Testing Imprecise Requirements

David Gelperin

Articles on abc.net and elsewhere reported that Volvo has recently discovered a non-traditional requirement: Any self-driving vehicle approved for use outside Australian cities must recognize kangaroos on or near the roadway and take proper actions. The kangaroo’s bounce confused the large animal detector! In this session, industry expert David Gelperin shares a new perspective on the value of imprecise requirements and explores the nature of testing them. Excess precision may hamper the development of optimal solutions by excluding effective designs. Imprecise statements reduce the risk of excess precision and signal the need for analysis to understand their deeper meaning. Intentionally imprecise requirements entail a mixture of research and development and are a valuable supplement to traditional requirements. Testers can help increase understanding of domain concepts and design options by exploring imprecision and challenging assumptions. Learn how intentionally imprecise requirements testing supports concept definition, identification, assessment, and selection of alternative designs.

About the Presenter

David Gelperin has more than 50 years experience in software engineering with an emphasis on requirements risk management and development and software quality, verification, and test (SQVT). Dave has been a SQVT consultant/mentor and instructor (20 years), quality support manager (5 years), verification lead (2 years), project lead (2 years), and programmer (5 years). He has consulted for both commercial and in-house software development organizations, including some with safety and mission critical applications. Many consulting assignments entailed assessments of software engineering or test practices and recommendations for improvement. Dave cofounded Software Quality Engineering (now TechWell)—the leading provider of software quality information worldwide—in 1986 and catalyzed the launch of Better Software magazine. He recently completed a book titled Understanding Requirement s. His articles can be found here. David has a PhD in Computer Science, but has managed to help people do useful work anyway.

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