REFraming Elicitation

2nd International Workshop on Requirements Engineering Frameworks

REFrame 2/2023, “REFraming Elicitation”, took place on 4th September, 2023, at RE 2023, the 31st IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference 2023, 04–08 September 2023, in Hannover, Germany.

Workshop Overview

The REFrame workshop “REFraming Elicitation” brought together a broad spectrum of experts interested in requirements elicitation, both in terms of practical experience and terms of scientific findings. It focused particularly on methodological frameworks in the context of elicitation: How have frameworks evolved over time? What are the current needs for guidance? What are important challenges and relevant experiences? The workshop included peer-reviewed paper submissions, invited talks, and interactive discussion sessions.

The workshop reviewed and discussed the participants’ understanding(s) of elicitation in requirements engineering and the role that methodological frameworks can play in the context of elicitation. It investigated guidelines, concepts, and structures for requirements elicitation, summarized under the term framework. The aim was to better understand the application, orchestration, and design of elicitation frameworks and to collect knowledge about them.

The workshop attracted about 25 participants from industry and academia. The number of participants partly changed during the day due to the RE 2023 conference’s open workshop program, which included several parallel events. During most of the workshop duration, a group of 15 to 20 people was present in the room. The participants engaged actively both during the presentations’ questions and answers (Q&A) discussions and in the dedicated interactive discussion sessions.

The agenda contained five presentations selected from eight peer-reviewed submissions: one keynote presentation (invited and reviewed), three scientific papers, and one position paper (short presentation). Each submission was reviewed by at least three reviewers from a program committee with 15 members.

During the entire workshop, the organizers collected participants’ expectations and other relevant discussion topics. The last workshop session elaborated on these topics for in-depth discussions. They were conducted during two parallel breakout sessions, prioritized, and summarized in a joint concluding discussion.

Workshop Objectives

Main objective of the workshop was to investigate and discuss requirements elicitation frameworks (e.g., techniques, methods, and practices). So, the key concepts addressed in the workshop were software requirements frameworks and requirements elicitation:

The workshop has understood a framework as a structure for a topic area that collects elements of the topic area and relates them to each other. This includes for instance techniques, methods, and tools. A framework is semi-complete and must be supplemented and/or adapted context-specifically for a concrete application.

Elicitation is the process of seeking, capturing, and consolidating requirements from available sources, potentially including the re-construction or creation of requirements.

Over time, as software and software engineering (SE) processes have evolved, the challenges of elicitation and the techniques and methods used have evolved, too. The workshop aims at understanding better what elicitation means today and how it needs to improve in the future.

In this sense the workshop also considered the main theme of RE 2023: “Redefining RE: Challenging RE Perceptions, Boundaries, and Topics”. It aimed at providing a vivid illustration of what this theme can mean specifically to the field of requirements elicitation.

REFrame Community

The workshop has been related to other ongoing activities that provide a community and an environment supportive of the workshop event. These include a sister workshop at REFSQ 2023 and a working group of the German Computer Society (GI, Gesellschaft für Informatik).

The REFSQ 2023 workshop addressed RE frameworks in general and provided the ground for the upcoming specific focus on elicitation. The working group provided results that helped to jump-start workshop discussions. On the other hand, the workshop has made valuable contributions onto which the working group can follow up further.

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