J. Software Engineering & Applications, 2010, 3, 845-851
doi:10.4236/jsea.2010.39098 Published Online September 2010 (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/jsea)
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JSEA
Requirements Analysis and Traceability at CIM
Mohammad Yamin1, Venera Zuna2, Moteb Al Bugami1
1King Abdoulaziz University, Saudi Arabia; 2Albanian Mobile Communications, Ti rana, Alb ania
Email: myamin@kau.edu.sa, vzuna@amc.al, maalbugami@kau.edu.sa
Poernomo suggested an approach for requirement analysis within the CIM level of the MDA framework. His approach
combin ed MEA SUR, goal and object oriented analysis, and developed a new methodology that can be integrated within
the CIM level of the MDA. This paper adds requirement traceability capabilities to the method developed by Poernomo
and applies the extended method on a case study based on a high profile international law firm.
Keywords: Organizational Semiotics, MEASUR Requirements Traceability, CIM Requirements Traceability
1. Introduction
Quite a lot of research has been conducted to identify the
reasons of the failure of Information Systems. We all
know that a huge amount of money is spent every year
on Information Systems and in the efforts to understand
their failures. A very low rate (as low as one out o f eigh t)
of successful projects is becoming a matter of great con-
cern. As much as 35% of the projects failed as a result of
poorly defined software requirements, for details see [1].
The requirements are evidently the most important deliv-
erable of the software engineering activity. Since the
requirements are the foundation of the end product, all
other product steps are based on the requirements. Errors
made at this stage would have a completely overwhelming
effect on the rest of the project, for details see [2 ]. It is at
the stage of user acceptance testing to realize that the
incomplete requirements and specifications would pro-
duce a camel instead of a horse required by the client.
According to Von Schlag [3] the majority of the defects
occur during the requirements phase. In order to deliver
successful projects it is essential to clearly understand
what the business needs are.
A number of methods and approaches have been de-
veloped to deal with the problem of user requirements,
such as MEASUR, KAOS, object oriented analysis and
many more. These methods and approaches examine
information systems from a different view. MEASUR
approaches the systems from a semantic point of view,
KAOS from an goal oriented view and object oriented
from a structural point of view. All these methods have
their own benefits and drawbacks. In 2000, the Object
Management Group [4] developed the Model Driven
Architecture (MDA) framework. This generated a new
environment that requirements analysis methods should
be compatible with. The key idea behind MDA is that
models can be used to auto generate other models. By
model we mean shapes, diagrams and code. The basic
MDA engine includes four layers namely the Computa-
tional Independent Model (CIM), Platform Independent
Model (PIM), Platform Specific Model and code. Trans-
formations allow the PIM to be transformed to PSM and
PSM to be transformed to code. Transformations from
CIM to PIM are very primitive and a great deal of work
still needs to done for requirement an alysis at CIM level,
see [2], the lack of which results in poor quality product.
Poernomo [5] suggested an approach for requirement
analysis within the CIM level of the MDA framework in
2008. His approach combined MEASUR, goal analysis
and object oriented analysis, and developed a new meth-
odology that can be integrated within the CIM level of
the MDA. This approach solved most of the issues of
these methods while maintaining the benefits of individ-
ual methods. However his approach did not include a
mechanism for tracing requirements. In this paper we
will enhance Peornomo’s method with a requirement
traceability repository in order to achieve inbuilt re-
quirements management. The method will then be used
to conduct requirement analysis at the CIM level for top
tier law firm of our case study.
2. The Selected Method
A recent attempt to integrate a requirement analysis
Requirements Analysis and Traceability at CIM Level
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JSEA
model at MDA’s CIM level is by Poernomo in 2008. In
this proposal parts from the approaches: MEASUR, Goal
driven Analysis and Object Oriented Analysis were used
together [6]. The figure below shows an over view of that
As it can be seen from the diagram in the Figure 1, the
methodology focuses on conducting requirements analy-
sis at CIM level of the MDA framework. According to
the method, at the beginning, stakeholder analysis should
be carried out and its findings should be captured and
categorised based on the organizational onion. Organiza-
tional onion is MEASUR’s equivalent for stakeholder
analysis. This not only lists the stakeholders and their
needs but also prioritises them, based on how critical
they are for the success of the project. In parallel with
organizational onion goal analysis should be conducted.
This will identify all the business goals and needs of the
client and ensure that they are properly documented and
captured. The goal analysis will also associate the busi-
ness goals dependencies in a hierarchical order. The re-
sults of both organizational onion and goal analysis will
be fed to the technical requirement table.
