Project

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StakeCloud - Stakeholder Requirements Communication in the Cloud

English title StakeCloud - Stakeholder Requirements Communication in the Cloud
Applicant Glinz Martin
Number 150142
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Informatik Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Information Technology
Start/End 01.12.2013 - 30.11.2015
Approved amount 118'870.00
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Keywords (4)

Stakeholder; Requirements Elicitation; Requirements Communication; Cloud Computing

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Unter Cloud Computing (auf Deutsch «Rechnen in der Wolke» oder «IT aus der Steckdose») versteht man die Bereitstellung globaler Hardware- und Software-Dienstleistungen über das Internet, welche von den Nutzern nach Bedarf abgerufen, genutzt und bezahlt werden. Cloud Computing birgt eine Reihe von Herausforderungen und Problemen. In diesem Projekt untersuchen wir, wie die Anbieter von Cloud-Diensten herausfinden können, welche Dienste die potenziellen Benutzer tatsächlich wollen bzw. brauchen.
Lay summary

 

Inhalt und Ziele des Forschungsprojekts

Wir wollen herausfinden wie effektive Kommunikation von Benutzeranforderungen im Cloud Computing Kontext funktionieren kann. Dabei gilt es eine Reihe von Schwierigkeiten, beispielsweise die Heterogenität und geographische Verteilung potentieller Benutzer,  das Fehler lokaler Märkte für Dienste und auch die sich schnell ändernden Anforderungen an Dienste. Zunächst einmal müssen wir genau verstehen, wie Anbieter von Cloud-Diensten derzeit die Anforderungen und Erwartungen von Benutzern an ihre Dienste identifizieren. Auf dieser Grundlage werden wir neue Methoden und Werkzeuge entwickeln, welche es gestatten, die Bedürfnisse potenzieller Nutzer von Cloud-Diensten besser zu ermitteln, diese Ermittlung teilweise zu automatisieren und die Effektivität der Kommunikation von Benutzeranforderungen sicherzustellen.

 

Wissenschaftliche und gesellschaftliche Bedeutung des Forschungsprojekts

Aus wissenschaftlicher Sicht wird unsere Forschung zu einem besseren Verständnis der Kommunikation von Anforderungen zwischen den Benutzern und den Anbietern von Cloud-Diensten führen. An die Erfordernisse das Cloud Computings angepasste Anforderungserhebungsmethoden und die Entwicklung eines zugehörigen Rahmenwerks werden bestehende Lücken im Stand der Wissenschaft auf diesem Gebiet schliessen.

Wir erwarten, dass die Ergebnisse unserer Forschung auch in realen Projekten eingesetzt werden und somit mittel- bzw. langfristig eine positive Auswirkung auf die Softwareindustrie haben. Aus dieser Sicht betrachtet, werden die Ergebnisse des Projekts dazu führen, dass Cloud-Dienste leichter identifiziert werden können und auch besser an die Bedürfnisse von privaten und geschäftlichen Benutzern angepasst sein werden.

 

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 02.11.2013

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Cloud computing is the delivery of software or hardware capabilities on-demand, over the network, as services. In this context, service consumers do not own solutions any more, but pay-per-use to cloud providers that supply the services. Given this flexibility, the popularity of cloud solutions is growing steadily. However, the cloud model poses new challenges regarding consumer requirements communication, which cannot be addressed by the existing requirements acquisition methods.
Lay summary

Content and goal of the research project

 

Our primary goal is to investigate how effective requirements communication can be achieved in a cloud computing context. The main cloud challenges tackled in our project are the globally distributed and heterogeneous stakeholders, the lack of local well-known markets, the frequent service change requests and thus volatile requirements. Gaining an in-depth understanding of how cloud providers currently learn about consumers’ requirements is essential. This will allow us to develop new methods and tool support for: (i) identifying and reaching relevant cloud service consumers and encouraging them to supply their needs, (ii) semi-automatically eliciting requirements from cloud stakeholders in a way that is well-adapted to the specific context of cloud computing, and (iii) validating consumer requirements, to ensure effective communication.

