Deriving tabular event-based specifications from goal-oriented requirements models
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Goal-oriented methods are increasingly popular for elaborating software requirements. They offer systematic support for incrementally building intentional, structural and operational models of the software and its environment. They also provide various techniques for early analysis, notably, to manage conflicting goals or to anticipate abnormal environment behaviours that prevent goals from being achieved. On the other hand, tabular event-based methods are well-established for specifying operational requirements for control software. They provide sophisticated techniques and tools for late analysis of software behaviour models through simulation, model checking or table exhaustiveness checks. The paper proposes to take the best out of these two worlds to engineer requirements for control software. It presents a technique for deriving event-based specifications, written in the SCR tabular language, from operational specifications built according to the KAOS goal-oriented method. The technique consists of a series of transformation steps each of which resolves semantic, structural or syntactic differences between the KAOS source language and the SCR target language. Some of these steps need human intervention and illustrate the kind of semantic subtleties that need to be taken into account when integrating multiple formalisms. As a result of our technique SCR specifiers may use upstream goal-based processes à la KAOS for the incremental elaboration, early analysis, organization and documentation of their tables, while KAOS modelers may use downstream tables à la SCR for later analysis of the behaviour models derived from goal specifications.