Requirements Engineering

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 227–254 | Cite as

Exploring the impact of software requirements on system-wide goals: a method using satisfaction arguments and i* goal modelling

  • James LockerbieEmail author
  • Neil Arthur McDougall Maiden
  • Jorgen Engmann
  • Debbie Randall
  • Sean Jones
  • David Bush
Original Article


This paper describes the application of requirements engineering concepts to support the analysis of the impact of new software systems on system-wide goals. Requirements on a new or revised software component of a socio-technical system not only have implications on the goals of the subsystem itself, but they also impact upon the goals of the existing integrated system. In industries such as air traffic management and healthcare, impacts need to be identified and demonstrated in order to assess concerns such as risk, safety, and accuracy. A method called PiLGRIM was developed which integrates means-end relationships within goal modelling with knowledge associated with the application domain. The relationship between domain knowledge and requirements, as described in a satisfaction argument, adds traceability rationale to help determine the impacts of new requirements across a network of heterogeneous actors. We report procedures that human analysts follow to use the concepts of satisfaction arguments in a software tool for i* goal modelling. Results were demonstrated using models and arguments developed in two case studies, each featuring a distinct socio-technical system—a new controlled airspace infringement detection tool for NATS (the UK’s air navigation service provider), and a new version of the UK’s HIV/AIDS patient reporting system. Results provided evidence towards our claims that the conceptual integration of i* and satisfaction arguments is usable and useful to human analysts, and that the PiLGRIM impact analysis procedures and tool support are effective and scalable to model and analyse large and complex socio-technical systems.


i* Modelling Satisfaction argument Impact analysis Requirements process 



The research reported in the first case study of this paper was supported by NATS, the UK’s national air traffic service. The second case study was supported by the Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections.


