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Automated Software Engineering

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 1–45 | Cite as

MaramaAIC: tool support for consistency management and validation of requirements

  • Massila Kamalrudin
  • John Hosking
  • John Grundy
Article

Abstract

Requirements captured by requirements engineers (REs) are commonly inconsistent with their client’s intended requirements and are often error prone. There is limited tool support providing end-to-end support between the REs and their client for the validation and improvement of these requirements. We have developed an automated tool called MaramaAIC (Automated Inconsistency Checker) to address these problems. MaramaAIC provides automated requirements traceability and visual support to identify and highlight inconsistency, incorrectness and incompleteness in captured requirements. MaramaAIC provides an end-to-end rapid prototyping approach together with a patterns library that helps to capture requirements and check the consistency of requirements that have been expressed in textual natural language requirements and then extracted to semi-formal abstract interactions, essential use cases (EUCs) and user interface prototype models. It helps engineers to validate the correctness and completeness of the EUCs modelled requirements by comparing them to “best-practice” templates and generates an abstract prototype in the form of essential user interface prototype models and concrete User Interface views in the form of HTML. We describe its design and implementation together with results of evaluating our tool’s efficacy and performance, and user perception of the tool’s usability and its strengths and weaknesses via a substantial usability study. We also present a qualitative study on the effectiveness of the tool’s end-to-end rapid prototyping approach in improving dialogue between the RE and the client as well as improving the quality of the requirements.

Keywords

Consistency management Requirements validation Essential use cases Essential user interface 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge the support of the participants in our evaluation studies who willingly gave their time. Massila Kamalrudin acknowledges financial support from the University of Auckland, Swinburne University of Technology, Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (FRGS/F00185) and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) for their assistance in this research. All authors acknowledge the support of the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment via funding for the Software Process and Product Improvement project. We also thank Jun Huh for his assistance in developing MaramaAIC and Mark Young for his kindness in providing us the exemplar requirements. Finally, we thank the extremely thorough and detailed comments of the anonymous referees who went above and beyond the call of duty to give us very precise, detailed and very helpful assistance on earlier drafts of this article.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Innovative Software System & Services GroupUniversiti Teknikal Malaysia MelakaMelakaMalaysia
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.School of Software and Electrical EngineeringSwinburne University of TechnologyHawthornAustralia

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