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Nonfunctional requirements (NFRs) have been frequently neglected or forgotten in software design. They have been presented as a second or even third class type of requirement, frequently hidden inside notes. We tackle this problem by treating NFRs as first class requirements. We present a process to elicit NFRs, analyze their interdependencies, and trace them to functional conceptual models. We focus our attention on conceptual models expressed using UML (Unified Modeling Language). Extensions to UML are proposed to allow NFRs to be expressed. We show how to integrate NFRs into the class, sequence, and collaboration diagrams. We also show how use cases and scenarios can be adapted to deal with NFRs. This work was used in three case studies and their results suggest that by using our proposal we can improve the quality of the resulting conceptual models.
Date of Publication: May 2004