This Article 
 Bibliographic References 
 Add to: 
Management of Performance Requirements for Information Systems
December 2000 (vol. 26 no. 12)
pp. 1122-1146

Abstract—Management of performance requirements is a major challenge for information systems as well as other software systems. This is because performance requirements (e.g., “a student records system should have good response time for registering students”) can have a global impact on the target system. In addition, there are interactions and trade-offs among performance requirements, other nonfunctional requirements (NFRs, or software quality attributes, e.g., accuracy), and the numerous alternatives for the target system. To provide a systematic approach to managing performance requirements, this paper presents a “Performance Requirements Framework” (PeRF). It integrates and catalogues a variety of kinds of knowledge of information systems and performance. These include performance concepts, Software Performance Engineering (SPE) principles for “building performance into” systems, and information systems development knowledge (including requirements, design, implementation, and performance). In addition, layered structures organize performance knowledge and the development process. All this knowledge is represented using an existing goal-oriented approach, the “NFR Framework,” which offers a developer-directed graphical treatment for stating NFRs, analyzing and interrelating them, and determining the impact of decisions upon NFRs. This approach allows customized solutions to be built, taking into account the characteristics of the particular domain. The use of PeRF in managing performance requirements is illustrated in a study of performance requirements and other NFRs for a university's student records system. This paper concludes with a summary of other studies of information systems, tool support, and directions for future work.

[1] Artificial Intelligence, vol. 24,nos. 1–3, Dec. 1984.
[2] M.P. Atkinson and O.P. Buneman, “Types and Persistence in Database Programming Languages,” ACM Computing Surveys, Vol. 19 No. 2 June 1987, pp. 105-190.
[3] R. Balzer, "A 15 Year Perspective on Automatic Programming," IEEE Trans. Software Eng., vol. 11, Nov. 1985.
[4] V.R. Basili and J.D. Musa, "The Future Engineering of Software: A Management Perspective," Computer, Vol. 24, No. 9, Sept. 1991, pp. 90-96.
[5] B.W. Boehm, J.R. Brown, H. Kaspar, M. Lipow, G.J. MacLeod, and M.J. Merritt, Characteristics of Software Quality. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1978.
[6] A. Borgida,J. Mylopoulos,J. Schmidt,, and I. Wetzel,“Support for data-intensive applications: Conceptual design and software development,” R. Hull, R. Morrison, and D. Stemple, eds., Database Programming Languages.San Mateo, Calif.: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 1990.
[7] A. Borgida, J. Mylopoulos, and J.W. Schmidt, “The TaxisDL Software Description Language,” Database Application Eng. with DAIDA, M. Jarke, ed., pp. 65–84, 1993.
[8] G. Brataas, A.L. Opdahl, V. Vetland, and A. Sølvberg, “Information Systems: Final Evaluation of the IMSE,” technical report, IMSE Project Deliverable D6.6–2, SINTEF, Univ. of Trondheim, Norway, Feb. 1992.
[9] G. Brataas, “Performance Engineering Method for Workflow Systems: An Integrated View of Human and Computerised Work Processes,” doctoral thesis, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Tech nology, 1996.
[10] P.P. Chen, “The Entity‐Relationship Model: Toward a Unified View of Data,” ACM Trans. Database Systems, Vol. 1, No. 1, Jan. 1976, pp. 9–36.
[11] K.L. Chung, “An Extended Taxis Compiler,” masters thesis, Dept. of Computer Science, Univ. of Toronto, 1984.
[12] K.L. Chung, D. Rios-Zertuche, B.A. Nixon, and J. Mylopoulos, “Process Management and Assertion Enforcement for a Semantic Data Model,” Proc. Int'l Conf. Extending Database Technology, EDBT '88, J.W. Schmidt, S. Ceri, and M. Missikof, eds., pp. 469–487, 1988.
[13] K.L. Chung, "Representing and Using Non-Functional Requirements for Information System Development: A Process-Oriented Approach," PhD thesis, also Technical Report DKBS-TR-93-1, Dept. of Computer Science, Univ. of Toronto, June 1993.
[14] L. Chung, B.A. Nixon, and E. Yu, “Using Quality Requirements to Systematically Develop Quality Software,” Proc. Fourth Int'l Conf. Software Quality, Oct. 1994.
[15] L. Chung and B.A. Nixon, “Tool Support for Systematic Treatment of Non-Functional Requirements,” Dec. 1994.
[16] L. Chung, B.A. Nixon, and E. Yu, “Using Non-Functional Requirements to Systematically Select Among Alternatives in Architectural Design,” Proc.Workshop Architectures for Software Systems, ICSE-17, Apr. 1995.
[17] L. Chung and B.A. Nixon, “Dealing with Non-Functional Requirements: Three Experimental Studies of a Process-Oriented Approach,” Proc. 17th Int'l Conf. Software Eng., pp. 25–37, Apr. 1995.
