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Requirements Elicitation

Requirements Elicitation

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Requirements Elicitation

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  1. Chapter 4 Object-Oriented Software Engineering: Using UML, Patterns, and Java, 2nd Edition By B. Bruegge and A. Dutoit Prentice Hall, 2004. Requirements Elicitation

  2. Requirements Elicitation Activities • Identifying Actors • Identifying Scenarios • Identifying Use Cases • Refining Use Cases • Identifying Relationships between Actors and Use Cases • Identifying Initial Analysis Objects • Identifying Nonfunctional Requirements

  3. Identifying Actors • Actors – person or machine using the system in a particular role • Actors usually correspond to existing roles within the client organization • Related roles can be grouped together according to viewpoints • Guide Questions • Which user groups are supported by the system to perform their work? • Which user groups execute the system’s main functions? • Which user groups perform secondary functions, such as maintenance and administration? • With what external hardware or software system will the system interact? • Watch out for confusion between actors and objects

  4. Identifying Scenarios • Scenario • “A narrative description of what people do and experience as they try to make use of computer systems and applications” [Carrol, Scenario-based Design, 1995] • Informal description of a single feature from the viewpoint of a single actor • Types of Scenarios • As-is scenarios – describes current situation • Visionary scenarios – describes future system • Evaluation scenarios – describes user tasks for evaluating the system (acceptance criteria) • Training scenarios – introduces new users to the system

  5. Heuristics for Identifying Scenarios • Ask yourself or the client the following questions: • What are the primary tasks that the system needs to perform? • What data will the actor create, store, change, remove or add in the system? Who else can modify this data? • What external changes does the system need to know about? • What changes or events will the actor of the system need to be informed about? • However, don’t rely on questionnaires alone. • Insist on task observation (ethnography) if the system already exists • Ask to speak to the end user, not just to the software contractor • Expect resistance and try to overcome it

  6. Scenario Example: Warehouse on Fire • Bob, driving down main street in his patrol car notices smoke coming out of a warehouse. His partner, Alice, reports the emergency from her car. • Alice enters the address of the building, a brief description of its location (i.e., north west corner), and an emergency level. In addition to a fire unit, she requests several paramedic units on the scene given that area appear to be relatively busy. She confirms her input and waits for an acknowledgment. • John, the Dispatcher, is alerted to the emergency by a beep of his workstation. He reviews the information submitted by Alice and acknowledges the report. He allocates a fire unit and two paramedic units to the Incident site and sends their estimated arrival time (ETA) to Alice. • Alice received the acknowledgment and the ETA.

  7. Observations about Warehouse on Fire Scenario • Concrete scenario • Describes a single instance of reporting a fire incident. • Does not describe all possible situations in which a fire can be reported. • Participating actors • Bob, Alice and John

  8. Identifying Use Cases • Use Case • Specifies all possible scenarios for a given functionality • Initiated by an actor • Motivations for use cases • Generalizing related scenarios help developers define the scope of the system • The role of each user of the system is clarified • Use Case Descriptions • Entry and exit conditions • Flow of events • Quality requirements

  9. Heuristics: How do I find use cases? • Select a narrow vertical slice of the system (i.e. one scenario) • Discuss it in detail with the user to understand the user’s preferred style of interaction • Select a horizontal slice (i.e. many scenarios) to define the scope of the system. • Discuss the scope with the user • Use illustrative prototypes (mock-ups) as visual support • Find out what the user does • Task observation (Good) • Questionnaires (Bad)

  10. Order of steps when formulating use cases • First step: name the use case • Use case name: ReportEmergency • Second step: Find the actors • Generalize the concrete names (“Bob”) to participating actors (“Field officer”) • Participating Actors: • Field Officer (Bob and Alice in the Scenario) • Dispatcher (John in the Scenario) • Third step: Then concentrate on the flow of events • Use informal natural language

  11. Use Case Example: ReportEmergency • Use case name: ReportEmergency • Participating Actors: • Field Officer (Bob and Alice in the Scenario) • Dispatcher (John in the Scenario) • Exceptions: • The FieldOfficer is notified immediately if the connection between her terminal and the central is lost. • The Dispatcher is notified immediately if the connection between any logged in FieldOfficer and the central is lost. • Flow of Events: onnext slide. • Special Requirements: • The FieldOfficer’s report is acknowledged within 30 seconds. The selected response arrives no later than 30 seconds after it is sent by the Dispatcher.

