Understanding requirements dependency in requirements prioritization: a systematic literature review

(1) * Fiftin Noviyanto Mail (Center for Software Technology and Management, FTSM, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia; and Informatics Department, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Universitas Ahmad Dahlan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia)
(2) Rozilawati Razali Mail (Center for Software Technology and Management, FTSM, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia)
(3) Mohd Zakree Ahmad Nazree Mail (Center for Artificial Intelligence and Technology, FTSM, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia)
*corresponding author


Requirement prioritization (RP) is a crucial task in managing requirements as it determines the order of implementation and, thus, the delivery of a software system. Improper RP may cause software project failures due to over budget and schedule as well as a low-quality product. Several factors influence RP. One of which is requirements dependency. Handling inappropriate handling of requirements dependencies can lead to software development failures. If a requirement that serves as a prerequisite for other requirements is given low priority, it affects the overall project completion time. Despite its importance, little is known about requirements dependency in RP, particularly its impacts, types, and techniques. This study, therefore, aims to understand the phenomenon by analyzing the existing literature. It addresses three objectives, namely, to investigate the impacts of requirements dependency on RP, to identify different types of requirements dependency, and to discover the techniques used for requirements dependency problems in RP. To fulfill the objectives, this study adopts the Systematic Literature Review (SLR) method. Applying the SLR protocol, this study selected forty primary articles, which comprise 58% journal papers, 32% conference proceedings, and 10% book sections. The results of data synthesis indicate that requirements dependency has significant impacts on RP, and there are a number of requirements dependency types as well as techniques for addressing requirements dependency problems in RP. This research discovered various techniques employed, including the use of Graphs for RD visualization, Machine Learning for handling large-scale RP, decision making for multi-criteria handling, and optimization techniques utilizing evolutionary algorithms. The study also reveals that the existing techniques have encountered serious limitations in terms of scalability, time consumption, interdependencies of requirements, and limited types of requirement dependencies.


Requirement prioritization; Requirements dependencies; Systematic literature review; Machine learning; Optimization technique




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