[18] L. Chung, B.A. Nixon, and E. Yu, “Dealing with Change: An Approach Using Non-Functional Requirements,” Requirements Eng., vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 238–260, 1996.
[19] L. Chung, B.A. Nixon, E. Yu, and J. Mylopoulos, Non-Functional Requirements in Software Engineering. Boston: Kluwer Academic, 2000.
[20] L.M. Cysneiros and J.C.S.P. Leite, Integrating Non-Functional Requirements into Data Model Proc. Fourth Int'l Symp. Requirements Eng., June 1999.
[21] A. Dardenne, A. van Lamsweerde, and S. Fickas, "Goal-Directed Requirements Acquisition," Science of Computer Programming, pp. 3-50, vol. 20, Apr. 1993.
[22] S.F. Fickas, "Automating the Transformational Development of Software," IEEE Trans. Software Engineering, Vol. 11, No. 11, 1985, pp. 1268-1277.
[23] S. Green, “Goal-Driven Approaches to Requirements Engineering,” Technical Report 94/9, Dept. of Computing, Univ. of the West of England, Bristol, 1994.
[24] S.J. Greenspan, J. Mylopoulos, and A. Borgida, “Capturing More World Knowledge in the Requirements Specification,” Proc. Sixth Int'l Conf. Software Eng., pp. 225–234, 1982.
[25] R. Hull and R. King, “Semantic Database Modelling: Survey, Applications, and Research Issues,” Computing Surveys, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 201-260, ACM, Sept. 1987.
[26] W.F. Hyslop, “Performance Prediction of Relational Database Management Systems,” doctoral thesis, Dept. of Computer Science, Univ. of Toronto, 1991.
[27] R. Jain, The Art of Computer System Performance Analysis. New York: Wiley, 1991.
[28] M. Jarke, J. Mylopoulos, J.W. Schmidt, and Y. Vassiliou, "DAIDA: An Environment for Evolving Information Systems," ACM Trans. Information Systems, pp. 1-50, vol. 10, Jan. 1992.
[29] ConceptBase V3.1 User Manual, M. Jarke, ed., Univ. of Passau, 1992.
[30] I. Jurisica and B.A. Nixon, “Building Quality into Case-Based Reasoning Systems,” Proc. 10th Int'l Conf. Advanced Information Systems Eng., CAiSE '98, B. Pernici and C. Thanos, eds., pp. 363–380, June 1998.
[31] E. Kant and D.R. Barstow, “The Refinement Paradigm: The Interaction of Coding and Efficiency Knowledge in Program Synthesis,” IEEE Trans. Software Eng., vol. 7, no. 5, pp. 458–471, Sept. 1981.
[32] S.E. Keller, L.G. Kahn, and R.B. Panara, “Specifying Software Quality Requirements with Metrics,” Tutorial: System and Software Requirements Eng., R.H. Thayer andM. Dorfman, eds., pp. 145–163, 1990.
[33] W. Kim, K.C. Kim, and A. Dale, "Indexing Techniques for Object-Oriented Databases," W. Kim and F. Lochovsky, eds., Object-Oriented Concepts, Databases, and Applications, pp. 371-394, Addison-Wesley, 1989.
[34] E.D. Lazowska, J. Zahorjan, G.S. Graham, and K.C. Sevcik, Quantitative System Performance, Prentice Hall, pp 64-66, 1984.
[35] A.S. Lee, “A Scientific Methodology for MIS Case Studies,” MIS Quarterly, pp. 30–50, Mar. 1991.
[36] J. Lee, “Extending the Potts and Bruns Model for Recording Design Rationale,” Proc. 13th Int'l Conf. Software Eng., pp. 114–125, May 1991.
[37] J. Mylopoulos, P. Bernstein, and H. Wong, “A Language Facility for Designing Interactive, Database-Intensive Applications,” ACM Trans. Database Systems, vol. 5, no. 2, 1980.
[38] J. Mylopoulos, A. Borgida, M. Jarke, and M. Koubarakis, "Telos: Representing Knowledge About Information Systems," ACM Trans. Information Systems, pp. 325-362, vol. 8, Oct. 1990.
[39] J. Mylopoulos, L. Chung, and B. Nixon, "Representing and Using Nonfunctional Requirements: A Process-Oriented Approach," IEEE Trans. Software Eng., pp. 483-497, vol. 18, June 1992.
[40] N. Nilsson, Problem-Solving Methods in Artificial Intelligence. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971.
[41] B.A. Nixon, “A Taxis Compiler,” master's thesis, Dept. of Computer Science, Univ. of Toronto, 1983.
[42] B. Nixon et al., “Implementation of Compiler for a Semantic Data Model: Experience with Taxis,” Proc. ACM SIG MOD1987,ACM, New York, May 1987, pp. 118-131.
