An approach to carry out consistency analysis on requirements: Validating and tracking requirements through a configuration structure

  • Nistala P
  • Kumari P
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Abstract

Requirements management and traceability have always been one of grand challenges in software development area. Studies reveal that 30–40% of software defects can be traced to gaps or errors in requirements Although several models and techniques have been defined to optimize the requirements process, ensuring alignment and consistency of elicited requirements continues to be a challenge. All software engineering standards and methodologies recognize the importance of maintaining relationships among the software elements for traceability. We have leveraged the structured relationships among the requirement elements to come up with an approach to systematically carry out consistency analysis of requirements for software systems. The framework has multiple models: a multi layered requirement model, a configuration structure to link and track the requirement items, a consistency analysis method to identify the inconsistencies in the requirements and a consistency index computation to indicate the level of consistency in overall requirements of the software system. This approach helps to validate the requirements from both completeness and correctness perspectives and also check their consistency in forward and backward directions. The paper outlines the framework, describes the encompassing models and the implementation details from pilot of the framework to an industry case study along with results.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Requirement alignment
  • Requirement configuration structure
  • Requirement consistency analysis
  • Requirement consistency index
  • Requirement inconsistency matrix

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