Dr. Ghaisas, Smita

Principal Scientist



Dr. Smita Ghaisas has a Ph D in Physics from University of Pune (1992). She was a visiting scholar at University of Southern California and a post doctoral research scholar at University of Michigan Ann Arbor.

Research Interests:

  • Knowledge Engineering methods and techniques
  • Requirements Engineering 
  • Information retrieval
  • Natural language Processing
  • Machine learning

Dr. Ghaisas's current research focus is on automated identification, classification and structuring of knowledge for an efficient reuse and decision-making.

List of Publications (283 KB) 

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Book Chapter
Managing Requirements Knowledge
Authors: Smita Ghaisas and Nirav Ajmeri, Knowledge assisted Requirements Evolution, Accepted for a book on Managing Requirements Knowledge, Ed.,springer 

Requirements Engineering (RE) predominantly involves transfer and exchange of knowledge among stakeholders. Most large projects however, have stakeholders dispersed across the globe. As a result, there is little opportunity for co-located discussions among them. The characteristics of web-based and community-oriented social software such as - their ease of use, transparency of communication, user orientation, self organization, and continual social feedback are useful for collaboration among RE stakeholders. Although the benefits of social platforms are valuable, they are necessary and not sufficient in themselves for making RE effective. To address the knowledge and collaboration needs of RE stakeholders, we have conceptualized, developed, and validated a knowledge-assisted RE method rendered through an active and intelligent tool. We combine social software principles and the semantic web concepts to achieve an improved completeness, correctness and consistency of requirements.

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Invited Column
Practicing What We Preach
Author(s): Smita Ghaisas, Practicing What We Preach, IEEE Software Requirements Column, Jan/Feb (1) 2014 (vol. 31), pp. 88-92, January 27, 2014.

In this column, the author  poses the critical question of how we can move beyond some very real dilemmas in the RE community so that academics and practitioners can work together to address both current and future challenges. The author has sought answers to these questions in the context of RE research and practice in India. Given the country’s predominant role in the distributed development of large, increasingly complex systems involving culturally diverse stakeholders, RE research and practice become especially significant. IT professionals in different key roles have shared their personal insights on this topic of paramount importance.

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What You Ask is What You Get: Understanding Architecturally Significant Functional Requirements
IEEE 23rd International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE 15), 2015   pp.86-95,
Authors: Preethu Rose Anish, Maya Daneva, Jane Cleland-Huang, Roel Wieringa, and Smita Ghaisas

Software architects are responsible for designing an architectural solution that satisfies the functional and non-functional requirements of the system to the fullest extent possible. However, the details they need to make informed architectural decisions are often missing from the requirements specification. An earlier study we conducted indicated that architects intuitively recognize architecturally significant requirements in a project, and often seek out relevant stakeholders in order to ask Probing Questions (PQs) that help them acquire the information they need. This paper presents results from a qualitative interview study aimed at identifying architecturally significant functional requirements' categories from various business domains, exploring relevant PQs for each category, and then grouping PQs by type.

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Probing for Requirements Knowledge to Stimulate Architectural Thinking, Accepted at the ACM/IEEE The 38th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 16)  Austin, TX, Scheduled May 14 - 22, 2016
Authors:Preethu Rose Anish. Balaji balasubramaniam, Abhishek Sainani, Jane Cleland-Huang, Roel Wieringa, Maya Daneva and Smita Ghaisas,

Detecting System Use Cases and Validations from Documents, Proc of the 28th International IEEE/ACM Automated Software Engineering Conference ASE 13, 568,573. 
Authors: Smita Ghaisas, Manish Motwani, Preethu Rose Anish,

Identifying system use cases and corresponding validations involves analyzing large requirement documents to understand the descriptions of business processes, rules and policies. This consumes a significant amount of effort and time. We discuss an approach to automate the detection of system use cases and corresponding validations from documents. We have devised a representation that allows for capturing the essence of rule statements as a composition of atomic ‘Rule intents’ and key phrases associated with the intents. Rule intents that co-occur frequently constitute 'Rule acts’ analogous to the Speech acts in Linguistics. Our approach is based on NLP techniques designed around this Rule Model. We employ syntactic and semantic NL analyses around the model to identify and classify rules and annotate them with Rule acts. We map the Rule acts to business process steps and highlight the combinations as potential system use cases and validations for human supervision. 

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