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Managing Requirements Inconsistency with Development Goal Monitors
November/December 1999 (vol. 25 no. 6)
pp. 816-835

Abstract—Managing the development of software requirements can be a complex and difficult task. The environment is often chaotic. As analysts and customers leave the project, they are replaced by others who drive development in new directions. As a result, inconsistencies arise. Newer requirements introduce inconsistencies with older requirements. The introduction of such requirements inconsistencies may violate stated goals of development. In this article, techniques are presented that manage requirements document inconsistency by managing inconsistencies that arise between requirement development goals and requirements development enactment. A specialized development model, called a requirements dialog meta-model, is presented. This meta-model defines a conceptual framework for dialog goal definition, monitoring, and in the case of goal failure, dialog goal reestablishment. The requirements dialog meta-model is supported in an automated multiuser World Wide Web environment, called DealScribe. An exploratory case study of its use is reported. This research supports the conclusions that: 1) an automated tool that supports the dialog meta-model can automate the monitoring and reestablishment of formal development goals, 2) development goal monitoring can be used to determine statements of a development dialog that fail to satisfy development goals, and 3) development goal monitoring can be used to manage inconsistencies in a developing requirements document. The application of DealScribe demonstrates that a dialog meta-model can enable a powerful environment for managing development and document inconsistencies.

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Index Terms:
Requirements engineering, inconsistency and conflict management, process modeling and monitoring, meta-modeling, CASE.
Citation:
William N. Robinson, Suzanne D. Pawlowski, "Managing Requirements Inconsistency with Development Goal Monitors," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 816-835, Nov.-Dec. 1999, doi:10.1109/32.824411
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