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Traceability

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Patrick Mader - One of the best experts on this subject based on the ideXlab platform.

  • Do developers benefit from requirements Traceability when evolving and maintaining a software system?
    Empirical Software Engineering, 2015
    Co-Authors: Patrick Mader, Alexander Egyed
    Abstract:

    Software Traceability is a required component of many software development processes. Advocates of requirements Traceability cite advantages like easier program comprehension and support for software maintenance (i.e., software change). However, despite its growing popularity, there exists no published evaluation about the usefulness of requirements Traceability. It is important, if not crucial, to investigate whether the use of requirements Traceability can significantly support development tasks to eventually justify its costs. We thus conducted a controlled experiment with 71 subjects re-performing real maintenance tasks on two third-party development projects: half of the tasks with and the other half without Traceability. Subjects sketched their task solutions on paper to focus on the their ability to solving the problems rather than their programming skills. Our findings show that subjects with Traceability performed on average 24 % faster on a given task and created on average 50 % more correct solutions—suggesting that Traceability not only saves effort but can profoundly improve software maintenance quality.

  • mind the gap assessing the conformance of software Traceability to relevant guidelines
    International Conference on Software Engineering, 2014
    Co-Authors: Patrick Rempel, Patrick Mader, Tobias Kuschke, Jane Clelandhuang
    Abstract:

    Many guidelines for safety-critical industries such as aeronautics, medical devices, and railway communications, specify that Traceability must be used to demonstrate that a rigorous process has been followed and to provide evidence that the system is safe for use. In practice, there is a gap between what is prescribed by guidelines and what is implemented in practice, making it difficult for organizations and certifiers to fully evaluate the safety of the software system. In this paper we present an approach, which parses a guideline to extract a Traceability Model depicting software artifact types and their prescribed traces. It then analyzes the Traceability data within a project to identify areas of Traceability failure. Missing Traceability paths, redundant and/or inconsistent data, and other problems are highlighted. We used our approach to evaluate the Traceability of seven safety-critical software systems and found that none of the evaluated projects contained Traceability that fully conformed to its relevant guidelines.

  • a survey on usage scenarios for requirements Traceability in practice
    Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality, 2013
    Co-Authors: Elke Bouillon, Patrick Mader, Ilka Philippow
    Abstract:

    [Context and motivation] Requirements Traceability is known as an important part of development projects. Studies showed that Traceability is applied in practice, but insufficient tool- and method-support hinders its practical use. [Question/problem] We conducted a survey to understand which Traceability usage scenarios are most relevant for practitioners. Gaining this information is a required step for providing better Traceability support to practitioners. [Principal ideas/results] We identified a list of 29 regularly cited usage scenarios and asked practitioners to assess the frequency of use for each in a typical development project. Our analysis is restricted to those 56 participants that were actively using Traceability in order to ensure comparable results. Subjects held various roles in the development and reported about diverse projects. [Contribution] This study provides not only an initial catalog of usage scenarios and their relevance, but also provides insights on practitioner's Traceability practices. In result, we found all scenarios to be used by practitioners. Participants use Traceability especially for: finding origin and rationale of requirements, documenting a requirement's history, and tracking requirement or task implementation state. Furthermore, we highlight topics for ongoing evaluation and better method and tool support in the area of requirements Traceability.

  • REFSQ - A survey on usage scenarios for requirements Traceability in practice
    Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality, 2013
    Co-Authors: Elke Bouillon, Patrick Mader, Ilka Philippow
    Abstract:

    [Context and motivation] Requirements Traceability is known as an important part of development projects. Studies showed that Traceability is applied in practice, but insufficient tool- and method-support hinders its practical use. [Question/problem] We conducted a survey to understand which Traceability usage scenarios are most relevant for practitioners. Gaining this information is a required step for providing better Traceability support to practitioners. [Principal ideas/results] We identified a list of 29 regularly cited usage scenarios and asked practitioners to assess the frequency of use for each in a typical development project. Our analysis is restricted to those 56 participants that were actively using Traceability in order to ensure comparable results. Subjects held various roles in the development and reported about diverse projects. [Contribution] This study provides not only an initial catalog of usage scenarios and their relevance, but also provides insights on practitioner's Traceability practices. In result, we found all scenarios to be used by practitioners. Participants use Traceability especially for: finding origin and rationale of requirements, documenting a requirement's history, and tracking requirement or task implementation state. Furthermore, we highlight topics for ongoing evaluation and better method and tool support in the area of requirements Traceability.

