Postprint version. Published in 2011 IEEE 19th International Requirements Engineering Conference: Trento, IT, August 29, 2011, pages 111-120.
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Assisted requirements tracing is a process in which a human analyst validates candidate traces produced by an automated requirements tracing method or tool. The assisted requirements tracing process splits the difference between the commonly applied time-consuming, tedious, and error-prone manual tracing and the automated requirements tracing procedures that are a focal point of academic studies. In fact, in software assurance scenarios, assisted requirements tracing is the only way in which tracing can be at least partially automated. In this paper, we present the results of an extensive 12 month study of assisted tracing, conducted using three different tracing processes at two different sites. We describe the information collected about each study participant and their work on the tracing task, and apply statistical analysis to study which factors have the largest effect on the quality of the final trace.