Artefact-based requirements engineering: the AMDiRE approach


The various influences in the processes and application domains make requirements engineering (RE) inherently complex and difficult to implement. In general, we have two options for establishing an RE approach: We can either establish an activity-based RE approach, or we can establish an artefact-based one where project participants concentrate on the RE artefacts rather than on the way of creating them. While a number of activity-based RE approaches have been proposed in recent years, we have gained much empirical evidence and experiences about the advantages of the artefact-based paradigm for RE. However, artefact orientation is still a young paradigm with various interpretations and practical manifestations whereby we need a clear understanding of its basic concepts and a consolidated and evaluated view on the paradigm. In this article, we contribute an artefact-based approach to RE [artefact model for domain-independent RE (AMDiRE)] that emerges from 6 years of experiences in fundamental and evidence-based research. To this end, we first discuss the basic notion of artefact orientation and its evolution in recent years. We briefly introduce a set of artefact-based RE models we developed in industrial research cooperations for different application domains and show their empirical evaluations and their dissemination into academia and practice, eventually leading to the AMDiRE approach. We conclude with a discussion of experiences we made during the development and different industrial evaluations, and lessons learnt.

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We would like to thank Manfred Broy, Sebastian Eder, Jonas Eckhardt, Henning Femmer, Saahil Ognawala, Debra Richardson, Ankita Raturi, Kristin Roher, Antonio Vetrò, and the external referees of this article for their support and for fruitful feedback on earlier versions of this article.

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Correspondence to Daniel Méndez Fernández.

Appendix: AMDiRE content model

Appendix: AMDiRE content model

The following appendix defines the content model of AMDiRE in detail giving for each content item a definition of the used concepts.

The artefact model is specified using the following notational aspects of UML class diagrams:

  • We denote the hierarchical structuring of the structure model with packages.

  • For the definition of the content model, we use a class diagram.

  • For content items that are crucial for only a specific application domain, but irrelevant for another, we use the stereotype \({\ll} Domain{\gg}\), such as business process models being crucial for the domain of business information systems, but irrelevant for the domain of embedded reactive systems.

Context specification

The context specification is depicted in Fig. 14. It contains the Project Scope, the Constraints and Rules, the Stakeholder Model, the Business Case, the Objectives and Goals, the Domain Model, and the Glossary.

Fig. 14

The AMDiRE context specification

A description of the content items is provided in Table 6.

Table 6 Content items in the context specification

Requirements specification

Fig. 15

The AMDiRE requirements specification

The requirements specification is depicted in Fig. 15. It contains the system vision, the usage model, the data model, the service model, the functional hierarchy, the quality requirements, the deployment requirements, the system constraints, the process requirements, and the risk list. A description of the content items is provided in Table 7.

Table 7 Content items in the requirements specification

System specification

The system specification is depicted in Fig. 16. It contains the function model, the component model, the behaviour model, the state model, and the data model. A description of the content items is provided in Table 8.

Fig. 16

The AMDiRE system specification

Table 8 Content items in the system specification

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Méndez Fernández, D., Penzenstadler, B. Artefact-based requirements engineering: the AMDiRE approach. Requirements Eng 20, 405–434 (2015).

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  • Requirements engineering
  • Artefact orientation
  • Empirical evaluation