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  • 1.
    Molléri, Jefferson Seide
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Mendes, Emilia
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Petersen, Kai
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Felderer, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Aligning the Views of Research Quality in Empirical Software EngineeringIn: ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology, ISSN 1049-331X, E-ISSN 1557-7392Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Research quality is intended to assess the design and reporting of studies. It comprises a series of concepts such as methodological rigor, practical relevance, and conformance to ethical standards. Depending on the perspective, different views of importance are given to the conceptual dimensions of research quality.

    Objective: We intend to assess the level of alignment between researchers with regard to a conceptual model of research quality. This includes aligning the definition of research quality and reasoning on the relative importance of quality characteristics.

    Method: We conducted a mixed methods approach comprising an internal case study and a complementary focus group. We carried out a hierarchical voting prioritization based on the conceptual model to collect relative values for importance. In the focus group, we also moderate discussions with experts to address potential misalignment.

    Results: The alignment at the research group level was higher compared to that at community level. Moreover, the interdisciplinary conceptual quality model was seeing to express fairly the quality of research, but presented limitations regarding its structure and components' description, which resulted in an updated model. 

    Conclusion: The interdisciplinary model used was suitable for the software engineering context. The process used for reflecting on the alignment of quality with respect to definitions and priorities was working well. 

  • 2.
    Unterkalmsteiner, Michael
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Feldt, Robert
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    A Taxonomy for Requirements Engineering and Software Test Alignment2014In: ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology, ISSN 1049-331X, E-ISSN 1557-7392, Vol. 23, no 2Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Requirements Engineering and Software Testing are mature areas and have seen a lot of research. Nevertheless, their interactions have been sparsely explored beyond the concept of traceability. To fill this gap we propose a definition of requirements engineering and software test (REST) alignment, a taxonomy that characterizes the methods linking the respective areas, and a process to assess alignment. The taxonomy can support researchers to identify new opportunities for investigation, as well as practitioners to compare alignment methods and evaluate alignment, or lack thereof. We constructed the REST taxonomy by analyzing alignment methods published in literature, iteratively validating the emerging dimensions. The resulting concept of an information dyad characterizes the exchange of information required for any alignment to take place. We demonstrate use of the taxonomy by applying it on five in-depth cases and illustrate angles of analysis on a set of thirteen alignment methods. In addition we developed an assessment framework (REST-bench), applied it in an industrial assessment, and showed that it, with a low effort, can identify opportunities to improve REST alignment. Although we expect that the taxonomy can be further refined, we believe that the information dyad is a valid and useful construct to understand alignment.

  • 3.
    Wagner, Stefan
    et al.
    Univ Stuttgart, DEU.
    Fernandez, Daniel Mendez
    Tech Univ Munich, DEU.
    Felderer, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Vetro, Antonio
    Politecn Torino, ITA.
    Kalinowski, Marcos
    Pontifical Catholic Univ Rio de Janeiro, BRA.
    Wieringa, Roel
    Univ Twente, NLD.
    Pfahl, Dietmar
    University of Tartu, EST.
    Conte, Tayana
    Universidade Federal do Amazonas, BRA.
    Christiansson, Marie-Therese
    Karlstad Univ, SWE.
    Greer, Desmond
    Queens Univ Belfast, IRL.
    Lassenius, Casper
    Aalto Univ, FIN.
    Mannisto, Tomi
    Univ Helsinki, FIN.
    Nayebi, Maleknaz
    Univ Calgary, CAN.
    Oivo, Markku
    Univ Oulu, FIN.
    Penzenstadler, Birgit
    California State University, Long Beach, USA.
    Prikladnicki, Rafael
    Pontificia Univ Catolica Rio Grande do Sul, BRA.
    Ruhe, Guenther
    Univ Calgary, CAN.
    Schekelmann, Andre
    Hsch Niederrhein, DEU.
    Sen, Sagar
    Simula, Fornebu, NOR.
    Spinola, Rodrigo
    Salvador Univ UNIFACS, BRA.
    Tuzcu, Ahmed
    zeb.rolfes.schierenbeck.associates GmbH, DEU.
    De la Vara, Jose Luis
    Carlos III Univ Madrid, ESP.
    Winkler, Dietmar
    Tech Univ Wien, AUT.
    Status Quo in Requirements Engineering: A Theory and a Global Family of Surveys2019In: ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology, ISSN 1049-331X, E-ISSN 1557-7392, Vol. 28, no 2, article id 9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Requirements Engineering (RE) has established itself as a software engineering discipline over the past decades. While researchers have been investigating the RE discipline with a plethora of empirical studies, attempts to systematically derive an empirical theory in context of the RE discipline have just recently been started. However, such a theory is needed if we are to define and motivate guidance in performing high quality RE research and practice. We aim at providing an empirical and externally valid foundation for a theory of RE practice, which helps software engineers establish effective and efficient RE processes in a problem-driven manner. We designed a survey instrument and an engineer-focused theory that was first piloted in Germany and, after making substantial modifications, has now been replicated in 10 countries worldwide. We have a theory in the form of a set of propositions inferred from our experiences and available studies, as well as the results from our pilot study in Germany. We evaluate the propositions with bootstrapped confidence intervals and derive potential explanations for the propositions. In this article, we report on the design of the family of surveys, its underlying theory, and the full results obtained from the replication studies conducted in 10 countries with participants from 228 organisations. Our results represent a substantial step forward towards developing an empirical theory of RE practice. The results reveal, for example, that there are no strong differences between organisations in different countries and regions, that interviews, facilitated meetings and prototyping are the most used elicitation techniques, that requirements are often documented textually, that traces between requirements and code or design documents are common, that requirements specifications themselves are rarely changed and that requirements engineering (process) improvement endeavours are mostly internally driven. Our study establishes a theory that can be used as starting point for many further studies for more detailed investigations. Practitioners can use the results as theory-supported guidance on selecting suitable RE methods and techniques.

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