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Domain-specific Adaptation of Requirements Engineering Methods

Kücherer, Christian

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Abstract

[Context and motivation] Requirements are fundamental for the development of softwarebased information systems (ISs). Stakeholder needs for such ISs are documented as requirements following a requirements engineering (RE) method. Requirements are specific to the application domain for which ISs are developed and in which they are used. A system domain is represented by ISs that share a minimal set of common requirements to solve similar domain independent problems. Both domain-specific aspects need to be considered explicitly during the specification of ISs. Generic RE methods can be used in different domains, but do not consider explicitly domain-specific details. A solution to this problem is the domain-specific adaptation of RE methods. Domain-specific modeling languages (DSMLs) allow conceptual modeling in specific system domains. Domain ontologies provide formalized domain knowledge of an application domain. [Objectives] The objective of this thesis is to investigate, through the example of the task-oriented RE conceptual framework TORE, (1) how a generic RE method can be adapted to consider system domain-specifics with the use of a DSML, and (2) how a generic RE method can be adapted to use an application domain ontology. For the system domain adaptation, we use a personal decision support system (PDSS). The PDSS supports a Chief Information Officer (CIO) in decision-making with tasks in information management (IM). For the adaptation to the application domain, we use IM in hospitals represented by the semantic network of information management in hospitals (SNIK) domain ontology. [Contributions:] The results of this investigation consist of two method adaptations: first, the system domain-specific DsTORE, and second, the application domain-specific TOREOnto. The contributions of the system domain-specific adaptation DsTORE are fourfold. First, an as-is domain study provides details about the information management department of a specific hospital in order to understand the organizational context for the PDSS that will be employed. Second, an exploratory case study shows the extent of task-oriented requirements engineering (TORE) to support the RE specification of a PDSS. Third, the design of DsTORE provides the system domain-specific adaptation of TORE to support the specification of PDSS. Fourth, a case study documents the evaluation of DsTORE. The application domain-specific adaptation TOREOnto consists of three contributions. First, a literature review provides the state of the art regarding the use of domain ontologies in RE, describing nine different usage scenarios of domain ontologies to improve the quality of requirements. Second, the design of TOREOnto provides the application domain-specific adaptation to support the improvement of requirements quality. Third, a case study shows the retrospective evaluation of TOREOnto with RE artifacts created in this thesis. [Methods:] The overall research method of this thesis is Design Science according to Wieringa. The problem investigation of domain ontology usage in RE is based on a systematic literature review by Kitchenham and Charters.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Paech, Prof. Dr. Barbara
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date of thesis defense: 18 May 2018
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2018 08:43
Date: 2018
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science > Dean's Office of The Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
The Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science > Department of Computer Science
Subjects: 004 Data processing Computer science
Controlled Keywords: Requirements Engineering, Domain-specific Language DSL, Domain Ontology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Domain-specific requirements engineering domain specific adaptation Requirements Specification Task-oriented Requirements Engineering Personal Decision Support System DSS TORE Requirements Quality Attributes Domain Ontologies Domain Ontology Usage Patterns
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