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Requirements Engineering

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 107–129 | Cite as

SCRAM–CK: applying a collaborative requirements engineering process for designing a web based e-science toolkit

  • Abraham Nieva de la Hidalga
  • Alex Hardisty
  • Andrew Jones
Original Article

Abstract

This paper presents SCRAM–CK, a method to elicit requirements by means of strong user involvement supported by prototyping activities. The method integrates two existing approaches, SCRAM and CK theory. SCRAM provides the framework for requirements management, while CK theory provides a framework for reasoning about design and its evolution. The method is demonstrated with the definition and refining of requirements for the BioVeL web toolkit. The objective of BioVeL is to allow scientists to understand, run, modify and construct workflows for data analysis with minimal training using a web-based interface. The proposed method is supported by prototyping activities for gathering user feedback, and refining requirements and design proposals. Using this method, the prototypes evolved from simple workflow execution enablers to include more complex functionalities for reviewing, modifying and building workflows in later versions. This paper presents a contribution to the application of techniques for requirements engineering. SCRAM–CK is an amalgamated method that combines a user-centred continuous refinement approach with support for design evolution through prototyping. The paper also shows the influence of the requirements engineering process in the evolution of design proposals.

Keywords

Requirements elicitation User-centred requirements engineering Requirements evolution Collaborative design Design evolution Prototyping 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The BioVeL project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 283359. More information at http://www.biovel.eu. The authors would like to thank the members of BioVeL who have actively participated in the requirements review activities reported in this paper, including our scientific partners: María Paula Balcazar Vargas, Sarah Bourlat, Päivi Lyytikäinen-Saarenmaa, Matthias Obst, Gerard Oostermeijer, Elisabeth Paymal, Hannu Saarenmaa, and Saverio Vicario; and our technical partners: Jonathan Giddy, Carole Goble, Robert Haines, Vera Hernandez, Robert Kulawik, Cherian Mathew, and Alan Williams. The authors wish to thank all the participants in the different training and dissemination activities, who have provided invaluable comments and feedback. Finally, the authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their feedback that helped to improve the overall quality of the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abraham Nieva de la Hidalga
    • 1
  • Alex Hardisty
    • 1
  • Andrew Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Computer Science and InformaticsCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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