Requirements Engineering

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 262–275 | Cite as

Applying a pragmatics-based creativity-fostering technique to requirements elicitation

  • Luisa Mich
  • Cinzia Anesi
  • Daniel M. Berry
Original article


This paper proposes the application to requirements elicitation of an innovative creativity fostering technique based on a model of the pragmatics of communication, the Elementary Pragmatic Model (EPM). The EPM has been used to define a creative process, called EPMcreate (EPM Creative Requirements Engineering TEchnique) that consists of sixteen steps. In each step, the problem is analyzed according to one elementary behavior identified by the EPM. Each behavior suggests that the analyst look at the problem from a different combination of users’ viewpoints. The feasibility and effectiveness of the technique in requirements elicitation was demonstrated by experiments on two projects with very different characteristics. Each experiment compared the performances of two analysis teams, one of which used EPMcreate and the other of which used brainstorming. The results of both experiments highlights the higher effectiveness of EPMcreate. Additional data from the experiments are examined for other insights into how and why EPMcreate is effective.


Exploratory experiment Pragmatics of communication Problem solving Viewpoint 



The authors thank the various anonymous reviewers for their comments on all versions of this paper. They thank the attendees of REFSQ 2004, particularly Søren Lauesen and Neil Maiden, for their incisive comments following a presentation of that earlier paper. They thank Pier Luigi Novi Inverardi for his advice on statistics. Finally, they thank Björn Regnell, Erik Kamsties, and Vincenzo Gervasi, the editors of this special issue, for their patient discussions of alternative strategies for dealing with the reviewers’ comments. Daniel Berry’s work was supported in part by a Canadian NSERC grant NSERC-RGPIN227055-00.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer and Telecommunication TechnologyUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Computer and Management SciencesUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly
  3. 3.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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