A research on measuring and reducing problem complexity to increase system affordability: From theory to practice

Alejandro Salado, Roshanak Nilchiani

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Requirement engineering is the cornerstone of systems engineering. Numerous large scale engineered systems face schedule delays, cost overruns and performance shortfalls that can be traced back to the requirements they need to fulfill. In fact, previous research has demonstrated strong relationship between requirements and systems affordability. This paper summarizes and puts into context the authors' novel contributions in three domains of requirements engineering: systems theory, complexity science, and systems methodologies. The authors propose new theorems and their proofs on requirements affecting affordability, propose a new complexity metric at requirement stage that measures the complexity limit of the system at conceptual stage (even before a specific design is determined), and propose two methodologies to elicit excess-free requirement sets and to identify conflicting requirements more effectively. The paper showcases the value of structuring a research in such a manner, i.e. from theory to practice, enabling strengthening the bounds between theorists and practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-30
Number of pages10
JournalProcedia Computer Science
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event18th Conference on Plasma-Surface Interactions, PSI 2015, 5-6 February 2015, Moscow, Russian Federation and the 1st Conference on Plasma and Laser Research and Technologies, PLRT 2015, 18-20 February 2015, Moscow, Russian Federation - Sankt Augustin, Germany
Duration: Jun 7 2013 → …


  • Problem complexity
  • Requirements engineering
  • Systems engineering methods
  • Systems theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


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