Summary of my visit to CIn/UFPE

On September 11th, I participated in a PhD thesis committee at the Faculty of Computer Science (Centro de Informática) of the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE). During my visit to the Faculty, prof. Carla Silva and Jaelson Castro were very kind to organize seminars presented by their students in order to foster collaborative work between our research groups.

Mariana Peixoto (PhD student of Carla Silva) presented her research project: “A Visual Modeling Language to Support Privacy Requirements”. After a Systematic Literature Mapping on privacy and security requirements, they decided to work on a visual modeling language, something that the state-of-the-art is lacking. The Physics of Notation (work of Daniel Moody) will be used as the foundation for the language’s visual syntax. As a 2nd year PhD candidate, Mariana presented her research plan and obtained feedback. There is an opportunity here for the development of an ontology on privacy and requirements.

Jéssyka Flavyanne Ferreira Vilela (3rd year PhD student of Jaelson Castro) presented “Safety Maturity Level Assessment in the Requirements Engineering Process”. The motivation for the work is that the Requirements Engineering phase is the most cost-efficient moment to adjust practices in order to improve software safety (focus on safety-critical systems). A review of the literature revealed process maturity models, but none of them focused specifically on safety. They proposed, therefore, a safety module (an extension) for Uni-REPM (Unified Requirements Engineering Process Maturity Model), an existing maturity model focused on requirements. The next steps include evaluation of the model.

Camilo C. Almendra (1st year PhD student of Jaelson Castro) presented “Integrated Modelling for Satefy and Requirements Engineering”. The motivation is similar to that of Jéssyka’s: the importance of Software Engineering for safety-critical systems development. His focus is on the integration of safety approaches used in separate projects whose products are eventually integrated (think of the manufacturing process of cars and their software systems). Also, they identified that few approaches cover all phases of RE and propose empirical evaluations. The main question, then, is: how could integrated models improve safety-critical systems development and assurance processes?

Enyo José Tavares Gonçalves (2nd year PhD student of Jaelson Castro) presented “A Process to Guide iStar Extensions”. Based on works of Lindland, Sindre & Solvberg and also Daniel Moody, they analyzed the 96 extensions already proposed to iStar (as a result of a Systematic Literature Review on iStar extension conducted), finding several problems of incompleteness, inconsistencies and conflicts in these extensions. They propose, therefore, PRISE — A Process to Conduct iStar Extensions, in order to mitigate these problems, plus a catalog of iStar extensions (already available online). As future work, they intend to apply the process in an existing extension (Deception, security field) and evaluate the process through a survey. The work focuses on the visual syntax of the extensions, there is, thus, an opportunity here to perform a similar research, but focusing on the ontological aspects of the language and its extensions (provided, of course, that someone else hasn’t already done this).

Danyllo Albuquerque (PhD student of Jaelson Castro) presented “Requirements Engineering for Robotic System – A Systematic Mapping Study”, which was presented at WER/CIbSE this year. The work is motivated by the lack of a framework to support RE for the robotic systems domain. The study, then, aimed at identifying and analyzing the existing research progress and directions that influence the elicitation, analysis & negotiation, specification, validation and management of requiremnets in this domain. A Systematic Mapping Study identified and analyzed 38 studies. They intend to upgrade the study to a Systematic Review of the Literature, performing a qualitative analysis. As next steps in his PhD research, he intends to obtain a better understanding of the RE process in the domain, identify the key challenges and issues involved in requirements definition activities and propose a novel modeling style to tackle the limitations found in the state-of-the-art, finally evaluating it.

João Henrique Pimentel (former PhD student of Jaelson Castro, currently professor at UFRPE) presented “Requirements’ Priorities Visualization”. Also based on the “Physics of Notation” principles, experimented with different ways of visually representing priorities of elements of an iStar model. One idea is to apply a heat map to identify priorities, using a gradient of colors and brightness (yellow = less priority, red = high priority). Another proposal is to use circles with the priority value explicitly represented inside the circle for more precision. Also experimented with the size of the element representation (oval, hexagon, etc.) or the size of the circles (the largest, the higher the priority). Thinking of using the priorities in release planning, also proposed a visual notation to identify which elements are included in a given release, experimenting different visualizations for this. Next steps include identifying use cases for these visualizations, other values to measure and how to evaluate the new syntax.

Tarcísio Couto Pereira (PhD student of Jaelson Castro) presented “A Requirements Engineering Process for Embedded Systems”. The objective of the research is to propose a particular requirements engineering process for embedded systems, called REPES. A Systematic Literature Review was performed, identifying and analyzing 75 studies and confirming that there is a need for a specific RE process for this domain. A Meta-Model for Embedded Systems (MM4ES) was built based on the SLR results. REPES is divided in five levels: Common, Enterprise, System, Requirements and Context. Next steps include evaluation using a survey based on expert opinion and the application of the Goal-Question-Metrics paradigm.

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