An ontological interpretation of non-functional requirements

Renata Guizzardi, Feng Lin Li, Alexander Borgida, Giancarlo Guizzardi, Jennifer Horkoff, John Mylopoulos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

18 Scopus citations


Non-functional requirements (NFRs) have been the focus of research in Requirements Engineering (RE) for more than 20 years. Despite this attention, their ontological nature is still an open question, thereby hampering efforts to develop concepts, tools and techniques for eliciting, modeling, and analyzing them, in order to produce a specification for a system-to-be. In this paper, we propose to treat NFRs as qualities, based on definitions of the UFO foundational ontology. Furthermore, based on these ontological definitions, we provide guidelines for distinguishing between non-functional and functional requirements, and sketch a syntax of a specification language that can be used for capturing NFRs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFormal Ontology in Information Systems - Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference (FOIS 2014)
EditorsPawel Garbacz, Oliver Kutz
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781614994374
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
ISSN (Print)0922-6389

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence


  • Non-functional requirements
  • UFO
  • foundational ontology
  • qualities


Dive into the research topics of 'An ontological interpretation of non-functional requirements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this