Measuring goal-oriented requirements language actor stability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Goal models describe interests, preferences, intentions, desired goals and strategies of intervening stakeholders during the early requirements engineering stage. When capturing the requirements of real-world systems such as socio-technical systems, the produced goal models evolve quickly to become large and complex. Hence, gaining a sufficient level of understanding of such goal models, to perform maintenance tasks, becomes more challenging. Metric-based approaches have shown good potential in improving software designs and making them more understandable and easier to maintain. Aim: In this paper, we propose a novel metric to measure GRL (Goal-oriented Requirements Language) "actor stability" that provides a quantitative indicator of the actor maintainability. Method: We first, validate the proposed metric theoretically then empirically using a case study of a GRL model describing the fostering of the relationship between the university and its alumni. Results: The proposed actor stability metric is found to have significant negative correlation with the maintenance effort of GRL models. Conclusions: Our results show that the proposed metric is a good indicator of GRL actors' stability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-226
Number of pages24
JournalE-Informatica Software Engineering Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the support provided by King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) for funding this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wroclaw University of Science and Technology. All rights reserved.


  • Goal models
  • Goal-oriented requirements language (GRL)
  • Maintenance
  • Metrics
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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