, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 171-198

Overlaps in Requirements Engineering

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Abstract

Although overlap between specifications—that is the incorporation of elements which designate common aspects of the system of concern—is a precondition for specification inconsistency, it has only been a side concern in requirements engineering research. This paper is concerned with overlaps. It defines overlap relations in terms of specification interpretations, identifies properties of these relations which are derived from the proposed definition, shows how overlaps may affect the detection of inconsistency; shows how specifications could be rewritten to reflect overlap relations and still be amenable to consistency checking using theorem proving; analyses various methods that have been proposed for identifying overlaps with respect to the proposed definition; and outlines directions for future research.