Requirements Engineering

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 57–78 | Cite as

Industry needs and research directions in requirements engineering for embedded systems

  • Ernst Sikora
  • Bastian TenbergenEmail author
  • Klaus Pohl
REFSQ 2011


The industry has a strong demand for sophisticated requirements engineering (RE) methods in order to manage the high complexity of requirements specifications for software-intensive embedded systems and ensure a high requirements quality. RE methods and techniques proposed by research are only slowly adopted by the industry. An important step to improve the adoption of novel RE approaches is to gain a detailed understanding of the needs, expectations, and constraints that RE approaches must satisfy. We have conducted an industrial study to gain an in-depth understanding of practitioners’ needs concerning RE research and method development. The study involved qualitative interviews as well as quantitative data collection by means of questionnaires. We report on the main results of our study related to five aspects of RE approaches: the use of requirements models, the support for high system complexity, quality assurance for requirements, the transition between RE and architecture design, and the interrelation of RE and safety engineering. Based on the results of the study, we draw conclusions for future RE research.


Industry needs State of practice Requirements models Abstraction layers Requirements engineering Complexity management Architectural design Quality assurance Safety engineering 



This paper was funded in part by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the innovation alliance SPES 2020 (grant number 01 IS 08 045). We thank Dr. Kim Lauenroth for his support in conducting the study, Marian Daun, Sebastian Gabrisch, and Heiko Stallbaum for their help in evaluating the data, as well as our industry partners for participating in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Automotive Safety Technologies GmbHGaimersheimGermany
  2. 2.paluno, The Ruhr Institute for Software Technology, University of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany

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