Empirical Software Engineering

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 303–329 | Cite as

An experiment on linguistic tool support for consolidation of requirements from multiple sources in market-driven product development

  • Johan Natt och Dag
  • Thomas Thelin
  • Björn Regnell


This paper presents an experiment with a linguistic support tool for consolidation of requirements sets. The experiment is designed based on the requirements management process at a large market-driven software development company that develops generic solutions to satisfy many different customers. New requirements and requests for information are continuously issued, which must be analyzed and responded to. The new requirements should first be consolidated with the old to avoid reanalysis of previously elicited requirements and to complement existing requirements with new information. In the presented experiment, a new open-source tool is evaluated in a laboratory setting. The tool uses linguistic engineering techniques to calculate similarities between requirements and presents a ranked list of suggested similar requirements, between which links may be assigned. It is hypothesized that the proposed technique for finding and linking similar requirements makes the consolidation more efficient. The results show that subjects that are given the support provided by the tool are significantly more efficient and more correct in consolidating two requirements sets, than are subjects that do not get the support. The results suggest that the proposed techniques may give valuable support and save time in an industrial requirements consolidation process.


Requirements management Software product development Linguistic engineering Natural language requirements 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan Natt och Dag
    • 1
  • Thomas Thelin
    • 2
  • Björn Regnell
    • 2
  1. 1.Obigo ABLundSweden
  2. 2.Lund UniversityLundSweden

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