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EMMSAD++ Tuesday's Keynote

Requirements 4.0: From a Systematic User Participation to Software Adaptivity

Prof. Walid Maalej, University of Hamburg, Germany


Requirements capture decisions about the properties and the functionality of a system. Requirements engineering is the branch of software engineering concerned with capturing, analyzing, planning, and maintaining requirements. Conventional software and requirements engineering are rather transactional, with limited options to deal with changes and to involve users in making decisions about the system. As users are getting more and more demanding, markets and technologies are evolving fast, and services and products are getting more and more individual, conventional software and requirements engineering are pushed to their limits.

In this talk, I will discuss a new, revolutionary perspective on requirements that I call „Requirements 4.0“. With this perspective, users become an inherent component of systems and users feedback becomes an integral part in the design, development, and evolution of the systems. By using natural language processing techniques and machine learning, I will show how analysts and developers can analyze and summarize the mass of users feedback to reduce reaction time and speed up decisions. Moreover, by systematically observing its usage, a system can capture, and analyze the usage context to better gather and interpret the feedback of users. In particular cases, the system can autonomously take decisions to adapt to new or to changing requirements. Requirements 4.0 have implications on the ways requirements analysts and system designers will take decisions in future.


Walid Maalej is a full professor of informatics at the University of Hamburg and head of the Applied Software Technology group. His current research interests include data-driven software engineering, participation in requirements and design, innovative mobile services, and context-aware adaptive systems. Walid supervised more than 50 theses and published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and three books on these topics.

Walid has been awarded in 2014 by the German Association of University Professors (DHV) and academics as “The Early Stage Researcher of the Year”. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Systems and Software and a Junior Fellow of the German Computer Science Society (GI). He is also the recipient of the Microsoft Award for Software Engineering Innovation (SEIF), the ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award, Google Research Award.

Walid is program chair of RE’18 IEEE Requirements Engineering Conference. He has successfully organized more than 15 international scientific events and served in the PC of numerous conferences including ICSE, RE, OSS, and ESEC/FSE. Walid Maalej served as consultant for numerous companies including Siemens, Tata Consultancy Services, and Rohde und Schwarz. Previously, he was leading a research group on context and human aspects in software at the TU Munich, where he received his M.Sc. in 2006 and his Ph.D. in 2010 – both with distinction. He is also Alumni of the CDTM, a member of the Bavarian Elite Network.