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049 - Empirical Modelling: a New Approach to Understanding Requirements

Abstract

Any task of understanding requirements involves interaction amongst all participants. This motivates the investigation of frameworks and techniques that can support and enrich human interaction. In this paper, three different relationships that can shape interaction are identified: subordinative, coordinative, and collaborative. Traditional patterns of interaction favour relationships of the first two kinds, since they presume a clearer separation between analysis, design and use. Whilst subordinative and/or coordinative relationships in interactions for eliciting requirements are valuable, we believe that they have been given disproportionate emphasis because of current techniques for knowledge representation and paradigms for computer-based modelling. Failure to support collaborative relationships is particularly significant in the exploratory phases of requirements analysis, when it is appropriate for the perspectives of designers, users and analysts to be equally influential. This paper proposes an effective computer-based approach to tackling many of the problems associated with this kind of collaboration.

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