Application of swarm techniques to requirements tracing

Hakim Sultanov, Jane Huffman Hayes, Wei Keat Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We posit that swarm intelligence can be applied to effectively address requirements engineering problems. Specifically, this paper demonstrates the applicability of swarm intelligence to the requirements tracing problem using two techniques: a simple swarm algorithm and a pheromone swarm algorithm. The techniques have been validated using two real-world datasets from two problem domains. The simple swarm technique generated requirements traceability matrices between textual requirements artifacts (high-level requirements traced to low-level requirements, for example). When compared with a baseline information retrieval tracing method, the swarm algorithms showed mixed results. The swarms achieved statistically significantly results on one of the secondary measurements for one dataset compared with the baseline method, lending support for continued investigation into swarms for tracing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-226
Number of pages18
JournalRequirements Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is funded in part by the National Science Foundation under NSF grant CCF-0811140.


  • Information retrieval
  • Requirements traceability
  • Software engineering
  • Swarms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems


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