Identifying Conflicting Requirements in Systems of Systems

Viana, Thiago; Zisman, Andrea and Bandara, Arosha K. (2017). Identifying Conflicting Requirements in Systems of Systems. In: 2017 IEEE 25th International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE), IEEE, Lisbon, Portugal, pp. 436–441.



A System of Systems (SoS) is an arrangement of useful and independent sub-systems, which are integrated into a larger system. Examples are found in transport systems, nutritional systems, smart homes and smart cities. The composition of component sub-systems into an SoS enables support for complex functionalities that cannot be provided by individual sub-systems on their own. However, to realize the benefits of these functionalities it is necessary to address several software engineering challenges including, but not limited to, the specification, design, construction, deployment, and management of an SoS. The various component sub-systems in an SoS environment are often concerned with distinct domains; are developed by different stake-holders under different circumstances and time; provide distinct functionalities; and are used by different stakeholders, which allow for the existence of conflicting requirements. In this paper, we present a framework to support management of emerging conflicting requirements in an SoS. In particular, we describe an approach to support identification of conflicts between resource-based requirements (i.e. requirements concerned with the consumption of different resources). In order to illustrate and evaluate the work, we use an example of a pilot study of an IoT SoS ecosystem designed to support food security at different levels of granularity, namely individuals, groups, cities, and nations.

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