The CREWS project will develop, evaluate, and demonstrate the applicability of, methods and tools for cooperative scenario-based requirements elicitation and validation.
Objectives. As information technology is becoming an integral aspect of organisations, more stakeholders with less formal training must be involved in requirements elicitation, validation, and usage over long periods of time in a traceable manner. Effective and efficient team interaction become even more critical because systems must be continuously adapted to changing business practice and needs. Different kinds of scenarios (recorded current practice, animated specifications, use cases, illustrative examples) have been suggested to help this task but must be better understood, effectively supported, and interrelated with traditional requirements engineering methods which in themselves do not offer adequate solutions for these problems.
The CREWS project will develop four related methods and tools for cooperative scenario-based requirements elicitation and validation. Multiple stakeholders will be supported in eliciting and negotiating requirements under different perspectives from real world scenes captured in multimedia. Local natural language understanding will allow stakeholders to augment graphical requirements representations with short natural language statements. Validation will be facilitated by cooperative requirements animation, and by systematic comparison of the specification with usage test scenarios interactively generated using domain knowledge.
Approach. CREWS merges and extends two successful European research traditions. ICARUS (ESPRIT 2537) developed agent-oriented representations, essential for scalability of requirements models as well as for scenario animation, whereas NATURE (ESPRIT 6353) established comprehensive RE frameworks and theories of domain analysis, process modelling, and requirements information management.
During the first project phase, based on empirical capture of industrial needs, the CREWS project will develop and prototype the above four individual strategies of cooperative requirements elicitation and validation to achieve a technical impact in the scientific community and within Industry. The reactive nature of CREWS will be ensured by close cooperation with the Industrial Steering Committee (ICS) in four topic-centered working groups. During the second phase, the individual strategies, industrially relevant combinations of them, and the optimal embedding of the developed scenario-based techniques in existing RE methods will be systematically evaluated and improved using examples from ongoing commercial RE projects.
Impact and exploitation. Leading representatives from
more than a dozen European software houses, user industries, and technology transfer
organisations serve on the ISC, led by a widely known senior RE practitioner. Industrial
uptake by the ISC members will be facilitated through design reviews and joint empirical
studies, while broader uptake will be helped through a carefully designed Internet-based
dissemination approach. Ongoing industrial uptake of ICARUS and NATURE results also paves
the way for the seamless adoption of CREWS results.
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