 

Scientific and social context of the research project

Scientifically, our research will help to better understand the problem of requirements communication between cloud service consumers and providers. The cloud-specific acquisition methods and developed framework of elicitation techniques will close a gap in the current requirements elicitation body of knowledge. We expect the results of the proposed project to be applied in real world projects and thus have a practical impact in the medium and long-term. Socially, this can be summarized as a step towards making cloud services easily accessible and suitable for both businesses and individual private consumers.

 

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 02.11.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
A Fuzzy Galois Lattices Approach to Requirements Elicitation for Cloud Services
Todoran Koitz Irina, Glinz Martin (2015), A Fuzzy Galois Lattices Approach to Requirements Elicitation for Cloud Services, in IEEE Transactions on Services Computing, 1-1.
StakeCloud Tool: From Cloud Consumers' Search Queries to New Service Requirements
Todoran Koitz Irina, Glinz Martin (2015), StakeCloud Tool: From Cloud Consumers' Search Queries to New Service Requirements, in 23rd IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE'15), Ottawa, Canada284-285, IEEE, 284-285.
Quest for Requirements: Scrutinizing Advanced Search Queries for Cloud Services with Fuzzy Galois Lattices
Todoran Irina, Glinz Martin (2014), Quest for Requirements: Scrutinizing Advanced Search Queries for Cloud Services with Fuzzy Galois Lattices, in IEEE 10th World Congress on Services 2014 (SERVICES 2014), 234-241, IEEE, 234-241.
How cloud providers elicit consumer requirements: An exploratory study of nineteen companies
Todoran Irina, Seyff Norbert, Glinz Martin (2013), How cloud providers elicit consumer requirements: An exploratory study of nineteen companies, in 21st IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil105-114, IEEE, 105-114.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Collaboration with various international cloud providers Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Scrutinizing Advanced Search Queries for Cloud Services with Fuzzy Galois Lattices International 2014

Awards

Title Year
Best Poster and Tool Demonstration Award, 23rd IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE'15), Ottawa, Canada 2015
Google Anita Borg Scholarship 2014

Abstract

Cloud computing is becoming a dominant computing paradigm which will have a significant impact on the distribution of software. Cloud services go beyond the provision of specific functionality and can be seen as a new IT deployment model enabling users to consume software and hardware services, which are controlled by cloud service providers. User-centricity, customization, scalability, flexible pricing are key characteristics and suggest that cloud services will be accessible for anyone, anytime, everywhere.Offering cloud services that meet actual needs as well as searching for services that match stakeholders' needs is a requirements communication problem to a major extent. However, requirements engineering in a cloud computing context is a heavily under-researched topic.In the proposed project, we investigate the problem of effective requirements communication in a cloud computing context, concentrating on how cloud service providers can elicit requirements from actual as well as potential service consumers. We envisage a cloud community platform where providers can offer services and consumers can query the platform when searching services that meet particular needs. We will leverage such a platform for extracting requirements from consumers' queries, making these requirements available to service providers, and feeding requirements back to consumer stakeholders for validation. We will develop new requirements elicitation methods for extracting requirements from search queries as well as from usage patterns when a service is actually used. We will also investigate existing requirements elicitation techniques with respect to their applicability in a cloud computing context and come up with a framework that will help cloud service providers select appropriate elicitation methods in a given situation. To evaluate our results, we build the StakeCloud platform as a proof-of-concept prototype and implement the proposed new elicitation methods on this platform. The platform will then be used in empirical validation studies.The results of this project will primarily contribute to the field of requirements engineering. Our results will also advance the field of cloud computing with respect to requirements communication. Scientifically, our research will help to understand the problems of stakeholder requirements communication in a cloud context better than today. Also, our framework of requirements elicitation methods in a cloud computing context will close a gap in the current requirements elicitation body of knowledge. We expect that our new cloud-specific elicitation methods, together with the framework and the envisaged platform will actually solve some of the cloud-specific requirements communication problems. Thus, the results of the proposed project will also have a practical impact in the medium and long-term.
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