Semantic Requirement Engineering

Open PhD Thesis under the joint supervision of Andrea G. B. Tettamanzi and myself : An Approach to Requirement Engineering Based on a Possibilistic BDI Model

Human activities undertaken in organizations rely on information systems. These were first used to collect, disseminate and process information. They are now real knowledge bases. The role of information systems becomes increasingly critical in the functioning of organizations. Information systems engineering aims at providing effective solutions to design, build, use and manage (in terms of evolution and increasing complexity) information systems. Research in this area aims at anticipating methods and tools engineering information systems will need.

To understand, anticipate and align user requirements and, more broadly, stakeholders with available technical solutions (components, services, ERP systems, ...) has always been an important and difficult problem in the information system engineering field. The growing number and diversity of stakeholders on the one hand and the rapid evolution of ever-greater range of technical solutions on the other hand explain that this problem remains a major challenge. In this context, our aim is to propose methods and tools to help stakeholders and designers (i.e. technical solutions providers) to articulate their representations and processes.

To facilitate the exploitation of resources (documents, actors or services), the semantic web research community aims at making explicit the knowledge contained into resources. This knowledge is represented by ontologies which structure terms, concepts and relationships of a given domain. Ontologies are often used to extract and represent the meaning of resources. This meaning is expressed through annotations supporting semantic resources indexing in order to formalise and make their content explicit. Resource retrieval relies on the formal manipulation of these annotations and is guided by ontologies. We believe that semantic web models and languages provide a suitable unified framework to firstly characterize user requirements and technical solutions and also allow reasoning on these characteristics.Modeling, capturing and analyzing relations among users, among requirements pieces as well as between user requirements and technical solutions is of major interest in the requirement engineering field.

I am currently working in collaboration with Pierre Crescenzo in the framework of the ICN project aiming at inferring and characterizing users groups in order to improve requirement prioritization. In collaboration with Olivier Corby and Moussa Lo, I am also supervising the PhD of Papa Fary Diallo dealing with community based ontologies and corpus building in a technologically-limited environment.


Previous works

In the framework of the DESIR Color action, we provided to a community of ecophysiologists, agronomists and geneticists means to share scripts about data analysis in order to understand plant tolerance with regards to heat and water shortages. In collaboration with the MODALIS research team at I3S we proposed an approach to support capitalization, sharing and reuse of plans to operationalize image processing pipelines operationalized by web services in a community of neuroscientists. In collaboration with Fabien Gandon and Moussa Lo, I supervised the PhD of Adrien Basse on frequent graph pattern to advertise the content of RDF Triple Stores on the web.

In the past, I worked on Situational Method Engineering. This work was part of a global framework for situational method engineering : Smart Environment for SituAtional Method Engineering and has been worked out in collaboration with Jolita Ralyté and Michel Léonard (MATIS team, CUI, Genève). In this context we proposed the REUSE FRAME, which is an alternative way to organize Method Fragments in order to improve their reusability. We also proposed JECKO, a context-driven approach to analysis and design, where a software context is defined in order to customize the analysis and design process. This approach has been developed in collaboration with Violaine de Rivieres, Amadeus sas, Sophia Antipolis, France.

I also worked on workflow analysis and design. This work has been done in collaboration with Barbara Pernici (Politecnico di Milano). It was part of the Wide Esprit Project (ESPRIT IV, n. 20280).

And I worked on spatio-temporal constraints. This work has been done in collaboration with Barbara Pernici (Politecnico di Milano) and Michalis Vazirgiannis (Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece). It was part of the CHOROCHRONOS TMR Project.

Finally, my phD. work dealt with integration of object-oriented design schemas.


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