  12. Use Case Example: ReportEmergencyFlow of Events • The FieldOfficer activates the “Report Emergency” function of her terminal. FRIEND responds by presenting a form to the officer. • The FieldOfficer fills the form, by selecting the emergency level, type, location, and brief description of the situation. The FieldOfficer also describes possible responses to the emergency situation. Once the form is completed, the FieldOfficer submits the form, at which point, the Dispatcher is notified. • The Dispatcher reviews the submitted information and creates an Incident in the database by invoking the OpenIncident use case. The Dispatcher selects a response and acknowledges the emergency report. • The FieldOfficer receives the acknowledgment and the selected response.

  13. Identifying Use Cases • Writing Guide • Choose proper name – use verb phrases; indicate user’s objective • Name actors with noun phrases • Clearly distinguish actors’ actions from system’s actions • Use active voice to phrase steps in flow of events • The causal relationship between steps should be clear • Describe complete user transaction • Describe exceptions separately • Do not describe the user interface • Use cases should not exceed 2-3 pages – break up using <<include>> and <<extends>> relationships

  14. Refining Use Cases • Goal: completeness and correctness • Refining use case descriptions leads to other use cases and clarifies system boundaries • Entry and exit conditions – additional use cases are identified as entry and exit conditions are refined • Flow of events – discussing flow of events clarifies system boundaries • Quality requirements – elicit nonfunctional requirements in the context of this particular functionality • Refinements • Details of objects in the system • Low-level interactions between actors and system • Access rights • Missing exceptions • Common functionality among use cases

  15. Refining Use Cases • Heuristics • Use scenarios to communicate with users and validate functionality • Refine a single scenario to understand user’s assumptions • Define many high-level scenarios to determine scope of the system • Use mock-ups or prototypes for visual support • Present user with a range of alternatives • Detail a broad vertical slice when scope of system and user preferences are well-understood

  16. Relationships Between Actors and Use Cases • Relationships between actors and use cases • <<initiate>> • <<participate>> • Determines access rights • Who can initiate a functionality • Who else is involved in this functionality • Relationships between use cases • Heuristics for making use cases shorter and simpler to understand • <<include>> • For factoring out common functionality • Explicitly invoked from the including use case • <<extend>> • For specifying exceptions • Entry conditions of the extending use case determine when it is used • Caveat: use discretion when applying these decompositions (a few longer use cases are sometimes easier to understand than many short ones)

  17. ManageIncident <<include>> CloseIncident HandleIncident CreateIncident <<Include>>: Functional Decomposition • Problem: • A function in the original problem statement is too complex to be solvable immediately • Solution: • Describe the function as the aggregation of a set of simpler functions. The associated use case is decomposed into smaller use cases

  18. <<include>> OpenIncident ViewMap <<include>> AllocateResources <<Include>>: Reuse of Existing Functionality • Problem: • There are already existing functions. How can we reuse them? • Solution: • The include association from a use case A to a use case B indicates that an instance of the use case A performs all the behavior described in the use case B (“A delegates to B”) • Example: • The use case “ViewMap” describes behavior that can be used by the use case “OpenIncident” (“ViewMap” is factored out) Base Use Case Supplier Use Case Note: The base case cannot exist alone. It is always called with the supplier use case

  19. ConnectionDown <<extend>> FieldOfficer f ReportEmergency <Extend>> Association for Use Cases • Problem: • The functionality in the original problem statement needs to be extended. • Solution: • An extend association from a use case A to a use case B indicates that use case B is an extension of use case A. • Example: • The use case “ReportEmergency” is complete by itself , but can be extended by the use case “ConnectionDown” for a specific scenario in which the user cannot communicate with the dispatcher Note: The base use case can be executed without the use case extension in extend associations.

