The goal of the F3 project is to produce a set of models and techniques designed to improve requirements acquisition and its transformation into validated system specification. This set will be supported by an RE workbench, a working environment and general facilities for managing the RE process and reusing earlier work.
The conceptual core a requirements engineering (RE) framework has been elaborated. It consists of a set of interrelated models that can be used for representing the various parts of the knowledge needed by requirement engineers, either on the enterprise environment or on the target information system (data, dialogue, human computer interaction (HCI), and technical nonfunctional requirement modelling). Linkages between submodels are provided so checking consistency of requirement choices is made possible. Modelling facilities include formal and executable languages designed to be directly interpreted by rapid prototyping tools. A generic decision trace mechanism is described which allows requirement engineers to record significant decisions whichever part of the RE process is concerned. A model for identifying reusable requirements engineering components is also provided.
An architecture for RE case tool interoperability has been defined, based upon software bus (R) technology; it provides a working environment able to integrate multiple tools and supporting common facilities (session management, cross referencing, decision trace). In such a way integrated views of requirement components are made available.
First demonstrators have been achieved, especially a knowledge based system for analysing conflicting requirements, and prototyping tools (data intensive system prototyper, user interface generator).
The techniques involved include the simultaneous use of formal and informal notations with conversion both ways, the explicit modelling of the environment of the computerised system, the ability to integrate compatible viewpoints and to negotiate incompatible ones, the tracking of RE decisions and assistance in analysing their consequences, and the validation of the requirements specification by techniques such as rapid prototyping of the various layers of an application (database access, dialogue, human computer interface) in a multi-system environment.
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