Published in International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE’2003) Proceedings: Monterey, CA., September 1, 2003, pages 151-161.
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NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Alex Dekhtyar was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
This paper presents an approach for improving requirements tracing based on framing it as an information retrieval (IR) problem. Specifically, we focus on improving recall and precision in order to reduce the number of missed traceability links as well as to reduce the number of irrelevant potential links that an analyst has to examine when performing requirements tracing. Several IR algorithms were adapted and implemented to address this problem. We evaluated our algorithms by comparing their results and performance to those of a senior analyst who traced manually as well as with an existing requirements tracing tool. Initial results suggest that we can retrieve a significantly higher percentage of the links than analysts, even when using existing tools, and do so in much less time while achieving comparable signal-to-noise levels.