Authors: Birgit Penzenstadler, Bill Tomlinson, Debra Richardson

Abstract:
[Motivation:] Environmental sustainability is an important concern. Information and communication technology (ICT) innovation is ambivalently positioned with regard to our rapid development and short- ening innovation cycles. On one hand, information technology facilitates the (excessive) usage of resources. On the other hand, ICT can also help to significantly reduce human impact on the environment.
[Problem:] Environmental sustainability is currently not supported ex- plicitly in requirements engineering (RE). This leads to the problem that (a) environmental sustainability is not yet given sufficient importance and (b) it is difficult to manifest in requirements & design and therefore hard to assess.
[Principal idea:] We need to combine the knowledge of RE, environ- mental informatics, and further disciplines, to develop an RE approach that tailors analysis, documentation, and assessment for ICT systems where environmental sustainability is a first class quality objective. [Contribution:] This paper is a research preview on an approach to help requirements engineers handle sustainability as a first class qual- ity objective. It elaborates on how we plan to refine and validate this approach in the future.

Submission download:

Reviews


Review 3
  • TITLE: RE4ES: Support Environmental Sustainability by Requirements Engineering
  • AUTHORS: Birgit Penzenstadler, Bill Tomlinson, Debra Richardson
Reviewers' expertise from 1 (low) to 5 (high): 4

  • SCORES 1 (Very Bad) 2 (More or less OK) 3 (Very Good)
Adequacy for RE4SuSy: 3.
Originality of the content: 3.
Significance of the work: 3.
Soundness and accuracy of the technical content: 3.
Style and clarity of the paper: 3.
OVERALL RECOMMENDATION (Strong Reject - Reject - Conditional Accept - Accept - Strong Accept):
Strong accept.

  • REVIEW:
The paper presents plans for undertaking research on integration of sustainability issues into information system development. So it fits perfectly with the scope of the workshop.
The work is original in that it sets up a well rounded framework for tacking these issues, though the methods chosen for it are established ones.
I consider this to be a useful and significant contribution as currently the sustainability problems are very poorly researched and even less practiced in systems engineering.
It is too early to comment on the technical accuracy and content of this work, as in the present paper only a plan of work outlined. Nevertheless, the plan is sound and fully feasible.
The paper is well written and easy to understand.
To me the most central contributions of this paper are summarised under the (very amply titled) Contributions sub-heading, where the 3 questions to be addressed in the proposed research are listed. This is because only after the a good question is asked, the search for the useful answers can commence.


Review 4

      • SCORES 1 (Very Bad) 2 (More or less OK) 3 (Very Good)
Adequacy for RE4SuSy:3.
Originality of the content:3.
Significance of the work:3.
Soundness and accuracy of the technical content:2.
Style and clarity of the paper:2.

OVERALL RECOMMENDATION (Strong Reject - Reject - Conditional Accept - Accept - Strong Accept):

Strong accept.

      • REVIEW:

This paper tells us about the plans authors have for the future. They plan to define a new 'RE approach' for dealing with ICT systems that have environmental sustainability as a primary goal. They detail their plans, showcasing how they will gather the requirements for their requirements method, and implement it. The plans look sound and solid. And ambitious. Nice preview.

Remarks/questions/suggestions:
=> Authors say "Although our approach primarily aims at environmental sustainability, it must also be socially sustainable in order to have practical significance [2]." But it's not clear what they do with that phrase in the paper ? It's kind of killing the whole approach is you don't tell us about your plans to have social sustainability in the loop at some point...
=> Why did you choose to focus on systems that have an explicit Sustainability goal ?
=> Maybe I'm not comfortable with the word 'RE approach'. First I was more used to 'method' (but that might be just me). But then it gives me the impression that authors wish to solve all problems by one (single) approach, while I believe this can't be achievable seen the large number of RE contexts. Authors themselves name 3 very different ways to tackle sustainability, which will probably lead to different approaches in my mind. I'd prefer they talk about a set of tools and best practices or things like that…
=> Should obviously be augmented with knowledge from other papers in the WS: could do something combined with the GREENS framework and Mahaux's "Integrating…". A collaboration in sight ?
=> I think the structure of the beginning of the paper can be enhanced, in order to be simplified, easier to read. There are some repetitions, phrases that come while you don't expect them here.

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Discussion

please add your comments here and leave your name and email.

Thank you for the reviews - I will try to work all the comments into the CR version of the paper.
The word RE "approach" is one I really gave thought to as well. However, if I propose an artifact model with requirements analysis methods and a corresponding quality model, then calling it "method" with nested methods might be confusing as well.
Yes, I'm definitely interested in collaborating more. I've already discussed the work with Martin Mahaux and I'm in contact with the GREENS authors as well.
Birgit (penzenst@in.tum.de)