Defect Prevention in Requirements Using Human Error Information: An Empirical Study

  • Wenhua Hu
  • Jeffrey C. CarverEmail author
  • Vaibhav Anu
  • Gursimran Walia
  • Gary Bradshaw
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10153)


Context and Motivation: The correctness of software requirements is of critical importance to the success of a software project. Problems that occur during requirements collection and specification, if not fixed early, are costly to fix later. Therefore, it is important to develop approaches that help requirement engineers not only detect, but also prevent requirements problems. Because requirements engineering is a human-centric activity, we can build upon developments from the field of human cognition. Question/Problem: Human Errors are the failings of human cognition during the process of solving, planning, or executing a task. We have employed research about Human Errors to describe the types of problems that occur during requirements engineering. The goal of this paper is to determine whether knowledge of Human Errors can serve as a fault prevention mechanism during requirements engineering. Principal ideas/results: The results of our study show that a better understanding of human errors does lead developers to insert fewer problems into their own requirements documents. Our results also indicate that different types of Human Error information have different impacts on fault prevention. Contribution: In this paper, we show that the use of Human Error information from Cognitive Psychology is useful for fault prevention during requirements engineering.


Human errors Software requirements Fault prevention Empirical study Human factors 



This work was supported by NSF awards 1421006 and 1423279.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenhua Hu
    • 1
  • Jeffrey C. Carver
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vaibhav Anu
    • 2
  • Gursimran Walia
    • 2
  • Gary Bradshaw
    • 3
  1. 1.University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  2. 2.North Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA
  3. 3.Mississippi State UniversityStarkvilleUSA

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