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Title: A novel approach to eliciting requirements in the process of designing complex instrument systems
Author: McInally, Stephen Geoffrey
ISNI:       0000 0001 3624 7804
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2002
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The central hypothesis of the thesis is that structured support for requirements elicitation in the process of complex instrument design is either not published or inappropriate. Any new approach to eliciting requirements should account for business, social and technical issues in design; long in-service instrument lives; cyclical interdependence between instrument customer and supplier; and the exploratory nature of complex instrument development. Information was gathered from a wide range of literature, including publications on requirements engineering, systems engineering methodology, behavioural models in design, models of non-engineering creative processes, cinematography, and cognitive and behavioural psychology. A novel approach to eliciting requirements was formulated from models and concepts discovered in preliminary casework, the literature review and the author's experience. This approach, called Life-Cycle Requirements Elicitation Method (L-C REM) was partially evaluated through case study and partly by application of the NIMSAD methodology evaluation framework. Despite being terminated due to unforeseen circumstances, the case study evaluation showed the L-C REM to be useful in identifying key requirement contributors, and in eliciting important design-influencing information. The L-C REM was also useful in minimising conflict between the interests of Stakeholders in design, and in identifying unique, duplicated and conflicting requirements. The NIMSAD evaluation was 75% applicable to the L-C REM, indicating that the novel approach has strong coverage for Problem Situation and Methodology User analysis, but limited coverage for development of logical and physical design models. According to criteria defined by Phillips and Pugh, the research makes a novel contribution to the body of knowledge in at least eight of their prescribed potential strategies. Two possible areas for further development of the method and theories would be to explore the validity of research concepts more deeply in complex instrument design, and to explore the usefulness of thesis ideas in applications such as in military or information systems design.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Machinery & tools