Awareness Requirements and System Identification for Adaptive Software Systems.
Dr. Alexei Lapouchnian, Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science, University of Trento, Italy

Wednesday October 5th, 2:30pm
Technology Enhanced Learning TEL3062

Control Theory and feedback control in particular have been steadily gaining momentum in software engineering for adaptive systems. Roadmap papers in this area point to feedback loops as a promising way of operationalizing adaptivity in such systems. Feedback controllers work by continuously measuring system outputs, comparing them with reference targets and adjusting control inputs if there is a mismatch.

In our research on goal-oriented requirements engineering, we are interested in identifying requirements that lead to the introduction of such feedback loop functionality into software systems. To this end, we define a new type of requirement — called Awareness Requirement — that can refer to other requirements and their success/failures. We propose a way to elicit and formalize such requirements and validate our proposal using a requirements monitoring framework.

Another area of our interest is system reconfiguration. In Control Theory, quantifying the effects of control input on measured output is a process known as system identification. This process usually relies either on detailed and complex system models or on system observation. In the second part of the talk we adopt a Requirements Engineering perspective and ideas from Qualitative Reasoning to propose a language and a systematic system identification method for adaptive software systems that can be applied at the requirements level, with the system not yet developed and its behaviour not completely known.