PC-RE: A method for personal and contextual requirements engineering with some experience

Alistair Sutcliffe, Stephen Fickas, McKay Moore Sohlberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A method for requirements analysis is proposed that accounts for individual and personal goals, and the effect of time and context on personal requirements. First a framework to analyse the issues inherent in requirements that change over time and location is proposed. The implications of the framework on system architecture are considered as three implementation pathways: Functional specifications, development of customisable features and automatic adaptation by the system. These pathways imply the need to analyse system architecture requirements. A scenario-based analysis method is described for specifying requirements goals and their potential change. The method addresses goal setting for measurement and monitoring, and conflict resolution when requirements at different layers (group, individual) and from different sources (personal, advice from an external authority) conflict. The method links requirements analysis to design by modelling alternative solution pathways. Different implementation pathways have cost'benefit implications for stakeholders, so cost'benefit analysis techniques are proposed to assess trade-offs between goals and implementation strategies. The use of the framework is illustrated with two case studies in assistive technology domains: E-mail and a personalised navigation system. The first case study illustrates personal requirements to help cognitively disabled users communicate via e-mail, while the second addresses personal and mobile requirements to help disabled users make journeys on their own, assisted by a mobile PDA guide. In both case studies the experience from requirements analysis to implementation, requirements monitoring, and requirements evolution is reported. © Springer-Verlag London Limited 2006.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-173
Number of pages16
JournalRequirements Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


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