Identifying Tacit Knowledge-Based Requirements.

Peter Sawyer, A. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Requirements may be derived from a number of sources. Determining the source of a given requirement is known as pre-requirements tracing. Typically, some requirements appear that have no clear source, yet stakeholders will attest to the necessity of these requirements. However, such requirements are likely to be based on tacit or tacit-like knowledge embedded in the problem domain. A tool called Prospect that retrospectively identifies pre-requirement traces is presented. This tracing is achieved by working backwards from requirements to the documented records of the elicitation process, such as interview transcripts or ethnographic reports. A vector-space technique, latent semantic analysis, is shown to be useful to perform pre-requirements tracing. The identification of badly sourced requirements naturally leads to the inference that further investigation of these requirements is necessary, whether or not the requirements turn out to be based on tacit knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalIET Software
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006

Bibliographical note

This paper represents continuity of work from that reported in output #1 in that it is concerned with the application of statistical NL techniques to RE. The paper reports the authors' work on automatic trace recovery using IR techniques. A number of groups are working in this area, notably at DePaul and Kentucky Universities, but the authors' unique contribution is to investigate up-stream or pre-requirements tracing which poses particularly hard problems of inconsistent vocabulary and tacit information which require computationally complex solutions. Evaluation of the results of the work is strongly empirical, again borrowing techniques from IR. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Computer Science and Informatics


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