Today’s complex operating environments require systems to capture and document context together with requirements. Such contextual requirements are used by adaptive systems. During the lifetime of an adaptive system contextual requirements might become outdated if the operational environment changes or might be affected by changes in the monitoring infrastructure (e.g., sensor failure). Such uncertainty might affect the satisfaction of contextual requirements. Overcoming this limitation in adaptive systems calls for runtime support on the adaptation of contextual requirements that are affected by runtime uncertainty. Alessia Knauss, Daniela Damian, and Angela Rook from our lab, in collaboration with Xavier Franch, Hausi Müller, and Alex Thomo developed ACon, an approach that supports the adaptation of contextual requirements at runtime. ACon uses a feedback loop to detect contextual requirements affected by uncertainty and integrates data mining techniques to determine the current measurable context conditions in which the contextual requirement is valid. We evaluated ACon based on our OAR Northwest project in an unpredictable environment, the Atlantic Ocean, with lots of uncertainty involved. We mined contextual data of 46 sensors for five contextual requirements. Our evaluation showed promising results and leaves room for further investigations in this direction.
Since October 2012 our lab has the pleasure to conduct research on the project of OAR Northwest. The students from the SEGAL lab involved in this project are Alessia Knauss and Angela Rook. The main research is done on the Atlantic Ocean trip of Adam Kreek, Jordan Hanssen, Markus Pukonen and Pat Fleming. During this trip they were collecting research data for us for the purpose of investigation in requirements engineering for adaptive systems that represent socio-technical systems. After their capsize in April 2013 (which was very unfortunate as they were very close to their goal), for a couple of weeks it was not clear whether the devices, that were used on board for data collection were lost in the ocean. The first good news was that some of the devices were found on the boat that was out on the ocean for almost two weeks. With the devices (e.g. Samsung Rugbys) the impossible was possible: We were able to restore some of the devices, so that we got enough data to continue with our research. In June Alessia had a meeting with the rowers in Victoria (where the picture was taken) to receive further research data. It was very exciting to meet all four of them in the same place and hear their exciting and very inspiring stories about the experience out there on sea and their capsizing. Thank you Adam, Jordan, Markus and Pat for giving us the opportunity to take part in this adventure and for your inspiration and all the effort you put in to make this research possible!