Doctoral Symposium

The Doctoral Symposium at the 23rd IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE'15) brings together PhD students and academics working in all areas of requirements engineering. Students present their research projects and receive constructive feedback from a panel of senior internationally renowned researchers. The doctoral symposium is run in a highly interactive and collegial workshop-like format.

Accepted Contributions

ID Paper
D02 Incorporating Preferences from Multiple Stakeholders in Software Requirements Selection: An Interactive Search-Based Approach
Antonio Mauricio Pitangueira
(Federal University of Bahia, Brazil)
Abstract  | Paper

The software requirements selection process has an important role in software development because it aims in identifying an (close to) optimal subset of candidate requirements by exploiting trade-offs among these requirements to satisfy the demands of users. Usually, more than one stakeholder participates in the requirements selection process analyzing important aspects in this context, such as budget, costs, available resources, and technical aspects to find a set of requirements that meets the users’ needs. In a scenario in which different stakeholders are involved, the inclusion of their preferences, decision criteria and judgment are important factors to guarantee the selection of the best requirements according to project constraints. An interactive approach to incorporate preferences from multiple stakeholders is proposed aiming to assist users in obtaining solutions as close to their needs.

D03 How Can Corpus Linguistics Help Improve Requirements Writing? Specifications of a Space Project as a Case Study
Maxime Warnier
(CLLE-ERSS, France)
Abstract  | Paper

The specific purpose of this doctoral research is to improve the writing of requirements at the French Space Agency (CNES) by proposing a set of linguistic rules – referred to as a Controlled Natural Language (CNL) – that engineers should follow when writing out specifications in French. CNLs for technical writing do already exist, but if they are reviewed from a linguistic point of view, they are found unsatisfactory and too constraining, because some of the rules they impose lack relevance or are not compatible with the way engineers actually specify large-scale systems. In this research abstract, we will present a methodology based on corpus analysis aimed at improving existing rules and suggesting new ones that are inspired by existing data. We will also consider requirements extracted from specifications written at CNES to demonstrate its feasibility.

D04 The Personal Information Security Assistant
Roeland H. P. Kegel
(University of Twente, Netherlands)
Abstract  | Paper

The human element is often found to be the weakest link in the information security chain. The Personal Information Security Assistant project aims to address this by improving the privacy and security awareness of end-users and by aligning the user's personal IT environment to the user's security requirements. It does this by elicitation of a user's privacy and security requirements (risk appetite) as well as a user's risk perception. The PISA then takes action by aligning the user's requirements and perceptions, thereby improving user awareness regarding privacy and security. This article outlines the research questions, methodology and current results associated with the PISA project.

D05 Security Assurance Requirements Engineering (STARE) for Trustworthy Service Level Agreements
Yudhistira Nugraha
(University of Oxford, UK)
Abstract  | Paper

With the development of trustworthy services, security requirements are of paramount importance for any service (X-as-a-Service). This work-in-progress paper motivates the need for a new approach to requirements engineering for trustworthy services, which helps organisations to systematically define a set of security requirements and describe these in a service level agreement (SLA). This proposed research aims to provide adequate assurances to users by introducing the concept of the Trustworthy Service Level Agreement (TSLA). The proposed research design involves three stages: The first is to develop an initial method of Security Assurance Requirements Engineering (STARE) by refining the nine Security Quality Requirements Engineering (SQUARE) activities. The key activities of STARE include: eliciting security requirements, classification of security requirements, and developing the novel concept of the TSLA. In the second stage, the effectiveness of STARE is evaluated using two real-world case studies: state cyber defence and lawful interception as a service. Finally, the process of implementing the STARE activities will be evaluated using selected service providers that deliver such services to defence and law enforcement agencies. Given the current state of requirements engineering for services, it is anticipated that this research will have a significant impact in terms of guaranteeing secure and trustworthy services in various domains

D06 A Magnet-and-Spring Based Visualization Technique for Enhancing the Manipulation of Requirements Artifacts
Parisa Ghazi
(University of Zurich, Switzerland)
Abstract  | Paper

Requirements engineers model the system of interest from different points of view by creating numerous artifacts. Although they have to deal with a great amount of information, the display space of the devices is limited. This limitation leads to a time consuming navigation through the artifacts. Requirements engineers have to scroll through numerous pages and switch between multiple windows. However, they have to rely on their memory when there is no space left on the screen to view another piece of relevant information. In this research, we propose to develop a novel visualization technique that flexibly creates editable views of a linked set of elements or artifacts where the pieces show different levels of detail according to the user’s demand for the current task. Thus, important parts are shown in detail, while the space taken for displaying unimportant parts is minimized. Our conceptual solution is a combination of the focus+context concept and a magnet-and-spring system. The focus+context concept is responsible for resizing and relocating objects to make space for more relevant information. The magnet-and-spring system is responsible for distributing the distortion caused by the focus+context concept throughout the workspace, such that the distorted view of the information looks more natural. Considering the artifacts of a software development project as a single hypothetical artifact enables us to manage the artifacts in the same way we deal with the objects inside an artifact. Our envisaged tool support should be embeddable in requirements applications and bring its benefits to the applications manipulating requirements artifacts.

D07 A Language for Writing System Specifications in an Aeronautical Context
Benoît Lebeaupin
(École Centrale Paris, France)
Abstract  | Paper

The ambiguity of natural language is an issue which predates requirement engineering. This issue is, in the general case, obviously unsolvable, nor actually needing a solution. However, we think that in particular contexts, it is feasible and desirable to reduce the ambiguity of free text specifications. We look at how specifications are actually handled in a company to be able to propose an useful but not too disruptive method for writing better specifications. We are currently developing and investigating how to validate this method.


Doctoral Symposium Co-Chair

Jane Cleland-Huang
DePaul University, USA

Doctoral Symposium Co-Chair

Pete Sawyer
Lancaster University, UK