Table 1 consists of eigh t columns. The first column is
the actual business goal; the second column lists the
business goal dependencies that must be achieved prior
to achieving this goal. The third column is the develop-
ment priority of this goal. This is calcu lated by taking an
account the business priority and any functional depend-
encies. For example, assuming that the main goal is to
move a car, a sub goal would be to move each individual
wheel of the car. In order to move the car we must first
move the wheels of the car. Hence, the goal moving the
car is dependent on the sub goal of moving the wheels of
the car. Let’s assume that move the car goal has a higher
business priority than move the wheels of the car. How-
ever there exists an architecture priority as it is not possi-
ble to move the car without moving the wheels of the car.
As a result of this moving the wheels of the car is pushed
to a high priority. The fourth column is a list of all the
business owners. These are the stakeholders of this task
and are extracted from the organizational onion. It’s
worth noting that this can also affect the priority column.
For example, if this stakeholder is not close to the system
(this can be found in the organizational onion) than by
default this goal would have a lower priority than the
stakeholder’s goal that is closer to the system. The fifth
column is a list of users that will be affected by the
achievement of the specific goal. The start and finish
time columns are used for initial planning. The last col-
umn can be either yes or no and shows if the goal has
been approved or not. Only goals that have been con-
firmed will be pushed to the next phase.
The next phase is the generation of problem statements
and also known as stories in the agile communities. This
is a piece of text with its size to vary from one paragraph
to 3 pages. It provides more details of what the client
expects for this goal. This text is usually full of business
terminology and free of any technical details. In this
phase a problem statement will be written for each con-
firmed goal. Parallel to the problem statement the analyst
is required to produce user scenarios (use case diagrams)
for each goal. The number of required use case diagrams
depends on how many user functions are associated with
this goal.
The next phase is the generation of the ontology chart.
At this stage, the ontology and ontological dependencies
Organization al OnionGoal Driven
R e quir eme n t Anal ys i s
Te chni c al R equ i re m ent T abl e
Problem Statement
User Scenar ios
Ontology Chart
Figure 1. An overview of the selected approach.
Table 1. Technical requirements table.
Goal Dependencies Priority Owner Stakeholder Actor Start Time Finish Time Confirm
Move Car Move car wheels High Andrew Driver 1/8/2008 1/11/2008 yes
Move car wheels N/A High Andrew Driver 1/8/2008 1/11/2008 yes
Clean the car N/A Low John Block Cleaner 1/10/2008 1/10/2008 no
Requirements Analysis and Traceability at CIM Level
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JSEA
will be identified from the problem statement. Once the
ontology chart is complete it will be tested against the
User scenarios which are stored in the form of use case
diagrams. To complete the dynamic aspect of the system
the analyst must specify ideally by the use of formal
methods the dynamic business norms that govern the
information system.
The proposal includes a MOF formal meta-model that
allows ontology charts to be used within the MDA
framework. Finally, the proposal also includes an auto-
matic transformation from ontology charts and the formal
norms to an object oriented diagram and suggested that
transformations are also possible for components, class
diagrams as well as other PIMS.
This methodology brings to light many advantages as
it builds upon all the other methods mentioned above.
This methodology proposed by Poermono and others is
immune to business changes and analyses the require-
ments of complying with the business goals as to analyse
the right system to add value to the system and the right
way to produce this system. By proposing a meta-model
for the ontology charts, it allows all the benefits of this
method to be carried over automatically to the computer
system by utilizing the MDA framework. If there is a
change at the requirements due to a change of the busi-
ness goal, the methods provides mechanisms for capturing
and reviewing this objective and can automatically be
applied to the computer system without any effort and
without increasing complexity of the system.
The MDA framework is capable to rebuild the system
with the new requirements without any effects to the rest
of the users apart from the ones impacted by the change
to the business goal. Another benefit of the methodology
is the simplicity. Its diagrams can be used and produced
by people that do not have computing background. This
methodology is a step towards bridging the gap between
the business analysis and software development.
3. Requirements Traceability
Requirements keep changing even during the project
development. A challenge for the requirements analyst is
to keep track of the changes in business requirements.
Anthony Finskenstain [7] has proposed requirements
traceability approach.
Requirements traceability is the ability to trace a re-
quirement at any stage of its life cycle, revisit or even
modify it. This is achieved by the use of appropriate
software tools and manual processes. Such tools are
document repositories able to search the documents for
key words, compare documents for similarities and
retrieve them for read or modification. Requirements
traceability allows the software development team and
the business stakeholders to locate and modify require-
ments at any stage of the requirements life cycle.
A recent survey on requirements management tools
showed that there are more than 44 tools in market
offering Capturing Requirements/Identification, Capture
System Element structure, Requirements Flowdown,
Traceability Analysis, Configuration Management, Do-
cuments and Other Output Media, Interfacing to Other
Tools and many more [8].
