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Overcoming the Traceability Benefit Problem

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul Arkley, Dr Stephen RiddleORCiD



To modify complex computer-based systems requires a detailed understanding of their functionality. Requirements Traceability can help the engineer to gain that understanding, but several surveys have observed that traceability information is poorly recorded. We argue that the cause is the lack of direct perceived benefit to the main development process. As a consequence traceability information will be incomplete, inaccurate and out-of-date. We propose a method of recording traceability information, a Traceable Development Contract (TDC), as a means of reducing this problem by tackling the issue of an upstream functional development team imposing changes on a downstream development team. The contract makes the recording of traceability information beneficial to the downstream functional team as it provides a means of specifying the obligations on the upstream team. We also consider the practicalities of implementing such a contract and how it could be further exploited to obtain project development metrics.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Arkley P, Riddle S

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2005

Pages: 7

Print publication date: 01/04/2005

Source Publication Date: April 2005

Report Number: 906

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne