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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.

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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).
Citation:
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
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