Using RE knowledge to assist automatically during requirement specification

Abstract

In a two semester software engineering (SE) course at Bonn-Rhine-Sieg University students have the opportunity to actually elicit, analyze and document requirements as well as design and develop a correspondent software product in teams of approximately four. The students have to use an issue tracking software in combination with a Requirements Engineering (RE) tool to document and plan their work. Though the course starts with RE theory from elicitation via documentation and traceability, we found that the students find it difficult to combine different RE artifact types and to develop useful traces between them. In this paper we present an approach to provide feedback and give pro-active advice inside an RE tool, while the specification is created. To derive this feedback we use a knowledge base containing rules and best practices to create a requirements specification. An assistance system applies these rules to guide the user in different situations, beginning with an empty specification up to the implementation of various RE artifact types and traces between them. This paper presents the status of our knowledge-based feedback mechanism and possible extensions. In order to get primary indicators for the value of this approach we did experiments and workshops with eight students who worked with the same tool with and without the feedback system. Keywords-RE; knowledge engineering; teaching; direct feedback, software-based feedback agents

DOI: 10.1109/REET.2012.6360068

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Merten2012UsingRK, title={Using RE knowledge to assist automatically during requirement specification}, author={Thorsten Merten and Thorsten Sch{\"a}fer and Simone B{\"{u}rsner}, booktitle={REET}, year={2012} }