The FARE Project: Formal Aspects of Requirements Engineering

Department of Business Systems, University of Wollongong

Project Outline

Requirements engineering is a crucial first step in the software development process, given that the quality of the software artifacts developed is directly related to the quality of the initial descriptions on which this development is based. Requirements engineering faces three major challenges. First, effective tools and languages need to be developed through which requirements can be elicited, articulated and represented. Second, automated support needs to be provided for ensuring compliance with certain normative criteria, such as completeness, traceability, verifiability and reusability. Finally, several aspects of the requirements engineering process need specialized support, including requirements evolution and viewpoints and inconsistency management. Existing frameworks for requirements engineering are severely deficient in the face of these challenges. Requirements engineering processes, as well some of the normative criteria mentioned above, are typically poorly understood and lack sound formal definitions. Requirements modelling languages tend to be overloaded with linguistic constructs, conceptually cluttered and lack formal semantics. This project seeks to address these deficiencies by developing a formal framework that includes a parsimonious conceptual modelling language at the front-end and an underlying formal knowledge representation language based on which the normative requirements criteria and processes such as evolution and management of inconsistency and multiple viewpoints could be formally defined. This would thus serve as the basis for a requirements engineering toolkit that would provide comprehensive automated support and enjoy the benefits of clear semantics, formal verifiability and their concomitant impact on software quality.


Post-Graduate Research Opportunities

Click here to find out more about opportunities for research and post-graduate studies related to this project.