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Trade-off analysis for requirements selection

: Ruhe, G.; Eberlein, A.; Pfahl, D.

urn:nbn:de:0011-n-176433 (991 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: 0343372188e704563f92e40c5d467061
Created on: 10.07.2003

Kaiserslautern, 2003, VII, 28 pp. : Ill., Lit.
IESE-Report, 040.03/E
Reportnr.: 040.03/E
Report, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IESE ()
requirement selection; decision support; trade-off analysis; resource constraint; analytical hierarchy process; simulation

Evaluation, prioritization and selection of candidate requirements are of tremendous importance and impact for subsequent steps of software development. Effort, time as well as quality constraints have to be taken into account. Typically, different stakeholders have conflicting priorities and the requirements of all these stakeholders have to be balanced in an appropriate way to ensure maximum value of the final set of requirements. Trade-off analysis is needed to proactively elaborate explore the impact of certain decisions in terms of all the criteria and constraints.
The proposed method called Quantitative WinWin uses an evolutionary approach to address provide support for requirements negotiations. The novelty of the presented idea is four-fold. Firstly, it iteratively uses the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) for a stepwise analysis with the aim to balance the stakeholders' preferences related to the different classes of requirements. Secondly, requirements selection is based on predicting and rebalancing its impact on effort, time and quality. Both prediction and rebalancing uses the simulation model prototype GENSIM. Thirdly, alternative solution sets offered for decision-making are developed incrementally based on thresholds for the degree of importance of requirements and heuristics to find a best fit to constraints. Finally, trade-off analysis is used to determine non-dominated extensions of the maximum value that is achievable under resource and quality constraints. As main result, quantitative WinWin proposes a small number of alternatives for selectingpossible sets of requirements from which the actual decision-maker finally can select the most appropriate solution.