[43] B.A. Nixon, K.L. Chung,D. Lauzon, A. Borgida, J. Mylopoulos, and M. Stanley, “Design of a Compiler for a Semantic Data Model,” Foundations of Knowledge Base Management, J.W. Schmidt and C. Thanos, eds., pp. 293–343, 1989.
[44] B. Nixon and J. Mylopoulos, “Integration Issues in Implementing Semantic Data Models,” Advances in Database Programming Languages, F. Bancilhon and P. Buneman, eds., 1990.
[45] B. Nixon, “Implementation of Information System Design Specifications: A Performance Perspective,” Proc. Third Int'l Workshop Database Programming Languages: Bulk Types and Persistent Data, P. Kanellakis and J.W. Schmidt, eds., pp. 149–168, Aug. 1991.
[46] B.A. Nixon, "Dealing with Performance Requirements During the Development of Information Systems," Proc. IEEE Int'l Symp. Requirements Eng., pp. 42-49,San Diego, Jan. 1992.
[47] B.A. Nixon, “Representing and Using Performance Requirements during the Development of Information Systems,” Proc. Fourth Int'l Conf. Extending Database Technology, EDBT '94, M. Jarke, J. Bubenko, and K. Jeffery, eds. pp. 187–200, Mar. 1994.
[48] B.A. Nixon, “Performance Requirements for Information Systems,” doctoral thesis, Dept. of Computer Science, Univ. of Toronto, 1997.
[49] B.A. Nixon, “Performance Requirements for Information Systems,” doctoral thesis, Dept. of Computer Science, Univ. of Toronto, 1997.
[50] B.A. Nixon, “Managing Performance Requirements for Information Systems,” Proc. First Int'l Workshop Software and Performance, WOSP '98, pp. 131–144, Oct. 1998.
[51] A.L. Opdahl, “Performance Engineering during Information System Development,” doctoral thesis and Technical Report 1992:5, Information Systems Group, Faculty of Computer Science and Electrical Eng., Norwegian Inst. of Technology, Univ. of Trondheim, Norway, 1992.
[52] A.L. Opdahl, “Requirements Engineering for Software Performance,” Proc. First Int'l Workshop on Requirements Eng. Foundation of Software Quality, REFSQ '94, pp. 16–32, June 1994.
[53] J. Peckham and F. Maryanski, “Semantic Data Models,” Computing Surveys, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 153-189, ACM, Sept. 1988.
[54] S. Rozen, “Automating Physical Database Design: An Extensible Approach,” doctoral dissertation, Dept. of Computer Science, New York Univ., 1993.
[55] J.W. Schmidt and F. Matthes, “The DBPL Project: Advances in Modular Database Programming,” Information Systems, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 121–140, 1994.
[56] H.A. Simon, The Sciences of the Artificial, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1981.
[57] C.U. Smith, “Independent General Principles for Constructing Responsive Software Systems,” ACM Trans. Computer Systems, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1–31, Feb. 1986.
[58] C. Smith, Performance Engineering of Software Systems. Reading, Mass.: Addison Wesley, 1990.
[59] J.M. Smith and D.C.P. Smith, “Database Abstractions: Aggregation and Generalization,” ACM Trans. Database Systems, vol. 2, pp. 105-133, 1977.
[60] Software AG of Canada, “University of Toronto Student Records System: High Level Business Requirements Study,” Apr. 1996 (unpublished).
[61] University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts and Science, “1998–1999 Registration Handbook&Timetable,” 1998.
[62] University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts and Science, St. George Campus, “Registration Handbook&Timetable, 1999–2000 Fall/Winter Session,” 1999.
[63] E. Yu, "Modeling Strategic Relationships for Process Reengineering," PhD thesis, Technical Report on Research in Data and Knowledge Eng., DKBS-TR-94-6, Dept. of Computer Science, Univ. of Toronto, 1994.
[64] P. Zave, “Classification of Research Efforts in Requirements Engineering,” ACM Computing Surveys, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 315–321, 1997.
[65] M.D. Zisman, “Use of Production Systems for Modeling Concurrent Processes,” Pattern-Directed Inference Systems, D.A. Waterman and F. Hayes-Roth, eds., pp. 53–68, New York: Academic Press, 1978.

Index Terms:
Performance requirements, information systems, requirements engineering, nonfunctional requirements, Software Performance Engineering (SPE), semantic data models (SDMs), catalogues of performance and development knowledge, conflicts and trade-offs, student records system, Year 2000 compliance, NFR Framework, Performance Requirements Framework (PeRF).
Brian A. Nixon, "Management of Performance Requirements for Information Systems," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 26, no. 12, pp. 1122-1146, Dec. 2000, doi:10.1109/32.888627
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.