  • Strategic Traceability for Safety-Critical Projects
    IEEE Software, 2013
    Co-Authors: Patrick Mader, Paul L. Jones, Yi Zhang, Jane Cleland-huang
    Abstract:

    To support any claim that a product is safe for its intended use, manufacturers must establish Traceability within that product's development life cycle. Unfortunately, Traceability information submitted to regulators and third parties is often weak, casting doubt rather than confidence in a product's integrity. This article evaluates Traceability information for 10 submissions prepared by manufacturers for review at the US Food and Drug Administration. The authors observed nine widespread Traceability problems that affected regulators' ability to evaluate the product's safety in a timely manner. To address these problems, the authors present a set of guidelines for implementing strategic Traceability in a way that supports safety assessments.

Alexander Egyed - One of the best experts on this subject based on the ideXlab platform.

  • Do developers benefit from requirements Traceability when evolving and maintaining a software system?
    Empirical Software Engineering, 2015
    Co-Authors: Patrick Mader, Alexander Egyed
    Abstract:

    Software Traceability is a required component of many software development processes. Advocates of requirements Traceability cite advantages like easier program comprehension and support for software maintenance (i.e., software change). However, despite its growing popularity, there exists no published evaluation about the usefulness of requirements Traceability. It is important, if not crucial, to investigate whether the use of requirements Traceability can significantly support development tasks to eventually justify its costs. We thus conducted a controlled experiment with 71 subjects re-performing real maintenance tasks on two third-party development projects: half of the tasks with and the other half without Traceability. Subjects sketched their task solutions on paper to focus on the their ability to solving the problems rather than their programming skills. Our findings show that subjects with Traceability performed on average 24 % faster on a given task and created on average 50 % more correct solutions—suggesting that Traceability not only saves effort but can profoundly improve software maintenance quality.

  • ICSM - Assessing the effect of requirements Traceability for software maintenance
    2012 28th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM), 2012
    Co-Authors: Patrick Mader, Alexander Egyed
    Abstract:

    Advocates of requirements Traceability regularly cite advantages like easier program comprehension and support for software maintenance (i.e., software change). However, despite its growing popularity, there exists no published evaluation about the usefulness of requirements Traceability. It is important, if not crucial, to investigate whether the use of requirements Traceability can significantly support development tasks to eventually justify its costs. We thus conducted a controlled experiment with 52 subjects performing real maintenance tasks on two third-party development projects: half of the tasks with and the other half without Traceability. Our findings show that subjects with Traceability performed on average 21% faster on a task and created on average 60% more correct solutions — suggesting that Traceability not only saves downstream cost but can profoundly improve software maintenance quality. Furthermore, we aimed for an initial cost-benefit estimation and set the measured time reductions by using Traceability in relation to the initial costs for setting-up Traceability in the evaluated systems.

  • the grand challenge of Traceability v1 0
    Software and Systems Traceability, 2012
    Co-Authors: Olly Gotel, Jane Clelandhuang, Jane Huffman Hayes, Alex Dekhtyar, Alexander Egyed, Andrea Zisman, Paul Grünbacher, Giuliano Antoniol, Jonathan Maletic
    Abstract:

    This chapter offers a vision for Traceability in software and systems engineering and outlines eight challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve it. One of these challenges is referred to as the grand challenge of Traceability because making Traceability ubiquitous in software and systems development (Traceability challenge eight) demands progress with all seven other challenges. A model of a generic Traceability process is used as a framework through which the goals and requirements of each challenge are expressed. For each requirement, the current status of the Traceability research and practice is summarised, and areas of promise are highlighted. This systematic analysis is used to articulate eight major research themes for the Traceability community, along with a number of underlying research topics and positive adoption practices for industry. This work is a snapshot of an ongoing and collaborative effort between Traceability researchers and practitioners within the Center of Excellence for Software Traceability. It is intended to form a structured agenda for Traceability research and practice, a basis for classifying research contributions and a means to track progress in the field.

