Integration of Social Sustainability in Software Requirements Using Requirements Pattern: A Case of Equality

2019-07-16T14:41:30Z (GMT) by Maryam A. S. Al Hinai
Software is taking an increasingly prominent role in all of the areas relevant to social sustainability; e.g. by creating and enabling communities, facilitating connectedness between groups of people, enforcing standards, rules, and laws over individuals' and business' interactions. It enables the sharing of information and facilitate cooperation. Presently, there is no solution, framework, or method that supports software and requirements engineers in accounting for social sustainability requirements during software development. Most requirement engineers don't even understand what social sustainability is or what it may have to do with software. Thus, the main aim of this thesis is to deliver a method that de-mystifies the notion of social sustainability, and enables requirements engineers to integrate (otherwise implicit) social sustainability requirements into a software systems specification. This thesis tackles this issue by eliciting the structure of the social sustainability concern, as reported within in the current scientific literature (systematic literature review), and delivering a generic, repeatable approach through which each of the identified sub-concerns could be operationalised into reusable requirements. The proposed approach is instantiated for the equality concern, for which a value-based pattern is derived (qualitative analysis), which is operationalised through templates. An elicitation method is also derived using the pattern and usage guideline is proposed. Several targeted studies are designed to evaluate the developed pattern and method with both requirements engineering experts and general software users. The studies demonstrate the utility and (re-)usability of the method, pattern along with its template and requirements. This thesis reveals that the generic social sustainability requirements can be used (but contextualised) across all countries and cultures. It also declares that each social sustainability concern can be represented by a value pattern. For equality, this pattern is related to equal support of: stakeholders variability, goal achievement and access to services that will facilitate goal achievement.

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