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Camilo Fitzgerald PhD Student UCL Computer Science 8 th January, 2008 Resolving Conflicts in Requirements Engineering: A PhD Project.

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Presentation on theme: "Camilo Fitzgerald PhD Student UCL Computer Science 8 th January, 2008 Resolving Conflicts in Requirements Engineering: A PhD Project."— Presentation transcript:

1 Camilo Fitzgerald PhD Student UCL Computer Science 8 th January, 2008 Resolving Conflicts in Requirements Engineering: A PhD Project

2 A Simple Example Scope of the Project Existing Work Problem Exploration Next Steps Summary Overview

3 Consider a new mobile phone project: –Requirement A: Phone must provide GPS. –Requirement B: Phone must weigh less than 10g. –Domain Property: The lightest GPS device weighs 12g. Possible resolutions include: –Elimination? Forget about the GPS (Requirement A). –Weakening? The phone may weigh 20g (Requirement B). –Live with Conflict? A GPS device could be available next week that weighs less. –… A Simple Example

4 In Perspective: –Poor requirements management is the #1 reason for IT project failures 1. –Management of conflicts plays a big part in this. Conflicts between requirements are commonplace: –Only a handful of computer aided detection methods exist. –Almost no work done on automated resolution methods. Conclusion: –We need better conflict detection/resolution methods and tools. –Ultimately, we need a complete requirements conflict management tool that covers every stage of a projects lifecycle. Scope of the Project

5 Key Related Works Explored So Far: Viewpoints Theory 2 KAOS - Goal Oriented Requirements Engineering 3 XLinkIt - Repair Actions Paper 4 WinWin – Non-Functional Requirements negotiation 5 Egyeds work on UML model inconsistencies 6 Features of these works: Existing Work

6 Work I will be looking into next: Goal modeling with i* 7. Conflicting merges in configuration management. Models for collaborative elicitation. The economic approach to conflicts. Im very interested in more suggestions… Existing Work

7 OpenOffice Project: –A qualitative analysis of requirement conflicts found in OpenOffice.orgs spreadsheet application. –Modeling of conflicts, and their resolution strategies. Main points of interest: –Resolutions were usually chosen based upon the level of authority of the actor that proposed them. –Conflicts were frequently raised more than once, after a resolution had been chosen. –Many examples where the resolution chosen was to live with the conflict. Full analysis available on weblog: Problem Exploration: Case Study

8 UCL Research Information Systems Project: –Project Aim: To keep complete and up-to-date data on all research projects at UCL. –Underlying Conflict: Time & effort of academic staff vs. accuracy of records. A Study of Student Projects –MSc students formed groups of Developers and Clients to produce a requirements document collaboratively. –A Wiki will be used next year to produce the requirements document. Editing pages collaboratively could be a useful tool for recording and resolving conflicts. More details on weblog: Problem Exploration: Other Studies

9 Possible criteria for choosing alternative resolution strategies: –Stakeholder satisfaction. –Stakeholder importance. –Pick a resolution that increases the probability of subsequent resolutions. –Project development stage. –Artefacts altered by a resolution. Analyse resolutions in terms of other conflicts that may arise from them: –How can we handle dependencies between conflicts? –In what order should conflicts be resolved? –At what stage of the project should a conflict be resolved? Problem Exploration: Ideas

10 Looking into: –Characterisation of real world resolution strategies. –Dependencies between conflicts. Future Plans: –Continue with the projects and related work. –Find methods for computer aided conflict detection and/or resolution. –Implement these methods in a simple tool that is of use to the software engineering community. –Produce a thesis! Next Steps

11 Conflicts exist and need to be managed effectively. Lots of interesting work out there, but we are a long off from a complete conflict management solution. Im looking into characterisations of the way conflicts are detected and resolved. By the end of three years, I aim to have a tool that will be useful to software engineers. For more information: Summary

12 1 Survey of US software project by Standish Group 2 Finkelstein, A. S., I. (1996). "The Viewpoints FAQ: Editorial - Viewpoints in Requirements Engineering." Software Engineering Journal. 3 Lamsweerde, A. v. and R. Darimont (1998 ). "Managing conflicts in goal-driven requirements engineering " IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. 4 Nentwich, C., W. Emmerich, et al. (2003 ). Consistency Management with Repair Actions. 25th International Conference on Software Engineering 5 Boehm, B., P. Bose, et al. (1995). Requirements Negotiation and Renegotiation Aids: A Theory-W Based Spiral Approach. 17th International Conference on Software Engineering. 6 Egyed, A. (2007). Fixing Inconsistencies in UML Design Models. 29th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE. 7 Yu, E. S. K. (1997). Towards Modelling and Reasoning Support for Early-Phase Requirements Engineering. IEEE International Symposium on Requirements Engineering References

13 University College London Dept. of Computer Science, MPEB London WC1E 6BT Office: 7.08 Tel: +44 (0) (Direct Dial) Fax: +44 (0) C.Fitzgerald (at) Web: Supervisors: Emmanuel Letier & Anthony Finkelstein Contact Information Camilo Fitzgerald

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