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Project Risk Estimation and Management via Requirements Engineering (PREMIERE):

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  • Full or part time
    Prof R Harrison
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Come and join our thriving community of research students in our new purposebuilt research laboratory.

The aim of this research is to estimate and manage project risks by quantifying the amount of risk that there is in a requirements specification. The programme of study involves estimating the level of confidence that we have in a requirements specification by assessing its feasibility and adequacy.
The objectives of the PhD are to develop methods to assess:

1. The risks associated with a given requirements model. This involves identifying the potential for incompleteness and other defects in a requirements model, and the impacts that these may have on the development process, particularly concerning its costs, duration, and the extent to which the future system will satisfy the needs of its stakeholders.
2. The benefits of doing additional requirements engineering. This involves identifying what requirements engineering tasks could be performed to reduce the risks associated with the current model, reasoning about the costs and potential benefits of performing these tasks, and finally deciding which tasks should be performed prior to taking software design decisions.

These assessments may be performed iteratively as successive versions of a requirements model are generated until the project risks are considered to be acceptable.

The Applied Software Engineering Research Group is part of the Department of Computing and Communication Technologies in the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment. The Department provides undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Computer Science and related disciplines. Details about the Department can be found at

We are looking for enthusiastic candidates with:
• a solid background in Computer Science, shown by a good BSc: 2.1 or above and/or an MSc degree;
• a solid background in Mathematics; knowledge of software engineering methods;
• an appreciation of empirical techniques; • good communication and collaboration skills.

As research deliverables we expect publications, software, and a PhD thesis.
If you have any queries about this project, please contact: Rachel Harrison: [email protected] There is more information about our research at
For details on how to apply and for details of the likely costs, please contact [email protected]

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project, it is for self-funded students only.


K Boness, A. Finkelstein, R. Harrison, “A lightweight technique for assessing risks in requirements analysis”, IET Software, 2(1), pp 46-57, Feb. 2008, ISSN 17518806. K Boness, A. Finkelstein, R. Harrison, A method for assessing confidence in requirements analysis, Information and Software Technology, 53, pp. 1084-1096, 2011, ISSN 0950 5849, DOI: 10.1016/j.infsof.2011.05.003 M.J. Carr et al., "Taxonomy-Based Risk Identification," CMU/SEI-93-TR-06, SEI, CMU, 1993. N. E. Fenton, et al., Making Resource Decisions for Software Projects, Proc. 26nd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2004), pp. 397-406, 2004.

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