Omid Jafarinezhad

Thesis Title: A Framework for Requirements Engineering in Method Engineering                 

Abstract:

Researchers and developers in the field of software engineering are always looking for ways to attain the highest degree of efficiency and quality possible in software production processes. Today, Method Engineering (ME) is being pursued in order to achieve this goal.
Requirements Engineering (RE) plays a vital role in method engineering just as in software engineering processes. Despite the tremendous efforts in improving the processes of software production, RE practices are weaker than other practices in the context of software engineering. Regarding this issue and the relative youth of method engineering, RE practices in method engineering are also weaker than other practices.
Most research in the field of method engineering includes preparation of detailed repositories of useful method fragments and providing a way for selecting the appropriate method fragments and connecting these fragments based on the requirements. Furthermore, although all of these activities are based on specific requirements, few explicit ways have been presented to extract the requirements of a new methodology.
Due to the correspondence and analogy between software engineering and methodology engineering, it can be concluded that interest has been mostly focused on methodology design and implementation (even a variety of tools have been provided); analysis, on the other hand, remains weak. This issue will create a great amount of risk for the software production process, because software production using an inappropriate methodology or without compliance with the requirements is bound to cause confusion and directionlessness in the middle of the production process.
The aim of this project is to provide an appropriate framework for describing and extracting the requirements in the context of methodology engineering. Because of relative immaturity of these areas, appropriate research approaches are required. In order to achieve this objective, this project will use two approaches to study and provide the target framework. The two proposed approaches are not necessarily alternatives, but complementary.

  • In order to evaluate RE methods, they can be categorized according to their philosophy. Regarding the idea that "Software processes are software too", the first idea that comes to mind is that the RE methods used in software engineering could be transitioned into the context of methodology engineering. Some of these methods may not be applicable in the context of methodology engineering, and will therefore be put aside; others will have to be adapted for use in the new context.

  • Another approach is based on the notion that method engineering needs specific RE practices according to its own characteristics. This raises the idea of ME-specific RE practices.

After defining the framework, it will be applied to a case study in order to evaluate its applicability.
 

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Contact Information

   Email: jafarinezhad [at] ce [dot] sharif [dot] edu