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A Live Extensible Ontology of Quality Factors for Textual Requirements

by   Julian Frattini, et al.
University of Hamburg

Quality factors like passive voice or sentence length are commonly used in research and practice to evaluate the quality of natural language requirements since they indicate defects in requirements artifacts that potentially propagate to later stages in the development life cycle. However, as a research community, we still lack a holistic perspective on quality factors. This inhibits not only a comprehensive understanding of the existing body of knowledge but also the effective use and evolution of these factors. To this end, we propose an ontology of quality factors for textual requirements, which includes (1) a structure framing quality factors and related elements and (2) a central repository and web interface making these factors publicly accessible and usable. We contribute the first version of both by applying a rigorous ontology development method to 105 eligible primary studies and construct a first version of the repository and interface. We illustrate the usability of the ontology and invite fellow researchers to a joint community effort to complete and maintain this knowledge repository. We envision our ontology to reflect the community's harmonized perception of requirements quality factors, guide reporting of new quality factors, and provide central access to the current body of knowledge.


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