Traceability of requirements and software architecture for change management


Göknil, Arda (2011) Traceability of requirements and software architecture for change management. thesis.

open access
Abstract:At the present day, software systems get more and more complex. The requirements of software systems change continuously and new requirements emerge frequently. New and/or modified requirements are integrated with the existing ones, and adaptations to the architecture and source code of the system are made. The process of integration of the new/modified requirements and adaptations to the software system is called change management. The size and complexity of software systems make change management costly and time consuming. To reduce the cost of changes, it is important to apply change management as early as possible in the software development cycle. Requirements traceability is considered crucial in change management for establishing and maintaining consistency between software development artifacts. It is the ability to link requirements back to stakeholders’ rationales and forward to corresponding design artifacts, code, and test cases. When changes for the requirements of the software system are proposed, the impact of these changes on other requirements, design elements and source code should be traced in order to determine parts of the software system to be changed. Determining the impact of changes on the parts of development artifacts is called change impact analysis. Change impact analysis is applicable to many development artifacts like requirements documents, detailed design, source code and test cases. Our focus is change impact analysis in requirements and software architecture.

The need for change impact analysis is observed in both requirements and software architecture. When a change is introduced to a requirement, the requirements engineer needs to find out if any other requirement related to the changed requirement is impacted. After determining the impacted requirements, the software architect needs to identify the impacted architectural elements by tracing the changed requirements to software architecture. It is hard, expensive and error prone to manually trace impacted requirements and architectural elements from the changed requirements. In this thesis, we introduce methods and tools for application of change impact analysis in requirements and software architecture.
Item Type:Thesis
Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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