Measuring Software Requirements Evolution Caused by Inconsistency

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    It has been widely recognized that requirements evolution is unavoidable in any sizeable software project. Moreover, if the requirement evolution is not managed properly, it may result in many troublesome problems during the process of software development. For example, poor management of requirements evolution may lead to inconsistencies in requirements and incomparability between requirements and other work products. Repairing these problems can lead to extra consumption of development resources. However, inconsistency is considered as one of the concerns of requirements evolution. In this paper, we propose a family of logic-based measures to evaluating software requirements evolution caused by inconsistency handling. Each of these measurements provides a distinctive perspective of quantitative description for the requirements evolution. At first, we provide a syntax-based measure for the change in requirements statements during the requirements evolution. Then we provide a semantics-based approach to measuring the change in the expression ability of requirements specification during the process of evolution. Finally, we characterize three special kinds of requirements evolution based on these measurements, including the evolved requirements specification with minimal change, the evolved requirements specification with minimal significance change, and the evolved requirements specification with maximal plausibility.

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Kedian Mu, Zhi Jin, Ruqian Lu. Measuring Software Requirements Evolution Caused by Inconsistency. International Journal of Software and Informatics, 2012,6(3):419~434

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