  • Software and Systems Traceability - The Grand Challenge of Traceability (v1.0)
    Software and Systems Traceability, 2011
    Co-Authors: Olly Gotel, Jane Cleland-huang, Jane Huffman Hayes, Alex Dekhtyar, Alexander Egyed, Andrea Zisman, Paul Grünbacher, Giuliano Antoniol, Jonathan Maletic
    Abstract:

    This chapter offers a vision for Traceability in software and systems engineering and outlines eight challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve it. One of these challenges is referred to as the grand challenge of Traceability because making Traceability ubiquitous in software and systems development (Traceability challenge eight) demands progress with all seven other challenges. A model of a generic Traceability process is used as a framework through which the goals and requirements of each challenge are expressed. For each requirement, the current status of the Traceability research and practice is summarised, and areas of promise are highlighted. This systematic analysis is used to articulate eight major research themes for the Traceability community, along with a number of underlying research topics and positive adoption practices for industry. This work is a snapshot of an ongoing and collaborative effort between Traceability researchers and practitioners within the Center of Excellence for Software Traceability. It is intended to form a structured agenda for Traceability research and practice, a basis for classifying research contributions and a means to track progress in the field.

Jane Clelandhuang - One of the best experts on this subject based on the ideXlab platform.

  • mind the gap assessing the conformance of software Traceability to relevant guidelines
    International Conference on Software Engineering, 2014
    Co-Authors: Patrick Rempel, Patrick Mader, Tobias Kuschke, Jane Clelandhuang
    Abstract:

    Many guidelines for safety-critical industries such as aeronautics, medical devices, and railway communications, specify that Traceability must be used to demonstrate that a rigorous process has been followed and to provide evidence that the system is safe for use. In practice, there is a gap between what is prescribed by guidelines and what is implemented in practice, making it difficult for organizations and certifiers to fully evaluate the safety of the software system. In this paper we present an approach, which parses a guideline to extract a Traceability Model depicting software artifact types and their prescribed traces. It then analyzes the Traceability data within a project to identify areas of Traceability failure. Missing Traceability paths, redundant and/or inconsistent data, and other problems are highlighted. We used our approach to evaluate the Traceability of seven safety-critical software systems and found that none of the evaluated projects contained Traceability that fully conformed to its relevant guidelines.

  • software and systems Traceability
    2012
    Co-Authors: Jane Clelandhuang, Olly Gotel, Andrea Zisman
    Abstract:

    Software and Systems Traceability provides a comprehensive description of the practices and theories of software Traceability across all phases of the software development lifecycle. The term software Traceabilityis derivedfrom the concept of requirements Traceability. Requirements Traceability is the ability to track a requirement all the way from its origins to the downstream work products that implement that requirement in a software system. Software Traceability is defined as the ability to relate the various types of software artefacts created during the development of software systems. Traceability relations can improve the quality of a product being developed, and reduce the time and cost of development. More specifically, Traceability relations can support evolution of software systems, reuse of parts of a system by comparing components of new and existing systems, validation that a system meets its requirements, understanding of the rationale for certain design and implementation decisions, and analysis of the implications of changes in the system.

  • the grand challenge of Traceability v1 0
    Software and Systems Traceability, 2012
    Co-Authors: Olly Gotel, Jane Clelandhuang, Jane Huffman Hayes, Alex Dekhtyar, Alexander Egyed, Andrea Zisman, Paul Grünbacher, Giuliano Antoniol, Jonathan Maletic
    Abstract:

    This chapter offers a vision for Traceability in software and systems engineering and outlines eight challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve it. One of these challenges is referred to as the grand challenge of Traceability because making Traceability ubiquitous in software and systems development (Traceability challenge eight) demands progress with all seven other challenges. A model of a generic Traceability process is used as a framework through which the goals and requirements of each challenge are expressed. For each requirement, the current status of the Traceability research and practice is summarised, and areas of promise are highlighted. This systematic analysis is used to articulate eight major research themes for the Traceability community, along with a number of underlying research topics and positive adoption practices for industry. This work is a snapshot of an ongoing and collaborative effort between Traceability researchers and practitioners within the Center of Excellence for Software Traceability. It is intended to form a structured agenda for Traceability research and practice, a basis for classifying research contributions and a means to track progress in the field.

