RE'17: “Desperately Seeking Less”: The Role of Simplicity and Complementarity in Requirements

As stakeholders demand more and more features, systems become more and more complex. A challenge for the requirements engineering (RE) field is to ensure simplicity of requirements. Often the real needs are hidden beneath contextual knowledge, assumptions, inconsistencies, and even omissions. Our goal is to state requirements simply, to promote simpler designs and thus simpler systems. Similarly, we seek to apply the complementarity principle as we write requirements. Every concept has a complement or opposite: cause/effect, input/output, start/stop, etc. In RE, we study the system and the human. We seek ways to perform RE such that we allocate the tasks that require a human being’s unique abilities to the humans and automate the other system tasks. Here is where the complementarity principle can come into play and drive our work. Our theme, The Role of Simplicity and Complementarity in Requirements, takes a step back after twenty-five years of RE conferences and asks: "How has complexity crept into our processes and techniques and system properties?", "How have tasks been split between computers and humans in the past?". Looking forward, our theme asks: "How can the simplicity and complementarity characteristics become mainstays as requirements engineers, business analysts, systems engineers, and requirements researchers move forward into the next 25 years?"

RE'17 will offer an extensive program of interest to academia, government and industry. It will include several distinguished keynote speakers and three conference days filled with research and industry papers, panels, posters, and demonstrations. We introduce a new Data Track: industry-relevant challenges will be posed and industrial artifacts, consisting of requirements, models and specifications, will be provided so that researchers can apply their techniques to these artifacts. The conference will also feature a series of exciting tutorials to develop skills in and advance awareness of RE practices of particular interest to industry. It will include two days of workshops and a doctoral symposium to offer forums for participants to present cutting-age techniques and approaches in particular fields.

Extended versions of selected papers will be published in a special issue of the Requirements Engineering Journal.