What's up with requirements engineering for Artificial Intelligence Systems?

Khlood Ahmad, Muneera Bano, Mohamed Abdelrazek, Chetan Arora, John Grundy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In traditional approaches to building software systems (that do not include an Artificial Intelligent (AI) or Machine Learning (ML) component), Requirements Engineering (RE) activities are well-established and researched. However, building software systems with one or more AI components may depend heavily on data with limited or no insight into the system's workings. Therefore, engineering such systems poses significant new challenges to RE. Our search showed that literature has focused on using AI to manage RE activities, with limited research on RE for AI (RE4AI). Our study's main objective was to investigate current approaches in writing requirements for AI/ML systems, identify available tools and techniques used to model requirements, and find existing challenges and limitations. We performed a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) of current RE4AI methods and identified 27 primary studies. Using these studies, we analysed the key tools and techniques used to specify and model requirements and found several challenges and limitations of existing RE4AI practices. We further provide recommendations for future research, based on our analysis of the primary studies and mapping to industry guidelines in Google PAIR). The SLR findings highlighted that present RE applications were not adaptive to manage most AI/ML systems and emphasised the need to provide new techniques and tools to support RE4AI.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 29th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference, RE 2021
EditorsAna Moreira, Kurt Schneider, Michael Vierhauser, Jane Cleland-Huang
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ USA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781665428569
ISBN (Print)9781665428576
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventIEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference 2021 - Online, Notre Dame, United States of America
Duration: 20 Sept 202124 Sept 2021
Conference number: 29th
https://conf.researchr.org/home/RE-2021 (Website)
https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/conhome/9604522/proceeding (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Requirements Engineering
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISSN (Print)1090-705X
ISSN (Electronic)2332-6441


ConferenceIEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleRE 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CityNotre Dame
Internet address


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Requirements Engineering
  • Systematic Literature Review

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