Research

Dr. Antón's research focuses on methods and tools to support the specification of complete, correct behavior of software systems used in environments that pose risks of loss as a consequence of failures and misuse. This includes Web-based and e-commerce systems in which the security of personal and private information is particularly vulnerable. Specifically, she investigates: (1) how to support the evolution and management of large collections of scenarios used during the planning and design of envisioned systems and (2) how to ensure that system requirements comply with stakeholder values as well as with governing security and privacy policies so that the system operates accordingly.

Supporting scenario management during requirements specification.
Scenarios describe concrete system behaviors of existing and/or envisioned systems. Studies have shown that concrete scenarios are essential for an understanding of the customer's needs and the operational concept of system; scenarios are thus an expressive representation scheme which allow stakeholders to clearly relate to their experiences, ultimately facilitating the validation of requirements. This research addresses important issues in the discovery, elaboration and management of system use scenarios for the specification of software requirements. The ultimate goal is to develop viable solutions for supporting the early stages of the software lifecycle by ensuring requirements coverage. We have produced a framework, and web-based tool support, to enable the evaluation of requirements activities and processes during scenario management and evolution as well as requirements coverage estimation. The web-based SMaRT (Scenario Management and Requirements Tool) is currently in use by NCSU graduate students. The tool will be extended to serve as an experimental research engine, collecting data on requirements engineering activities in a series of projects for real clients in various domains, sites and project teams. The results of this research will improve the outcome of projects that employ goal and scenario-based approaches during requirements specification.


Aligning system requirements, stakeholder values and privacy policy.
This research focuses on how society uses, values, and protects citizens' personal information. Software engineers need design methods and tools to develop systems that reflect those values and protect personal information, accordingly. In essence, this work focuses on integrating societal values, website policies, and the operational functioning of web-based e-commerce systems, which are often misaligned. The goal is to develop concepts, tools and techniques that help IT professionals and policy makers bring policies and system requirements into better alignment. This work has resulted in the development of a validated privacy values survey instrument, codification of goal-mining heuristics for analyzing privacy policy content, and the creation of a Website: The Privacy Place (http://theprivacyplace.org) to disseminate all project materials as well as serve as a resource for practitioners, researchers and policy makers.

© 1998-2007 A.I. Antón

Updated: 1.25.04...
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