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Using argumentation to explain ambiguity in requirements elicitation interviews

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Show simple item record Elrakaiby, Yehia Ferrari, Alessio Spoletini, Paola Gnesi, Stefania Nuseibeh, Bashar 2018-04-25T11:52:00Z 2018-04-25T11:52:00Z 2017
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract The requirements elicitation process often starts with an interview between a customer and a requirements analyst. During these interviews, ambiguities in the dialogic discourse may reveal the presence of tacit knowledge that needs to be made explicit. It is therefore important to understand the nature of ambiguities in interviews and to provide analysts with cognitive tools to identify and alleviate ambiguities. Ambiguities perceived by analysts are sometimes triggered by specific categories of terms used by the customer such as pronouns, quantifiers, and vague or under-specified terms. However, many of the ambiguities that arise in practice cannot be rooted in single terms. Rather, entire fragments of speech and their relation to the mental state of the analyst need to be considered. In this paper, we show that particular types of ambiguities can be characterised by means of argumentation theory. Argumentation is the study of how conclusions can be reached through logical reasoning. In an argumentation theory, statements are represented as arguments, and conflict relations among statements are represented as attacks. Based on a set of ambiguous fragments extracted from interviews, we define a model of the mental state of the analyst during an interview and translate it into an argumentation theory. Then, we show that many of the ambiguities can be characterized in terms of ‘attacks’ on arguments. The main novelty of this work is in addressing the problem of explaining fragment-level ambiguities in requirements elicitation interviews through the formal modeling of the analyst’s mental model using argumentation theory. Our contribution provides a data-grounded, theoretical basis to have a more complete understanding of the ambiguity phenomenon, and lays the foundations to design intelligent computer-based agents that are able to automatically identify ambiguities. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher IEEE Computer Society en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries IEEE 25th International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE);
dc.rights © 2017 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works. en_US
dc.subject interviews en_US
dc.subject speech en_US
dc.subject electronic mail en_US
dc.subject tools en_US
dc.title Using argumentation to explain ambiguity in requirements elicitation interviews en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/conferenceObject en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1109/RE.2017.27
dc.contributor.sponsor SFI en_US
dc.contributor.sponsor ERC en_US
dc.relation.projectid 13/RC/2094 en_US
dc.relation.projectid 291652 en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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