Bashar Nuseibeh

Grant Details

Relating Problem and Solution Structures in
Feature Based Software

EPSRC Funded Project (2006-2009)

Aims and Objectives

The overall aim of this project was to investigate and exploit the relationship between software architectures and the structures of functional requirements that they support. The specific objectives of the project were to:

  1. investigate the correspondence between problem frames and features, in order to capture features as problem frames, and reason about feature interaction through problem frame composition;
  2. develop practical techniques to identify and exploit matches between problem and solution structures and, where appropriate, to understand the cause of absence of a match;
  3. validate the approach through its application to significant case studies.

Project Results

Results related to specific project hypothesis are:
  1. Problem frames correspond closely to desirable increments of functionality that can be considered as requirement units and hence as deliverable features (Tun et al 2009a; Classen et al 2007; Salifu et al 2007)
  2. Practical architectures can be understood as modifications and elaborations of a simple initial design in which one software module is assigned to each subproblem machine (Tun et al 2009a; Classen et al 2007; Salifu et al 2007)
  3. Feature interaction can be understood in terms of the composition of problem frames, and the combined requirement can be clarified and refined by exploring these interactions at the problem frame level (Tun et al 2009b; Laney et al 2007; Laney et al, 2004)
  4. Concerns arising in the composition of subproblems and of their solutions can be usefully seen as partial requirements for the resulting architectures
  5. Industrial experiences of feature-based development (Tun et al 2009c)
Additional significant results related to the project are:
  1. A framework for representing and analysing security requirements (Haley et al 2008)
  2. A framework for problem-oriented software engineering (Hall et al 2008)

Selected Publications

T. T. Tun, T. Trew, M. Jackson, R. Laney and B. Nuseibeh (2009a) "Specifying Features of an Evolving Software System", to appear in  Software - Practice and Experience Journal

T. T. Tun, Y. Yu, R. Laney and B. Nuseibeh (2009b) "A Tool-Supported Approach to Problem Composition", to appear in 15th International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality (RefsQ 2009)

T. T. Tun, R. Chapman, C. Haley, R. Laney and B. Nuseibeh (2009c) "A Framework for Developing Feature-rich Software Systems", to appear in 16th Annual IEEE International Conference and Workshop on the Engineering of Computer Based Systems (ECBS 2009)

J. G. Hall, L. Rapanotti, and M. Jackson, (2008) "Problem Oriented Software Engineering: Solving the Package Router Control Problem," IEEE Trans. Softw. Eng. 34, 2, pp. 226-241, DOI=

C. Haley, R. Laney, J. Moffett, and B. Nuseibeh, (2008) "Security Requirements Engineering: A Framework for Representation and Analysis". IEEE Trans. Softw. Eng. 34, 1, pp. 133-153.

A. Classen, P. Heymans, R. Laney, B. Nuseibeh and T. T. Tun (2007) "On the Structure of Problem Variability: From Feature Diagrams to Problem Frames" in Proceedings of International workshop on Variability Modeling of Software-intensive Systems 16-18 January 2007, in Limerick, Ireland, pp. 109-118. Download: pdf

M. Salifu, B. Nuseibeh, L. Rapanotti and T. T. Tun (2007) "Using Problem Descriptions to Represent Variabilities For Context-Aware Applications" in Proceedings of International workshop on Variability Modeling of Software-intensive Systems 16-18 January 2007, in Limerick, Ireland, pp. 149-156. Download: pdf

R. Laney, T. T. Tun, M. Jackson and B. Nuseibeh (2007) "Composing Features by Managing Inconsistent Requirements" in Proceedings of 9th International Conference on Feature Interactions in Software and Communication Systems (ICFI 2007) Download: pdf

Laney, R., L. Barroca, M. Jackson, and B. Nuseibeh, "Composing Requirements Using Problem Frames", in 12th International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE'04), 2004, Kyoto, Japan, IEEE Computer Society Press.

See full list of publications...

This site is last updated on 10 March 2009.
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Open University, UK