The impact of domain knowledge on the effectiveness of requirements idea generation during requirements elicitation
Chicago, IL, USA USA
Sept. 24, 2012 to Sept. 28, 2012
Ali Niknafs , Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Daniel M. Berry , Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
It is believed that the effectiveness of requirements engineering activities depends at least partially on the individuals involved. One of the factors that seems to influence an individual's effectiveness in requirements engineering activities is knowledge of the problem being solved, i.e., domain knowledge. While a requirements engineer's having in-depth domain knowledge helps him or her to understand the problem easier, he or she can fall for tacit assumptions of the domain and might overlook issues that are obvious to domain experts. This paper describes a controlled experiment to test the hypothesis that adding to a requirements elicitation team for a computer-based system in a particular domain, requirements analysts that are ignorant of the domain improves the effectiveness of the requirements elicitation team. The results, although not conclusive, show some support for accepting the hypothesis. The results were analyzed also to determine the effect of creativity, industrial experience, and requirements engineering experience. The results suggest other hypotheses to be studied in the future.
Requirements engineering, Brainstorming, Creativity, Domain awareness, Domain ignorance, Empirical software engineering, Importance of ignorance, Requirements elicitation
Ali Niknafs, Daniel M. Berry, "The impact of domain knowledge on the effectiveness of requirements idea generation during requirements elicitation", RE, 2012, 2013 21st IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE), 2013 21st IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE) 2012, pp. 181-190, doi:10.1109/RE.2012.6345802