Techne: New Requirements Modeling Languages

Requirements Management Articles

Techne is an abstract requirements modeling language that lays formal foundations for new modeling languages applicable during early phases of the requirements engineering process. During these phases, the requirements problem for the system-to-be is being structured, its candidate solutions described and compared in terms of how desirable they are to stakeholders.

This paper introduces Techne, an abstract requirements modeling language (RML) designed as the core on which to build new RMLs. By core is meant a minimal set of components which are argued as necessary to an RML, if it is to respond to the issues raised above: to model goals, softgoals, quality constraints, domain assumptions, and tasks used to define the requirements problem for a specific system-to-be, to define candidate solutions, to model preferences and optional requirements, and use them as criteria for the comparison of candidate solutions.

Techne serves to describe requirements problems and find criteria to compare candidate solutions early on in the RE process. Choosing a candidate is a separate issue, one of decision-making in the presence of multiple criteria and is beyond the scope of this paper. Features such as object-orientation, predicates, temporal constraints, and task sequencing are absent, as they serve for the detailed specification of the chosen candidate solution. Techne thus precedes and complements RMLs for detailed specification which do include such features.

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