Entry Date:
May 15, 2012

Requirements Engineering for Sustainable Systems

Principal Investigator Olivier de Weck

Software can play a major role in enabling and optimizing sustainability for large classes of systems. Unfortunately, up to now, sustainability has been largely ignored by stakeholders. And not just stakeholders -- engineers, themselves, are largely untrained and unable to properly take into account and solve sustainability-related problems.

The first step toward systematically solving this problem is by tackling sustainability issues at the requirements engineering level. Proper requirements engineering for software-based sustainable systems is crucial for building sustainable systems that successfully satisfy stakeholders' needs and at the same time handle sustainability constraints. As such, building sustainable systems raises a number of new requirements engineering challenges.

Research Objectives are:
(*) Discover the unique requirements engineering challenges with respect to the development of sustainable systems
(*) Define a general requirements engineering meta-model and framework that will facilitate the analysis and specification of sustainability-related requirements. Focus on the special role of software in achieving sustainable systems

Impact on Global Sustainability:
(*) Provide a framework of reusable sustainability-related requirements that reduces development cost for the new projects and increases stakeholders' satisfaction
(*) Provide means for systematic capture and modeling of sustainability-related requirements
(*) Increase engineers' understanding and capability for successful management and implementation of the sustainability-related requirements

(*) Conducted literature review to examine the core sustainability area Conducted literature review to examine the sustainability-related requirements engineering areas
(*) Obtained a set of the high-level Masdar City specification documents
(*) Obtained a set of the high-level Masdar City Rapid Transportation System specification documents
(*) Developed a general process using a generic systems modeling language based on bi-partite graphs (objects, processes) and formal language to develop a Sustainability-Oriented Multi-Disciplinary Solution set from the initial set of the requirements.