Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
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A Comparison of Requirements Specification Methods from a Software Architecture Perspective (SATURN 2006)

  • This presentation was created for a conference series or symposium and does not necessarily reflect the positions and views of the Software Engineering Institute.
  • Abstract

    Quality attribute requirements have a significant influence on the software architecture of a system. They guide the decisions about patterns, tactics and approaches that will contribute to the formation of the architecture. It has been our observation that quality attribute requirements are not routinely specified in a manner that makes them useful to an architect. In order to assess how well different requirement specification methods serve an architect's goals and needs for choosing architectural approaches we have examined natural language requirements using "shall" and "will", use case analysis, quality attribute workshop, global analysis, and an approach due to Fergus O'Brien that we call "O'Brien's approach". We have selected these methods either due to their widespread use, and/or their emphasis on the capture of quality attributes requirements in particular. In this talk, I will first present the evaluation criteria under which we have examined these methods. Then, I will introduce each method with a descriptive example and evaluate it under the criteria. I will conclude by comparing the methods against each other based on our examination.

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