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"SHORT"er Reasoning About Larger Requirements Models

Conference Paper
SHORT is a tool to simplify reasoning about requirements engineering (RE) models by exploiting key decisions within them, evaluated on eight complex RE models.



This paper appears in the Proceedings of the 2017 IEEE 25th International Requirements Engineering Conference, pp. 154-163.

When Requirements Engineering (RE) models are unreasonably complex, they cannot support efficient decision making. SHORT is a tool to simplify that reasoning by exploiting the "key" decisions within RE models. These keys have the property that once values are assigned to them, it is very fast to reason over the remaining decisions. Using these keys, reasoning about RE models can be greatly SHORTened by focusing stakeholder discussion on just these key decisions.

This paper evaluates the SHORT tool on eight complex RE models. We find that the number of keys are typically only 12% of all decisions. Since they are so few in number, keys can be used to reason faster about models. For example, using keys, we can optimize over those models (to achieve the most goals at least cost) two to three orders of magnitude faster than standard methods. Better yet, finding those keys is not difficult: SHORT runs in low order polynomial time and terminates in a few minutes for the largest models.