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Research interestsDan Berry

Professor Berry conducts research in Requirements Engineering. This work focuses on gathering information from members of a client organization in order to produce coherent specifications of the requirements for a software system that the client desires. The unifying goal of this work consists in developing methods and tools that help gather the information needed to produce these requirements specifications.

Requirements Elicitation is the process of gathering information about the system to be built from whatever source is available, including the client, the users, and other stakeholders by watching the organization at work directly or via video tapes, conducting interviews, and reading organizational policy statements, requests for proposals, and other documents. It is necessary to pay attention even to stakeholders’ feelings.

Requirements Analysis is the process of refining all the elicited information into specifications by deriving what is possible from the information and validating the results with the client and users.

Among the techniques Professor Berry has studied and used are

• asking ignorant questions,

• abstraction identification,

• prototyping to requirements,

• writing user’s manuals as requirements specification,

• applying creativity enhancers to assist requirements elicitation,

• inspecting natural language requirements specifications for ambiguity, imprecision, incompleteness, incorrectness, and

• finding potentially ambiguous requirements statements as a means to generate questions to ask of clients.

He has also examined the role of emotion, values, and beliefs in the construction of innovative work realities and of the roles of the customer and the user in helping the requirements engineer to arrive at a complete set of requirements.

More recently, he has focused on empirical validation, with controlled experiments and industrial case studies of the usefulness and effectiveness of these techniques.

Degrees and awards

BS (Rensselaer), PhD (Brown)

Industrial and sabbatical experience

Professor Berry has taught and consulted on software engineering, requirements engineering, and related topics in company employee education programs, including at Israeli Aerospace Industries, IBM, Unisys, Intel, NCR, and Siemens.

Representative publications

Berry, D.M., Daudjee, K., Dong, J., Fainchtein, I., Nelson, M.A., Nelson, T., Ou, L., User’s Manual as a Requirements Specification, Requirements Engineering Journal, 9:1, pp. 67–82, February, 2004

Ramos, I. and Berry, D.M., Is Emotion Relevant to Requirements Engineering? Requirements Engineering Journal, 10:3, pp. 238–242, November 2005

Ramos, I., Berry, D.M., and Carvalho, J.A., Requirements Engineering for Organizational Transformation, Information & Software Technology, 47:7, pp. 479–495, 2005

Mich, L., Anesi, C., and Berry, D.M., Applying a Pragmatics-Based Creativity-Fostering Technique to Requirements Elicitation, Requirements Engineering Journal, Special Issue with Best Papers from REFSQ’04, 10:4, pp. 262–275, December 2005

Svetinovic, D., Berry, D.M, Day, N.A., and Godfrey, M.W., Unified Use Case Statecharts: Case Studies, Requirements Engineering Journal, 12:4, pp. 245–265, 2007

Kiyavitskaya, N., Zeni, N., Mich, L., and Berry, D.M., Requirements for Tools for Ambiguity Identification and Measurement in Natural Language Requirements Specifications, Requirements Engineering Journal, 13:3, pp. 207–240, 2008

Berry, D.M., Czarnecki, K., Antkiewicz, M., and AbdElRazik, M., Requirements Determination is Unstoppable: An Experience Report, Proceedings of the International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE’10), pp. 311–316, Sydney, NSW, Australia, September/October 2010

Arbab, F. and Berry, D.M., Why Jews Wear Costumes on Purim, CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly, LIX:II, pp142–163, 2012

Sakhnini, V., Mich, L., and Berry, D.M., The Effectiveness of an Optimized EPMcreate as a Creativity Enhancement Technique for Website Requirements Elicitation, Requirements Engineering Journal, 17:3, pp. 171–186, 2012 DOI:10.1007/s00766-011-0133-0

Berry, D.M., Gacitua, R., Sawyer, P., and Tjong, S.F., The Case for Dumb Requirements Engineering Tools, Proceedings of the 2012 Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality (REFSQ), pp. 211–217, Essen, Germany, March, 2012

Niknafs, A. and Berry, D.M., The Impact of Domain Knowledge on the Effectiveness of Requirements Idea Generation during Requirements Elicitation, Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE), pp. 182–190, Chicago, IL, USA, 2012

Ellis, K. and Berry, D.M., Quantifying the Impact of Requirements Definition and Management Process Maturity on Project Outcome in Business Application Development, Requirements Engineering Journal, 18:3, pp. 223–249, 2013 DOI:10.1007/s00766-012-0146-3

Berry, D.M. The Essential Similarity and Differences between Mathematical Modeling and Programming, Science of Computer Programming, 78:9, pp. 1208–1211, 2013 DOI:10.1016/J.SCICO.2010.05.002

Berry, D.M., Godfrey, M.W., Holt, R., Kapser, C.J, and Ramos, I., Requirements Specifications and Recovered Architectures as Grounded Theories, Grounded Theory Review, 12:1, June, 2013,

Berry, D.M., Understanding the Two Creation Narratives in Genesis: Just How Many Beginnings Were There?, CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly, LX:IV, pp148–170, 2013

Goldin, L. and Berry, D.M., Reuse of Requirements Reduced Time to Market at One Industrial Shop: A Case Study, Requirements Engineering Journal, Online First, 2013 DOI:10.1007/s00766-013-0182-7

Sakhnini, V., Mich, L., and Berry, D.M., Group Versus Individual Use of an Optimized and the Full EPMcreate as Creativity Enhancement Techniques for Web site Requirements Elicitation, Proceedings of the Workshop on Creativity in Requirements Engineering (CreaRE) at REFSQ’2013, Essen, Germany, April 2013

Niknafs, A. and Berry, D.M., An Industrial Case Study of the Impact of Domain Ignorance on the Effectiveness of Requirements Idea Generation during Requirements Elicitation, Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE), pp. 279–283, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil, 2013

Mauger, C. Berry, D.M., Lessons Learned from and for Requirements Engineering and Building Construction: A Case Study of Requirements Engineering for a Synagogue Kitchen with Use Cases and Scenarios, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Software — Science, Technology & Engineering (SwSTE’2014), pp. 67–76, Ramat Gan, Israel, June 2014

University of Waterloo
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