  • just enough requirements Traceability
    Computer Software and Applications Conference, 2006
    Co-Authors: Jane Clelandhuang
    Abstract:

    Even though Traceability is legally required in most safety critical software applications and is a recognized component of many software process improvement initiatives, organizations continue to struggle to implement it in a cost-effective manner. This panel addresses the problems and challenges of requirements Traceability and asks questions such as "How much Traceability is enough?" and "What kinds of Traceability provide cost effective solutions?" Traditional, automated, and lean Traceability methods are all discussed.

  • toward improved Traceability of non functional requirements
    Proceedings of the 3rd international workshop on Traceability in emerging forms of software engineering, 2005
    Co-Authors: Jane Clelandhuang
    Abstract:

    This position paper examines current practices and challenges for tracing non-functional requirements (NFRs). Anecdotal evidence suggests that many organizations do not effectively trace NFRs and that functional changes are often implemented with very little understanding as to how system qualities such as safety, security, and performance will be impacted. The tendency for NFRs to have broad ranging impact upon a software system, and the strong interdependencies and tradeoffs that exist between NFRs and the software architecture leave typical existing Traceability methods insufficient for tracing NFRs. This paper focuses on post-requirements Traceability of NFRs. It first identifies three critical areas in which NFRs require Traceability support, it then evaluates existing Traceability methods, and finally proposes a more holistic Traceability environment named Goal Centric Traceability that supports impact analysis of NFRs within the context of the software architecture in which they are deployed.

Genoveffa Tortora - One of the best experts on this subject based on the ideXlab platform.

  • enhancing software artefact Traceability recovery processes with link count information
    Information & Software Technology, 2014
    Co-Authors: Gabriele Bavota, Andrea De Lucia, Rocco Oliveto, Genoveffa Tortora
    Abstract:

    Context: The intensive human effort needed to manually manage Traceability information has increased the interest in using semi-automated Traceability recovery techniques. In particular, Information Retrieval (IR) techniques have been largely employed in the last ten years to partially automate the Traceability recovery process. Aim: Previous studies mainly focused on the analysis of the performances of IR-based Traceability recovery methods and several enhancing strategies have been proposed to improve their accuracy. Very few papers investigate how developers (i) use IR-based Traceability recovery tools and (ii) analyse the list of suggested links to validate correct links or discard false positives. We focus on this issue and suggest exploiting link count information in IR-based Traceability recovery tools to improve the performances of the developers during a Traceability recovery process. Method: Two empirical studies have been conducted to evaluate the usefulness of link count information. The two studies involved 135 University students that had to perform (with and without link count information) Traceability recovery tasks on two software project repositories. Then, we evaluated the quality of the recovered Traceability links in terms of links correctly and erroneously traced by the students. Results: The results achieved indicate that the use of link count information significantly increases the number of correct links identified by the participants. Conclusions: The results can be used to derive guidelines on how to effectively use Traceability recovery approaches and tools proposed in the literature.

Jane Cleland-huang - One of the best experts on this subject based on the ideXlab platform.

  • Grand Challenges of Traceability: The Next Ten Years
    arXiv: Software Engineering, 2017
    Co-Authors: Giuliano Antoniol, Jane Cleland-huang, Jane Huffman Hayes, Michael Vierhauser
    Abstract:

    In 2007, the software and systems Traceability community met at the first Natural Bridge symposium on the Grand Challenges of Traceability to establish and address research goals for achieving effective, trustworthy, and ubiquitous Traceability. Ten years later, in 2017, the community came together to evaluate a decade of progress towards achieving these goals. These proceedings document some of that progress. They include a series of short position papers, representing current work in the community organized across four process axes of Traceability practice. The sessions covered topics from Trace Strategizing, Trace Link Creation and Evolution, Trace Link Usage, real-world applications of Traceability, and Traceability Datasets and benchmarks. Two breakout groups focused on the importance of creating and sharing Traceability datasets within the research community, and discussed challenges related to the adoption of tracing techniques in industrial practice. Members of the research community are engaged in many active, ongoing, and impactful research projects. Our hope is that ten years from now we will be able to look back at a productive decade of research and claim that we have achieved the overarching Grand Challenge of Traceability, which seeks for Traceability to be always present, built into the engineering process, and for it to have "effectively disappeared without a trace". We hope that others will see the potential that Traceability has for empowering software and systems engineers to develop higher-quality products at increasing levels of complexity and scale, and that they will join the active community of Software and Systems Traceability researchers as we move forward into the next decade of research.

