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Rationale management in software engineering

: Dutoit, A.H.; Paech, B.

Chang, S.-K.:
Handbook of software engineering & knowledge engineering. Vol.1: Fundamentals
Singapore: World Scientific, 2001
ISBN: 981-02-4973-X
S.787-815 : Ill., Lit.
Aufsatz in Buch
Fraunhofer IESE ()
rationale design; software evolution; negotiation; issue model

In this chapter, we motivate and describe the use of rationale knowledge during software development. Rationale methods aim at capturing, representing, and maintaining records about why developers have made the decisions they have. They improve the quality of decisions through clarification of issues and their related tradeoffs. Moreover, they facilitate the understanding and reevaluation of decisions, which is an important prerequisite for managing change during software development. While there are several approaches for dealing with rationale knowledge, the systematic integration of rationale into software engineering processes and tools has yet to happen.
In this chapter, we first introduce the fundamental rationale concepts. Next, we identify the knowledge management tasks that are related to identifying, eliciting, organizing, disseminating, and using rationale knowledge. Based on this, we survey representative rationale methods and illustrate the issues involved with a more detailed example on rationale management for requirements. We conclude with a discussion of open issues and future directions in rationale research.