4. Extending the Selected Method
4.1. An Overview
Poernomo’s method is capable of delivering the benefits
of MEASUR, Goal Analysis and object oriented analysis
in the form of formal design, compatible with the MDA
framework and capable to generating high quality code.
The drawback however of that method is that, although it
supports future changes on requirements, it does not have
a mechanism for managing and tracing requirements.
Such an addition will allow the methodology to trace,
evaluate requirements, auto-generate test condition and
test cases, proving information about the cost, duration
and other information that can be used for planning as
well as the rest of the benefits of requirements traceabilit y.
None of the current traceability tools auto-generate code
from requirements hence they are just used as document
management system.
The solution proposed in this paper will hold formal
models that can be used to produce other models and
code with the use of MDA framework. At the same time,
the basic functionality of trace requirements will be
Figure 2 above shows how Poernomo’s original pro-
posal which is modified to accommodate requirements
traceability. Initially the technical requirements table is
stored to the traceability repository. This will be tempo-
rary and will keep track of all changes in the traceability
table. There is no point in storing any information from
the goal analysis or the organisational onion as the sum-
mary of these information is stored in the traceability
The problem statement and the use cases will also be
stored in the traceability repository and be associated
with the requirements from the technical requirements
table. Finally the ontology chart and the business norms
will be stored in the repository and associated with prob-
lem statements.
4.2. Traceability Repository Structure
The following schema in Figure 3 shows the proposed
structure of the repository.
In the object schema above, the requirements table
stores information about the actualgoal in text form, it’s
Requirements Analysis and Traceability at CIM Level
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JSEA
O rg a nizat ion a l Oni o n
Goal Driven
R e quire ment Anal ys is
Te chni c al R equ i re m e n t Tabl e
Problem Statem en t
User Scenar ios
Ontology Chart
Transf ormation
Diagram s
Diagram s
Other PIMs
Figure 2. Extension of the selected method.
priority, stakeholder, actor, start and finish time as well
as if it has been confirmed or not. The Dependences table
stores all the sub goals and associate them with a parent
goal. For each goal, there can be many use case dia-
Each use case diagram consist of one to many cases,
each includes the text describing the case. Each case can
be either a main case, an include case or an extend case.
The attributes include_id and extend_id allow the system
to store such information. Each requirement has one or
more problem statements. The entity Problem statement
includes the actual description of the goal in the form of
text. For each problem statement there are a number of
ontology charts. Each ontology chart has a title and a
domain as well as zero to many OCL statements used to
capture the business norms and one to many universals.
These are the notes of the ontology chart. Each of them
has a type, a label and can be associated with zero (if it is
the root note only) or two other universals.
The above schema is capable of capturing all the infor-
mation generated during the requirement analysis phase
Universa ls
- t itle
- t itle
* 1
- Finis h_Time
Pr ob le m S tateme nt
- Sta teme nt
* 1
Re quire me nts_table
De pe ndenc es
- par ent_req uirem en t_id
* 1* 1
Figure 3. Traceability repository structure.
Requirements Analysis and Traceability at CIM Level
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JSEA
and retrieve them if required. It is also temporary as it
keeps history of changes and supports non-destructive
updates. It is therefore capable of enhancing Poernomo’s
2008 method with r equ ire ments traceability capabilities.
It is the author’s believe that such addition will improve
the requirements management capabilities of the selected
method and will provide a great tool for requirement
analysis and management at CIM level.
5. Case Study
5.1. The Business
A top tier international law firm offers many legal ser-
vices across a broad range of areas such as finance,
merger and acquisitions, employment and benefits, en-
ergy and infrastructures etc. to a vast number of clients.
The client and matter proceedings results in a big amount
of paperwork. All the documents are saved in different
profiles and a huge number of databases need to be util-
To deal with this problem in the past, the firm em-
ployed an IT solution based on profiling lotus notes. The
management has decided to change the technology by
upgrading to a new technology. The replacement of the
ABC Profiling Lotus Notes databases has been under
review for some years and different technology ap-
proaches have been discussed. The most recent technolog y
approach was a study conducted in 2008, which culmi-
nated in a Proof of Concept to prove that the majority of
ABC requirements could be encompassed into the, Beta
version of Sharepoint 2007. The main disadvantage of
this approach is the data in the databases has to be con-
verted to the new system format inheriting the risk of
destroying the sensitive data. Projects can now be built
upon this Proof of Concept and the Sharepoint seeks to
build a single replacement solution for the current Lotus
Notes databases and migrates the data into a new Share-
point 2007 application.
