Reading Techniques for
|We have been working on an approach to generating families of reading
techniques. Each family (and thus each technique) is associated with the
particular document (e.g., requirements, design) and notation (e.g., English
text, a formal notation) in which the document is written. Each technique
within the family is (1) tailorable, based upon the project and environment
characteristics; (2) detailed, in that it provides the reader a well-defined
set of steps to follow; (3) specific, in that the reader has a particular
purpose or goal for reading the document and the procedures that support
the goal; (4) focused, in that it provides a particular coverage of the
document, and a combination of techniques in the family provides coverage
of the entire document; (5) studied empirically to determine if and when
it is most effective.
Generating a family of reading techniques consists of building operational scenarios which require the reader to first create a model of the product, and then answer questions based on analyzing the model with a particular emphasis. Each reading technique in the family can be based upon a different abstraction and question set. The choice of abstraction and the types of questions may depend on the document being read, the problem history of the organization, or the goals of the organization.
|This experiment was part of a first series of experiments, aimed at discovering if scenario-based
reading is more effective than current practices. (A second series will be used to discover under which circumstances each
of the various scenario-based reading techniques, or families of techniques
is most effective.)
One of our goals is to replicate the experiments in different environments in order to better understand how to tailor the techniques to different domains, organizations and cultures. So far, replications have been undertaken:
The original experiment has been completed, along with some
replications in other contexts (see Validation Strategy).
So far, two different families of reading techniques have been defined
for requirements documents: defect-based reading and perspective-based
Techniques from both families have been studied experimentally. and
Package for the Empirical Investigation of Perspective-Based Reading
was developed. In the Lab package we present our experiences from previous
runs of this experiment, as well as our experimental design and materials,
in order that we may serve as a source of information for other researchers
to replicate the experiment in different environments.
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