An analysis of the requirements traceability problem


In this paper1, we investigate and discuss the underlying nature of the requirements traceability problem. Our work is based on empirical studies, involving over 100 practitioners, and an evaluation of current support. We introduce the distinction between pre-requirements specification (pre-RS) traceability and post-requirements specification (post-RS) traceability, to demonstrate why an all-encompassing solution to the problem is unlikely, and to provide a framework through which to understand its multifaceted nature. We report how the majority of the problems attributed to poor requirements traceability are due to inadequate pre-RS traceability and show the fundamental need for improvements here. In the remainder of the paper, we present an analysis of the main barriers confronting such improvements in practice, identify relevant areas in which advances have been (or can be) made, and make recommendations for research

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This paper was published in UCL Discovery.

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