Reasoning about Agents in Goal-Oriented Requirements Engineering

by Letier, Emmanuel

Abstract (Summary)
The thesis proposes a number of techniques for elaborating requirements constructively from high-level goals. The techniques are based on the KAOS goal-oriented method for requirements engineering. This method consists in identifying goals and refining them into subgoals until the latter can be assigned as responsibilities of single agents such as humans, devices and software. Domain properties and assumptions about the software environment are also used during the goal refinement process. The method supports the exploration of alternative goal refinements and alternative responsibility assignments of goals to agents. It also supports the identification and resolution of conflicts between goals, and the identification and resolution of exceptional agent behaviors, called obstacles, that violate goals and assumptions produced during the goal refinement process. The thesis enriches the KAOS framework through three kinds of techniques: (a) techniques for identifying agents, goal refinements, and alternative responsibility assignments, and for deriving agent interfaces from such responsibility assignments; (b) techniques for deriving operational requirements from goal specifications; (c) techniques for generating obstacles to the satisfaction of idealized goals and assumptions, and for generating alternative obstacle resolutions. The result is a coherent body of systematic techniques for requirements elaboration that are both theoretically well-founded (a formal model of agent is defined) and effective in practice (the techniques are validated on two real case studies of significant size: the London ambulance despatching system, and the Bay Area Rapid Transit train system).
Bibliographical Information:


School:Université catholique de Louvain

School Location:Belgium

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:kaos goal oriented method formal methods specification elaboration process requirements engineering


Date of Publication:05/22/2002

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