  20. Level 2 Use Cases Le v el 2 Le v el 2 Level 3 Use Cases Le v el 3 Le v el 3 Le v el 3 Operations Le v el 4 Le v el 4 A B Identifying Initial Analysis Objects Le v el 1 Top Level Use Case A and B are called Participating Objects

  21. Use Cases can be used by more than one object Le v el 1 Top Level Use Case Level 2 Use Cases Le v el 2 Le v el 2 Level 3 Use Cases Le v el 3 Le v el 3 Le v el 3 Operations Le v el 4 Le v el 4 A B Participating Objects

  22. Identifying Initial Analysis Objects • Identify the participating objects to create the initial analysis object model • Maintaining glossary of objects minimizes potential confusion in terminology between users and developers • Heuristics • Terms the needed clarification (by developer or user) • Recurring nouns in use cases • Real-world entities and resources that system must track • Use cases • Data sources or sinks • Artifacts with which user interacts • Use application domain terms • Cross-check • Eliminate ambiguity: verify that objects with the same name refer to the same concept • Maintain consistency: verify that objects do not refer to the same concept using different names • Eliminate objects not involved in any use cases

  23. Quality Requirements Usability Reliability/Dependability Safety Security Survivability Performance Response Time Throughput Availability Accuracy Supportability Adaptability Maintainability Portability Pseudo Requirements Implementation Interface Operations Packaging Legal Identifying Nonfunctional Requirements(FURPS+ Classification Scheme)

  24. Identifying Nonfunctional Requirements • Heuristics • Use a taxonomy (e.g., FURPS+) to generate checklists • Give different checklists to users in appropriate roles • Checklists vary depending on application domain

  25. Nonfunctional Requirements: Trigger Questions User interface and human factors • What type of user will be using the system? • Will more than one type of user be using the system? • What sort of training will be required for each type of user? • Is it particularly important that the system be easy to learn? • Is it particularly important that users be protected from making errors? • What sort of input/output devices for the human interface are available, and what are their characteristics? Documentation • What kind of documentation is required? • What audience is to be addressed by each document? Hardware considerations • What hardware is the proposed system to be used on? • What are the characteristics of the target hardware, including memory size and auxiliary storage space?

  26. Nonfunctional Requirements, ctd Performance characteristics • Are there any speed, throughput, or response time constraints on the system? • Are there size or capacity constraints on the data to be processed by the system? Error handling and extreme conditions • How should the system respond to input errors? • How should the system respond to extreme conditions? System interfacing • Is input coming from systems outside the proposed system? • Is output going to systems outside the proposed system? • Are there restrictions on the format or medium that must be used for input or output?

  27. Nonfunctional Requirements, ctd Quality issues • What are the requirements for reliability? • Must the system trap faults? • What is the maximum time for restarting the system after a failure? • What is the acceptable system downtime per 24-hour period? • Is it important that the system be portable (able to move to different hardware or operating system environments)? System Modifications • What parts of the system are likely candidates for later modification? • What sorts of modifications are expected? Physical Environment • Where will the target equipment operate? • Will the target equipment be in one or several locations? • Will the environmental conditions in any way be out of the ordinary (for example, unusual temperatures, vibrations, magnetic fields, ...)?

  28. Nonfunctional Requirements, ctd Security Issues • Must access to any data or the system itself be controlled? • Is physical security an issue? Resources and Management Issues • How often will the system be backed up? • Who will be responsible for the back up? • Who is responsible for system installation? • Who will be responsible for system maintenance?

  29. Constraints (Pseudo Requirements) • Constraint: • Any client restriction on the solution domain • Examples: • The target platform must be an IBM/360 • The implementation language must be COBOL • The documentation standard X must be used • A dataglove must be used • ActiveX must be used • The system must interface to a papertape reader

  30. How to Specify a Use Case (Summary) • Name of Use Case • Actors • Description of Actors involved in use case) • Entry condition • “This use case starts when…” • Flow of Events • Free form, informal natural language • Exit condition • “This use cases terminates when…” • Exceptions • Describe what happens if things go wrong • Special Requirements • Nonfunctional Requirements, Constraints