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Taxonomic Trace Links - Rethinking Traceability and its Benefits
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8142-9631
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4118-0952
HOCHTIEF ViCon GmbH, DEU.
HOCHTIEF ViCon GmbH, DEU.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Traceability is an important quality of artifacts that are used in knowledge-intensive tasks. When projectbudgets and time pressure are a reality, this leads often to a down-prioritization of creating trace links. Objective:We propose a new idea that uses knowledge organization structures, such as taxonomies, ontologies and thesauri, asan auxiliary artifact to establish trace links. In order to investigate the novelty and feasibility of this idea, we studytraceability in the area of requirements engineering. Method: First, we conduct a literature survey to investigate towhat extent and how auxiliary artifacts have been used in the past for requirements traceability. Then, we conduct avalidation study in industry, testing the idea of taxonomic trace links with realistic artifacts. Results: We have reviewed126 studies that investigate requirements traceability; ninetey-one of them use auxiliary artifacts in the traceabilityprocess. In the validation study, while we have encountered six challenges when classifying requirements with a domain-specific taxonomy, we found that designers and engineers are able to classify design objects comprehensively and reliably.Conclusions: The idea of taxonomic trace links is novel and feasible in practice. However, the identified challenges needto be addressed to allow for an adoption in practice and enable a transfer to software intensive contexts.

Keywords [en]
equirements traceability, Taxonomy, Trace link, Classification, Building information modeling
National Category
Software Engineering
Research subject
Software Engineering; Systems Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-23569OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-23569DiVA, id: diva2:1690052
Available from: 2022-08-24 Created: 2022-08-24 Last updated: 2023-08-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Reducing the Distance Between Requirements Engineering and Verification
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reducing the Distance Between Requirements Engineering and Verification
2022 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background Requirements engineering and verification (REV) processes play es-sential roles in software product development. There are physical and non-physicaldistances between entities (actors, artifacts, and activities) in these processes. Cur-rent practices that reduce the distances, such as automated testing and alignmentof document structure and tracing only partially close the above mentioned gap.Objective The aim of this thesis is to investigate solutions w.r.t their abilityto reduce the distances between requirements engineering and verification. Twotechniques that are explored in this thesis are automated testing (model-basedtesting, MBT) and alignment of document structure and tracing (traceability).Method The research methods used in this thesis are systematic mapping, soft-ware requirements mining, case study, literature survey, validation study, and de-sign science.Results MBT and traceability are effective in reducing the distance between re-quirements and verification. However, both activities have some shortcoming thatneeds to be addressed when used for that purpose. Current MBT techniques inthe context of software performance do not attain all the goals of MBT: 1) require-ments validation, 2) checking the testability of requirements, and 3) the generationof an efficient test suite. These goals are essential to reduce the distance. We de-veloped and assessed performance requirements verification and test environmentgeneration approach to tackle these shortcomings. Also, traceability between re-quirements and verification suffers from the low granularity of trace links and doesnot support the verification of all requirements. We propose the use of taxonomictrace links to trace and align the structure of requirements specifications and ver-ification artifacts. The results from the validation study show that the solution isfeasible in practice. However, this comes with challenges that need to be addressed.Conclusion MBT and improved traceability reduce multiple distances betweenactors, artifacts, and activities in the requirements engineering and verificationprocess. MBT is most effective in reducing the distances when the model used isbuilt from the requirements. Traceability is essential in easing access to relevantinformation when needed and should not be seen as an overhead. When creatingtrace links, we need to consider the difference in the abstraction, structure, andtime between the linked artifacts

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2022
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 4
Keywords
Requirements, Model-Based Testing, Traceability.
National Category
Software Engineering
Research subject
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-23570 (URN)
Presentation
2022-10-05, J1630, Valhallavägen 1, 371 41, Karlskrona, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Transport Administration, DCAT
Note

Chapter 3 and 4 are papers submitted to journals, and therefore removed from the fulltext file.

Available from: 2022-08-25 Created: 2022-08-24 Last updated: 2022-09-14Bibliographically approved

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Abdeen, WaleedUnterkalmsteiner, MichaelWnuk, Krzysztof

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