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Processes and Models for Capacity Requirements in Telecommunication Systems
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, PELAB - Programming Environment Laboratory. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Capacity is an essential quality factor in telecommunication systems. The ability to develop systems with the lowest cost per subscriber and transaction, that also meet the highest availability requirements and at the same time allow for scalability, is a true challenge for a telecommunication systems provider. This thesis describes a research collaboration between Linköping University and Ericsson AB aimed at improving the management, representation, and implementation of capacity requirements in large-scale software engineering.

An industrial case study on non-functional requirements in general was conducted to provide the explorative research background, and a richer understanding of identified difficulties was gained by dedicating subsequent investigations to capacity. A best practice inventory within Ericsson regarding the management of capacity requirements and their refinement into design and implementation was carried out. It revealed that capacity requirements crosscut most of the development process and the system lifecycle, thus widening the research context considerably. The interview series resulted in the specification of 19 capacity sub-processes; these were represented as a method plug-in to the OpenUP software development process in order to construct a coherent package of knowledge as well as to communicate the results. They also provide the basis of an empirically grounded anatomy which has been validated in a focus group. The anatomy enables the assessment and stepwise improvement of an organization’s ability to develop for capacity, thus keeping the initial cost low. Moreover, the notion of capacity is discussed and a pragmatic approach for how to support model-based, function-oriented development with capacity information by its annotation in UML models is presented. The results combine into a method for how to improve the treatment of capacity requirements in large-scale software systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2009. , 62 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1238
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16932ISBN: 978-91-7393-700-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-16932DiVA: diva2:174830
Public defence
2009-03-26, Visionen, hus B, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-02-25 Created: 2009-02-25 Last updated: 2009-04-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The Bad Conscience of Requirements Engineering: An Investigation in Real-World Treatment of Non-Functional Requirements
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Bad Conscience of Requirements Engineering: An Investigation in Real-World Treatment of Non-Functional Requirements
2003 (English)In: Third Conference on Software Engineering Research and Practice in Sweden (SERPS'03), Lund, 2003, 1-8 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Even though non-functional requirements (NFRs) are critical in order to provide software of good quality, the literature of NFRs is relatively sparse. We describe how NFRs are treated in two development organizations, an Ericsson application center and the IT department of the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. We have interviewed professionals about problems they face and their ideas on how to improve the situation. Both organizations are aware of NFRs and related problems but their main focus is on functional requirements,primarily because existing methods focus on these. The most tangible problems experienced are that many NFRs remain undiscovered and that NFRs are stated in non-measurable terms. It became clear that the size andstructure of the organization require proper distribution of employees’ interest, authority and competence of NFRs. We argue that a feasible solution might be to strengthen the position of architectural requirements, which are more likely to emphasize NFRs.

Keyword
Non-functional requirements, case study
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16790 (URN)
Available from: 2009-02-25 Created: 2009-02-19 Last updated: 2009-02-25Bibliographically approved
2. Good Practice and Improvement Model of Handling Capacity Requirements of Large Telecommunication Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Good Practice and Improvement Model of Handling Capacity Requirements of Large Telecommunication Systems
2006 (English)In: 14th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE'06), Minneapolis/S:t Paul, Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society , 2006, 245-250 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

