AuthorsY. Li, M. Zhang, T. Yue, S. Ali and L. Zhang
TitleSearch-based Uncertainty-wise Requirements Prioritization
AfilliationSoftware Engineering
Publication TypeProceedings, refereed
Year of Publication2017
Conference NameThe 22nd International Conference on Engineering of Complex Computer Systems

To ensure the quality of requirements, a common practice, especially in critical domains, is to review requirements within a limited time and monetary budgets. A requirement with higher importance, larger number of dependencies with other requirements, and higher implementation cost should be re-viewed with the highest priority. However, requirements are inherently uncertain in terms of their impact on the requirements implementation cost. Such cost is typically estimated by stakeholders as an interval, though an exact value is often used in the literature for requirements optimization (e.g., prioritization). Such a practice, therefore, ignores uncertainty inherent in the estimation of requirements implementation cost. This paper explicitly taken into account such uncertainty for requirement prioritization and formulates four objectives for uncertainty-wise requirements prioritization with the aim of maximizing 1) the importance of requirements, 2) requirements dependencies, 3) the implementation cost of requirements, and 4) cost over-run probability. We evaluated the multi-objective search algorithm NSGA-II together with Random Search (RS) using the RALIC dataset and 19 artificial problems. Results show that NSGA-II can solve the requirements prioritization problem with a significantly better performance than RS. Moreover, NSGA-II can prioritize requirements with higher priority earlier in the prioritization sequence. For example, in the case of the RALIC dataset, the first 10% of prioritized requirements in the prioritization sequence are on average 50% better than RS in terms of prioritization effectiveness.

Citation Key25519