  1. 1.
    Conklin J (2005) Dialogue mapping: building shared understanding of wicked problems. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dardenne A, van Lamsweerde A, Fickas S (1993) Goal-directed requirements acquisition. Sci Comput Program 20:3–50zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dick J (2005) Design traceability. In: IEEE Software 22(6), IEEE Computer Society, pp 14–16Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    du Bois RM, Branthwaite MA, Mikhail JR, Batten JC (1981) Primary pneumocystis carinii and cytomegalovirus infection. Lancet 2(8259):1339. PMID: 6118728 [PubMed—indexed for Medline]Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Engmann J (2009) Evaluating the impact of evolving requirements on wider system goals: using i* methodology integrated with satisfaction arguments to evaluate the impact of changing requirements in HIV/AIDS monitoring systems in the UK. MSc Dissertation, School of Informatics, City UniversityGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Guidelines Working Group (2001) Updated guidelines for evaluating public health surveillance systems. MMWR 50(RR13):1–35. Available at: Accessed March 7, 2008
  7. 7.
    Haley CB, Moffett JD, Laney R, Nuseibeh B (2005) Arguing security: validating security requirements using structured argumentation. In: Proceedings of the third symposium on requirements engineering for information security (SREIS’05) held in conjunction with the 13th international requirements engineering conference. IEEE Computer Science PressGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Haley CB, Laney R, Moffett JD, Nuseibeh B (2008) Security requirements engineering: a framework for representation and analysis. IEEE Trans Softw Eng 34(1):133–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hammond J, Rawlings R, Hall A (2001) Will it work? In: Proceedings of the 5th IEEE international symposium on requirements engineering. IEEE Computer Society, pp 102–109Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Horkoff J, Yu E, Lui L (2006) Analyzing trust in technology strategies. In: Proceedings of international conference on privacy, security and trust (PST 2006), pp 21–32Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Horkoff J, Yu E (2010) Interactive goal model analysis applied—systematic procedures versus ad hoc analysis, the practice of enterprise modeling, 3rd IFIP WG8.1 (PoEM10), pp 130–144Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Horkoff J, Yu E (2010) Visualizations to support interactive goal model analysis. In: 2010 fifth international workshop on requirements engineering visualization REV. IEEE, pp 1–10Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Horkoff J, Yu Y, Yu E (2011) OpenOME: an open-source goal and agent-oriented model drawing and analysis tool. In: CEUR proceedings of the 5th international i* workshop (iStar 2011), pp 154–156Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Isaac AR, Doorn R (2006) Integrated cognitive analysis networks (ICAN): a tool to support cognitive task and error risk analyses in air traffic management. NATS (unpublished document)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    i* wiki, ‘Available i* Tools’, Last accessed on 12th October 2011
  16. 16.
    i* wiki, ‘Comparing the i* Tools’, Last accessed on 12th October 2011
  17. 17.
    Jackson M (1995) Software requirements and specifications. Addison, WesleyGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jackson M (2001) Problem frames. Addison, WesleyGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jones SV, Maiden NAM (2005) RESCUE: an integrated method for specifying requirements for complex socio-technical systems. In: Mate JL, Silva A (eds) Requirements engineering for socio-technical systems. IGI global, Hershey, pp 245–265Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Letier E, van Lamsweerde A (2004) Reasoning about partial goal satisfaction for requirements and design engineering. ACM SIGSOFT Softw Eng Notes 29(6):53–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lockerbie J, Maiden NAM (2006) Extending i* modeling into requirements processes. In: Proceedings of 14th IEEE international conference on requirements engineering. IEEE Computer Science Press, pp 361–362Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Maiden NAM, Jones SV, Manning S, Greenwood J, Renou L (2004) Model-driven requirements engineering: synchronising models in an air traffic management case study. In: Proceedings of CAiSE’2004. LNCS, vol 3084. Springer, Berlin, pp 368–383Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Maiden NAM, Manning S, Jones S, Greenwood J (2005) Generating requirements from systems models using patterns: a case study. Requir Eng J 10(4):276–288Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Maiden NAM, Lockerbie J, Randall D, Jones S, Bush D (2007) Using satisfaction arguments to enhance i* modelling of an air traffic management system. In: Proceedings of 15th IEEE international requirements engineering conference (RE’07). IEEE Press, New York, pp 49–52Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Maiden N, Jones S, Ncube C, Lockerbie J (2011) Using i* in requirements projects: some experiences and lessons. In: Yu E, Giorgini P, Maiden N, Mylopoulos J (eds) Social modeling for requirements engineering. MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 155–185Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Mavin A (2004) Scenarios in rail rolling stock with REVEAL. In: Alexander IF, Maiden N (eds) Scenarios, stories, use cases: through the systems development life-cycle. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Mylopoulos J, Chung L, Nixon B (1992) Representing and using non-functional requirements: a process-oriented approach. IEEE Trans Softw Eng 18(6):483–497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    NATS case study SR Model, available at: Last accessed on 13th October 2011
  29. 29.
    Ncube C, Lockerbie J, Maiden NAM (2007) Automatically generating requirements from i* models: experiences with a complex airport operations system. In: Proceedings of 13th international working conference, REFSQ’2007, Trondheim Norway, LNCS 4542. Springer, Berlin, pp 33–47Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Organization Modelling Environment (2011) Last accessed on 12th October 2011
  31. 31.
    Perini A, Susi A (2009) Understanding the requirements of a decision support system for agriculture. An agent-oriented approach. Available at Accessed 1st Nov 2011
  32. 32.
    Respect-IT (2007) A KAOS tutorial. Available at
  33. 33.
    Sutcliffe A (2011) Analysing the effectiveness of human activity systems with i*. In: Yu E, Giorgini P, Maiden N, Mylopoulos J (eds) Social modeling for requirements engineering. MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 669–691Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    van Lamsweerde A (2000) Requirements engineering in the year 00: a research perspective. In: Proceedings of ICSE’2000: 22nd international conference on software engineering, invited keynote paper. ACM Press, New York, pp 5–19Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    van Lamsweerde A (2007) Engineering requirements for system reliability and security. In: Broy M, Grunbauer J, Hoare CAR (eds) Software system reliability and security. NATO security through science series—D: information and communication security, vol 9. IOS Press, pp 196–238Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Wohlin C, Runeson P, Host M, Ohlsson MC, Regnell B, Wesslen A (2000) Experimentation in software engineering: an introduction. Kluwer, BostonzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Yu E, Mylopoulos JM (1994) Understanding “why” in software process modelling, analysis and design. In: Proceedings, 16th international conference on software engineering. IEEE Computer Society Press, pp 159–168Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Yu E, Liu L, Li Y (2001) Modelling strategic actor relationships to support intellectual property management. In: 20th international conference on conceptual modeling (ER-2001), Yokohama, Japan, November 27–30, 2001, LNCS 2224. Spring, Berlin, pp 164–178Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Yu Y, Tun TT, Tedeschi A, Nunes Leal Franqueira V, Nuseibeh B (2011) OpenArgue: supporting argumentation to evolve secure software systems. In: 19th IEEE international requirements engineering conference, RE 2011, Trento, Italy. IEEE Computer Society, pp. 351–352Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Zave P, Jackson M (1997) Four dark corners of requirements engineering. ACM Trans Softw Eng Methodol 6(1):1–30Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Lockerbie
    • 1
    Email author
  • Neil Arthur McDougall Maiden
    • 1
  • Jorgen Engmann
    • 2
  • Debbie Randall
    • 3
  • Sean Jones
    • 3
  • David Bush
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Human–Computer Interaction DesignCity University LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Health Protection Agency, Centre for InfectionsLondonUK
  3. 3.NATS Corporate & Technical CentreWhiteley, Fareham, HantsUK

Personalised recommendations