ACRE’s 6 Dimensions

Requirements for software-intensive systems are complex and varied.
This is reflected in the framework which suggests different methods to
acquire different knowledge and requirements. Research has identified
six facets which inform method selection:
1. Purpose of requirements: requirements can be acquired for different
purposes, such as specification of bespoke systems, selection of
software packages and to provide a legal contract for requirements
procurement. Different methods assist each;
2. Knowledge types: requirements modelling languages (e.g. Greenspan
et al. 1986) include semantic primitives such as events, states and
agents. Different methods acquire different types of knowledge;
3. Internal filtering of knowledge: it is often the case that stakeholders are
unaware of their own knowledge and its boundaries. Problems can
include poor recall and communication of incomplete or incorrect
knowledge. Methods are offered to overcome these limitations;
4. Observable phenomena: some knowledge cannot be communicated
by stakeholders but only learned by observing a system and its
5. Acquisition context: method choice also depends on the context of its
use. Acquisition does not occur in a vacuum. Complex organisational,
political, financial and temporal pressures influence acquisition. Method
selection in ACRE recognises this;
6. Method interdependencies: an acquisition programme will include a
sequence of methods which influences method choice.

Reference: Reference: Neil Maiden (2011) Requirements Engineering Lecture Notes

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