A Broad, Quantitative Model for Making Early Requirements Decisions.

IEEE Software 01/2008; 25:49-56. DOI: 10.1109/MS.2008.29
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT Although detailed information is typically scarce during a project's early phases, developers frequently need to make key decisions about trade-offs among quality requirements. Developers in many fields-including systems, hardware, and software engineering-routinely make such decisions on the basis of a shallow of the situation or on past experience, which might be irrelevant to the current a consequence, developers can get locked into what is ultimately an inferior design or pay a significant price to reverse such earlier decisions later in the process. By coarsely quantifying relevant factors, a risk-assessment model helps hardware and software engineers make trade-offs among quality requirements early in development.

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    Journal of Systems and Software. 01/2012; 85:193-208.
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    ABSTRACT: ContextChoosing a design solution most often involves dealing with trade-offs and conflicts among requirements and design objectives. Making such trade-offs during early stages of requirements and design is challenging because costs and benefits of alternatives are often hard to quantify.Objective The objective of this work is to develop a decision analysis method that assists in making trade-offs in the absence of quantitative data.Method In this method, stakeholders qualitatively compare consequences of alternatives on decision criteria. We propose an algorithm that generates all possible consequences of alternatives on requirements, according to the rough qualitative comparisons that stakeholders made. The possible consequences generated by the algorithm are then analyzed by the Even Swaps Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis method to determine the best solution. The Even Swaps method is a technique developed in management science to assist in multi-criteria decision making when explicit value trade-offs are not available.Results and conclusionsOur algorithm teases out the need to accurately measure or estimate costs and benefits of alternative design solutions. The algorithm automates the Even Swap process, and reuses stakeholders’ value trade-offs throughout the Even Swaps process. We applied the prototype tool in several case studies to evaluate the utility of the method. The results of case studies provide evidence that our decision aid method selects the optimum solution correctly compared to results of other similar quantitative methods, while our method does not rely on detailed numerical assessment of alternatives and importance weights of criteria.
    Information and Software Technology 06/2012; 54(6):517–530. · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: System designers and requirements analysts face many competing requirements, such as performance, usability, security, cost, and so forth. To make trade-offs among requirements, ideally analysts would like to quantitatively measure consequences of alternative solutions on requirements. However, during the early stages of requirements and system design, it is hard to quantitatively measure all factors and quantify stakeholders' preferences. The Even Swaps method is a technique developed in management science to assist in multi-criteria decision making which allows the use of available but potentially incomplete quantitative and qualitative measures. It teases out the need to elicit importance weights of requirements. Instead, stakeholders are asked how much they would relax one objective to better achieve another. We apply the Even Swaps technique to requirements trade-offs, and supplement it with an algorithm that automates the decision analysis process. The algorithm fins the most distinguishable pair of alternatives and suggests the next requirements to be swapped to stakeholders.
    Proceedings of the CAiSE Forum 2011, London, UK, June 22-24, 2011; 01/2011

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