Gouri Deshpande, Quim Motger, Cristina Palomares
Aug 1, 2020
2020 IEEE 28th International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE)
Context: Incomplete or incorrect detection of requirement dependencies has proven to result in reduced release quality and substantial rework. Additionally, the extraction of dependencies is challenging since requirements are mostly documented in natural language, which makes it a cognitively difficult task. Moreover, with ever-changing and new requirements, a manual analysis process must be repeated, which imposes extra hardship even for domain experts.Objective: The three main objectives of this research are: 1) Proposing a new dependency extraction method using a variant of Active Learning (AL). 2) Evaluating this AL and Ontology-based Retrieval (OBR) as baseline methods for dependency extraction on the two industrial data sets. 3) Analyzing the value gained from integrating these diverse approaches to form two hybrid methods.Method: Building on the general AL, ensemble and semi-supervised machine learning, a variant of AL was developed, which was further integrated with OBR to form two hybrid methods (Hybrid1, Hybrid2) for extracting three types of dependencies (requires, refines, other): Hybrid1 used OBR as a substitute for human expert; Hybrid2 used dependencies extracted through the OBR as an additional input for training set in AL.Results: For two industrial case studies, AL extracted more dependencies than OBR. Hybrid1 showed improvement for both data sets. For one of them, F1 score increased to 82.6% compared to the AL baseline score of 49.9%. Hybrid2 increased the accuracy by 25% to the level of 75.8% compared to the AL baseline accuracy. OBR also complemented the AL approach by reducing 50% of the human effort.