Publication Details

This article was originally published as: Brown, RBK, Ghose, A, Hierarchic decomposition in agent oriented conceptual modelling, Proceedings Fourth International Conference on Quality Software (QSIC 2004), 8-9 September 2004, 240-247. Copyright IEEE 2004.


Software development processes requires a thorough understanding of stakeholder objectives and requirements. Product-centrism is an insufficient stance from which to achieve greater efficiencies and reduce reengineering. Stakeholder requirement elicitation is thus worthy of formalization. A suite of tools, notably the i* model, provides a framework for early-phase requirements capture. These tools currently are at best only semiautomated and essentially consist of a notational glossary and sets of mark-up symbols. Increasing formalization may lead to greater automation of the process in the future, but currently there is a degree of flexibility that presents pitfalls for the unwary practitioner. A notion of contextual consistency would enhance the applicability such toolkits. Requirements generated from stakeholder objectives may suffer scoping errors, complicated by the complexity of practical examples. Hierarchical situations of contextual confusion are explored. A formalisation is offered of the constraints that circumscribe the set of valid decompositions.