Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

Document Type



The primary goal of this research is to assist non-technical stakeholders involved in requirements engineering with a comprehensible method for managing changing requirements within a specific domain. An important part of managing evolving requirements over time is to maintain a temporal ordering of the changes and to support traceability of the modifications. This research defines a semi-formal syntactical and semantic definition of such a method using a visual language, RE/TRAC (Requirements Evolution with Traceability), and a supporting formal semantic notation RE/TRAC-SEM. RE/TRAC-SEM is an ontological specification employing a combination of models, including verbal definitions, set theory and a string language specification RE/TRAC-CF. The language RE/TRAC-CF enables the separation of the syntactical description of the visual language from the semantic meaning of the model, permitting varying target representations and taking advantage of existing efficient parsing algorithms for context-free grammars. As an application of the RE/TRAC representation, this research depicts the hierarchical step-wise refinement of UML use case diagrams to demonstrate evolving system requirements. In the current arena of software development, where systems are described using platform independent models (PIMs) which emphasize the front-end design process, requirements and design documents, including the use cases, have become the primary artifacts of the system. Therefore the management of requirements’ evolution has become even more critical in the creation and maintenance of systems.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Doris Carver