutes around 28 % of all NL requirements sentences. We then demonstrate that our detection tool achieves a macro-F 1 score of 82 % on real-world data and that it outperforms related approaches with an average gain of 11.06 % in macro-Recall and 11.43 % in macro-Precision. Finally, our second case study corroborates the positive correlations of causality with features of NL requirements. The results strengthen our confidence in the eligibility of causal relations for downstream reuse, while our tool and publicly available data constitute a first step in the ongoing endeavors of utilizing causality in RE and beyond. © 2022, The Author(s).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Science+Business Media B.V., 2023
Keywords
Causality, Multi-case study, Natural language processing, Requirements engineering, Semantics, Automatic extraction, Case-studies, Causal relations, Multiple use-cases, Natural language requirements, Requirement engineering, Requirements document, Semantics Information, Test case generation, Natural language processing systems
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-22673 (URN)10.1007/s00766-022-00371-x (DOI)000753242500002 ()2-s2.0-85124567603 (Scopus ID)
Note

open access

Available from: 2022-02-25 Created: 2022-02-25 Last updated: 2023-06-19Bibliographically approved
Frattini, J., Fischbach, J. & Bauer, A. (2023). CiRA: An Open-Source Python Package for Automated Generation of Test Case Descriptions from Natural Language Requirements. In: Schneider K., Dalpiaz F., Horkoff J. (Ed.), Proceedings - 31st IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference Workshops, REW 2023: . Paper presented at 31st IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference Workshops, REW 2023, Hannover, 4 Sept - 8 Sept 2023 (pp. 68-71). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>CiRA: An Open-Source Python Package for Automated Generation of Test Case Descriptions from Natural Language Requirements
2023 (English)In: Proceedings - 31st IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference Workshops, REW 2023 / [ed] Schneider K., Dalpiaz F., Horkoff J., Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2023, p. 68-71Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Deriving acceptance tests from high-level, natural language requirements that achieve full coverage is a major manual challenge at the interface between requirements engineering and testing. Conditional requirements (e.g., 'If A or B then C.') imply causal relationships which - when extracted - allow to generate these acceptance tests automatically. This paper presents a tool from the CiRA (Causality In Requirements Artifacts) initiative, which automatically processes conditional natural language requirements and generates a minimal set of test case descriptions achieving full coverage. We evaluate the tool on a publicly available data set of 61 requirements from the requirements specification of the German Corona-Warn-App. The tool infers the correct test variables in 84.5% and correct variable configurations in 92.3% of all cases, which corroborates the feasibility of our approach. © 2023 IEEE.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2023
Keywords
acceptance test, BERT, natural language processing, requirements engineering, test case description, Computer software selection and evaluation, High level languages, Natural language processing systems, Open source software, Open systems, Case description, Language processing, Natural language requirements, Natural languages, Open-source, Requirement engineering, Test case, Acceptance tests
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-25557 (URN)10.1109/REW57809.2023.00019 (DOI)001085223300015 ()2-s2.0-85174681463 (Scopus ID)9798350326918 (ISBN)
Conference
31st IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference Workshops, REW 2023, Hannover, 4 Sept - 8 Sept 2023
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20180010
Available from: 2023-11-07 Created: 2023-11-07 Last updated: 2024-01-02Bibliographically approved
Principal InvestigatorGorschek, Tony
Coordinating organisation
Blekinge Institute of Technology
Funder
Period
2018-09-01 - 2026-09-01
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
DiVA, id: project:2307Project, id: 20180010

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