Jon Hall, Open University, UK
Lucia Rapanotti, Open University, UK
Liping Zhao, University of Manchester, UK
James Naish, University of Manchester, UK
Requirements engineering aims to provide the basic understanding required to construct a software product. However, the approach is concerned with what the software must do, and as such provides a description of the solution, not of the problem that necessitates the solution. Problem-oriented approaches to software engineering are predicated on the principle that designing effective solutions requires a detailed understanding of the problem.
Software engineers recognise the improbability of precisely and completely defining the problem up-front. As such, problem-oriented approaches to software engineering recognise the need for a gradual and continuous refinement of a problem description during the software engineering process to identify new or previously missed requirements. Problem-oriented software engineering is therefore concerned with research relating to the elicitation and validation of problem statements, and the principled transformation of problem statements into design solutions.
Current research on problem-oriented approaches to software engineering include the POSE framework which evolved out of Michael Jackson’s problem frames approach and patterns for modelling problems in the real world such as Alistair Sutcliffe’s Domain Theory. The IWAAPO workshop is concerned with recent developments in problem-orientated approaches to software engineering, open challenges in the area and future directions for research.