There is evidence to suggest that the software industry has not yet matured as regards management of nonfunctional requirements (NFRs). Consequently the cost of achieving required quality is unnecessarily high. To try and avoid this, the telecommunication systems provider Ericsson defined a research task to try and improve the management of requirements for capacity, which is one of the most critical NFRs. Linkoping University joined in the effort and conducted an interview series to investigate good practice within different parts of the company. Inspired by the interviews and an ongoing process improvement project a model for improvement was created and activities were synthesized. This paper contributes the results from the interview series, and details the subprocesses of specification that should be improved. Such improvements are about understanding the relationship between numerical entities at all system levels, augmenting UML specifications to make NFRs visible, working with time budgets, and testing the sub system level components on the same level as they are specified.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society, 2006
Keyword
Non-functional requirements, capacity, process improvement
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16791 (URN)10.1109/RE.2006.28 (DOI)0-7695-2555-5 (ISBN)978-0-7695-2555-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2009-02-19 Created: 2009-02-19 Last updated: 2009-02-25Bibliographically approved
3. Integrating an Improvement Model of Handling Capacity Requirements with OpenUP/Basic Process
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integrating an Improvement Model of Handling Capacity Requirements with OpenUP/Basic Process
2007 (English)In: 13th International working conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundations for Software Quality (REFSQ'07), Trondheim, Norway, Berlin Heidelberg: Springer , 2007, 341-354 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Contemporary software processes and modeling languages have a strong focus on Functional Requirements (FRs), whereas information of Non-Functional Requirements (NFRs) are managed with text-based documentation and individual skills of the personnel. In order to get a better understanding of how capacity requirements are handled, we carried out an interview series with various branches of Ericsson. The analysis of this material revealed 18 Capacity Sub-Processes (CSPs) that need to be attended to create a capacity-oriented development. In this paper we describe all these sub-processes and their mapping into an extension of the OpenUP/Basic software process. Such an extension will support a process engineer in realizing the sub-processes, and has at the same time shown that there are no internal inconsistencies of the CSPs. The extension provides a context for continued research in using UML to support negotiation between requirements and existing design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Berlin Heidelberg: Springer, 2007
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 4542
Keyword
Capacity requirements, OpenUP/Basic, method plug-in, Eclipse Process Framework, process improvement
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16792 (URN)10.1007/978-3-540-73031-6_26 (DOI)978-3-540-73030-9 (ISBN)
Available from: 2009-02-19 Created: 2009-02-19 Last updated: 2009-04-23Bibliographically approved
4. Extending the OpenUP/Basic Requirements Discipline to Specify Capacity Requirements
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Extending the OpenUP/Basic Requirements Discipline to Specify Capacity Requirements
2007 (English)In: Requirements Engineering Conference, 2007. RE '07, IEEE Computer Society, 2007, 328-333 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Software processes, such as RUP and agile methods, focus their requirements engineering part on use cases and thus functional requirements. Complex products, such as radio network control software, need special handling of non-functional requirements as well. We describe how we used the eclipse process framework to augment the open and minimal OpenUP/basic process with improvements found in management of capacity requirements in a case-study at Ericsson. The result is compared with another project improving RUP to handle performance requirements. The major differences between the improvements are that 1) they suggest a special, dedicated performance manager role and we suggest that present roles are augmented, 2) they suggest a bottom-up approach to performance verification while we focus on system performance first, i.e. top-down. Further, we suggest augmenting UMLl-2 models with capacity attributes to improve information flow from requirements to implementation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2007
Series
International Requirements Engineering Conference. Proceedings, ISSN 1090-705X
Keyword
Capacity requirements, process improvement, method plug-in, OpenUP/Basic, Eclipse Process Framework
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16797 (URN)10.1109/RE.2007.24 (DOI)000251576800040 ()978-0-7695-2935-6 (ISBN)
Conference
15th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference, 15-19 October 2007, Delhi, India
Available from: 2009-02-19 Created: 2009-02-19 Last updated: 2013-06-27Bibliographically approved
5. A Case Study in Assessing and Improving Capacity Using an Anatomy of Good Practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Case Study in Assessing and Improving Capacity Using an Anatomy of Good Practice
2007 (English)In: The 6th joint meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE 2007), Dubrovnik, Croatia, New York: ACM , 2007, 509-512 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Capacity in telecommunication systems is highly related to operator revenue. As a vendor of such systems, Ericsson AB is continuously improving its processes for estimating, specifying, tuning, and testing the capacity of delivered systems. In order to systematize process improvements Ericsson AB and Linköping University joined forces to create an anatomy of Capacity Sub Processes (CSPs). The anatomy is the result of an interview series conducted to document good practices amongst organizations active in capacity improvement. In this paper we analyze four different development processes in terms of how far they have reached in their process maturity according to our anatomy and show possible improvement directions. Three of the processes are currently in use at Ericsson, and the fourth is the OpenUP/Basic process which we have used as a reference process in earlier research. We also include an analysis of the observed good practices. The result mainly confirms the order of CSPs in the anatomy, but we need to use our information of the maturity of products and the major life cycle in the organization in order to fully explain the role of the anatomy in planning of improvements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: ACM, 2007
Keyword
Capacity, non-functional requirements, process improvement
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16801 (URN)10.1145/1287624.1287697 (DOI)978-1-59593-811-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2009-02-19 Created: 2009-02-19 Last updated: 2009-05-11Bibliographically approved
6. A Method for Improving the Treatment of Capacity Requirements in Large Telecommunication Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >> A Method for Improving the Treatment of Capacity Requirements in Large Telecommunication Systems
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Non-functional requirements crosscut functional models and are more difficult to enforce in system models. This paper describes a long-term research collaboration regarding capacity requirements between Linköping University and Ericsson AB. We describe an industrial case study on non-functional requirements as a background. Succeeding efforts dedicated to capacity include a detailed description of the term, a best practice inventory within Ericsson, and a pragmatic approach for how to annotate UML models with capacity information. The results are also represented as a method plug-in to the OpenUP software process and an anatomy facilitating the possibility to assess and improve an organization’s abilities to develop for capacity. The results combine into a method for how to improve the treatment of capacity requirements in large-scale software systems. Both product and process views are included, with emphasis on the latter.

Keyword
Non-functional requirements, capacity requirements, process improvement, anatomy, UML, OpenUP, Eclipse Process Framework
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16805 (URN)
Available from: 2009-02-19 Created: 2009-02-19 Last updated: 2010-01-14Bibliographically approved

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Borg, Andreas

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