ABC has four Lotus Notes databases. In these data-
bases the relevant ABC team captures extensive profiling
information regarding their matters (i.e. legal transac-
tions or legal deals); this could be likened to extremely
detailed metadata. This profiling information is used for
legal precedents and is a critical part of ABC’s know-
ledgebase. Each profile can relate to a ‘bible’. A bible is
ABC's term for one or more key documents selected at
the end of a matter, which form crucial reference and
precedent information for legal transactions of a similar
nature going forward. Sometimes it is possible to capture
profile information when a bible has not yet been created,
but then reference the profile to the bible at a later date.
The proposed new solution for ABC Bibles Profiling will
allow a certain user group (Administration or Profile
User) to create and maintain profile information. The
General Users will then be able to search on this profile
information. All bible profile information can link into
any existing bibles that reside in the Document Manage-
ment System . This is an electronic reposit ory of bi bles held
within the Document Management System.
5.2. Organizational Onion and Goal Analysis
The organizational onion of this system is as shown in
Figure 4.
The system is the ABC Bibles and all the layers of the
“onion” are labelled with the right entity corresponding
to the relation engagement to the system. Closer to the
system are the users. The users have different access
rights. There are three different types of users Admini-
strations users, profile users and general users.
After the organization onion the Goal driven analysis
is conducted. Goals get extracted by the business owner
of the system. One example of Goal Analysis would be
General User which would search on the Profile for in-
formation. Figure 5 shows Goal Analysis of our chosen
case study of law firm.
5.3. Technical Requirements Table
The next stage is to populate the requirem ents of Table 2.
The Search Profile is dependent on Create Profile goal,
being so the Search Profile goal is of high priority as the
Create Profile since someone cannot search a profile
unless it has been created.
5.4. Problem Statement and Use Case
After the technical requirement table is created the prob-
lem statements are created for each goal identified in the
table. Below is an example of creating a new profile.
Administrator users create new profiles. Every new
profile includes detailed information about the clients
and the legal case. This information consists of Client
name, Client Address, Client Litigation Party, Legal
Case description, Case Number, Involved parties. The
profile information needs to be linked to the document
ABC Bibles
IT D ept
Lawyer’s As sociation
UK Governm ent
Figure 4. Organisational onion.
Requirements Analysis and Traceability at CIM Level
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JSEA
Perform Search
Maintain Access R ightsMaintain Enter ing Search CriteriaM aintain Viewing Search R esults
Administrator General UserGeneral User
Figure 5. Goal analysis.
Table 2. Case study’s technical requirements table.
Goal Dependencies Priority Owner Stakeholder Actor Start Time Finish Time Confirm
Create Profile N/A High Web Team Administrator User1/10/2008 1/11/2008 yes
Search Profile Create Profile High IT Dept General User 1/11/2008 1/12/2008 yes
Grant Access N/A Medium User Admin Profile User 1/10/2008 1/10/2008 yes
management system in the back end. The profile has to
be linked with the document management system as to
relate the clients paperwork with the legal case paper-
work stored in the back end databases.”
Following the problem statement the use case is cre-
ated. The following use case diagram shows how the
profiles are created by the administrator user. (see Figure
5.5. Ontology Charting
The ontology chart is created to depict affordances and
antecedents. The ontology chart could be used as the
input to transformation as to produce the Platform Inde-
pendent Models such as Class Diagrams, Components
diagrams etc. (see Figure 7)
The Requirements table, the problems statements, the
use cases and the ontology charts with the business
norms where automatically stored to the traceability
repository. This will now allow the analysts to trace the
life of any requirement, assuming that the business ana-
lyst wants to change an existing requirement. This can be
achieved by updating it the goal in the requ irements table.
The old goal will be kept in the repository. Th e user will
then be required to perform the appropriate changes to
the problem statement, the use case, the ontology charts
and the business norms. Once this is completed the
traceability repository will not destroy the old entities. It
will put a finish time on them and let them be creating
Figure 6. Create profile use case.
Figure 7. Create profile ontology chart.
Requirements Analysis and Traceability at CIM Level
Copyright © 2010 SciRes. JSEA
new entities and associating the appropriate rows of data
with them. After all the updates are finished the software
system will be able to be regenerated with the use of the
latest data, such as the latest on tology ch art and norms by
the use of the MDA framework.
6. Conclusions and Future Work
This project reviewed all the major methodologies for
requirements analysis, MEASUR, Goal Analysis, Object
Oriented Analysis as well as a methodology that com-
bines all of them and can be integrated within the MDA
framework. The last was selected and applied to the case
study from a law firm. The method was also enhanced
with a requirement traceability repository that allowed
analyst to store, trace and modify user’s requirements.
For future work the requirements traceability system
can be developed and integrated within an industry stan-
dard tool such as eclipse. Additional search functionality
that will allow the system to search models for similari-
ties would also be welcomed. Last both the method and
the requirements traceability mechanism need to be test
on more case studies.
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