  • Strategic Traceability for Safety-Critical Projects
    IEEE Software, 2013
    Co-Authors: Patrick Mader, Paul L. Jones, Yi Zhang, Jane Cleland-huang
    Abstract:

    To support any claim that a product is safe for its intended use, manufacturers must establish Traceability within that product's development life cycle. Unfortunately, Traceability information submitted to regulators and third parties is often weak, casting doubt rather than confidence in a product's integrity. This article evaluates Traceability information for 10 submissions prepared by manufacturers for review at the US Food and Drug Administration. The authors observed nine widespread Traceability problems that affected regulators' ability to evaluate the product's safety in a timely manner. To address these problems, the authors present a set of guidelines for implementing strategic Traceability in a way that supports safety assessments.

  • Software and Systems Traceability - Software and Systems Traceability
    2012
    Co-Authors: Jane Cleland-huang, Olly Gotel, Andrea Zisman
    Abstract:

    Software and Systems Traceability provides a comprehensive description of the practices and theories of software Traceability across all phases of the software development lifecycle. The term software Traceabilityis derivedfrom the concept of requirements Traceability. Requirements Traceability is the ability to track a requirement all the way from its origins to the downstream work products that implement that requirement in a software system. Software Traceability is defined as the ability to relate the various types of software artefacts created during the development of software systems. Traceability relations can improve the quality of a product being developed, and reduce the time and cost of development. More specifically, Traceability relations can support evolution of software systems, reuse of parts of a system by comparing components of new and existing systems, validation that a system meets its requirements, understanding of the rationale for certain design and implementation decisions, and analysis of the implications of changes in the system.

  • Software and Systems Traceability - The Grand Challenge of Traceability (v1.0)
    Software and Systems Traceability, 2011
    Co-Authors: Olly Gotel, Jane Cleland-huang, Jane Huffman Hayes, Alex Dekhtyar, Alexander Egyed, Andrea Zisman, Paul Grünbacher, Giuliano Antoniol, Jonathan Maletic
    Abstract:

    This chapter offers a vision for Traceability in software and systems engineering and outlines eight challenges that need to be addressed in order to achieve it. One of these challenges is referred to as the grand challenge of Traceability because making Traceability ubiquitous in software and systems development (Traceability challenge eight) demands progress with all seven other challenges. A model of a generic Traceability process is used as a framework through which the goals and requirements of each challenge are expressed. For each requirement, the current status of the Traceability research and practice is summarised, and areas of promise are highlighted. This systematic analysis is used to articulate eight major research themes for the Traceability community, along with a number of underlying research topics and positive adoption practices for industry. This work is a snapshot of an ongoing and collaborative effort between Traceability researchers and practitioners within the Center of Excellence for Software Traceability. It is intended to form a structured agenda for Traceability research and practice, a basis for classifying research contributions and a means to track progress in the field.

  • grand challenges benchmarks and tracelab developing infrastructure for the software Traceability research community
    2011
    Co-Authors: Jane Cleland-huang, Ed Keenan, Greg Leach, Jonathan Maletic, Adam Czauderna, Olly Gotel, Jane Huffman Hayes, Alex Dekhtyar, Denys Poshyvanyk, Youghee Shin
    Abstract:

    The challenges of implementing successful and cost-effective Traceability have created a compelling research agenda that has addressed a broad range of Traceability related issues, ranging from qualitative studies of Traceability users in industry to very technical and quantitative studies. Unfortunately, advances are hampered by the significant time and effort needed to establish a Traceability research environment and to perform comparative evaluations of new results against existing baselines. In this panel we discuss ongoing efforts by members of the Center of Excellence for Software Traceability (CoEST) to define the Grand Challenges of Traceability, develop benchmarks, and to construct TraceLab, an extensible and scalable visual environment for designing and executing a broad range of Traceability experiments.