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Exploring the impact of software requirements on system-wide goals: a method using satisfaction arguments and i* goal modelling

Lockerbie, J., Maiden, N., Engmann, J. , Randall, D., Jones, S. & Bush, D. (2012). Exploring the impact of software requirements on system-wide goals: a method using satisfaction arguments and i* goal modelling. REQUIREMENTS ENGINEERING, 17(3), pp. 227-254. doi: 10.1007/s00766-011-0138-8


This paper describes the application of requirements engineering concepts to support the analysis of the impact of new software systems on system-wide goals. Requirements on a new or revised software component of a socio-technical system not only have implications on the goals of the subsystem itself, but they also impact upon the goals of the existing integrated system. In industries such as air traffic management and healthcare, impacts need to be identified and demonstrated in order to assess concerns such as risk, safety, and accuracy. A method called PiLGRIM was developed which integrates means-end relationships within goal modelling with knowledge associated with the application domain. The relationship between domain knowledge and requirements, as described in a satisfaction argument, adds traceability rationale to help determine the impacts of new requirements across a network of heterogeneous actors. We report procedures that human analysts follow to use the concepts of satisfaction arguments in a software tool for i* goal modelling. Results were demonstrated using models and arguments developed in two case studies, each featuring a distinct socio-technical system – a new controlled airspace infringement detection tool for NATS (the UK's air navigation service provider), and a new version of the UK’s HIV/AIDS patient reporting system. Results provided evidence towards our claims that the conceptual integration of i* and satisfaction arguments is usable and useful to human analysts, and that the PiLGRIM impact analysis procedures and tool support are effective and scalable to model and analyse large and complex socio-technical systems.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
Publisher Keywords: modelling, satisfaction argument, impact analysis, requirements process
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Departments: School of Science & Technology
SWORD Depositor:
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